The Headmistress of Rosemere, Whispers on the Moors Series #2The Headmistress of Rosemere, Whispers on the Moors Series #2
Sarah Ladd
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Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she finds contentment teaching at her father's school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to keep her father's dream alive.

Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin's edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of land but possesses little money to manage the upkeep. He is desperate to find a new source of income, including the sacrifice of land connected to Rosemere.
     


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 A Conversation with Sarah Ladd: Author of The Headmistress of Rosemere


 

Q: The Headmistress of Rosemere is the second book of a series — do you have a common theme or message throughout the Whispers on the Moors series?

I have always loved the Regency period, and I think that a lot of readers (including myself) have a pre-conceived notion of what a Regency heroine should be like. So I really wanted to challenge that – I wanted to explore what would happen if a typically Regency lady went against traditional societal expectations. So when I approached the book in this series I asked myself, “What would a young woman in the Regency period not do?” And the series was born by answering that single question!

 

Q: Your main character, Patience, is a 19th-century independent woman who is content focusing on her career as a headmistress. More and more women are choosing this route today and having families later in life. Why do you think this is the case?

I think a lot of this comes back to societal framework and expectations. Patience didn’t necessarily choose the path she was on. When the novel opens she is twenty-five, and at the age an unmarried woman during the Regency was considered a spinster. And the responsibilities for running a school were dropped in her lap when her father died and her brother left town—it was not something she planned to do. She rose to the occasion, however, proving her responsibility and integrity.

Women during the Regency women were not expected to choose any other path for themselves besides having a family. Today, things are so different. Women are encouraged and expected to explore their options. Women are no longer considered spinsters at twenty-five. I think it is because of these shifts in societal expectations that most women are waiting to settle down later in life.

 

Q: Another character, William, can’t seem to do anything right and keeps making mistakes, leaving him desperate for a way out. How should we respond when nothing seems to be going right and we don’t know where to turn?

I think a lot of people look within themselves to try to find answers to their problems. They ask themselves questions like “what can I do differently?” and “how can I solve this problem?” But if we look to ourselves for solutions, we will be disappointed. Instead, we should take our problems, cares, and worries to God and lay them at His feet. Pray about them. Ask God to make His plans known. When we do this, amazing things can happen.

 

Q: When readers turn the last page of The Headmistress of Rosemere, what do you hope they take away from the story?

Even though we may not understand the things that are happening in our lives, we must cling to the fact that everything that happens to us is a part of God’s will for our lives. In order to be the person that God intended us to be, we must go through the valleys to learn to rely on God’s strength.

 

Q: Along with being a writer, you work in strategic marketing and brand management — how to you juggle both?

In my experience, the key to managing two careers simultaneously comes down to two things: (1) setting clear priorities and (2) time management. At the beginning of each week I set some goals and a schedule. Nothing over the top—just a little something to keep me on task for the week. I find that by knowing up front what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by prevents me from procrastinating or getting overwhelmed.

 

Q: How important is branding for writers, or even small business owners? And what marketing advice do you have for them?

First, let’s take a minute to define what branding is, because it is so much more than what is on your website or business cards. From my 10+ years in marketing, I define branding as an author’s “reputation” in the marketplace. What are readers saying about you? What comes to mind when an agent or another author hears your name? All the strategies and tactics you employ in your marketing should support this idea, and the key to this is communicating clear and consistent messages through your marketing channels. If you are interested in learning more, I have written an article about branding and marketing plans for authors. You can read it here.

 

Q: What drew you to the write in the regency period? Do you have a favorite classic writer you look to for inspiration?

I have always been a fan of British Romantic literature. Really, I enjoy the Romantic period in general—the music, the art, etc. I have read the literature and the poetry of this era extensively, and since the Regency Period fell during this time, I would have to say those works had a profound influence on me. If I had to pick one author, however, I would have to say Charlotte Brontë, although Jane Austen is a very close second.

 

Q: Have you had a chance to visit England to research the setting of your books? If so, what details did you work into the story that you wouldn’t have thought to include before?

When I was in college, I went to England and Scotland for a three-week course in British literature. While there, the class visited several of the major literary attractions and studied them in-depth. Even thoughI was not writing at the time, the trip had a profound effect on me, and it was truly a life-changing event.

 

Q: What can we expect to see from you next?

Right now I am working on the third book in the Whispers on the Moors series, which is titled A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (October 2014). I am very excited about this book and can’t wait to share more details!

 

 


 

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