Ask the Author: Martha Waters

What would you like readers to know about you?  

I’m a children’s librarian by day, and used to want to write children’s books. These days, however, I write historical romantic comedies inspired by my love of England, and I spend (in pre-Covid times) a lot of my non-writing, non-working time traveling. 

What is your book about for those who haven’t read it? 

It’s a rom-com set in Regency England, and it follows an estranged married couple who married young and then had a big fight, and haven’t been on speaking terms for several years. Violet, the wife, decides to fake a case of consumption to get her husband James’s attention — a terrible plan that he sees through almost immediately, but he pretends to go along with her ruse, and it turns into an escalating battle of one-upsmanship even as they fall back in love. 

What has been your inspiration for writing it? 

I’m a lifelong Anglophile who also has a long-standing obsession with romantic comedies — this book is a homage both to the movies I love, classic Regency romances, and my obsession with all things English. 

What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write?  

There’s a scene where Violet is in bed pretending to be ill but secretly trying to catalog the contents of her library, and James comes to her bedside, pretending to be concerned, and starts threatening to get her (horrible) mother to come nurse her — that was really fun to write, as it’s very funny and banter-y. 

What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?  

Too many to name, honestly — I’ve been a voracious reader for my entire life. I was inspired to try my hand at writing a romance specifically by the books of Julia Quinn and Georgette Heyer, though. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?  

Honestly, just sit down and get words on the page. I think the idea of writing a novel can be so daunting that a lot of people don’t even start, or they obsess and plan and plot endlessly, but at some point you just have to start writing, and know that the first draft won’t be what you want it to be, but keep going with the knowledge that you can fix it later — that’s what revisions are for! 

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/to-have-and-to-hoax/9781982136116 

Amazon: http://bit.ly/have-hoax-amz 

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/have-hoax-bn 

Martha can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @MarthaBWaters. 

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