AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: KRISTIN VAYDEN
Astraea Press author Kristin Vayden has dropped by to let me harass (ack, I really meant interview) her for Joyfully Reviewed…
Tell us a little about Living London and its inspiration:
It’s actually a funny story. Living London was my first attempt at writing, specifically historical romance. It came from a conversation me and my sister (Rachel Van Dyken, an AMAZING regency author) had concerning our gratitude in being born in this time period. We joked that we’d have never gotten married because we had crooked teeth and there were no braces, and blonde so we would have looked washed out all the time. I also had really bad skin growing up so that was another bad mark against me. We joked about it and Living London came from the idea of a woman from our time going back into Regency London and living in that era from this era’s perspective. It’s a love story based on the idea that love is always a risk, but sometimes more than others. Is it worth it? There’s some devastatingly handsome rakes, lots of gossip, good friends and all the regency hallmarks that we all dream of when reading a great Regency Romance. It was a lot of fun to write. My sister and I (along with 7 other women from our family) just got back from London and Scotland and were able to get pictures of these places and see them up close. It was amazing.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
A little of both. I usually have a general idea and as I write, the story develops and becomes its own.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I have two books released in the “regency” category, and one more that will be releasing in the future as a Scottish Romance. There’s another contemporary romance contracted and will be released this summer. I started with Regency because of the inspiration from that one conversation, but I also was comfortable with Regency because I had read so much of it. I’m moving more towards Scottish/Highland Romance because I really enjoy that era. I have a current WIP in that genre that I’m obsessed with.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Oh yeah. The next book in the Series after Living London is titled Surviving Scotland and Ioan, the hero in that book is my favorite hero, so far. Of course that might be because I patterned him after my husband…
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Right now I have a WIP that’s to be last in the Living London series. It’s a Viking/Scottish story and Oden, the hero has me floundering a bit.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I have way too many stories to share. My husband keeps me full of inspiration. He’s tall, broad shouldered with dark hair and crystal blue eyes. He’s also a huge tease and is constantly provoking me and tickling. He’s also very romantic. Most of my hero’s feature a faucet of his personality. In my contemporary Romance titled Pursued I have a scene that happened to my husband and I. Before we were married, in fact we were just getting to know one another and he wanted to be a big help so he was working on dishes. I walked over and helped as well. He flicked me with water, you know, to flirt a bit, and I took the spray hose from the sink and soaked him. He stood there stunned for about two seconds, just blinking. I wondered if I had maybe crossed a line, but a second later he grabbed a glass of water and poured it over my head. After an epic water fight, I was even surer he was the one.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Don’t laugh. Formatting and fine-tune editing. The story usually comes pretty easily, but when it comes to knowing if there’s a comma after the tag line, or a period, or if I have my margins correct I’m hopeless.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
That’s a hard question. I’m a voice coach and can sing in Italian.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Reading. Doing nothing…yep that’s the one. Sitting on my rump and doing nothing. It doesn’t happen often.
What TV Shows are you addicted to?
Big Bang Theory and New Girl, though I must say that with new girl I’m constantly jumping up from the couch and running from the room, totally embarrassed and squeaking “Awkward!” My husband chuckles and shakes his head while yelling a play by play on what’s happening.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Hmmm…I can’t write on an empty stomach, so a snack, but that’s about it. Free time. Yeah, an uninterrupted 15 minute block of time. I have four children so it’s rare.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I love the ambient noise of coffee house music or jazz in the background when I write, but because most of my writing happens when the kids are in bed, I don’t have it on very often.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
In Living London, I’d have to say Kristen Bell for Jocelyn and Morgan Ansley would be played by Josh Duhamel.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first? How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Hmmm. I started reading Christian Romance with I was about 12.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Rachel Van Dyken, Julie Lessman and Julia Quinn
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m blessed to be a stay at home mom. So I’ll always have a day job, but it’s the best one around. I homeschool my children and so I’m pretty busy. Writing is a fun outlet.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
If I have a choice, I’ll read over watching a movie. But one of my favorites is The Princess Bride (*sigh* the interviewer LOVES The Princess Bride) and Sabrina.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Knight of the Highlander is my current obsession. From my perspective, it’s the best of both worlds. An English spy that falls in love with a traitorous Highland Laird’s daughter…only she thinks he’s someone else. Sigh.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
How do you pick your characters names?
Name searches, brainstorming,
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
Neither, I love it when the characters hate each other, or at least are annoyed by one another and then slowly fall in love against their wills.
Where can readers find you?
Readers can find me on Twitter @KristinVayden or on
I also have a blog I update periodically www.whispersfromabook.blogspot.com
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
White and Milk chocolate mixed. Like Hershey’s hugs.