Ink and Emotion: A Romance Author’s Passionate Tale

Amelia Grey

Amelia Grey

Amelia has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.

With more than thirty-five books published, she is a two-time winner of the prestigious Booksellers Best Award. She’s also won the Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill Awards. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Amelia’s books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan.

Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.

Which writers – working today do you admire most?

There are many writers I admire. Some I’ve never met so I’ll mention the ones I have said hello to at writers’ conferences over the years. Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh, and Amanda Quick. All of them started their careers as romance writers years ago though some of them have branched out to other genres. I still read and enjoy their books. I admire these ladies because I know the time and effort it takes to come up with one exciting, emotional, and well-plotted book after the other. These ladies do it well and their stories never disappoint me.  

What moves you most in a work of literature?

Emotion. I want stories that are filled with happiness, delight, angst, anger, sorrow, disappointment, fear, humor, tension, and passion. I want to experience through the words of the story everything the characters touch, see, hear, taste, and smell, and I want to have an emotional reaction to all of them.  

What do you plan to read next?

A book that was a gift to me. The Love Stories of the Bible Speak by Shannon Bream. My friend read it, enjoyed it, and bought a copy for me, specifically because I write historical love stories. I’m looking forward to seeing which characters were chosen and how the stories were told. 

What books do you find yourself returning to again and again?

Daily devotional books have been my ‘go to’ reads for many years. I try to read something inspirational every night before going to sleep. Not only do the writings help settle my mind from whatever story I’m working on and all the events of the day, but most of them are words of wisdom or life lessons that encourage me and offer suggestions about how to live a better life and be a better person. They help me stay focused on the things in life that are most important to me—God and family.  

What genres do you especially enjoy reading?

Historical fiction and non-fiction. In general people are fascinating. Real or made up in someone’s imagination. I enjoy biographies of current and historical figures. Some examples I’ve read in the past are Steve Jobs, Dolly Parton, and General George Armstrong Custer. All captivating people and worth reading about. Not so long ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the book Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner which is about her dedication to Princess Margaret and Dead Wake by Erik Larson, which is about the luxury ocean liner Lusitania. It’s so easy to become absorbed in stories such as these which are about real people and true events. But of course, historical romance books with their fictional heroines who are strong, adventurous, and sometimes mischievous, heroes who are handsome, fearless and desires the heroine more than anything in life and is willing to fight for her to prove it, remain my favorite pastime reads. I make no apologies for that. 

What inspired you to become a writer?

First, my love of reading. I was a small-town girl with not much to do for leisure but to read. Later in life, my desire to write my own stories. When I was about twelve years old, I read a young adult book titled A Girl Called Hank, by Amelia Elizabeth Walden. It’s about a teenage girl who has a huge crush on the good-looking boy who lives next door. I’ve been hooked on romance ever since and feel as if I grew up on Harlequin Romances. It wasn’t until many years later I decided to try my hand at writing a book. Since I love reading about history, historical romance seemed the dearest to my heart and the easiest way to start.  

Tell us a little about the real Amelia Grey?

She is a girly girl! She loves to wear pearls, dresses, and high heels. When possible, she enjoys going out and dining at a restaurant that has white tablecloths and candlelight on the tables. Every morning she puts on her makeup whether she’s going out for the day. She’s a big fan of college football, and though she doesn’t watch weekly games she will always pick a team to root for and watch the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, and the World Series. However, she has never wanted to play sports. She loves living on the beach but doesn’t like to walk barefoot on the sand or to swim in the water. It’s enough to watch the waves roll in and listen to them crash on shore. If blessed, she gets to see the sun set over the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Being with her family and friends is what’s most important to her.   

What do you do in your spare time?

I read and not just books. I look at blogs, comments on loops, and articles not just about publishing but many different subjects. Several years ago, I started sending handwritten cards about once a month to people I know who just need to hear someone was thinking about them and took the time to let them know. My list has grown to over seventy people, so it takes time to write them all. I look forward to the end of the workday when it’s time to sit on the patio with my husband, have a glass of wine and talk about our day. We like to travel and have been to many countries. Still many more we want to visit. I don’t watch much TV but I do find shows like The Voice, American Idol, and America’s Got Talent entertaining. Maybe that’s because I also enjoy just sitting alone with my thoughts and listening to different kinds of music.  

You are organizing a party. Which two authors, dead or alive, do you invite?

Georgette Heyer came immediately to my mind. How could I not invite the Queen of Regency Romance? I’m sure the two of us could talk for hours about her and about her cleverly written and entertaining books. But who would the other author be? I had to think about that for a long time. I didn’t know who might be most interesting for the rest of the guests. Finally, I decided to ask Google for help. It said James Patterson is currently the biggest selling author. Perfect. That’s who I’d invite. Having sold so many books, he must be quite popular so everyone at the party would probably want to talk to him, which would of course, leave me plenty of uninterrupted time to talk to Georgette.  

Why do you write only about the Regency period?

I always love to answer this question. If I could visit any time in history, it would be the Regency. Titled gentlemen and ladies of quality fascinate me. The fairer sex was indeed fairer. Most gentlemen truly wanted to make a lady feel cared for in a good way. A lady expected him to open her door, pull out her chair and mind his language and manners in front of her. Generally, men wanted to please ladies. The clothing for men with the superb cut of their coats, well-fitted waistcoats, handsomely tied neckcloths, and boots polished to a gleam was the epitome of class and standards. Ladies wore beautifully simple empire waist styled gowns made from the finest of silk fabrics and jewels in their hair. They rode in glossy black carriages and danced by candlelight on marble flooring. There was an intricate dance of manners that had to be followed, but of course, the heroes and heroines in my books seldom do.  

Tell us what you are working on now.

My current series is titled Say I Do. It’s three Regency historicals and all the books have a dashing duke who needs a wife. All the books are based on a marriage of convenience trope. Each one opens with the hero writing a proposal to the heroine or as the case in the third book, rejecting a proposal of marriage. Though the three dukes know each other and appear in each book, the story lines are completely different, and each book stands on its own. The first title is, YOURS TRULY, THE DUKE which came out March of 2023. The second, SINCERELY, THE DUKE, will be out March 2024, and the last one, LOVE, THE DUKE, March 2025.

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