Friday, April 27, 2012

Interview with Georgian Romance Author, Victoria Vane

A while back I reviewed the book A FORTUNE'S SON by Emery Lee. I expressed my disappointment that this incredible historical fiction had been marketed as a historical romance and because of that marketing, I had been disappointed in it as a romance read. Imagine my surprise when I received an email from the author thanking me for my honest review and offering me the opportunity to read her newest work, a historical romance novella set in Georgian England. She promised me all of the romance that had been missing in A FORTUNE'S SON. Victoria Vane promised me romance in A BREACH OF PROMISE and she delivered two-fold. I became an instant fan so when her next foray into the world of romance came along in A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE, I couldn't wait to read it and I wasn't disappointed.

A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE by Victoria Vane which releases TODAY is the first in The Devil Devere series and is bursting with rollicking bawdy good fun and enough steamy romance to make the pages smoke with the heat! It's TOM JONES meets MOLL FLANDERS with a hint of THE HANGOVER thrown in. If you'd like to read my review of this must read novella, please click HERE.


What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a bored and machinating rake? WITH THE DEVIL IN CHARGE ... THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY...

She’s a lonely lady down on her luck... Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis, is a struggling Covent Garden actress with a bruised heart and a closely guarded secret.

He’s steadfast and eminently respectable... Sir Edward Chambers, Ned to his intimates, is guilt-ridden over his beloved wife’s death and avowed to live out a rustic and mundane life … of celibacy.

With the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay. Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere, is determined to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. His meddling machinations result in a night of mind blowing passion after which “dull dog Ned” awakes to find himself in the King of England’s bed!

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I am honored to have as my guest today, the author of this exciting new series from Breathless Press, Victoria Vane!

Amy:  Welcome Victoria, it's a real pleasure to have you here with us today.

Victoria:  Thanks Amy! I appreciate the opportunity to chat!

Amy:  Perhaps you can tell us a little about yourself for the benefit of those who don't know you yet.

Victoria:  Well, let's see. I guess I'll start with the basics. I have been married for twenty-nine years to a wonderful man (My own Ned) and have two sons aged 17 and 20. I have been a horse, history, and romance lover all my life (elements that combined in my very first novel, THE HIGHEST STAKES written as Emery Lee). I play the Celtic harp (but only for myself due to severe performance anxiety!) I love Baroque music, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and am a caffeine addict. I am also claustrophobic, acrophobic, and have an intense dislike of pigs and clowns.

Amy:  LOL!! I can see that I appreciate more about you than just your writing, Victoria, for I too love Ferrero Rochers and have no use for clowns!
It's obvious you have a great love of history as illustrated in your writing. Is it that love of history or something else that inspired you to write?

Victoria:  In truth, history has served as inspiration for everything I write - even in my erotic stories! While they say to write what you know, I say write whatever you are passionate about – you can learn the rest. I have always loved history but when I decided to write my first book set in the 18th century turf world, I realized I knew very little about my specific subject matter so I applied myself devoutly and wholeheartedly to learning everything I possibly could. I did this through research that included not only mounds of history books, but art, music, letters, memoirs, diaries and stage plays. This well-rounded approach has allowed me to both understand the mindset of the Georgian era and also to emulate the "voice" of the time period in which most of my stories are set. As each of my stories has evolved, I have endeavored to incorporate different elements that bring my characters' world vividly to life whether it be horseracing, gambling, arranged marriages and mistresses or the stage. I also have a book in the near future featuring 18th century science, exploration and high seas adventure!

Amy:  Indeed, your incredible research has been well worth the effort for when reading your works, the reader does get a definite sense of having been transported through time. A BREACH OF PROMISE was your first Historical Romance and for those of you who haven't read it, I highly recommend it.
Victoria, what inspired you to shift your writing to the Romance side?

Victoria:  In truth it wasn't completely by design! As you already know by having reviewed it, my second novel, FORTUNE'S SON (also written as Emery Lee) is a work of romantic historical fiction. Although this is a story in which history and romance play equal parts, my publisher chose to package the book as historical romance. This automatically branded me as a romance writer, even though that was not precisely how I saw myself. My agent at the time was also pushing me to tone down the history and write romance. It wasn't what I really wanted, but I decided to give it a go and wrote my first romance novella as an experiment in that direction.
The result was A BREACH OF PROMISE, a witty and fun story inspired by a play I had read by Georgian era playwright, Hannah Cowley. When I finished, I sent several query letters out to publishers, got several rejections and then wrote it off as a "failed" experiment. A couple months later, to my surprise, I got an email from an editor at Ellora's Cave expressing interest as long as I would be willing to make some changes in the "heat level" of the story. With no other manuscripts under contract I really had nothing to lose, so I accepted. This, however, created a problem with my first publisher who feared I would destroy my "author brand" by writing for an erotic publisher. They insisted that I should write under a new pseudonym- so my sex writing evil Victoria Vane was born!

Amy:  Well, I love the sex writing evil Victoria Vane and am very glad she's come to be! A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE is your newest release and it is surely the most fun a reader can have in about 100 pages without getting arrested. I envy you your ability to give us so much story in so short a word count.
Do you prefer writing your Romances in the form of novellas rather than full-length?

Victoria:  Emphatically YES! Not only are novellas growing exponentially in popularity, I have discovered I have a unique ability to pack a good punch in this abbreviated format. What I adore about THE DEVIL DEVERE series is that it is the best of both worlds for both me and for the reader, as it is comprised of four stand alone novellas that combined read almost as a serial novel. I really think this is going to be a huge hit.

Amy:  I know I plan to read them all and am hoping all my friends read them, too! Y'all won't be disappointed, trust me! I love that you've introduced us to characters that we will most likely meet again in the rest of The Devil DeVere series including the Devil Devere himself, Viscount Ludovic DeVere.
Without giving away too much, will he play prominently in each of the next three stories or just hover in the background?

Victoria:  DeVere is one of those bigger than life characters that comes along once in a lifetime! He plays prominent secondary roles in the first two novellas, A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE and THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS, but then becomes the primary protagonist in both THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (a prequel) and THE DEVIL'S MATCH which wraps up the series. Although he's the quintessential rake in the first two books, the third and fourth will slowly reveal the man behind the mask and the woman who finally brings him to his knees!

Amy:  Brava! I so enjoy the settings of your stories. What is it about the Georgian era that you love most and inspired you to set your stories there?

Victoria:  Many people ask why I chose the Georgian era when the Regency is so much more popular. My answer is that I adore both the naughtiness and the elegant decadence of the time. I am fascinated by the paradox this age presents – the mask of politesse hiding the licentiousness beneath. It's such wonderful fodder for a novelist!

Amy:  It always struck me as a much more naughty time than Regency with all of it's polite rules and control of the ton. I love your settings.
I'm always curious as to what inspires an author to create a set of characters and since The Devil DeVere series is a set of Romance stories that are intertwined, who, or what, was the inspiration for your characters, particularly Viscount DeVere?

Victoria:  Again, I go back to history on this one. About three years ago, I read about Frederick Calvert 6th Baron Baltimore, an extremely dissolute man who squandered a vast fortune and kept a private harem. He was also tried but acquitted for abducting and raping a young Quaker woman. While obviously, no model for a romance hero, I was still fascinated that he lived as he did and got away with so much. I used him in part as inspiration for DeVere. In fact, DeVere himself has an unusual obsession with the life of Lord Baltimore which is actually written into my story. Baltimore's entire scandalous life is recounted by DeVere in THE DEVIL YOU KNOW.
As for my other characters, Phoebe was inspired in part by the actress Mary Robinson who had a torrid affair with George IV when he was an 18 year old Prince of Wales.
Banastre Tarleton inspired my idea for Hew though their characters are quite different, and lastly, my all time favorite heroine Vesta just came out of nowhere!
After reading a few chapters, my Beta reader asked if she was anything like me. After giving it a bit of thought I realized Vesta is VERY much like I was at eighteen years old!

Amy:  We do meet Vesta at the very end of A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE. The minute you meet her you just know she's going to be trouble. LOL!!
You once told me that writing A BREACH OF PROMISE was a writing experiment. Well, you've more than proven to this reader that your experiment was a great success. So now that you've proven yourself as a talented author in this genre, what is your favorite part of writing Historical Romance?

Victoria:  I love the challenge of pairing different characters and finding ways for them to fulfill one another as that is truly what romantic love is all about. As far as the "intimate" scenes go, I find those a great challenge as well, to try to make each scene fresh and different but without adding any kinky elements. I prefer to think of my love scenes as "hot vanilla" as they are monogamous, heterosexual, and are most definitely part of a developing romantic relationship. Although my love scenes are very explicit, I don't think of them at all as gratuitous.

Amy:  Your love scenes are by far some of the best I've ever read and hot vanilla is a perfect term for them. They are tasteful and deliciously naughty but fit so well into the setting of your works.
Have you another era of history that you enjoy and have you ever considered setting a story in that era?

Victoria:  The Georgian era will probably always be my favorite but I do have plans to write something completely different (and very soon). I have a well developed idea for a paranormal romance (timeslip not vampire!) that will likely have a late Victorian setting. I may also write at some point in the Edwardian/ gilded age.

Amy:  Wonderful. You know I'm excited about whatever era you write in. When it comes to reading, do you have any favorite authors or genres that you prefer and have they had any influence on your writing?

Victoria:  I always hate to list favorite authors for fear of forgetting someone I love, but my preferred authors usually tend to be those who incorporate strong historical and/or adventure elements. Examples are authors such as Diana Gabaldon, Jennifer Blake, Judith James, Pamela Clare (Mackinnon Rangers!) For historical romance, I favor Lisa Kleypas, Loretta Chase, Madeline Hunter, Jane Feather, Mary Balogh. Also a new discovery is a fabulous fellow Georgian junkie, author Lucinda Brant.
As far as my writing influences go, I adore authors who write great characters and witty dialogue. My all time biggest is Georgette Heyer for dialogue and over the top characters. For erotic romance, I admire Robin Schone, Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for her creative vision in melding history with eroticism.

Amy:  With those authors as inspiration and influence, it's no wonder your writing is so exceptional.
Victoria, I've one last question for you. If you could be ANY character in ANY book, not necessarily your own, which character would it be and why?

Victoria:  If I could choose, it would be Claire in OUTLANDER just so I could have Jamie Fraser! He's the best hero ever, but I'd like to shake her until her teeth rattle!

I would also like to modify that question just a bit and say who I think I would be.
The answer is spoiled, self-absorbed, petulant, willful, impetuous, and passionate, Vesta Chambers from THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS. As I mentioned earlier, Vesta is undoubtedly a mirror of myself 30 years ago and who I would have been had my parents been rich and spoiled me rotten!

Amy:  LOL!! I can't wait to read THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS which will be coming to us in June.
Victoria, thank you so very much for sharing your busy schedule with us and it's been an absolute thrill to have you here today. Congratulations on the release of A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE! I hope you've enjoyed your visit as much as we enjoy reading your stories.

Victoria has graciously offered an ebook copy of A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE to one lucky commenter. Answer Victoria's question correctly and remember to include your email address (no entry without it) for a chance at winning this fabulous book!! This Giveaway is open to EVERYONE and will run until 11:30PM EST Sunday, April 29, 2012.

Victoria:  What is the heroine's stage name in A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE?

Hint: The answer is in the blurb above but if you'd like to read an excerpt from A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE and learn more about Victoria's amazing stories, feel free to visit her website - click HERE. Remember to include your EMAIL ADDRESS or you won't be entered because I can't contact you. Good Luck and

Happy Reading Everyone!  THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE by Victoria Vane, novella available now from Breathless Press in ebook format.   



Beebs said...

Hi Ladies

I was checking these books out and adding them to my wishlists just yesterday (on Amy's recommendation).

Phoebe's stage name is Kitty Willis.

Looking forward to reading this series, it sounds like fun.

yvonnedvn AT yahoo DOT ie

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

Kitty Willis...and the novella sounds fantastic!!!

Amy Valentini said...

So glad y'all came by and I guarantee you are going to love this novella and I'm sooo excited about the series, I can't wait to read ON!! : )

Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria and Amy,
Phoebe's stage name is Kitty Willis.
Thank you for this interview, I did not know that Victoria is also Emery, I love learning new things about authors. Victoria I can not wait to read your stories. Amy, I am very happy I found your blog site.

Victoria Vane said...

Hi Ladies!
This entire series has been the most fun I have ever had writing! I wrote all 4 novellas (the word count equivalent of 2 full length novels) in only 4 months! It has been an amazing experience. I hope you will take a minute to check out the entire Devil DeVere series. I promise to deliver the unexpected!

Amy Valentini said...

I hope everyone takes a few minutes to visit Victoria's website, the link is in the post above, and marks their calendars so they know when the next books come out. It's like one a month, friends, can life get any better?!!
Victoria, thanks for a fun, informational and intriguing interview. I hope everyone reads A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE et al - I love it!

Dalila G. said...

Hi Victoria and Amy!

Thank you for visiting Victoria, wonderful interview.
Lots of interesting facts about yourself.

Here's a little about me...

1. I LOVE Lemon Cupcakes, will do (almost) anything for one. ;-)
2. I also find clowns to be creepy.
3. I have a doggie, her name is Sadie, she's a blue-heeler/beagle.
4. I adore the scent of little babies, could snuggle with them all day long.
5. I cheat at cards, MUST beat hubby! :-)
6. I enjoy time-period movies with a huge bowl of popcorn, sharing popcorn is NOT always a must.
7. Two of my favorite colors are orange and yellow.
8. I totally enjoy reading historical romance books, my TBR pile is soooo out of control!! LOL!

I have to let you know that A BREACH OF PROMISE was a wonderful book, major kudos to you!! If anyone hasn't read it yet....what are you waiting for?! Go and get your hands on it, you'll truly enjoy it!

I'm looking forward to reading your future releases, especially THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS. There's always something about characters that are like lost souls that catche my attention. Captain Hewett is a war scarred and disillusioned fellow, right up my alley. Need to know his story and how his HEA comes to be.

Wishing you the best and thank you for the chance to win your book!

Have a wonderful day ladies!


Dalila G. said...

Forgot to give my answer!! Geez....I can be such a geek!

It's Kitty Willis, if it's still OK to put in my two-cents.

Thank you!


Amy Valentini said...

Hi Dalila,
Glad you came by and am very, very Happy that you enjoyed A BREACH OF PROMISE - you're going to really love A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE!!

Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself. That's fun ... : )

Jeanne M said...

Victoria -

My first comment didn't seem to "send" so I'm going to try again!

I loved your comments on all your characters and how you changed your writing style.

I've already fallen in love with Phoebe (whose stage name was Kitty Willis) and Ned! I can't wait to read the scene when they first meet.

I was thrilled to find out that Vesta's story, The virgin Hunter, will be released in June.

DeVere fascinates me and I think that this entire series is going to take us all on a long wonderful ride!

Congratulations on the release of A Wild Night's Bride!

jeannemiro at yahoo dot com

Jeannie S. said...

Another book/author to add to my "must read" list.
The name is Kitty Willis.

kmannrn said...

Can't wait to read your book. Answer-Kitty Willis