1) Why Romance? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
Because I love it. And it never really occurred to me to write anything different, especially historical romance. I grew up reading Georgette Heyer, Victoria Holt, and Mary Stewart. Those books introduced to me an exciting world with strong heroines, complicated and interesting men, and (to me) exotic settings. What’s not to love?
2) Is there a romance author, living or dead, who inspires you particularly?
There are a lot of romance writers who inspire me, but I guess the one I most revere is Georgette Heyer. Her fantastic Regency and historical novels set many romance writers on the paths they tread today. I was one of those writers.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My latest release is My Favorite Countess, a Regency-set historical romance that features a strong and sometimes stubborn heroine, and one of my favorite heroes. This book was a little outside the box for me: Bathsheba, the heroine, was actually the villainess in my second book, Sex And The Single Earl. But she was a fascinating character and I wanted to develop a story around her – what could possibly motivate her to act so badly, and yet still serve as the means of her redemption in her own book? Bathsheba is a bit of a bad girl, and I thought it would be fun to reform her. Novelists are always reforming bad boys, but very rarely do they reform bad girls. To help with that mission, I paired her with a strong man who is very dedicated to helping those in need. John Blackmore is actually the Regency equivalent of an OB/GYN, which was a really interesting profession to research and write about. Of course, I have all the things I love about historical romance in My Favorite Countess, including lots of passion and romance!
My next book, His Mistletoe Bride, comes out in Oct. 2012. As you can surmise, it’s a Christmas book! It’s a bit lighter in tone than my other books – I wanted to make it something really fun and perfect for the Christmas season. I so enjoyed writing it. I’ll also have some digital books coming out in the next six months, both as Vanessa Kelly and under my VK Sykes pen name. The VK Sykes books are contemporary romances and romantic suspense stories that I write with my husband.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
I was extremely fortunate in that I was only writing for about two years before I found an agent and got published. I don’t think it’s ever truly easy, though, no matter what stage you’re at with your writing. Being published simply presents a different set of challenges.
5) What’s your opinion about this Ebook revolution? Would you consider the indie route?
I have mixed feelings. It’s great for readers and it’s great for writers too, but I lament the decline of print publishing. The vast majority of readers still prefer print, and it’s getting harder and harder for them to find the books they love. If you’re a mid-list author, you can pretty much expect to be squeezed out of bookstores these days.
I have already taken the Indie route, and love it. I can now take books that didn’t fit with a traditional publisher, and by-pass them and go directly to the readers. That’s kind of scary but it’s also exciting. It’s great to have complete control of the process from beginning to end, something which most authors do not have with traditional publishing.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use Social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
I enjoy interacting with readers and other writers on social media, and it can definitely help you reach your audience. But it can be a huge time suck and it’s no substitute for writing a good book. The book always has to come first if you want to get anywhere.
Info about the author:
Vanessa Kelly is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra. Named by Booklist as one of the “new stars of historical romance,” she recently received the Maggie Award for her second book, Sex And The Single Earl. When Vanessa is not tooling around in her Regency phaeton, she’s writing contemporary romance and romantic suspense with her husband under the pen name of VK Sykes. You can find her on the web at: www.vanessakellyauthor.com or www.vksykes.com
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: