In which Judith interviews her hero Bayard Pytchley
JL: Most romance heroes are aristocratic. You’re not. Why should we care to read about you?
BP: (laughs a little self-consciously) I don’t know why my author chose to write about me. I certainly don’t think of myself as a hero. However, I’m not so far from aristocratic connections. My mother was a noted opera star in Europe before the French Revolution. She is of German and French parentage, from several generations of opera singers who mingled frequently with their aristocratic patrons. My father, however, was a common English sailor. She has never explained what initially attracted her to him, but they were a devoted couple until his ship was lost in battle several years ago. Maman worked very hard to see that I had a classical education along with my musical instruction. I showed no talent for singing, so she insisted that I concentrate on my instrumental education.
JL: I’m interested in learning a little more about that education.
BP: In essence, I served an apprenticeship with my tutor, Mr. Alban Foxworth, for several years. I received intensive training in several musical instruments (pianoforte and all the stringed instruments) as well as thorough grounding in music theory. In addition, I had the opportunity to perform in various venues under his supervision. That all came to an abrupt end when Mr. Foxworth died several months ago, which not only forced me out on my own, but also left his widow and two daughters in severe financial straits. It seems he had not managed to put much by for the future. To me, the daughters are nearly akin to sisters, so I feel responsible for them. I’ve made places for them whenever I had musical engagements that were appropriate for young ladies. However, I haven’t been able to provide as much assistance as I wished, since my own career wasn’t yet securely established when Mr. Foxworth died.
JL: That brings us to your current dilemma.
BP: It certainly does! A few days ago, Miss Arietta Foxworth was apparently abducted by a young gentleman. It is reported that he is making for Gretna Green with plans to marry her, by force or by persuasion—which it is, I don’t know. Mrs. Foxworth and her older daughter also set out, in an attempt to rescue her. However, I greatly fear that this aristocrat merely wishes to use and discard Miss Arietta, leaving her ruined. This news threw me into a quandary. At one side, I can think of nothing else but the image of Miss Arietta, abandoned and in need. At the other is the difficulty and sheer improbability of my being able to find and help her, and the risk to my career at a critical time. I have only recently received an appointment to a regular position in the orchestra of the Florenz Theatre, a new but upcoming venue for music and drama in Town. I would gladly risk my new employment, but having it has meant being able to provide a better living and medical care for my ailing mother.
Additionally, I had asked Miss Arietta to be my wife shortly after her father’s death, hoping to be able to provide for her and her family. She refused my suit, but I assured her of my continuing regard and readiness to come to her assistance in time of need. This tips the scale to the decision of taking action. Whether I ultimately fail or succeed, I cannot live with myself if I do not try. So you see me, about to strike out for northern areas of England. My author is accompanying me in spirit, to document my journey.
About Knight With a Violin
A man of honor and an itinerant actress—a tale of passion and integrity
Violinist Bayard Pytchley is the only one who can rescue the kidnapped daughter of his deceased music tutor. Just when his career is finally becoming successful, he puts everything aside to follow the trail of the lovely damsel who had previously rejected his suit.
An unlucky stroke of fate strands Bayard with a down-at-heels acting troupe. Beautiful actress Viviana Fairweather fires his soul, and despite his attempts to resist, he falls in love. But his noble nature demands he stay true to his purpose.
What’s a man of honor to do?
SOON TO BE RELEASED
I live on a mini-farm in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, daughter, three horses, two cats, approximately a dozen Collies (we’re a dog show family), and one Scottish Deerhound that doubles as a sofa cover.
Our domicile is an old pioneer place, and the thing that most endears it to me is that I’m younger than my house. Unfortunately, I’m older than the furniture (though not by much). The house has shadowy, mysterious hallways–I’ve tripped over a dark-coated dog many a time. I like to tell friends I live in a tri-level, but it’s actually just an illusion caused by warped floors.
My husband and I like to get away often, taking off for a few days at the ocean or the lake, and I usually bring my laptop with me on these excursions. I also have two friends with whom I do mini writing retreats, and while we spend a lot of time giggling and eating junk food, we also brainstorm like crazy and make significant progress in our writing projects. There’s nothing like a change of scenery to get the creative juices flowing!
More about Judith’s books at http://www.amazon.com/Judith-Laik/e/B001KHZYOO/