Describe yourself in one word:
Romancer (I love this old word!)
What is your background with regard to writing?
I’m an academic as well as an author, so I’ve always been writing something, whether it was a PhD thesis or a journal article. I’ve published non-fiction books under my full name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
When I became an academic I forgot about writing fiction for a while, until a friend emailed me about a university lecturer winning a romance novel prize and said “I thought this was you!” After that I got to work.
Naked is an intense version of the Lady Godiva story we’re all familiar with however you’ve added a twist that certainly gives an old tale a breathtaking new voice. What was the inspiration for Naked?
The character of Godiva was my inspiration. I was doing some research about the word ‘lady’ and I became intrigued by Lady Godiva’s legend. Once I started researching, I made some discoveries that led me to believe her real tale was yet to be told. I then made a research trip to Coventry, UK. My travel article was published in The Weekend Australian and The Coventry Observer published a piece about my visit too.
Your depiction of Godiva is extraordinary in that it offers an emotional and indepth look at her true character. What one character trait will most endear her to your readers?
Godiva is loyal (to a fault).
What was your biggest challenge in writing Naked?
It was an intense experience. I have to admit there were nights I didn’t sleep – the story just swept me along. Or, rather – the characters did. Godiva, Leofric and Edmund are very strong people and they all wanted to have their say.
The depth of detail included in Naked is inspiring; in particular what kind of research was involved in the planning of the novel? Was there anything surprising that you learned during the research process?
I was surprised at Godiva’s amazing history. There is so much more to her than the legend. Her tale has lasted for 1000 years because she’s a significant icon for women: Beautiful, charitable and brave. Godiva is an inspiration. Long may she ride!
What’s next for you?
The next Lady of Legend is coming soon!
“Lost voices. Lost lore. Lost love.”
That’s a clue – let me know if you get it right!
About the Author:
“For the wondrous robes of the fairy land, and for gifts from the fairies plead … mantles of dark blue, like a beetle’s back they shine, and a brooch shone bright with good red gold in each mantle’s fold …” – A.H. Leahy: Heroic Romances of Ireland
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 will be released internationally by St Martin’s Press New York in July 2015. Her ‘Romance your Senses’ series of contemporary romances are published by Harlequin (MIRA) Australia and Escape Publishing. They include Black Diamonds, Hide and Seek and Wild Flower (2015 release). Eliza is also contracted to Harlequin Historical (London) for two upcoming Victorian historical romances. Look out for them! She is represented by Joelle Delbourgo Associates US.
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. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She will be presenting a paper about Lady Godiva at the Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference in Cincinnati in October 2015.
Eliza Redgold was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.
Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva
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.