Today I am happy to welcome to RFTC author Vanessa Kelly. Vanessa is celebrating the recent release of her book His Mistletoe Bride and has stopped by to answer a few questions. Please give Vanessa a warm welcome.
Vanessa Kelly was named by Booklist, the review journal of the American Library Association, as one of the “New Stars of Historical Romance.” Her Regency-set historical romances have been nominated for awards in a number of contests, and her second book, Sex and The Single Earl, won the prestigious Maggie Medallion for Best Historical Romance. Vanessa also writes contemporary romance with her husband under the name of V.K. Sykes.
Places to find Vanessa:
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
The author me: I write sexy, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra, and I also indie publish contemporary romance with my husband under the pen name of VK Sykes. The personal me: I have an M.A. in English Lit, and spent far too many years in a Ph.D. program studying 18th and 19th century British Literature. I loved my time in academia, but eventually had to earn a living. I found my way into the public sector, getting a job as a researcher for a large union. Trust me, writing sexy historical romances is way more fun than writing reports that very few people probably ever looked at!
Did you always want to be a writer?
I never wanted to be a fiction writer. First I wanted to be a marine biologist, then I wanted to be an English teacher. Most of my jobs involved writing of the non-fiction variety. What I did love was reading, including romance novels. I hadn’t read them for several years while I was in grad school and working. When I drifted back to romance novels, I was bitten hard by the writing bug.
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I’m an uber-plotter. Plot board, character biographies, motivation charts, synopsis…I do all of that before I start writing the story.
Where do your ideas come from?
A lot of my inspiration comes from reading history and biographies, but I also get ideas from TV shows and movies. My husband and critique partners are also idea factories, which is great. And sometimes ideas seem to drift to me from the ether although I’m sure it’s a case of something working through a subconscious level.
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
Regency Romance that sizzles. Emotional, character-driven stories that feature a bit of humor and adventure.
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I love contemporary romances written by authors like Jill Shalvis and Toni Blake. As for historicals romances, I think I have pretty wide reading tastes. I love Loretta Chase, Eloisa James, and Teresa Medeiros, but I also enjoy darker books by authors like Anna Campbell and Meredith Duran. And I adore Lisa Kleypas and Deanna Raybourn—they’re both awesome.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
I have favorite books—I couldn’t name just one. Some of my top Keeper Books: Lord of Scoundrels, Married by Morning, A Discovery of Witches, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The academic in me also loves Moby Dick.
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Definitely the sex scenes. I want them to be erotic but also deeply emotional, and show real engagement between the characters. The funny thing is they’re usually the scenes I’m the happiest with when I finish the book.
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Teresa Medeiros, Loretta Chase, and Deborah Harkness—because Teresa is one of the funniest, nicest people I’ve ever met, Loretta Chase is so damn smart and knowledgeable about the Regency period, and because Deborah Harkness wrote one of the best books I’ve ever read. I would love to discuss A Discovery of Witches and her subsequent books with her.
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
I’m working on a new Regency historical romance series for Kensington Zebra, called The Renegade Royals. The heroes in this series are the illegitimate offspring of the royal sons of George III. There are four books in the series, and two digital novellas. The first novella will be released in December 2013, with books one and two releasing in January and February of 2014. I’m really excited about this series—book one is already in the can, and I think it’s the best book I’ve written to date. And I’m also working on another VK Sykes sports romance with my hubby.
BLAME IT ON THE MISTLETOE…
When Major Lucas Stanton inherited his earldom, he never dreamed his property would include the previous earl’s granddaughter. Phoebe Linville is a sparkling American beauty, yes, but with a talent for getting into trouble. Witness the compromising position that forced them into wedlock. Whisked away to Mistletoe Manor, his country estate, it isn’t long before she is challenging his rules—and surprising him in and out of bed…
Phoebe has no intention of bowing to Lucas’s stubbornness even though he offers all that she wants. His kisses and unexpected warmth are enticing, but Phoebe is determined to show the Earl of Merritt what real love is all about. And if that takes twelve nights of delicious seduction by a roaring fire, she’s more than willing to reveal her gifts very slowly…
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