This blog post comes to us from Eliza Redgold, author, academic and unashamed romantic. Her new novel Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva was released by St Martin’s Press in 2015.
Q. What is it like to be both a romance novelist and an academic?
A. As both an author and an academic, I’m often asked how the two parts of my life fit together. It’s a tricky balance, but it works!
I keep my fiction and non-fiction/academic writing identities separate by using two versions of my name. NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva has just been released in the US by St Martin’s Press. It’s a work of fiction, under my pen name Eliza Redgold (based on the Gaelic meaning of my name). I’ve also written non-fiction pieces about Godiva under my full name Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd, including a travel article published by The Australian newspaper about my trip to Coventry (the home of Lady Godiva). I also recently presented an academic paper about Godiva at the Popular/American Culture Association Conference in the US.
The first time I presented about Lady Godiva to my academic colleagues I was rather nervous. I’m thrilled to say my research on Godiva has been very well received. Romance is also growing as an area of academic study – there’s a whole new interdisciplinary field emerging that’s been dubbed ‘Love Studies’. I’m proud to be part of this area of research and a romance writer too – even though as a genre romance fiction can be quite revealing. (But if you can’t handle exposure – don’t call your book NAKED!)
My pen name was actually inspired by my university students. In one of my classes I asked my students to explore the meaning of their names. There’s a lot of cultural heritage locked up in our names. One of the students put up their hand and asked the meaning of mine. I translated it from Gaelic and said ‘When I write novels I’ll be Eliza Redgold.’
It’s dangerous to make declarations in front of a crowded lecture hall – they come true!
Eliza Redgold will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Eliza Redgold: Biography
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 was released internationally by St Martin’s Press New York in 2015. Her ‘Romance your Senses’ series of contemporary romances are published by Harlequin. They include Black Diamonds, Hide and Seek and Wild Flower. Eliza is also contracted to Harlequin Historical for two upcoming Victorian historical romances. Look out for Enticing Benedict Cole in November 2015.
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. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.
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NAKED Book Cover Blurb
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.