Welcome, Collette Cameron, author of The Viscount's Vow, a historical romance, published by Soul Mate Publishing.
Bio: Collette Cameron, a Pacific Northwest native, was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast, which to this day, continues to remain one of her favorite retreats. If you've ever lived near the ocean, you understand the irresistible, captivating draw of the sea! An enthusiast of times gone by, Collette currently writes Regency historical romance.
A lifelong resident of small towns, she's also been known to venture to parts of Europe. Her favorite destinations? England and France of course! There she can indulge her passion for exploring opulent manors and centuries old castles, in addition to scrutinizing anything even remotely related to the Georgian, Regency or Victorian eras!
Her Victorian farmhouse and profusion of gardens—English, butterfly, rock, and water— are all testaments to her ongoing love affair with flowers, lace, songbirds, birdhouses, rocks, and of course—teacups! Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette graduated summa cum laude from Oregon State University, has a Master's degree in teaching, and is member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, Celtic Hearts, Heart Through History, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc.
Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, Cadbury Milk Chocolates, inspirational quotes, and scented candles; especially lavender and vanilla. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds complete her life quite nicely!
When she's not teaching or writing, Collette enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, or salmon fishing on the Columbia River.
Here's a blurb from The Viscount's Vow:
Part Romani, English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.
When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.
At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.
What jumped out at me about The Viscount's Vow is the fabulous way you used period language. How did you prepare to write a historical romance? Have historical always been your favorites?
Historical romances have always been my genre of choice for reading; so when I decided to write a romance, historicals seemed to be the natural choice. My students think it’s because I’m so old, and I used to live during that time. Hey, they’re in elementary school!
As far as preparation, I do tons of research, and I have a few critique partners that are experts on the period I write in. I kept trying to use the word poppycock (I love the way it sounds) but ...sigh...it wasn’t used until later than the Regency era.
That’s the hard part about writing authentic period language. Many words and terms we use today weren’t use in the same context back then. For instance, money, meant...ahem...well, a little girl’s, er... private parts.
But they had lovely terms like taradiddle, bumblebroth, and fustain.
And those are fun words, ones we don't have in the U.S.
That’s true and so is the reverse. I’ve wanted to use terms that are just to Americanized for authentic British speaking.
Birds, butterflies and roses are predominate in The Viscount's Vow. Did you do research on them?
You bet, and I still messed up.
I tried to put a hummingbird outside the window Vangie is looking out right after she’s told she has to marry Ian. Small problem; there are no hummingbirds in England. (Again, credit goes to one of my fabulous critique partners.)
Solution? I used a hummingbird moth. Never heard of them before but, boy do they look like a hummingbird.
I’m an avid gardener and birder so I always include both in my writing. To find species native to England in the early 1800s was a bit tricky at times. Most readers wouldn’t know the difference, but there are those that do and they want authenticity. You have to get the seasons right too. Peonies don’t bloom in August and many species of birds migrate.
Oh my! I had no idea there are no hummingbirds in England. And I will certainly have to look up what a hummingbird moth looks like.
The Roma are featured in The Viscount's Vow. What made you want to include this culture in your book?
I actually had the idea to include a gypsy factor in The Viscount’s Vow when I was writing my first book, Highlander’s Hope. The heroine, Yvette, is Vangie’s cousin. I wanted an element about her heritage that elite society would frown upon.
I just developed the theme further, actually much further, than I’d originally intended because I fell in love with the Roma.
Vangie and Ian about drove me bonkers, demanding I write their story before I was done with Highlander’s Hope.
My characters aren’t patient with me.
That's too funny. And I love it when a character speaks to me. Kudos to you for including the Roma in a story.
You have some fabulous quotes: "Vengeance isn't sweet," "The droppings of the flying bird never fall twice on the same spot," "It is easier to milk a cow that stands still," "You cannot walk straight when the road is bent," "Beauty cannot be eaten with a spoon," "He who covets and forgives an offense seeks love," "A lying tongue lasts only a moment, hot truthful lips endure forever," "Man thinks he knows what's best, but really only God knows," " No matter what trials life brings, do not harden your heart," " Love was indeed hazardous," "Without wood, the fire would die."
From where do these tidbits come from?
Several of the quotes you listed above are Romani quotes I discovered while doing my research. For instance, “The droppings of the flying bird never fall twice on the same spot,” and “Beauty cannot be eaten with a spoon” are both Roma sayings.
Others, like “He who covets and forgives an offense seeks love,” and the lying tongue one are taken from the Bible. I looked up scriptures that had the essence of what I wanted to say, then phrased them to fit with the storyline.
There are a few that are my own. The opening line, “Vengeance isn’t sweet,” “No matter what trials life bring you, do not harden your heart,” and “Love was indeed hazardous,” are mine.
Good job. The vengeance quote reminded me of one from the Trixie Belden mysteries: "Revenge is sweet, saccharine sweet."
How did you get from a teaching career to writing historical romance?
When my youngest son was in the 8th grade, I went back to college and got my bachelor’s and a Master’s in Teaching in 3 ½ years. (I wouldn’t recommend that without copious amounts of coffee and chocolate!)
I thought I wanted to teach full-time, but found I enjoyed subbing so much, I opted to do that instead. The district I work for used me for long-term sub jobs. But after I took up writing in 2011, I found I liked it more than teaching.
Shhh, don’t tell anyone!
I won't. VBG.
So, l decided this year to only substitute very part-time and devote the rest of my time to writing. Thank goodness I have a supportive hubby. All it took was me hinting he might have to give up his hunting and fishing if I couldn’t pursue my dream...
Don't you love those hubbies? Now, down to the nitty gritty of writing. What is the hardest part --drafting, editing, research, or marketing? Why?
Sigh...I don’t like marketing.
So many of us authors say this.
I’m not a pushy person, and it makes me very uncomfortable promoting myself. Besides, in the beginning, I didn’t have a clue what to do.
Okay, I still don’t.
I had an author friend ask me at our local RWA meeting last weekend what my secret was for marketing. I was honest. “No idea!” I said.
I really have no idea what has worked and what hasn’t.
Keeping my fingers crossed that someday I can hire someone to do the marketing for me.
What is your newest project? Anything else you want to share?
I just finished The Earl’s Enticement, the third book in the trilogy, and I’ve started a fourth book. I have another that’s bugging me to write it, so I may try writing two books at once this time.
That's exciting and you seem to have a good track record with the characters begging for their story; so go for it!
Let's do a speed round:
Favorite color: cobalt blue
Favorite drink: strawberry daiquiri
Favorite movie: Don’t have one. Sorry!
Favorite accessory: Jewelry!
Thank you, Collette, for being with Coffeetime and me. I wish you much success.
You are so welcome! Thanks for having me.
Connect online with Collette at:
Website Blog Facebook Twitter
You can find her at Goodreads, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Wordpress, and Pinterest too. The links are on her blog and website.
Find The Viscount's Vow