Eliza Redgold, author of ‘Naked"


This blog post comes to us from Eliza Redgold, author, academic and unashamed romantic. Her new novel Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva is released by St Martin’s Press on Bastille Day (July 14 2015).

Follow Eliza Redgold on
Twitter: @ElizaRedgold
or subscribe to her newsletter at http://www.elizaredgold.com

  

What inspires you to write?
I’m a character driven writer. I was inspired by the heroine of my story and went on a wild ride telling her tale!
The legend goes that Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. You may have seen her portrait, even if adorning a box of Belgian chocolates. She begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay.
Lady Godiva (or chocolate!) must have been in the back of my mind when I was doing some research on the word lady in my academic life. Over time, the word has had a bad rap, but it made a 21st century comeback. With my academic hat on, as Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd, I wrote an opinion piece about the word lady making a comeback for The Age newspaper (I loved the graphic they created for this article) and in Women and Language journal I explored why the lady’s back and what her future may be.
Following the lady then led me in all kinds of wonderful directions. The legend of Lady Godiva grabbed me and didn’t let go until I had written a version of Godiva’s story, from her point of view, with a twist in the tale.
Tell us about your writing process.
Music is one of my main ‘muses’ (excuse the pun!)
I was listening to these ‘ladylike’ songs a lot before Lady Godiva’s story came to mind:
Lady Marmalade (the version from Moulin Rouge with Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Pink and Mya)
Lady (a ballad by Lionel Richie sung by country troubadour Kenny Rogers)
The Lady is a Tramp (who can resist this duet by the incomparable first lady of song Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra? Or try Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett’s fab version!)
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I sure do! It’s embarrassing to say ‘I hear voices’ but I’m one of those writers who hear dialogue very clearly. It happens especially when I’m trying to sleep. I get funny looks on airplanes when I’m scribbling notes in the dark!
I also got a strong sense of Leofric’s point of view listening to the song Wild Horses
It’s so evocative.
I read Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf aloud too, to get a sense of story-telling rhythm for the book.
What advice would you give other writers?
Listen to the muse!
What is your favourite genre to read? Is it different to what you write?
I love historical fiction. It has always been my favourite.
I am also a fan of romance. Romance has been called ‘the first form of feminism’ and I’m proud to write in that genre.



Tell us about your book…
We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story. We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.
Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.

ELIZA REDGOLD is an author, academic and unashamed romantic. She writes historical fiction (St Martin’s Press) and romance (Harlequin).

“NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva” will be released internationally by St Martin’s Press New York in July 2015. Her ‘Romance your Senses’ series of contemporary romances are published by Harlequin (MIRA) Australia and Escape Publishing. They include Black Diamonds, Hide and Seek and Wild Flower (2015 release). Eliza is also contracted to Harlequin Historical (London) for two upcoming Victorian historical romances. Look out for them! She is represented by Joelle Delbourgo Associates US.

Eliza Redgold is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.

By day a mild-mannered university lecturer with a PhD, by night she is a wild-mannered writer of historical fiction and romances. “Writing makes me braver. It has inspired adventures (and misadventures!) in travel, nature, art, literature and even gastronomy. I hope my books will inspire you too! They’re for people who love a good story, but want to discover new things. They also feature adventurous heroines who are prepared to take risks in life and love. Though in life and in love, of course, things never go quite as planned …”

Eliza Redgold on the web:




NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva
We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry,Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.
covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

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