Welcome! I’m very excited to have guests “Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes” on my blog today. For those of you who do not know…Bill is an actor, who plays Doug on Days of Our Lives. Susan is an actress, who plays Julie on Days of Our Lives.” As far back as I can remember, my grandmother and mother watched Days of Our Lives, I was only 7 years old when the show was released back in 1965, but as my grandmother and mother watched, into my adulthood, I too watched Days of Our Lives. Please read the post by Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes about their new book, “Trumpet.” Comments are open. Thanks for visiting!
Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Hello, Susan and Bill Hayes. Welcome!
(1) Can you tell us where the inspiration for TRUMPET comes from? We chose to tell a story of theatricals, because that’s what we are. Real-life characters from history showed us the heights and pitfalls of reputation, today called celebrity. Actors of the Regency age lived in a profligate time, before Victorian restraint made society “polite.” For example, since 1985, we kept a magazine article on Giovanni Battista Belzoni, whose life was amazing. Our heroine, Elizabeth Trumpet, a remarkable creature herself, just had to meet him. Lots of adventurous story spooled out of that.
(2) What was the hardest part of writing TRUMPET? Choosing which historical moments were indispensible. We adored our heroine Lizzie and stayed with her for a long eventful arc, from sixteen-year-old innocent to wise maturity. The parallels to our own time are very great, the runaway disaster that fame can be was just as true then as now. The years of our story—1803 to 1821—were times of war and conflict. Our Trumpet family lives and loves through experiences the modern reader understands perfectly. Of course, we plunged into research, read over a hundred books, traveled all over the world to touch in person the places we describe. But that wasn’t hard. Over seven years we grew more and more connected to the age, and it was electrifying.
(3) When and why did you first become interested in writing your genre? Historical fiction is the fiction of choice in the Hayes house. It was a challenge to see if we could do it. After our first book, LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS, a double memoir, we knew we were a good team with pen and paper—excuse us, computer and keyboard. Creating a whole world together, Lizzie’s London and worlds beyond kept us keyed up and on fire. We highly recommend writing a book as a bonding experience for the long-married. We have been together for forty years, and writing TRUMPET was sweet icing on the cake of our life.
(4) How do you plan your stories? And what tools do you use on a frequent basis? Bill wrote back-stories for every character, some covering several generations. Susan loves to study portraits in museums and find the faces of the people we are writing about. She has a collection of several hundred photos now. Our tools are imagination, memory, melding two voices into one, and editing each other without ego. (That’s big, my dears.)
(5) How important do you think it is for female readers to identify with the heroine in your book? We think every woman who has loved the wrong man passionately, lost her place in the world, found another, took a chance, protected her family, had to work to buy bread, turned defeat into victory, faced an uncertain future with a smile—in short, every woman who breathes—will embrace Lizzie Trumpet, understand and cheer for her.
(6) What three features would you say are vital to a good story? Truth, wit and change. We love good dialogue and really got into the scenes, reading them aloud together. Our characters are people we have known well, and we can hear them talking in our dreams sometimes. Really! So, there’s truth. Wit? We love humor, because life is largely funny—especially for actors with their large egos and strong grasp on unreality. As for change, all drama is based on it. Circumstances change people, so our ladies and gentlemen move through plots that are guaranteed to make them twist and develop.
- Favorite game: We are both into Spider Solitaire; it is a fascinating, frustrating challenge!
- Favorite fruit: Susan – peaches; Bill – berries, dipped in chocolate.
- Favorite vegetable: Susan – artichoke; Bill – forget the veg, go straight to the chocolate.
- Dream date: Susan – Leonard Bernstein; now quite unavailable. Bill – an 18-year-old blonde tapdancer.
Thank you for joining us today, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes. It’s been a pleasure to talk with you.
“Elizabeth, you must perform. I will teach you a style of acting that is revolutionary. You have seen my work. You understand the art I worship.”
She took a step closer. “Since I was a child, watching my father on stage, I longed to be there with him.” Jack watched Lizzie struggle to go on. “You have just described the dream of my life. There is nothing I want more, but…Mr. Faversham—Jack…I am not free.”
He reached for her hands and pulled her down beside him on the stump. “Explain why you are not free.”
In a long and tearful soliloquy, Lizzie told her story of the past year. She was too candid for propriety and too wrought-up by his presence to withhold anything. In this soulful state, she was so beautiful and vulnerable that Jack had to fight to keep his hands off her.
“You need, as in a play, an ailing uncle to leave you a great inheritance,” Jack suggested with sympathy.
“Indeed, I have just been offered ‘protection’ by a gentleman.”
“It must be Dampere, the creature! I guessed as much! That’s why I broke in upon your privacy in such haste. Listen to me, Elizabeth. I promise you a weekly income, not of shillings, but of pounds. From the sound of it, your first concern is caring decently for your family. Join me and you will be able to provide for your father and aunt and whoever else you are carrying on your lovely back.”
The emotional girl looked at him as though he were a god.
Jack turned on his serpent-of-Eden charm. “Why take up with that toad Dampere? Come with me and live your passion while you keep your reputation. I can turn you into a real princess, Pocahontas—a princess of the stage.”
That did it. Dazzled, Lizzie said something irrational that meant yes: “The honor…do all I can…prove your faith.” It was the grateful garble of a person saved.
Satisfied to have gotten his way, Jack sealed the bargain by taking her head in his hands and kissing her full on the mouth. “Gad, we’ll be good; I know it.” He bowed and strode to his hired horse. “I have urgent business in the city. Be glad, Elizabeth. I certainly am.”
He leaped into the saddle and cantered away. Actually, he was off to a backstage intrigue at Covent Garden. Waiting in his dressing room, another would-be actress, of no performing ability whatsoever, was ready to audition what talent she did have on the chaise lounge.
Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes Blurb
Brilliant and sassy Elizabeth Trumpet fantasizes starring on the London stage, but to become an actress in 1803 is tantamount to losing her virginity in the most debasing way.
After watching her mother die and her father lose his mind, the courageous sixteen-year-old must find a way to save her family. She scores her first acting job as a fencer – the deadly skill she learned from her brother training for the military. Blessed with talent and a rare singing voice, Lizzie pursues her career, learning from theatrical characters high and low.
When reckless actor Jonathan Faversham sets eyes on Miss Trumpet, he knows he’s found the partner of his life. But Faversham carries ruinous baggage from a dark past. Entangled in lust and ambition, Lizzie gives him her heart and they reach the heights together. Until Lizzie gets more applause than he…
From the magnificence of Regency palaces and the Theatre Royal Covent Garden to the sun-baked pyramids of Egypt and the arms of a real-life Samson, Lizzie is never far from trouble. As her brother rides to glory with Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars, great events threaten her survival. Danger lurks behind stage curtains, when a madman sets fire to take her life and she lifts a sword in revenge.
Will this once innocent girl, with her rise to stardom, be remembered for her art? Or for her shame?
Lizzie watched Faversham until she could see him no more. A freshening breeze lifted the leaves of the oak tree. She touched her tingling lips and thanked God for escaping a sordid life. He is my savior. Now I won’t have to do as Octavia does.
Honey Bee Promotions