AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: VICTORIA VANE
Author Victoria Vane (aka. Emery Lee) has taken a few minutes out of her writing time to chat with the JR Bunnies…
What is your most current work out?
A Breach of Promise from Ellora’s Cave
Tell us a little about A Breach of Promise.
It was while reading one of the most popular of late Georgian era plays, The Belle’s Stratagem, by Mrs. Hannah Cowley that I was inspired to write A Breach of Promise. While The Belle’s Stratagem juxtaposes two different story lines, the prevalent theme concerns men learning to respect the women in their lives before and after marriage. This is closely mirrored in my erotic historical novella, A Breach of Promise.
Like Cowley’s play, the premise of my story is an engagement contracted by the hero and heroine’s parents when they were very young. Also similar is that my own hero, Marcus, like Cowley’s Doricourt, has been many years travelling abroad and has recently returned to England a handsome, fashionable, and much sought after bachelor, but one who has learned to appreciate continental beauty and manners far above those of his own countrywomen.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I am not a plotter which tends to get me into some trouble at times! When I begin writing, I first have a “theme” in mind based on something I have come across in my research. I usually have a beginning and an end in mind but everything else is a blank page. When the characters come to me (usually one by one) they dictate what goes down on those empty pages. It’s actually a bit scary to not know what I’m writing ahead of time, but so far it’s worked for me!
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I am a true-blue history buff and self-professed “Georgian Junkie” who loves nothing better than a well researched romantic story. I discovered early on in my writing that I have a particular talent for bringing my historical period to life through vivid and accurate detail in the dialogue, the dress, the characters’ mores, etc. Thus whatever I write (and I write across historical sub-genres from historical fiction as Emery Lee to erotic historical romance as Victoria Vane ) I will incorporate as much real detail such as people and events as will work for the given story. This is my passion and what I do best.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I have to say that male characters come effortlessly to me and are by far my favorite. This is probably because I have always been surrounded by more men than women in my real life!
Writing as Emery Lee, Philip Drake is by far my favorite character. He was such a powerful multidimensional secondary character in my debut novel, The Highest Stakes that I made him the hero of my follow up Fortune’s Son.
Writing as Victoria Vane, while I adored the arrogant charm of Marcus in A Breach of Promise, my favorite character has to be Ludovic “the Devil” DeVere in my upcoming A Wild Night’s Bride. While he is also introduced as a secondary character, DeVere is so incredibly over the top that I had to feature him in at least two more books. The series is even named after him!
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
As I just mentioned, I have a much harder time with female than male characters. I think Phoebe from A Wild Night’s Bride was the hardest for me to get a handle on. She took many different forms before she finally became a struggling actress with an interesting past. Once she took shape, however, she was perfect for the story and even more perfect for Ned!
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Absolutely. Although not from contemporary life! Everything I write is inspired by something I have come across in history. I am often inspired by art, plays, events, and by intriguing or eccentric historical characters. As far as sharing interesting stories, about three years ago, I came across a fascinating 18th century court trial in which a peer of the realm was accused of kidnapping and raping a young Quaker woman. He was undoubtedly guilty but acquitted. As I read more about this guy, I was appalled at all he had gotten away with in his life- from possible murder of his wife to keeping a private harem! It has taken three years, but I have finally found a way to use his story in my next book.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
The first sentence!
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I have several phobias- I hate heights, close spaces, pigs and clowns!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Ferrero Rochet chocolates. I keep a box on my desk at all times.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I must have my music (18th century Baroque) and my own quiet place.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I love Baroque music but only two of my books have a distinct theme. The Highest Stakes by Emery Lee is Bach’s harpsichord concerto in D minor and Fortune’s Son is Corelli’s La Folia.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
It all began with fairy tales at about the age of eight. I devoured every single fairy tale book from my school and public libraries. I think I was about twelve years old when I first read Harlequins. My best friend’s mother had boxes and boxes of them. I then moved on to the Regency romances of Barbara Cartland and then on to Georgette Heyer who will always be one of my favorite authors.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
I can’t really answer this one as I have so very many authors that I love!
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I worked in diagnostic medical imaging for 18 years but now write full time.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I am working on my first erotic historical romance series, a racy rollicking Georgian era romp named after my favorite character The Devil Devere. The first book is entitled A Wild Night’s Bride.
Blurb: 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 surely be Hell to pay… Link to Excerpt
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
If I can include dead people, it would be Georgette Heyer. For live authors, it would be Lucinda Brant as she also writes fabulous Georgian era romance.
How do you pick your characters names?
I try to be historically accurate with names and have compiled a long list of interesting and unusual real period names that I come across in my research reading.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I like a bit of both but I am not a believer in “love” at first sight. Lust certainly, but not love. This is an emotion that must develop over time. This is also why I don’t have sexual intimacy between my h/h early on in any of my books, even the erotic ones, because I don’t feel it’s credible for a true romance.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I used to be a bit defensive when writing romantic historical fiction, but now that I’m writing erotic historical romance I just grin and give the stock answer “sex sells baby!”
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Already answered- Ferrero Rocher!