She’s out to steal his name . . . but will he steal her heart instead? Find out in A Name Unknown, Roseanna M. White’s new book. Rosemary, a former pickpocket who grew up on the mean streets of London, has the challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. When Rosemary arrives on Peter’s doorstop pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter (who wants to prove his loyalty to the crown despite his German last name) believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past. Anger and danger continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them. Read our story spotlight with Roseanna M. White to discover more about A Name Unknown.
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The Story Behind A Name Unknown
Tell us a bit about the story behind your latest novel. Where did you find inspiration?
During my research for my previous series (Ladies of the Manor), I came across some intriguing facts about World War I. First, that King George V of England changed his surname from the German-sounding Saxe-Coburg to the English-sounding Windsor during the war, so that he wouldn’t be perceived as German. And secondly, that artists of all types were recruited to include propaganda in their work. These ideas combined in my mind to create Peter Holstein, my hero—a novelist of German descent whose loyalties are in question. Now, I wanted a heroine who was someone to be reckoned with, so I decided to introduce a family a thieves—thieves with a noble core, who steal to protect the children in their care. That idea came largely from my best friend and critique partner, who’d also just been working on a story about a thief. Mine took a very different track, of course, but that’s what inspired Rosemary Gresham, thief extraordinaire.
What was the hardest part about writing your novel: Getting started? Keeping it going? Finding the perfect ending?
The mystery and suspense elements gave me a bit of trouble in this one! That’s never my strong suit, but I had to do some rewriting and re-figuring in this story, introducing a whole new villain in my edits.
What trait do you love most about your main character?
I love Rosemary’s hidden nobility—something you might not expect from a thief. And I love Peter’s generous heart.
When readers get to the last page, what do you hope they take away from the story?
I hope that they’re contemplating who they are in the eyes of God—the only identity that really matters.
What are you working on next?
At the moment I’m finishing up edits on the next book A Song Unheard, and also writing the last few chapters of the final book in the Shadows Over England Series, An Hour Unspent.
Get to Know Roseanna M. White
What are your ideal writing conditions?
That would involve, quiet, coffee, chocolate, and no one asking me to prepare meals. 😉 If I have those ingredients, I don’t need much else!
If you could write in a different genre, which would you choose?
Oh, interesting! I’ve tried my hand at quite a few genres before being published in historical romance. I think if I were to publish a different genre, it would be contemporary . . . probably on the comedic side. Which might be surprising, considering that my historicals aren’t all that light.
What book have you reread the most?
It’s been a while since I’ve had the luxury of rereading a book! But as a teenager, I did this all the time. So it’s probably either L. M. Montgomery’s Emily Series or Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.
If you could have lunch with any literary character, who would it be and why?
Oo, tough one! There are so many, but as I went in and glanced at my shelf, I think I’ll go with Jo from Little Women. I’d love to chat with a fellow writer, and I’d tell her how I screamed, “Nooooo!” when her manuscript was tossed in the fire.
Do you have a go-to writing snack?
Depends on the time of day. In the morning, all I need is my coffee. But in the afternoon, I like something salty, like pretzels or Goldfish crackers.
What is your favorite writing tool?
I honestly don’t make use of many tools. It’s just me, a print-out of my next scenes, and Word. Unless one counts Google. In which case—Google. I can’t imagine researching without it!
If you were trapped in a book, what fictional place would you like to explore?
Oh, I’d love to be trapped in my current book and get to explore Cornwall more! I did actually get to visit there last autumn, and it was gorgeous, but I saw so little compared to all I’d like to see.
What would the title of your biography be?
Booked: The Life Between the Pages (because absolutely everything I do in life has to do with books, LOL)
If you could live a day in one of your characters’ lives, who would you choose?
Hmm. Probably Brook from The Lost Heiress. She’s a bit more daring than I am, and it would be fun to chase adventure for a day.
Favorite quote :
“You are meant to be sunshine and tempests, not dreary fog and rain.”