Welcome Victoria Vane to Coffee Time Romance & More’s Interview Hot Seat. Grab yourself some of our magic brew and get ready to tell us everything…
Thank you so much for the warm welcome, Suspektme!
First of all, I am delighted beyond words to see you here and excited to discover more about you and your wonderful work. In fact, I’m smiling as I’m preparing this as there is such charismatic energy and fun in your work, just reading any of your, blurbs, excerpts, and review ratings are a charge.
*rubbing hands together*
Let’s begin with a few questions about The Devil DeVere and then we’ll get a little more personal. Please don’t feel you have to answer everything, just what you feel comfortable with.
Did you ever expect your books to be so popular and receive such great reader response when you first started writing?
Did I expect? No. Did I hope? Absolutely!
I think every writer dreams that their work will find an appreciative audience, but sometimes it’s just a matter of striking the right chord at the right time. The Devil DeVere series seems to have done just that. The readers have been struck by the originality of the series, as well as by the amount of story and character development that I have packed into each novella, and fans of the series are ravenous for more!
Can you introduce us to your hero and heroine in The Devil Devere? What makes them tick?
The Devil DeVere series is comprised of four novellas featuring six characters:
In A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE, the hero is Sir Edward “Ned” Chambers, a grieving widowing who has lived three years in self-imposed celibacy and Phoebe Scott, stage alias Kitty Willis, a struggling actress in need of a protector. The third main character is Ned’s best friend the meddlesome and machinating “Devil” DeVere who features prominently in every story.
In THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS, the hero is DeVere’s younger brother, the world weary and battle scarred Captain Hew. who is noble and upright and his brother’s opposite in every way.The heroine of the story is Ned Chamber’s 18-year-old daughter Vesta, spoiled and willful but passionate and full of life. She is the perfect cure for Hew who seems to be growing old and staid before his time.
THE DEVIL YOU KNOW and THE DEVIL’S MATCH both feature DeVere and Diana, two deeply caring and passionate people who never show their true faces to the world. Theirs is a highly complex story that took two books to tell. While Diana and DeVere do NOT find their happily ever after in TDYK, I could not do them justice by telling their history as backstory. Instead, I chose to write two books.
What character in your books do you relate to the most?
I relate well to both Vesta and Diana. Vesta is reckless and impetuous and gets into some pretty madcap escapades. I confess I was much the same at her age! (For example, at age 17 while an exchange student in Finland, I hitch-hiked to the arctic circle . It was December!) In my maturity, I relate very much more to Diana, a woman who cares about those close to her and tries to do the right thing at all times, although Diana lives in a time that is highly restrictive to women.
Are any of your own fantasies in The Devil DeVere?
Absolutely! But I will never confess which ones!
What can readers expect with respect to sexual content and sensuality?
My work as Victoria Vane is highly sensual/erotic but NOT erotica as all of the love scenes between the h/h occur as part of the developing romantic relationship. The scenes of intimacy are used to advance both the relationship and the plot and are even used to reinforce the “theme” of each novella. To explain, A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE is a very over-the-top story in which “fantasy” play a great part. Phoebe is an actress who adopts the role of her stage persona when she seeks a protector. The event at which she meets Ned and DeVere is also a fantasy reinactment of the Otahetian Fertility Rites at a high end brothel. The night ends with a wager that puts Ned and Phoebe together in the king’s bedchamber at St. James Palace in which they also engage in some sexual fantasy play. It’s all very light-hearted fun.
THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS, however, has a very innocent tone even in regard to the sensuality. There is only one love scene and while it is incredibly hot, it’s also sweet at the same time as befits the characters and the scenario.
The scenes between DeVere and Diana are the most passionate and erotic, again as befits the characters and story. DeVere is a master of seduction but Diana fights him every step of the way but when she finally gives in to him, their connection is positively explosive!
Mini-excerpts from THE DEVIL YOU KNOW:
For a woman who took pride in her self-possession, Diana was strangely discomposed when he raised her fingers to his lips, his thumb skillfully settling on the bare expanse of skin just above her glove, setting her pulse skittering.
"Baroness." The timbre of his voice, the curve of his lips, was fraught with meaning, sending a jolt of heat to a place low in her belly. He gave a shallow bow that set his gaze on a horizontal plane with her breasts and lingered there much longer than proper, his eyes flickering like a blue flame. Her nipples tightened, contracting against her layers of muslin and silk, sending a tiny tremor rippling over her. Without having uttered a word beyond her name, the portentous weight of an indecent proposition hung between them.
She wanted him too. He could see it in the rapid rise of her breasts. He could smell her budding arousal and would relish bringing her to full bloom. God, how he loved this dance! She had taken the first tentative steps, yet she still fought her desire, refused to give in to it, but he would lead her now. He was a master…and a ruthless bastard. He moved behind her, his fingers riffled gently through her hair. He closed his eyes to inhale her faint rose scent mixed with womanly musk. He dipped his head, letting his breath tickle her ear. She shivered. He whispered low and sultry. "Do you wish me to name the ways I can please you? I am delighted to comply if that excites you...although it would please me far more to demonstrate."
The Devil DeVere is part of a series, can you elaborate on that?
The Devil DeVere is the series name. It is comprised of four novellas that link together to read much like a serial novella. The book MUST be read in order.
Out of the series, who is your hottest hero and why?
I love them all but DeVere is one in a million. His character is just so larger than life! He is, in a word, UNFORGETTABLE!
DeVere's namesake series began as a single novella that I dreamed up after watching the 2009 movie THE HANGOVER. I couldn’t help thinking how fun it would be to put a historical romance spin on the story. Then I started to think about the characters. Since this was to be my first effort at comedy, I knew I needed a strong and heroic “straight man” who would also be the romantic hero, but I also needed a foil, a debauched sidekick.
Problem was, the sidekick, Viscount Ludovic DeVere nearly stole the show. His character was so bigger than life that I knew I couldn’t end with just one story. So one became two and then three and four all because of the Devil DeVere. Indeed, his own story is so complex that it took two books to tell (THE DEVIL YOU KNOW and THE DEVIL’S MATCH).
Can we find humor in The Devil DeVere?
Lordy yes! The first two titles are both comedies with AWNB being of a more ribald variety. And while the next books are not comic at all, DeVere’s devilish humor and quick wit still shine throughout.
From A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE:
“Ned looked to DeVere. "You are the master of mayhem. Any brilliant ideas?"
"If we want him to leave the gate, we must provide proper motivation," DeVere answered.
"Such as?" Phoebe prompted.
"Let us keep to the basics, my pet. Men are primarily moved by only two things. If we cannot tempt the one, it must be the other."
Ned glared. "What are you suggesting?"
"Our little chambermaid can take the blighter off by offering him a hand job."
"The hell she will!" Ned barked before Phoebe could answer for herself. "Think of something else!"
"Come now, Ned. She'll be well compensated for her trouble. He laughed. "Hell, for a thousand, I might be tempted to do it myself."
From A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE:
“What is your name, my pet?"
"Kitty," she replied.
DeVere threw back his head with a guffaw. "Kitty? How delightfully apropos!" His erstwhile companions forgotten, he patted a muscular thigh.
"Come then, Kitty, my sweet, little puss. Sit on your master's lap, and I'll stroke you 'till you purr." --A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE”
From THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS:
"Does this happen regularly then?"
"Yes. It is common for a man to awaken thus."
"May I touch it?" she asked.
"Bloody hell! he cried. "No! You may not touch it."
"But I know how. I saw you only yesterday. Is that what you do to make it go away?"
"It is one of several methods," he replied. "The other is to just ignore it."
"But it is so large and swollen, is it painful?
"No, just uncomfortable. Now, may we stop discussing my …" the appropriate word for feminine ears failed him.
"Phallus?" she offered. "That is what the grooms call it."
"Why are you eavesdropping on grooms?"
"I used to watch the stallions leaping the mares?"
"You what!" Hew almost choked.
"Well, how else is a girl with no mother supposed to get any education? Although I doubt Mama would have told me very much. So there's really no reason to be timid, Hew. I already know all about the mating process. And to the best of my knowledge, the stallions never 'ignored it until it went away.' Please feel free to relieve yourself of it. I would even help you if you would like. I'm not the least afraid for I have seen much larger ones."
Okay…now let’s ask some questions about Victoria Vane
What's the strangest inspiration you ever got for a story idea?
It would have to be for A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE because I didn't know I was funny! Truth be told, I can't even tell a joke. I screw up the punch line every time! I never could have imagined writing comedy but the first two stories in this series are very funny!
Were you an avid reader before you began to write?
Yes. I was a book worm from a very early age. I spend prodigious amounts of time with my nose in a book form about the age of eight.
What do you look for in a good novel? Which genre are you personally drawn to?
I love a combination of history and romance, but REAL history, not just books that play dress up. Two years ago I started a Goodreads group called Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers in order to seek out like-minded readers. We have grown to 1,100 members and now even have out own book review blog.
I enjoy stories in all the historical sub-genres (time travel, romancti suspence, action/adventure, etc.. ) and with all heat levels from the sweet to the erotic, but the story must always come first.
Have you ever had to start a book all over again after you are almost complete?
Unfortunately yes! It happened with the manuscript I just completed. I was over two thirds finished and it was just NOT working. I could not progress with the story no matter how hard I tried, so I went back to the beginning and started reading and cutting. I cut 4,000 words! Not good when the deadline is approaching but it was what I had to do to move forward again. It was like a thorough house cleaning and the manuscript was much improved for it.
What do you do when the characters "tell" you to change the storyline?
I write what they tell me! ALWAYS! While I always begin with a vague outline of my story, I am not a plotter. My characters always dictate the story to me and I often have to make big changes because of it. But it is THEIR story after all !
Do you like your books/stories when the are finished or are you overly critical of your own writing?
I am extremely critical of my own writing, and generally go through a stage where I hate my story before I can love it again. Having said that, if I don't love it, then I certainly can't expect anyone else to! And wouldn't want anyone else to read it. While I don't expect everyone to gush over my work, I still need to feel that it was good and deserved publication.
You are called upon, at a school, to tell those interested in becoming an author, all the ins and outs of good writing skills and getting published. Name three important elements in writing, publishing and promoting that you would give them.
Always give 110% to your work and don't ever dismiss constructive criticism. That does not mean you have to take everyone's advice but at least consider it.
Secondly, never give up if you believe in your work. I have sold three manuscripts that my agent didn't believe in but I did. One of those was A BREACH OF PROMISE and another was A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE. Both are doing quite well, thank you very much!
Lastly, to be a good write you must never be too afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Three years ago I cut the first love scene I ever wrote because it was crap! Now I write erotic romance. It was not comfortable for me but I worked at it.
If you could make your story three dimensional, which sense would you bring into play? Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell, or Taste?
Sound. Every story should have a soundtrack. That's what struck me first about my booktrailer- I loved the music! It's fun and exciting.
Link to trailer: http://youtu.be/LrOuTtsByf8
A question we always ask our guest because it just makes our Web Mistress so happy, what is your favorite brew? What brew best matches your personality and why?
I LOVE coffee but don't like it sweet or flavored. I usually buy Eight O'Clock whole bean, grind it fresh, and drink it strong. I guess that's me – fresh and strong!
Thank you so much for visiting us here at Coffee Time Romance & More. We know your readers will absolutely adore hearing your answers and we hope to see you back soon.