Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure and love, and often with ideas and history as well. She enjoys coming up with stories that are set in faraway cities and countries, because then she *must* travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat.
About An Untitled Lady
Publication Date: December 20, 2013
Shocking family news forces Madeline Wetherby to abandon her plans to marry an earl and settle for upstart Manchester merchant Nash Quinn. When she discovers that her birth father is one of the weavers her husband is putting out of work—and a radical leader—Maddie must decide which family she truly desires, the man of her heart or the people of her blood.
An earl’s second son, Nash chose a life of Trade over Society. When protest marches spread across Lancashire, the pressure on him grows. If he can’t make both workers and manufacturers see reason he stands to lose everything: his business, his town, and his marriage.
As Manchester simmers under the summer sun, the choices grow more stark for Maddie and Nash: Family or justice. Love or money. Life or death.
Stephanie: Hello Nicky! Thank you for chatting with me today. What was your inspiration to write this story?
Nicky: I wanted to do a Regency story that was in a city that wasn’t London. Then I found all this great history around Manchester at the time: the birth of factory mills, changing status of people in towns versus the countryside, women in the “official” workforce, and more. So the story grew from a simple romance to more like a Dickens story, with lots of characters and stories swirling around a strong backbone of the main love story.
Stephanie: Is there a character in your story you feel most connected to in any way?
Nicky: I love them all, of course—all of them share bits of me. I started off firmly in Maddie’s camp; she is thrown a half-dozen curveballs and she perseveres and grows in a lovely way. But by the fourth draft of the story, I’d fallen for Nash, who has to straddle the interests of the merchants, the workers and his brother, the Earl. He is a practical sort, and forgets to be romantic from time to time and then scurries to make up for it, somewhat like this author.
Stephanie: What is your favorite scene in your story?
Nicky: So many! One I really like is a series of scenes where Nash does not do the expected at the wedding chapel (see ‘forgets to be romantic,’ above) and has to deal with the fallout later.
Stephanie: Was there any research involved?
Nicky: Tons. It took me about a year of reading and searching for information before I had the basics to make sure the story I wanted to tell would work. I couldn’t rely on my mental index of London, or all the stories set there. As I was writing questions kept coming up that I would need to go find the answer to – how many hours does it take to walk from Salford to Manchester, and so on. I also traveled to Manchester, taking walking tours and getting a feel for the space and light.
Stephanie: As a writer, what are some of the challenges you face writing a story?
Nicky: The rough draft is always terrible! It’s shocking how far from the goal the first draft is, and I catch myself thinking I can never get it to be as good as in my head. While that is true, I do get it pretty darn close by the last drafts.
Stephanie: How long did it take you to write An Untitled Lady?
Nicky: In real life, five or so years. After researching and outlining, I wrote the first draft as a National Novel Writing Month project in November 2009 and it was published in December 2013. In writer life, it’s harder to say: I write a drafts of one story, and then set it aside and write something else. Maybe I’ll return to the first one then, or maybe I’ll write a third thing. Some stories, like An Untitled Lady, go through many drafts (I think 6-7 for this one); other stories (especially novellas) are two drafts and out the door.
Stephanie: What is up next for you?
Nicky: Currently I’m working on a contemporary story set in New York City that may involve a cuddle club, and a story set in Spain 1808 that includes British, Spanish, Galician, and American characters.
Stephanie: Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Nicky: Thank you, thank you and thank you! I thought I was writing for fame and fortune, but it turns out that what really hits my heart when readers tell me what touched them about one of my stories. I like to talk about books and writing, and I love when we’ve read the same books and you point out something I haven’t ever thought of about them, and vice versa.
Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?
Musa Publishing (Editors’ Pick!) http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=715
All Romance eBooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-anuntitledlady-1381901-162.html
Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/anuntitledladytour
Twitter Hashtag: #AnUntitledLadyTour