The Ravenscar Trilogy
Many readers have written to me asking for the titles of the books I read when doing research for the Ravenscar Trilogy. I found all of them fascinating, as I'm sure those readers will who dip into them. Click here for the bibliography. Enjoy!
The Emma Harte Series
Q) I’m a new fan to your novels. Which books comprise the Emma Harte series; and in what order should I be reading them?
A) Currently, there are six books that comprise the Emma Harte family saga. In chronological order they are:
Q) I haven’t yet read the earlier books in the series. If I begin reading in the middle, will I still be able to follow the story?
A) I have gone to great lengths to make each book in this series a ‘stand-alone’ story. So for example, if you begin reading with Emma’s Secret there is enough back story and explanation of earlier events to enable you to enjoy the family history without having to read the books which came before. There is a family tree at the front of each book, providing you with a ‘who’s who’ of the main characters. I believe that anyone who enjoys any single book in the Harte series will appreciate the ongoing saga from its beginning to the present. I certainly recommend that everyone reads: A Woman of Substance – the one that started it all! At present, the three most recent books are all available in hardcover. And all six are now out in paperback.
Q) Is Just Rewards the last book in the series, or will there be another?
A) Just Rewards is the last book in what I call ‘the modern Harte trilogy,’ after Emma’s Secret and Unexpected Blessings. It is not necessarily the end of the Hartes.
When I began writing Just Rewards, I thought it would be the conclusion to the saga. However, eventually I could see a number of potential storylines that could continue in a future book. Furthermore, from the time Just Rewards was published, I’ve been inundated with thousands of letters, message board posts and emails from readers, asking for me to keep it going.
I certainly wouldn't mind revisiting the Hartes in a few years. However, after writing three books in three years on this family, I decided it was best to give them, and me some breathing space, while ending this trilogy on a high note.
I am currently writing a trilogy about another family. This is an epic saga covering one hundred years, from 1904-2004 in the three books. The first is entitled The Ravenscar Dynasty; it will be published in the UK in October of 2006 and in the US in January of 2007. I will be writing more about this story later, so please watch the website for additional information.
Q) How do I obtain a hardcover copy of A Woman of Substance?
A Woman of Substance was first published as a hardback edition in 1979. The first printing in America (the green cover) was a complete sell-out, as was the second printing (the black cover). Similarly, in the UK, all hardcover copies were sold out within a year. Subsequently, millions of copies have been printed in paperback all over the world. To date, more than 26 million copies are in print.
I am told that original copies of A Woman of Substance in hardcover are quite rare to come by… and quite valuable – especially those in good condition. For those willing to spend a few dollars, you will perhaps be able to find a hardcover copy available at your local used bookseller. I have also been told that vendors on ebay.com periodically post hardback editions on auction. But buyer beware, these can be pricey!
For those looking for a newly printed hardcover edition of A Woman of Substance, I recommend that you become a member of The Literary Guild book club. Very recently, The Literary Guild produced a beautiful three-volume boxed set of the first three books in the Emma Harte saga (A Woman of Substance, Hold the Dream and To Be the Best). For club members, I believe the price is under $40 for the set.
Q) Do any other books of yours have sequels? Do you plan to continue the story of any earlier books?
A) Of my twenty-one (21) novels to date, only the books in the Harte series, as listed above, are part of a continuing series.
I have no intention at present of writing sequels for any of my earlier novels. However, dedicated readers will have noticed that I’ve occasionally brought back characters from earlier books to play cameos later on. For example, Henry Rossiter, Emma Harte’s banker from A Woman of Substance, makes an appearance in The Women in his Life as the banker for Maximilian West. In A Sudden Change of Heart I brought back Maxim West for a short cameo as well.
Q) How many of your books have been made into movies, or miniseries?
A) To date, ten (10) of my books have been produced as TV movies, or miniseries. For a complete list and production details, please click on ‘Barbara’s Movies’ on the main menu of my website. My husband, Robert Bradford has produced nine (9) of these.
Q) How many of your movies are available on DVD? Where can I purchase the DVDs based on your novels?
A) In North America, six of the ten movies adapted from my novels are currently available on home video and DVD. They are:
The first three on this list (the Emma Harte series) are available individually and as a DVD trilogy pack.
In the UK, eight of my movies are currently available on video/DVD. They are:
A Woman of Substance
Hold the Dream
To Be the Best
A Secret Affair
Voice of the Heart
Act of Will
Her Own Rules
Love in Another Town
Q) Jenny Seagrove was wonderful as the young Emma Harte and later as Paula O’Neil in A Woman of Substance and Hold the Dream. Why did Lindsay Wagner replace Jenny as Paula in the movie version of To Be the Best?
A) Yes, Jenny Seagrove was marvelous in A Woman of Substance and Hold The Dream. Unfortunately, she was contracted to make a motion picture at the time we had to start filming To Be The Best. Very simply, she was not available, and we could not wait because of TV scheduling.
Q) Why was the ending to the movie version of A Secret Affair so drastically different than the book? Did the revised ending bother you?
A) The movie versions of most books are often altered to accommodate the network. As an author who has had ten (10) books made into movies, I have to accept this.
In A Secret Affair, the CBS network wanted to have a happy ending for their Sunday Movie of the Week. So instead of the male lead dying at the hands of terrorists, he comes back at the very end, after having been held by the U.S. government for debriefing. It certainly changed the story significantly, though many readers were glad to have a sunnier ending.
Just as a point of interest, I had written two endings for the book. A Secret Affair, one happy and one sad. In the end I decided to use the rather unhappy ending, as I felt that it was more realistic. However, the network thought differently, so for the TV movie my other ending was used.
I am the author of these novels, but I am not the writer of the screenplay, although I actually did write the adaptations forHold the Dream and Voice of the Heart. When a book is optioned to be made into a movie, the producer usually hires a screenwriter.
Q) Will any of your other books be produced as movies or TV miniseries in the future?
A) At present, there are first-draft screenplays for The Women in His Life, Where You Belong, Dangerous to Know and Emma’s Secret. It is quite possible that these, and perhaps others, will eventually be produced. Stay tuned to the ‘What’s New’ section of my website for any details. We’ll post the information as soon as it becomes available.
BTB Reveals Her Secrets For Writing A Bestseller
Q) My life story is so unbelievable that it will make a perfect bestseller. Can I call you, or send you a summary and have you write it?
A) I have been asked the above question many more times than you would believe. It would be wonderful to have the time to read about everyone’s fascinating history. However, it is simply not possible. And more importantly, any outside story submission could present a wide array of complications. So please don’t send them. They won’t be read. I have yet to run out of ideas for my future novels. I plan to continue to rely on my own imagination.
Q) I’ve written an incredible/amazing/remarkable manuscript that I would love to see published? Can you recommend and agent for me?
A) I wish I could find a literary agent for everyone who has approached me over the past twenty five years. So many people have come to me seeking advice on how to get their work published. I am just not in a position to make a recommendation to an agent, and I am not allowed to read unpublished manuscripts. Publishers advise against this because of the possibility that an established novelist might come up with a similar idea to one used in a book by a novice. The latter could claim plagiarism if their work had been read by an established author.
I suppose my best advice would be to go to any library or bookstore and pick up a copy of the latest reference books on editors and literary agents. There are many good ones that will provide you with all the guidelines and submission requirements.
Q) I am inspired by your books and wish to become an author myself one day. How do you recommend that I proceed?
A) First and foremost, you need to be serious about your desire to become a published author. It takes an extraordinary amount of time, effort and dedication to hone your skills and produce a work worthy of publication. But like anything else, if you possess the talent and the determination, you will likely succeed.
There are two excellent monthly publications geared toward helping aspiring writers. One is called The Writer; the other is called Writers Digest. Both magazines contain a wide array of articles for writers of all levels.
Q) When you are working on a novel, how many hours per day do you write? Do you have a specific routine?
A) I usually take a year, sometimes longer, to write a novel. When I am actually writing the book I work seven days a week. Fortunately, I am an early riser, and I get up around 5a.m. I am usually at my desk by 5:30. I take a short break at noon for a snack, and then continue working until 4p.m. Of course when I am in my office at home I am not always writing. Sometimes I am editing, doing research, re-writing, or thinking. The latter takes most of my time.
Q) All of your novels include a great deal of history and famous world events. How do you manage to conduct all that research?
A) When I’m not writing my own books, and even sometimes while I am, I tend to find myself reading, particularly about English history.
Beyond my own reading, I do quite a bit of research in preparation for my novels and I do have researchers also. I always start my research several months in advance of writing a new novel. These days, the Internet happens to be an invaluable tool for checking dates and facts, which my researchers use.