Please welcome historical author Wendy Vella!
Laurie: Hello, Wendy, I hope you’ll be comfortable in the mist of us paranormal romance lovers. I swear to you some of us here do like historical romance), besides, we don’t bite hard. LOL. So, please make yourself comfortable and tell us a bit about yourself.
Wendy: Thanks so much for having me here Laurie and can I say that paranormal is one of my favorite genres to read, I just have no clue how to write it! All that world building constantly amazes me, that takes real talent.
I was born and raised in the North Island of New Zealand in a small rural town that has since grown considerably. Married for 28 years to a wonderful man who puts up with a great deal from me and my two children he has often said that I should harness my ability to talk incessantly for the greater good! My family is English and from them came my love of reading. I started on Georgette Heyer ‘These Old Shades,’ and from there my love of the Regency Era grew. I really didn’t start writing until I was 18 when I penned my first contemporary which will never be seen by the naked eye. I then wrote my first historical at 20. I joined RWNZ and started entering competitions and it was only then that my writing started to develop. The knowledge in these organizations is invaluable and it was at a conference I met my editor. She asked for a partial and then the full and then I got the offer, and yes there was plenty of happy dancing and far too much champagne.
Spare time is rare, but when I get some I’m usually on my bike cycling the roads with my husband. I’m nocturnal in my writing habits and don’t start until the evenings and then it’s on a lap top in the lounge with my headphones on.
Laurie: I notice you have your first published eBook, The Reluctant Countess, coming out soon, would you mind sharing with us a bit about your book?
Wendy: The Reluctant Countess was actually written for a competition, you were given a scenario- handsome Lord, seductive Countess and a ballroom, and you wrote the opening scene and the book evolved from there.
It’s a story of two people who haven’t really had reason to trust in their lives. From different worlds they are wary of each other but over time, and circumstances, that changes. Patrick, the hero, believes Sophie, the heroine, to be a fraud but as he gets to know her he begins to have doubts. Would a woman who loves small animals and protects servants be a Charlatan?
It’s the story of dealing with the past in order to secure a future with the person you love. There are plenty of colorful secondary characters to move the story along and the prerequisite wonderful happy ending that we all enjoy.
Laurie: I read on your webpage about how much you love the Regency period, is there anything about the Regency period you don’t like? If so, please tell us.
Wendy: The Regency Era was a time of great change for English society and there were extremes of both wealth and poverty. I think what I disliked was the total disregard by society and the Prince Regents social circle to the plight of the average person. They lived an ostentatious lifestyle and cared little for those struggling to find money to feed their families. Conditions for the majority were hideous with little or no way of ever changing that while the minority had everything served up on a gilded platter.
Laurie: What is your all time favorite anything about the Regency period?
Wendy: Probably the ridiculous rules for etiquette they had to follow, for example: Men could give themselves up to unrestrained mirth, provided they were in the company of other men or among women of low repute. I mean seriously, could you imagine anyone abiding by that today? I’d say by their standards we’d all be woman of low repute!
A husband was expected to keep his indecorous activities and less cultured friends separate from his marriage. One wonders what determined indecorous behaviour?
Laurie: While writing The Reluctant Countess, who turned out to be your favorite character in the book?
Wendy: Patrick my hero actually, to start with he was pretty much an asshole, all brimming arrogance and belief in his self-worth, but that all changed when Sophie got closer and his feeling became involved. Only then do you realize a lot of his arrogance is a defense mechanism he built up because of his past.
Laurie: What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome, while writing The Reluctant Countess?
Making the heroine strong enough was hard in The Reluctant Countess. She comes from a lower class background but walks in society and to do that she had to be strong, yet there were quite a few scenes that I had to re-write because I’d made her weak instead of vulnerable. It was ok for Sophie to appear scared but I didn’t want her to be a wimp, so I had to toughen her up and that proved a challenge.
Laurie: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to writing?
Wendy: Editing is a pet peeve for me. I understand it’s necessary and why we have to do it, but I’m pretty much hopeless at seeing errors in my own work, so by the time a book is ready for anyone to read I’ve probably run through it five times and am sick of it.
Laurie: Would you tell us a little of what you’re working on next?
I’m working on a series of three sisters. It’s fun to write but different from a stand alone book because you have to make sure the facts are right in each book. It’s still set in the Regency era because that’s what I love.
I’ve also been playing about with a contemporary but I’m not sure where that will go as occasionally my historical voice comes out lol.
Visit my website: http://www.wendyvella.com/
“THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS” can be purchased from Random House INC http://www.randomhouse.com/book/221633/the-reluctant-countess-by-wendy-vella