Last week you got a taste of the characters from Vanessa Riley’s debut release, Madeline’s Protector. Today, I’m going to interrogate—I mean interview—our blog-mate a little more, so we can learn about the woman behind the characters.
Vanessa is also giving away one free ebook copy of her novel to a lucky commenter. See details below.
Welcome to the hotseat, Vanessa. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a very southern girl who loves to stay busy. I have an active eight-year old artist and wonderful active duty husband. We live in Georgia and from my porch, I get the best views of trees and pollen.
Aaaa-chew! Yes, I see. <big sniff>
Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
That’s a good one. I don’t want to shock the viewers, but here goes. I have a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. I use to know how to knit, crotchet, and embroider. Oh, I am a big time foodie. From new and trendy to old fashion or quaint, if it has a great appetizers menu, I’ll be there to graze.
A crocheting engineer? You’d make a great character in a novel. Hmmmm. <Connie scratches chin>
Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
Yes, I was. I loved Bible stories and reading new takes on them. I also loved romance and tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Oedipus, etc.
As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
I loved writing poetry, even winning a few awards. I have always had stories running through my head. Now I love them finding their way to paper.
What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
The quirkiest thing I ever did was become engaged to a man after dating him for a month. All my friends thought I was nuts. We celebrate our 17th anniversary this August.
Wow! Sounds like a romance novel!
What is your favorite genre to read?
I love historical romances. I particularly love Regencies. The wit of the dialogue, the color of the settings, and the strict code of honor and behavior, all delight me and get the creative juices flowing.
Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.
On an ideal day, from 8:00 am to noon, I home school my daughter. From noon to 7:00 pm, I run my software business. From 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, I unwind or do chores, then put my girl to bed. Then from 11:00 pm to 2:30 am, I write. Nonetheless, I don’t have ideal days. Typically, everything gets mashed together and things happen all at once. Luckily, I don’t get too mixed up. I haven’t tried to put my daughter in the washing machine, yet.
With that amount of sleep—yes, I did the math—my child would be in the washing machine, the milk in the microwave and raw meat in the pantry.
How many books do you have published and where can they be found?
Tell us more about Madeline’s Protector.
Madeline’s Protector is a Regency romance about two people who should not have met but are thrown together under dire circumstances. In saving Madeline St. James’s life, Justain Delveaux, Lord Devonshire, unintentionally compromises her reputation and is forced to marry her. The last thing on Madeline’s mind was to wed after being betrayed by a man she thought a friend. Getting married is the beginning of their romance, and the two must overcome their hurts and learn to trust each other to thwart the evil threatening their families.
Are you a plotter, a pantster, or somewhere in between?
I am somewhere in between. Usually, one great scene pops into my head. It’s vivid and dramatic. Then I have to plot how do I get these characters into this situation and how do I get them to the end. It’s not a detailed outline of the actions. It’s more of a skeleton. I use a tool called yWriter to lay this out in terms of scenes and potential word count. Then, I let my imagination fill in the blanks. I do write to word count. One of my favorite authors, Linda Windsor told me, “Word count is like a waistline, sometimes you have to take it in or let it out to fit.”
And somehow my word counts are always in need of a good diet :o/.
Does your faith affect your writing? How?
It’s all about my faith. I hope to challenge my readers by placing my characters in distressing situations and showing how God can lead them to fulfillment. God is available to help and make you a better angel.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? Maybe a writing tip for aspiring authors?
Hang in there. Learn your craft. Hold to your faith. Write every day.
Where can fans find you on the internet?
Don’t forget to comment below to be eligible to win a free ebook copy of Madeline’s Protector. A winner will be chosen after 5pm on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
Even as she pursued engineering degrees, Vanessa Riley’s love of 19th century history yielded a hunger to take as many Western Civilization credits as possible (two classes shy of a minor). Vanessa adores Regency times with its conflicts between Church and State, the clash of the classes, and the sweeping romances. Her mission is to have the world fall in love with powerful Regency heroes and heroines who battle for peace with a flintlock and a prayer. Vanessa writes from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey or Cinnamon Spice.
If all young men leapt off a cliff, Madeline St. James wouldn’t care. Yet a chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything. She must trust that the Good Shepherd has led her to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire. Can they forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?
See the trailer here.
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