Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Interview - Doug Boren

Today I have the author, Doug Boren, talking about his array of swashbuckling tomes: "The Alexander Family Chronicles"


Pirates Revenge, Patriot’s Point, Beyond the Horizons, and

The Final Voyage of the Sea Explorer.



 Douglas Boren has lived a full and exciting life. A retired Physician Assistant, he has lived from Alaska to Florida, from New York to New Mexico, and many places in between. An avid Master scuba diver, he divides his time between the Caribbean and his home in North Carolina. He has always had a profound fondness for history, believing that rather than just a series of dates and events, it is a living record of real people, much like ourselves, how they live, and their impact on those around them and their role in the unfolding story of life.
Towards that end, his writings have focused on a particular family through the generations. He informally calls them the Alexander Family Chronicles. From 1600's England, to 1700's Caribbean, to the American Revolution, to the American Civil War, right on up to present day, you can follow the exploits of these remarkable men and women as they face their unique challenges and overcome incredible odds.



(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel(s)?
Ever since I was a teenager, I have loved reading.   Over the course of time, I felt like, “Gosh, I know I can writer as good as that… maybe better.”  So I have always dreamed of writing. One day about 14 years ago, I was brainstorming about what kind of scenario would make a good basis for a book.  I finally came upon the idea of an isolated individual beset by hostiles.  This could mean almost anything, but it eventually became a section of my first book, Beyond the Horizons.This is set in the American Civil War, and shortly thereafter, and I knew that historical fiction was the genre for me. My next book saw more of the Alexander family, so I determined to write about a different generation of that family.  To follow the adventures, the trials and tribulations of these remarkable people in remarkable times.
(2) Alpha or beta hero –profession/title/rank?– brief description!
My main characters are very much the alpha hero, but there is a very generous addition of many secondary characters who are in supporting roles, who are of various types.  And they all come to be admired, even loved by the reader.
(3) Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description!
Most of the female characters are somewhat proper, maybe even a bit naïve, at least at first.  They all have an incredibly good heart that easily sets them apart from their peers.  But one female character was definitely nor of that ilk.  The Black Widow was the Queen of a pirate nation, and she is as ruthless and daring as any man… maybe more so.
(4) Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?
The incredible bond of friendship between the main character and the secondary ones is a hallmark of my stories.  There is loyalty, and even love shared, and the reader comes to care as much for them as they do the main character.
(5) Where is the novel (s) set? – time-frame – country etc.
Pirates Revenge begins in England in 1700, and progresses to the Caribbean for the next three decades.  Patriot’s Point is set during the American Revolution in North Carolina.  Beyond the Horizons takes places during the America Civil War in New Mexico, and after the war, in Arizona, during the Apache wars, during the 1870’s.  The Final Voyage of the “Sea Explorer,is set in the present day, in the Bahamas.
(6) What is it about your chosen era/periods that you most enjoy?
I love history.  I always have.  I like to make history come alive in the imagination of the reader so they can be educated and see how people lived and struggled in times not their own, but in reality dealing with many of the same problems and emotions that we do today.
(7) Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?
I have written about some pretty despicable characters.  Two in particular stand out.  In Pirates Revenge, Ramirez is evil personified.  He is vile, sadistic, ruthless, and cunning and you come to really hate him for all the terrible things he does.
In Beyond the Horizons, a renegade Apache named Chactoke slaughters countless people wantonly, and tortures them with a vile sense of religious fervour.  You can’t wait for him to be killed… or can you?
(8) Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?
I usually include one or two erotic scenes, if I think they will advance the story, and edify the characters to the reader to the point of identification.  I take great pains to make them tasteful, not pornographic.
Gross violence is certainly something I embrace. I write about some very rough and terrifying times, places and people.  To avoid the real essence of that and water it down would be a disservice to the reader.  There is something to be said for “shock value”.
(9) How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or...?
The overall genre is historical Fiction. 
However, one could safely say they are also action/adventure, thrillers, and often have elements of a real tear jerker.  Every time I read Patriot’s Point I am brought to tears, and heck, I wrote the darn thing.




  Back cover blurb:

Imagine a fatherless boy, the result of a brutal rape, growing up in London’s worst slum in the 1700’s.  Think of him becoming a man of the sea, knowing nothing but the company of pirates, as he becomes the consort of the Black Widow, queen of the largest pirate fleet the world has ever known. As the need for vengeance nearly consumes him, will he be destroyed or will he find salvation from the most unlikely of sources?  This is Rafe Alexander!
And what of a young man growing up on the eve of a new nation, who is willing to give his life for his beloved country, the United States of America?  Deeply embedded in him are the
principles of liberty, freedom, justice, and equality.  He wants nothing more than to live in a free country with his beloved family, but will the forces that guide his life let him?  Meet Trey Alexander!
The descendants of these men navigate their way through turbulent times, reaching a climax in the American Civil War.And even after surviving the horrors of that conflict a certain young man must survive the most vile and terrible foe of all as he tries to live with his beloved in the Arizona Apache Wars.   This man cheats death in more ways than can be imagined.You will marvel at Mace Alexander!
And finally, what of the young man, just barely past being a boy, caught up in the treacherous
currents of intrigue in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas?Naïve to the forces that are bearing down on him, the past of his ancestors catches up to him. He is driven to honour them, if he can survive.  This is Josh Alexander!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Alexanders. Remarkable people in remarkable times.

Douglas’ profile page at Amazon where you can view all his listed books.

Author website:


Thank you, Francine, for the opportunity to be interviewed by you.


Douglas Boren



Thank you.

Today I have Heather King revealing aspects to do with her historical romance novel,


“A Sense of the Ridiculous”.





Heather prefers to remain anonymous!


From the age of about seven, when I won a third prize from Cadbury’s for a short story I had written at school, I was hooked on writing and stories. I was a dreamer and could go off into a make-believe world for hours, but I also loved art, reading and animals. For a long time writing was just another leisure activity, particularly during my teenage years. I worked in various jobs before getting the chance to train in a professional yard and pursue my dream of a career with horses. For all I swore never to be a teacher, I love training and schooling!


Family commitments brought about a move from the north to Worcestershire, where I now share my lovely home with various life-forms, including two ponies, three cats and a boisterous new addition in the shape of a rescued ‘Staffie X’. I like to write warm, humorous romances, mostly in the Regency and Paranormal genres. I love Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels and whilst writing in my own voice, my aim is to follow (albeit with tiny steps) in her magnificent wake. I have just completed a shape shifter novel and am currently polishing a collection of Vampire Romance short stories ready for publication. A Sense of the Ridiculous is my debut Regency novel, but I have others at various stages of completion as well asmy second work, An Improper Marriage,due to be published sometime this summer.


When I’m not looking after the family or frowning over notepad or keyboard, I can be found walking my dog, fighting a losing battle against weeds and lawn, reading or baking chocolate and banana cake.




“The Interview”




(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel(s)?


A love of the Regency and the Yorkshire countryside, coupled with enforced time off due to the Foot and Mouth crisis gave me the background and opportunity. Then, whenmucking out one morning, my pony charged across the field andI started to wonderwhat might happen if my heroine’s horse bolted and she found herself in unfamiliar country.


(2) Alpha or beta hero –profession/title/rank?– brief description!


Richard is definitely an alpha hero, yet he has beta characteristics too. He is an innkeeper, but unbeknownst to him at the start of the novel, he has more exalted connections. Aged 27, he is a handsome and personable man, with brown wavy hair and thoughtful blue-grey eyes. He likes a woman to know her own mind!


(3) Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description!


 Having lost her mother when still a child, Jocasta (20) has had an unconventional upbringing under the casual guidance of her father, bluff country squire Sir Thomas Stanyon. She has run semi-wild with her brother and his friends for much of her life. She loves dogs and horses and is an excellent rider, but is sometimes impetuous, which leads her into scrapes. She tries hard to be good, but is a little impatient of some the restrictions now imposed on her. She is also frustrated by the dull men in the locality, one of whom her father favours as a suitor.


(4) Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?


 Yes. It is partly because of heraunt, the Countess of Harford, that Jocasta finds herself lost. Harry, her brother, is instrumental in her separation from Richard. Richard’s mother, Meg Cowley, also has an important part to play, as her actions affect the final outcome.


 (5) Where is the novel (s) set? – time-frame – country etc.


 Regency England, autumn 1817; specifically the countryside around York (Yorkshire), although some action takes place on the road to London and in the capital itself. The novel covers a period of several weeks, with an epilogue set about three years later.

 (6) What is it about your chosen era/periods that you most enjoy?

I love the style, elegance and courtesy of the Regency era (as well as men in neckcloths, breeches and top boots!) I also like the quieter pace of life then. Although I sometimes think I should have been born in an earlier age, I like my mod cons too much!

(7) Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?

I wouldn’t say I dislike him as such, but Harry is annoying because he is selfish and thoughtless. He isn’t deliberately unkind; he just sees the world purely from his own perspective.


 (8) Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?


In my Regency novels, while I touch on sensual feelings, I do not have sex scenes unless the characters are married and even then with no graphic detail. It is more emotional. In a contemporary novel, I have no problem with including a love scene if it is pertinent to the story and the characters are in love, but I prefer to leave much to the reader’s imagination.


 (9) How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or…?

A Sense of the Ridiculous is romantic historical fiction; a light-hearted romp in the best tradition of the Regency genre, which I hope leaves readers with a smile on their faces!



Back cover blurb:

 When a prank goes wrong, headstrong squire’s daughter Jocasta Stanyon wakes up in the bedchamber of an inn with no memory of who she is. The inn is owned by widow Meg Cowley and her handsome son, Richard, who proves to be more than a match for the unconventional Miss Stanyon. Initial attraction leads, through various scrapes and indiscretions, to love, but their stations in life are far removed from each other and fate tears them apart with a cruel hand. Forbidden by her father to have any contact with Richard for six months, Jocasta is horrified when she is then summoned to receive the addresses of a fashionable stranger..

(Creative Babble ~ The Online Writing Workshop)


Thank you.