Izzy James is the pen name of Elizabeth Chevalier Hull. She grew up on the Chesapeake Bay in coastal Virginia where she still live and writes contemporary and historical romance.
In this interview, she talks with us about her new novel, The Dollmaker’s Daughter, which is book number 2 in her War of Independence Series.
FF: What is your writing schedule like?
It’s not as regular as I think I would like. (I’m still exploring that thought.) Generally I prefer to write in the morning or late at night. And we are moving right now, which makes pretty much everything up in the air.
FF: How did you come up with the title, The Dollmaker’s Daughter and why?
The Dollmaker’s Daughter is the second in my War of Independence Series. It gets its title from characters in the first book, The Shopkeeper’s Widow. Ann Wright Archer is an adventurous and entrepreneurial woman who sells her handmade dolls in Delany Fleet’s Toy Shop. Ann’s oldest son, Field, is the hero of The Shopkeeper’s Widow. It was Ann’s letter that sent Field to Delany to deliver doll clothes for Delany’s childhood doll. Field is quite taken aback when he discovers his mother is selling her dolls in Delay Fleet’s shop. It is even suggested that perhaps his mother sent him to Delany with doll clothes in an effort to set them up.
The heroine of The Dollmaker’s Daughter is Amity Archer, Ann’s second born child. She is as feisty and unconventional as her mother although it comes out in a very different way.
FF: What is it that drew you to write historical romances set in America rather than some other historical time and place such as Regencies or Medieval romances?
I always say I grew up in coastal Virginia. And I did, a couple of blocks from the Chesapeake Bay, but I also grew up in historical Virginia. Thirty minutes from Yorktown and Williamsburg, ten minutes from the Battle of Great Bridge. The streets I travel everyday are the same imprints that George Washington or George Whitfield would have traveled when they visited Virginia. I love historical romance, especially Regencies, but I found I didn’t imagine England very well. When I started researching The Shopkeeper’s Widow I found that I could relate very well to the people that lived here in the eighteenth century. They were not so different from us and their society was a bit more messy than that of England at the time. Though I think it could be argued that life has always been messy. So my imagination has found a home in eighteenth century Virginia. Although it has been making plans to take the Wilderness Road to Kentucky!
FF: What influenced you to wrap a story around an ancient artifact?
It was writing prompt. I don’t generally use writing prompts, but I was leafing through a book and found it. I no longer remember the exact wording, but it caused me to remember my Grandma and bingo. My Grandma played bingo every week. It was her thing. And for just a little while she used to bring a little plastic troll with her for good luck. Thinking about that lead to scientific Simon and the possibility that, just maybe, an ancient artifact could bring him everything he ever wanted.
FF: What makes this book special to you?
This book is special to me because I have been traveling the roads Amity and Simon cover all my life. Research for this novel pulled at me night and day and changed the way I see the physical world around me.
FF: What is the spiritual takeaway for your reader?
The freedom you seek comes from a life with God.
FF: What can readers learn from your villain?
That we should take some time to understand another person’s perspective. We cannot walk in another’s shoes, but we can try to put ourselves in their place. If they are obedient, even villains can come to Christ.
The Dollmaker’s Daughter
War of Independence Series #2
White Rose Publishing
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Release Date: July 16, 2021
Forgetful scientist Simon Morgan lost his chance with Amity Archer ten years ago. He knows there is no hope…until a sea captain trades a meal for an ancient stone reputed to have the power to give him his heart’s desire. Immediately after pocketing the stone, Simon runs into Amity. Did the ancient artifact cause this chance encounter or was it mere coincidence?
Like her favorite travel writer Mrs. Peabody, Amity Archer yearns for adventure, but she’s horrified when her father asks Simon Morgan to escort her on her first real adventure.
With Amity’s Aunt Clementine as a buffer between them, will Simon be able to prove that his love for Amity is real? Can Amity show Simon that her love for him has nothing to do with a so-called magical rock?
Buy The Dollmaker’s Daughter from Amazon HERE!