Q&A with Courtney Milan

April, 2018
Courtney Milan
In a historical romance, the road to the altar is almost always paved with roguish behavior, terribly dark secrets (are there any other kind?), and heartache. No one knows this more than Courtney Milan, who has made a career out of throwing obstacles between her Regency-era lovers and their happily ever after.

After the Wedding, the latest book in Milan's The Worth Saga, introduces readers to the brilliant and stubborn Lady Camilla Worth. After her father is convicted of treason, she abandons her dreams of sweep-you-off-your-feet romance for reality. She won't let anyone get in the way of her quest for stability, even the dashing Adrian Hunter, who reluctantly agrees to marry her after the two are caught in, well, compromising circumstances.

Before she wrote bestselling books, Milan got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry as well as a law degree. The talented writer of The Duchess War and The Governess Affair answers your questions about how she blends her love of science and legal cases into her books, what she'd ask Jane Austen, and why she'd be the character who "Definitely Did Not Get Invited Back to the Ball" if she were in a historical romance.




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Abbie: I adore your historical romances—I wish I could live in them. When did you first get interested in the Regency era?

Courtney Milan: I must have been about 15 years old. I stumbled across some Regency-era books at my local library…and then never looked back!

Sarah: Aside from Adrian and Camilla, who's your favorite character in After the Wedding?

CM: Gosh, this is a hard one. There are a ton of secondary characters in After the Wedding—Adrian and Camilla move around a lot, and so there are a lot of people they have to work with. I feel like it would be cheating to say Grayson (he's a character in an upcoming book) or Theresa and Benedict (also characters in an upcoming book), so I'm going to have to go with Mrs. Susanna Rose Beasley. She works at a telegraph office, and that's all I'm going to say about her!

Mary: Poor Lady Camilla! Treason convictions, spies, and marriage at gunpoint! If you were a character in a Regency romance, what would your backstory be?

CM: Oh dear. I would be very bad at being a romance heroine—or perhaps very good at being one, depending on your point of view! I have a tendency to be very direct about everything, so I suspect I would be that person who Definitely Did Not Get Invited Back to the Ball. Actually, more like the person who Definitely Did Not Get Invited to the Ball in the First Place.

In fact, because my parents were pretty solidly middle class, I would likely just skip the balls from the start and go chain myself to a fence so that women could get the right to vote.


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Kate: What did you do to celebrate after you finished writing After the Wedding?

CM: Like a true historical heroine, I, um, watched figure skating? Yes. I watched figure skating. And it was very exciting!

Ellie: What was the first romance book you read that hooked you on the genre?

CM: Well, it was a crossover book, actually! I read Lois McMaster Bujold's A Civil Campaign, which is a science fiction romance, and I realized that I definitely needed more romance in my lifetime. Her dedication for that book included a handful of romance authors, whom I devoured, and I then proceeded to read everything that I could possibly find that was vaguely romance-like.

Danielle: You're probably tired of talking about it, but I'm a new fan and I'm OBSESSED with your road to romance writing. With a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry and a law degree, do you ever find yourself bringing that knowledge and experience into your books?

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CM: All the time. I wish I knew how to stop. The truth is that I have all those degrees because I love learning about things. I am a gigantic dork. This is probably not the best way to try to convince people to read my very dorky books, but here we are. In After the Wedding, there's only a little science and dorkery stuff (I ended up reading all about the dyes and paints of the era, and then none of that made it into the book) and slightly more law dork stuff—in this case, ecclesiastical law because Camilla and Adrian think they're trying to get their marriage annulled. (Heh.)

Sammy: What does your ideal reading spot have?

CM: Tea, an infinite supply of shortbread, a comfortable place to sit, blankets (because I like wrapping myself up like a burrito when I read), and unlimited books.

Erin: What's one of your favorite lines from After the Wedding?

CM: I'm glad you asked! It's probably this: "Hope made absolutely no sense under the circumstances, but it was the only thing that hadn't abandoned her. She wasn't going to let it go."

Beth: What books are you looking forward to reading next?
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CM: TOO MANY.

I have an advanced reading copy of Rebecca Roanhorse's Trail of Lightning that is just screaming to be read—it's an apocalyptic urban fantasy in which the gods are based on Native American origins. Also burning a hole in my Kindle are Vanessa Riley's The Bittersweet Bride and Beverly Jenkins' Tempest (they've been out for a while, but I've been super busy). A little further out, I have Rogues Rush In, a duet by Tessa Dare and Christi Caldwell, on pre-order—they're both wonderful authors, so that will be lovely. And I just pre-ordered Jackie Lau's Grumpy Fake Boyfriend because, honestly, who could not with that title? It sells itself.

Rachel: OK, you can hang out with any author, living or dead, for a whole afternoon. Who are you choosing, what are you guys doing, and what's the first question you're asking?

CM: That is an incredibly hard question. This may be unimaginative, but part of me wants to pick Jane Austen so that I can ask her lots of invasive questions about what it was really like to live in the Regency era—but also because I think she would love to check out the modern era. I think she would give good snark. (I mean, I know she would give good snark. We have her letters.) But she's so incisive and insightful. I think my first question would be this: What did you think the future would be like? I'm curious if she ever imagined that she would be beloved for centuries to come. I think I would want to tell her that because I like giving people good news.

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Pamg (new)

Pamg Dang! I thought the exact same thing about Grumpy Fake Boyfriend, but---ahh--budget. Now I have to buy it.


message 2: by MK (new)

MK Curse you, Courtney! I didn't need more books in my Want to Read pile!

Seriously, so happy the next Worth book is coming - the first book I've ever pre-ordered! Thanks for a great interview.


message 3: by Toby (new)

Toby Wells My wife is so into these books, going to present her a new one soon!


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