A couple weeks ago I purchased a random historical romance from an author I wasn’t familiar with. Not only did that book turn out to be one of the best romance novels I’ve ever read, I found out Victoria Vane is a celebrated author. Yes, I live under a rock. LOL. Nope, just in Alaska. Please welcome this incredibly talented writer.
Victoria Vane is an award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.
Look for Victoria’s sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming from Sourcebooks
Victoria, you have a cat-ate-the-canary smile! Let’s get inside that restless mind of yours…
What inspired you to become a writer?
Writing was nothing I ever planed on or studied. I never even took a writing class aside from English Lit. The first story I ever wrote just came to me out of the blue, but since the dam broke I haven’t been able to stop the flood!
Are you a plotter or panster?
A panster with a capital “P.” My stories are all driven almost completely by the characters.
At what age did you write your first novel?
Forty-four! In October 2007 I began writing a work of romantic historical fiction set the world of 18th century horse racing. I finished it 14 months later (December 2008) and had a contract six weeks after that. The Highest Stakes (written as Emery Lee) was published by Sourcebook in April 2010. A sequel, Fortune’s Son followed in November 2011 but sales weren’t up to my publisher’s expectations so they dumped me. At the same time my agent quite the business leaving me high and dry so I had no choice but to start all over again!
At a friend’s suggestion, I tried my hand at writing steamy romances under a new name. My first Victoria Vane title, A Breach of Promise, was published by Ellora’s Cave in December 2011. My ongoing Devil DeVere series followed shortly after and so did a number of award nominations. J I haven’t looked back since.
By the way, I am currently back under contract (a four book contemporary cowboy series coming in 2014) with the same publisher who dropped me two years ago. Vindication is very sweet. J I have some big surprises for readers with this series! Here are a couple of sneak peeks: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/329430-smooth-talkin-cowboy and http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/337739-rough-ridin-cowboy
Give us some background on your DeVere series. Share your favorite scene. Who’s your favorite hero/heroine in this series?
My Devil DeVere series began as a single book with Ludovic DeVere as a secondary character. DeVere was a shameless rake who I intended as purely a foil for my noble hero Ned, but DeVere was larger than life and almost took over the story. The rest of the books evolved from there. DeVere plays an important role in all of them— even when he is in a secondary role.
Any advice for mastering the art of writing a series?
As I said, I am not a plotter by nature, but in series writing you do have to think ahead. It’s essential to introduce events and characters that you plan to use later.
What’s your personal favorite out of all the novels you’ve penned? Why?
I really can’t answer that as each one is so different in theme and tone and each holds a special place in my heart:
A Breach of Promise was my first steamy romance. It’s light and fluffy with very witty dialogue and great secondary characters (Marcus’ mother stands out).
The fifth book in the series, Jewel of the East coming early 2014, has a unique and romantic fairy tale quality that I think readers are going to love.
I also have a serious weakness for seemingly irredeemable heroes. Although DeVere is a shameless rake, by far the most dissolute hero I have ever written is Hadley Blanchard from Treacherous Temptations. I love the dark, almost gothic quality of this Georgian romance.
If I had to choose my favorite today, perhaps it would be The Sheik Retold. I adore the exotic setting, the excitement, the adventure, and the intensely passionate relationship that develops between Diana and her captor. It’s complex and hotter than the Sahara!
When did you first realize you were a sensation with readers?
When I started receiving rave reviews from people I know to be highly discriminating. In 2012 I received sixteen romance award nominations. Receiving the Library Journal Award for best E-book romance (The DeVere series) absolutely blew me away. I think that’s when I started feeling like I’m going to make it.
What’s your most successful marketing strategy?
Honestly, I’m still trying to figure it out! I try to write great books—the kind I would want to read. I also try to build strong enough relationships that people will want to read and review them.
What is the most romantic place you’ve ever been?
Venice, Italy in 1986. We stayed in a posh resort on the Lido di Venezia. It was magical.
Name your favorite real-life or fictional hero… How have they influenced your life?
I can’t think of a particular person who I hold above all others, but the qualities I most admire in any hero would be integrity, courage, and faithfulness.
Name your favorite books from childhood and adulthood.
Childhood – Black Beauty. Adulthood- I can’t name just one but I favor books that combine real history with adventure and romance such as Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Pamela Clare’s MacKinnon Rangers. It’s part of the reason I started the Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers Group and the subsequent book review blog- to promote the kinds of books I love best.
What’s your astrological sign? Do you fit the characteristics associated with it? How?
I’m a Virgo and almost stereotypical of this sign. The following is almost a perfect description of me: “Virgo exists in the mind, everything is inside. To the world, Virgo presents a calm and collected exterior but on the inside, nervous uncontrolled intensity in the mind, trying to figure things out, how to improve everything, analyzing and thinking. Virgo can tire itself out without even moving! Virgo has a constant drive to improve and perfect, this can lead to extreme pickiness and finickiest. They are pure, their motives are honest never malicious and they want to accomplish something. A Virgo woman may seem cold and detached, but underneath the timid, reserved surface lies the real woman, a strong, passionate woman with a great capacity for strong devoted love.” http://zodiac-signs-astrology.com/zodiac-signs/virgo.htm
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned from your journey as a writer?
To be thick skinned. As a child I was extremely sensitive and susceptible to criticism so learning to accept criticism that isn’t always constructive has been a real challenge. I know I will never be able to please everyone so I try to please myself. I always put my best effort into my work. It’s out of my hands after that.
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Actor/Actress: Actor is a tie between Viggo Mortensen and Richard Armitage. Actress would probably be Kate Blanchett
Favorite Movie: Last of the Mohicans
Favorite century and why?: 18th. I adore both the glitz and the naughtiness of the Georgians. Most of my historical romances have been set in this era and I have a blog dedicated to the Georgians. http://georgianjunkie.wordpress.com/ . My next favorite era is the 1920’s, the setting for The Sheik Retold.
Favorite Food: Anything Italian
Least favorite vegetable: Any kind of boiled greens.
First boyfriend/How old?/Why did you like him?: David Bush. I was six years old and he kissed me under a blanket. He later kissed my sister too so I broke up with him.
Describe yourself in 5 words: Introspective, compulsive, controlling, restless, and passionate.
I must include the cover and blurb for The Sheik Retold, which is the book that left me wanting more….
The Desert was Never Hotter!