Posts Tagged ‘English Manor’
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Continuing our ongoing series featuring bestselling authors we chat with the dynamic and delightful USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret. Vivienne writes delicious Regency romance for Avon Impulse Harper Collins. She is the author of two popular series called The Wallflower Wedding Series and the Rakes of Fallow Hall Series.
What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get?
VL: Winning Miss Wakefield (Wallflower Weddings, book 2) hit the USA TODAY Bestsellers List at #120. I was so surprised that I didn’t really believe my editor when she called. I started to hyperventilate and I think I might have asked her “Are you kidding me?” about three or four times. The great thing was, she wasn’t kidding. WMW stayed on the list for one glorious week of ear-to-ear grins and random squeals of delight. Then, poof it went away. Shortly thereafter, Finding Miss McFarland hit the list at the same number, for one week, and then poof. Coincidence or magic fairy dust?
When something awesome happens in your career do you celebrate with food, flowers, or fun? Details please.
VL: Life is short, so I celebrate as often as I can. When I begin a new book, I shop for office supplies—there’s just something about a new pack of Post-it’s, pens, and pencils that adds to the excitement. And since I’m out anyway, I might stop by Starbucks for a grande chai with whip.
When I finish a particularly tough chapter, or write a scene that makes me happy, I’ll do a little victory dance—though I try to steer clear of the windows so I don’t scare the neighbors. And since I’m already in motion, I might slip on my shoes, go for a drive, and grab a grande chai with whip.
When something BIG happens, like a book release or signing a contract for a new series, I usually buy myself flowers (roses or daisies), and maybe . . . just maybe . . . stop by Starbucks.
What advice can you give authors who really want to hit a bestseller list but haven’t yet?
VL: I don’t think there’s a secret formula for hitting a bestseller list. If there were, I would have figured out how to stay on one, or how to hit the top 100. But I think having a support-team helps. I’ve been blessed with an incredibly supportive editor and publishing house, not to mention the amazing art department. In addition, it helps to write the book you want to read. After all, if you believe in your book, chances are that other people will too. From there, good things will happen. At the very least, you’ll be proud of the pages between the covers. That means a lot.
VL: Facebook is a wonderful way to keep in touch with your fan base—a quick note about the writing process, a picture of your latest hero or heroine, motivational phrases that inspire you, and random/whacky posts all work to make a personal connection to the people who support your career. Hosting rafflecopter contests on your page also helps. It’s important to give back and spread the love whenever possible.
What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?
VL: I love writing. The act of touching the keyboard and watching the pictures in my head transform into words is pretty cool. Of course, there are days when that doesn’t happen easily and/or the words don’t quite match the pictures in my head. But those are the days when it’s time to fill up the writer’s well, and usually that’s a fun process.
Interruptions drive me bonkers. When I’m writing a scene, and my mind is traveling back to the Regency period, it’s difficult to tune out the lawn mowers, barking dogs, and the daily screaming contests in the neighborhood. Over the years, I’ve used different methods, from wearing gun-range earmuffs to buying a noise-cancelling machine. Then, there are the interruptions that happen within the walls of my writing domain. It’s harder to ignore “I don’t mean to interrupt, but . . .” The questions could be anything from “Have you seen my glasses?” to “Can you do me a favor and . . .” For years, I would stop what I was doing, help find the glasses, fix dinner, or run errands for anyone who asked. But then, I learned to say no. Not just a hem hawing no, either. A definite I’m-working-and-my-time-is-valuable no. It’s liberating. I highly recommend it.
Who are some of your favourite authors and why?
VL: Kristan Higgins because her books make me laugh so hard that I cry. Lisa Kleypas because her books touch my soul. Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, and Candis Terry because their books are simply fabulous (and they are super nice women, too).
What is the coolest/nicest thing a fan/reader has done for you or said to you?
VL: I received a personal email from a reader one day. She’d written me after spending a night in the hospital with her child. And while reassuring me that her son was fine, she also took a moment out of her life to tell me that my book had helped her through the night. I cried instantly, amazed and awed by this woman. With everything going on in her life, she chose to reach out to me. And I’m thankful each and every day that, in some small way, my book provided the distraction she needed.
Tell us about your latest release and what do you have coming down the road?
VL: My latest release, The Maddening Lord Montwood, came out in paperback on August 18th. Yay! I’m so excited about this book! TMLM is the third and final book in The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series. In the beginning, Lucan Montwood pulled his friends into a high-stakes wager, each of them vowing to be the last bachelor standing. Then one after the other, they started to find love. To me, it seemed fitting that the charming, manipulative Lucan would ultimately fall for a strong-willed woman who could see through his tricks. I loved writing Lucan and Frances’ story.
Coming down the road… I recently finished writing a novella for Avon’s Christmas anthology, All I Want for Christmas is a Duke. The Regency anthology will be out this year on December 1st.
My novella takes place during a Christmas house party. To the Duke of Vale, science is everything. He has invited all the right people in order to reveal a formula designed to generate a suitable marriage partner without engaging in the messy procedure of courting . . . (think of it as a Match.com in the Regency era). North’s method is clean and flawless. That is, until the impulsive Ivy Sutherland crosses his path. She makes him question all of his data, forcing him to admit that he failed to catalog one vital element for a perfect match . . . love.
In your daily work routine what do you do first and why? A. write/plot/creative B. social media/promotion C. email/admin
VL: Most of the time, a. I like to start writing with a fresh brain. Umm . . . that sort of makes me sound like a zombie. Mmm . . . fresh brains! Then again, that’s usually how I feel until I’ve had my first cup of tea.
What would I find on your desk at this very moment?
VL: A lot of Post-its, pens, and papers. I’m in new-series-mode right now, so it’s kind of a mess. I have family trees, character sketches, and a calendar that serves as a ticking clock for each deadline. Beside my desk hangs a huge whiteboard full of story notes. Above my desk, I also keep a slew of notes, reminding myself to focus and to write the book I want to read, among other things. My office can be described as organized chaos.
BONUS: Finish this sentence: I’m a writer because . . .
Thanks for having me here today! This was fun and I loved your questions!
USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is proud to be an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, and The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series.
JoMarie DeGioia is our guest today. JoMarie writes historical romances with a touch of mystery for Lachesis Publishing. And her books are always on the racy side. Her Dashing Nobles series follows the love lives of four male friends in Regency London. When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and why?
I’ve always written, even when I was a child. I was an early reader, thanks to my mom, and loved to make up my own stories. I didn’t start writing toward publication until after my youngest daughter was in school full time, though.
Describe your favourite place to write?
I prefer to write on my laptop, usually at the desk in my office. Since I’ve had to travel more lately, to visit family, I’ve found I can write anywhere. I just bring my trusty laptop with me!
What would I find on your desk at this very moment?
The phone to my left, and on my right too many pens in too many containers, some natural crystals for clarity, anti-stress, and attracting fortune (if only!) and a scented candle. Oh, I also have a big, chunky Himalayan salt lamp that is always lit. Need those ions, baby!
What is your tea/coffee beverage of choice when you’re writing?
Now that it’s warm down here in Florida again, I’ve made the switch to iced coffee. Mocha or caramel vanilla, thanks!
What do you love to read?
Romance, romance, and more romance! I’ll sometimes cross over to humorous mysteries if there’s a romantic element but I don’t do literary fiction. I like the people I’ve become invested in to be alive and well and happy by the end of the book. I don’t care what road they have to take there or how many obstacles they have to overcome. Heck, that’s what makes them worth rooting for!
What is some good advice you can give to an emerging writer?
Well, people tell you to “write what you know.” I write what I don’t know. What I want my story people to be. Am I a Regency miss forced to marry against my wishes but in love with an impossible man who doesn’t know when he has a good thing going? Am I a willowy blond who runs a cupcake shop and is irritated by the hot roofing guy who also happens to play jazz piano? Nope. But I thought of that last scenario on the fly and I bet I could make it work! So write what you like to read, I think. If you enjoy it, your future readers will.
What do you do after you finish a book? Do you celebrate or take a nap?
The first thing I do is post about it on Facebook! I don’t nap but I do decompress. Watch some soaps or old movies. Treat myself to some chocolate. That’s my way to celebrate.
Oh, from the first time I glimpsed the Regency era in movies I was in love. The clothes, the manners, the sophistication. And the men! Jeebs, I love a man in breeches, waistcoat and cravat. He can leave off the jacket. Maybe roll up his full sleeves. The ladies’ dresses are wonderful, too. I think readers love that time because it’s so civilized, yet you can’t just pick up a phone and straighten things out. Nope. You have to write a letter or ride your horse over to make things right. So much more effort than a “my bad” text, if you ask me!
You wrote a short novella called Just Perfect, part of the Dashing Nobles – about a young lady of quality who decides that she needs to learn a few tricks before she can tempt the man of her dreams into marriage. Hilarity ensues. How did you enjoy writing comedy and will we be seeing these characters again in the future?
That little book snuck up on me. I was kind of stuck after the first chapter and then one morning I woke up with the entire story in my head! The snappy dialogue, the outrageous antics. It was like I couldn’t write it fast enough, and that’s so very rare. The comedy came quite naturally and I loved writing it. Yes, I have a series in mind for Constance’s cousin Sarah and her scandalous family. It should be a lot of fun to write.
What are you working on next?
The Hideaway is the first book in my Regency Private-Eye series. It’s definitely darker in tone and it’s been that way since it first came to me. Very little social niceties or fancy balls, to be sure. Our hero is a nobleman who people count on to solve their problems. But even as he can’t turn away anyone who needs his help, he refuses to see that he needs help too. He’s hiding his own wants, needs and heart. As for our heroine? She’s on a mission and she won’t be denied. It’s very romantic but there is a strong thread of mystery and danger in this and the other books in the series. I’m hoping people will love these characters and want to see more of their piece of the world.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
William Chesterton, the Earl of Chester, might be the perfect gentleman, but his feelings for Constance Bridgewater are anything but gentlemanly. Constance Bridgewater, the daughter of the late Earl of Bridgewater, might be the perfect lady, but her feelings for the Earl of Chester are anything but ladylike. They both know that if they were together, everything would be just perfect.
So what is keeping them apart?
“Sarah, you always hear the best gossip.”
“What?” Sarah’s eyes rounded, then she grinned. “Yes, I do.”
“What do you know about where gentlemen go after the parties break up?”
Sarah’s brows drew together. “What do you mean?”
“Titled gentlemen can’t just . . . relax with young ladies like us, can they?”
“No, they usually head off to their clubs.”
Constance shook her head. “No, not for cards and cigars. For relaxation.”
She raised her brows to get her point across. Sarah blinked, then gasped.
“You mean pleasure?” she asked.
“Yes, but keep your voice down. If my mother were to learn of my curiosity, I’d never see the light of day again.”
“Too true.” Sarah leaned back, tapping her foot as she seemed to consider the subject. “I know they go to public houses. For ale and . . . companionship.”
“How do you know that?”
“Young Lord Palmer, the one now quite smitten with Elizabeth Talbot, lamented how her brother and his friends never invited him along to their favorite pub.”
“Oh.” Constance imagined Lord Leed and the others wouldn’t want the boy tagging along on their adventures. “Did he say which public house?”
Sarah shook her head. “Just its location.”
Constance clasped her hands. “We’ll go there tonight.”
“What?” Sarah cried, sitting up straight. “You can’t be serious.”
“I need to know some things, Sarah. I will not be kept in the dark when my very future happiness might depend on gaining that knowledge.”
“I admit I’m curious as well,” Sarah said. “I’ll call for you in my carriage around eight. Tell your mother you don’t feel up to the bashes tonight and I’ll do likewise. I’ll tell my mother I’m spending the night here with you.”
“Should the sisters compare notes, Sarah? What then?”
Sarah grinned, and Constance knew she’d chosen the perfect co-conspirator. “But I will spend the night here with you, Constance. Just after our little sojourn into the less-than-proper part of the city. I’ll have my driver park around back in the mews.”
Constance felt a bubble of anticipation rise in her chest. She would learn something tonight, all right. Once armed with that knowledge, she would make William see they were meant to be together, and for more than the length of a dance or dalliance.
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