Thursday, 20 December 2012

Interview with author Vivenne Westlake

What or whom inspired you to become a writer? 

I’ve loved writing since I was a child. I used to have a typewriter that my grandparents bought me and I would write stories or make up a newspaper on it. But as far as my career in romance, I would say my inspiration was Elizabeth Lowell and Amanda Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz). The first romance I ever read was Only His and I fell in love with it and decided I wanted to write romance, too. 

What types of books do you read? 

My house is filled with books. Most of my books are research related. I collect books on the Tudor period, Middle Ages, Victorian England, and Regency England. As far as romance, I like erotic, paranormal, and historical romance. Thrillers and mysteries are fun to read. I also collect self-improvement and spirituality texts. 

What well-known authors do you admire most? 

I have a lot of authors that I enjoy reading, but as far as someone I really admire, I am grateful to Beverly Jenkins. Beverly has been writing African-American historical romance for decades. She was the first person I ever saw writing it and as a teenager, I loved reading her books, loved that someone had the courage and foresight to write them. 

What were your writing habits while writing A Marquess for Christmas? 

This book was out of the norm for me in that I wrote and edited it in about 2 ½ months. What an undertaking, let me tell you! Initially, I thought this book would be half the length. I figured it would be simple to write a novella in 2 months. Go ahead and laugh at my naïveté. My characters insisted on having a novel. I wrote every weekend, on holidays, and sometimes at 5am before work. I did a lot of writing challenges with other authors to stay motivated and keep myself on track. 

How did you come up with the plot? 

One of my best friends, author Eden Bradley, told me that I had to write a Christmas book. This was around the last week of September. She pushed and cajoled me for a day or so and then I tried to think of what to write about. At the time, I was starting a prequel to my Regency series and while I could have changed it to coincide with Christmas, I decided to come up with something new. I pitched a few ideas to Eden and our friend K.B. Alan and A Marquess for Christmas was born. 

What is your favorite part in A Marquess for Christmas? 

There are a few parts that I love, but two that stand out are the scene where Violet and Kit play hazard (a dice game similar to craps) and earlier in the book when attacks a thief with a broken basket handle. 

What was the hardest part to write? 

Please do not laugh when I say the consummation love scene. There are love scenes before and after this, but the consummation scene was one where I wrote a chunk, skipped ahead to work on other parts, came back and wrote more, skipped ahead again before finally finishing it. I’m not exactly sure why I had to skip over it. Other authors do this all the time, but in the past, I usually didn’t skip over writing the intimate parts. Maybe it was getting the right balance of sensuality and emotion. 

What character is the most/least like you, and in what ways? 

That is a hard question. Some aspects of Violet are like me and some aspects of Kit. Violet is a sassy and independent sort of person. I am not as strong-willed or independent as she is, but we share a sense of humor and a healthy interest in sexuality. Kit and I are alike because we both have challenging people in our lives that we love, but who push all of our buttons and drive us to respond in less than mature ways. 

What would your ideal career be if you couldn't be an author? 

I am a creative person. I love singing, arts and crafts, fashion, drawing, and cooking. I’d most likely end up in another creative field, or if not, I would go back to school for a Master’s degree or PhD in Medieval/Renaissance studies. I love the Tudor period and the Middle Ages. Otherwise, I’d probably become a psychologist. 

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing? 

I have friends who do not look at their reviews, particularly on Goodreads. I actually do read my reviews. Thankfully, the reviews for Lady Northam’s Wicked Surrender were positive ones. However, in my career I have experienced some harsh critiques of books still in the draft stage. Most of the time, critiques are insightful/useful and help me to see where to strengthen my work. However, there were two instances where I received critiques that were excessively critical and it made editing difficult, so I had to set aside the book for a few months. 

Do you find it hard to balance your writing with your personal life? 

Sometimes this is a challenge. While writing this book, I was on a tight deadline, so I missed going on a Christmas trip with my co-workers and I could not participate in other holiday events with friends. There are times when I wish I could take time off to work on a writing project and it’s not feasible. I am always in awe of mothers who write while raising young children. You need very good time management skills to pull it off. 

Do you have any other books in the works? 

Yes, I am working on two other books in my Regency series: The Captain’s Wicked Caress (Rekindled Passions Book 2) and The Wicked Earl Takes His Wife (Rekindled Passions, Prequel). 

Do you have a blog, website, or links to share? 

My website: My blog: Facebook: Twitter: Pinterest: 

A Marquess for Christmas 
Vivienne Westlake 
Genre: Regency, erotic romance, historical romance 
Word Count: approx. 25K-30K 
Cover Artist: Vivienne Westlake 
BN ID: 2940016071008 
ISBN 9781301409822 

Book Description: 

A proper widow. A rakish marquess. He rescued her from thieves, but will she be able to save him from himself?

When Violet Laurens is rescued from highwaymen, the furthest thing from her mind is that her heart might tumble next. She loves her independent life, no matter her lonely bed. The handsome stranger reawakens the passion she thought buried along with her husband, pushing her to new heights of desire. But she knows it’s only a matter of time before he remembers his name and leaves her.

The dissolute Marquess of Kittrick has vowed never to marry, causing a rift in his family that sets him on the road just in time to do battle with ruffians intent on stealing a lady’s coins—and more. Discovering the fiery wanton beneath the widow’s oh-so-proper demeanor makes him want nothing more than to forget who he is for just a bit longer. Maybe forever.

When Kit is forced to acknowledge who he is, will the truth trump their shared passion, and the love they can’t quite admit to? Or will Violet overcome her fear—and Kit his dissolute ways--and be able to lay claim to A Marquess for Christmas?

About the Author: 

Vivienne Westlake has been reading and writing romance since the age of fifteen. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and when she’s not plotting stories about sexy heroes and sassy heroines, she’s buying a book on British history, watching the latest teen vampire show, doing an art project or singing karaoke with friends. Vivienne is an active member of Romance Writers of America, Romance Divas, and Indie Romance Ink.

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