Eileen Kirk (Joyce Eileen Back) is an American writer and teacher. Eileen’s fascination with life in the 1800s began when she started reading historical novels as a teenager. Heavily influenced by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Winston Graham’s Poldark series, she began pondering the possibility of writing a historical novel herself. She began writing Legacy of a Rose (Knox Robinson, 2015) in 2011. She was especially influenced by two important movements during the mid-1800s: the worldwide abhorrence of slavery that resulted in a number of countries, with the exception of the United States, ending slavery peacefully; and the influence of Charles Darwin’s theories on scientific study. The plight of women during this period was also a consideration; she wanted to explore the emotions and actions of a very young woman facing an arranged marriage. Poverty in England was a factor also. Eileen has visited England several times and has a lifelong love of the country and its literature. She knew from reading Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey that there were “some very pretty villas about Richmond” in the early 1800’s. An imaginary villa in Richmond became the setting for the first chapter of Legacy of a Rose, and the author cannot imagine a more beautiful place for a love story to begin. Legacy of a Rose is Eileen’s first novel to be published by Knox Robinson. Her other publications include three plays. Eileen lives in Groton, Connecticut, and teaches writing at Three Rivers Community College.