Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Hazel. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing professionally and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The Portrait?
Although I have been writing on and off since 1961 when I was fifteen, it wasn’t until 2004 that I was finally persuaded to submit my work to a publisher. Inspiration for The Portrait came from a song in the film Hawks when the singer declares he wants to be the man that she thought he was. My hero is severely wounded in battle and returns home determined to end his betrothal because of his injuries.
Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?
Throughout the campaigns, it is seen that The Earl of Sinclair relies greatly on the miniature of a beautiful young woman and it is to this he clings upon his return. Will he eventually find happiness with the girl in the portrait or will he stay firm in his resolve not to wed. His head tells him one thing, his heart another.
Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?
It is a tender love story that can be read by romantics of all ages.
Q: Can you tell us the story behind your book cover? Did you choose it or did your publisher, Avalon Books have full control? Were you happy with the decision or did you have something else in mind?
I was asked for suggestions and they took it from there. I am extremely pleased with the result as the cover artist has completely captured the essence of the book.
Q: How have you approached marketing your book? Do you have someone doing it for you or have you had to do most of the marketing yourself?
Marketing is not my forte, therefore I have placed The Portrait’s promotion in the hands of the professionals, Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours. I have toured with them on previous occasions and they have proved to be excellent.
Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?
My work has been compared to that of Georgette Heyer. I write sweet so there are no detailed sex scenes, yet the book is satisfyingly romantic.
Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?
Waking from his night terror, The Earl of Sinclair finds his former betrothed, Jennifer, and his brother standing at his bedside. To the confusion of these two individuals, during his ranting, he had been asking for the portrait but, when asked where they might find it, he denies all knowledge of it. Jennifer must never know of its existence.
Q: Do you plan subsequent books?
I have a further Regency, Consequence, due for publication sometime next year with Avalon Books. It is the prequel to Dominic.
Q: Thank you for your interview, Hazel. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
I have a website, http://www.hazel-statham.co.uk/ where readers can find information about me and my books.
The Portrait is currently available from
Barnes & Noble