Today I’d like to welcome Victoria Vane back to Reading Reality. Victoria is known as the “Queen of Georgian Romance”, but her new series takes place far away from what used to be her native habitat. Her new Hot Cowboy Nights is set in the contemporary American West, and it is off to a fine start. Just take a look at today’s review of Slow Hand to see just how fine a start!
But I wanted to hear from Victoria about how and why she decided to switch from opulent ballrooms to the wide-open range. so I had to ask, what made her turn to contemporary westerns after historicals and OMG DeVere? What kind of research (if any) did she have to do for Slow Hand?
Here’s her answer:
Hi Marlene! Thank you so much for having me today. It’s so great to be back with you again. It seems I have taken quite a few readers by surprise in leaping three centuries from Georgian rakehells to contemporary cowboys! Many people have asked why I decided to do this, so here is “the story” behind the stories.
Although I have established a fiercely loyal following with my Devil DeVere series, even after eleven published historicals, and a number of awards from reviewers, I have been unable to break out as a historical romance writer. The fact that my books get good reviews told me it wasn’t my writing, but perhaps I’d narrowed my audience too much by writing almost exclusively Georgian romances, (THE SHEIK RETOLD being the sole exception). Although the 18th century is my favorite historical era, it’s not all that popular with readers, but I just couldn’t see myself shifting to Regencies or Highlanders (although I don’t rule out anything anymore!)
One of my good friends who is an avid reader and reviewer, suggested I try writing a contemporary romance. Her argument was that there were far more contemporary readers compared to my beloved historicals, thus more opportunity. Although I knew she was right about the demographics, I immediately dismissed the idea, believing that I had totally the wrong writing voice for it.
But months later in growing frustration, I decided it was indeed time to try something new. For weeks she and I brainstormed ideas but nothing bore any fruit. I just couldn’t relate to the increasingly popular trope of corporate billionaires and virginal heroines, or the dark and angsty NA books. It just wasn’t me. I needed to find something that I could put my own unique spin on, an idea that would help me to stand out in a crowd of talented authors.
Since most romance readers gravitate to certain kinds of heroes, I started looking at what readers like best. I also thought about what heroes I was most attracted to. The answer was a no brainer- cowboys. I’ve loved them my entire life. I’d just never thought to write about them. While I still believed my writing voice would be an obstacle, I was willing to give it a try.
Once I settled on a hero archetype, my next hurdle was finding my story.
They always say to write what you know, so for the first time I began digging into my own life and the events and experiences that have shaped me, experiences that I thought readers might be able to relate to.
One of the most traumatic moments in my entire life involved the death of a loved one. I still vividly recall my hysterical breakdown at Newark airport when bad weather caused me to miss a connection on the way to my father’s funeral. I had literally sprinted through the airport only to arrive at the gate just as the plane was rolling away from the jetway. I stood there numbly watching it, knowing I’d never have closure. (This memory still brings a lump to my throat). Then I suddenly lost it. I went into a near hysterical meltdown and was so distraught that they actually brought the plane back to the gate for me! Suddenly, both Nikki’s character and the seeds of a story implanted in my mind.
By choosing something close to my own heart, I found the words hit the page with an ease that I never could have anticipated. To my shock I had found my story and discovered a new voice.
While SLOW HAND is a fun and flirty story, it is also partly biographical in that many of my own life experiences crept into it. This even includes the cowboy! (Wade Knowlton is named after my first girlhood cowboy crush.)
While cowboy romances are certainly nothing new to readers, each of my stories has a unique tone and theme. In all four books (SLOW HAND, ROUGH RIDER, SHARP SHOOTER and SILVER TONGUE) my heroes are modern day cowboys facing very real and relatable struggles. Wade (SLOW HAND) is burning the candle at both ends between a rural law practice and a struggling family ranch. His brother Dirk (ROUGH RIDER) is a former bull rider, rancher and wounded vet. Reid (SHARP SHOOTER) is also a vet, a marine and backcountry hunting guide. Keith (SILVER TONGUE) is a Native American struggling between two vastly different worlds. These stories are all hot and sexy but still have well-developed plots and emotional depth.
Although this new endeavor marks a distinct departure from historical romance, readers will find that my trademarks still remain—well-researched, scorching hot, emotionally compelling, character-driven stories.
Victoria Vane is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her collective works of fiction range from historical to contemporary settings and include everything from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Her biggest writing influences are Georgette Heyer, Robin Schone, and Sylvia Day. Victoria is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. Look for her sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming from Sourcebooks in 2014.
For all of us booklovers out there, Victoria is giving away five beautiful handmade bookmarks.
a Rafflecopter giveaway