SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA ALEXANDER
Victoria Alexander is the New York best selling author of multiple historical romances. Her engaging characters and heartwarming stories have charmed readers everywhere!
This month she has a new romance coming out called The Importance of Being Wicked. I ever so excited to discover that I would have the chance to ask her all about it!!
1) Can you tell us how you got started writing?
Victoria Alexander: My first career was as a television reporter so I've always written in one form or another. I've always been a voracious reader—mostly of popular fiction. While my writing background is in nonfiction, I love writing fiction even though I do think it's much harder. In nonfiction the facts are the facts and they can't be changed. But in fiction, at the end of a story or a book, everything needs to make sense. Nothing makes sense in the real world.
2) I love your Regency romances! What do you like about writing historical romance particularly this period? Why do you think this period is so popular with readers?
Victoria Alexander: Honestly, I like all of the 19th century from the Regency to the turn of the 20th century. I like the clothes and the manners and the fact that there's a war going on (lot's of potential for fabulous heroes and great stories there!) during the Regency years. And I love the progress that's happening later in the century with inventions and discoveries. I think its popularity with readers is one of the same reasons why I like writing in the 19th century so much. It's far enough away in time to be romantic and close enough that we can relate to it.
4) Hmm… that makes sense. I have always been a bit confused, what are the differences in writing a Regency versus Victorian Era romance? Are there any differences?!
Victoria Alexander: I have always thought that no matter what period you were writing in, the reactions and emotions of people were pretty much the same. People have always wanted to find love. But the setting around those characters is what makes the difference between writing a Regency versus a Victorian. And obviously the world around them affects their attitudes. Activities that would have been considered scandalous at the beginning of the century were nothing out of the ordinary at the end. Imagine the reaction of a proper Regency miss from 1805 to the sight of a lady on a bicycle in 1895. Shocking!
The Regency is loosely considered the first 20 years of the 19th century (although technically it was only from 1811 to 1920). It's very much the last moments of a way of life that had been unchanged for centuries. After the Regency, the 19th century was a time of almost constant change. As the world progressed through the 1800's it ran into the Industrial Revolution and inventions and discoveries that most people had never dreamed of. Progress, I think, is one of the biggest differences between Regency and Victorian era romances. And along with progress came changes in attitudes. You have to remember too that the Victorian period ran from 1837 to 1901. There was a lot going on.
At the beginning of the 19th century it took days in a carriage to reach places you could get to in a matter of hours by train at the end of the century. In 1800, your only means of sending a message was in person or by note. In 1900, you could make a telephone call. For a writer, the difference between writing in the Regency period and writing a Victorian set novel means my characters can send a telegram before taking off in their horseless carriages. J
4) Wow! Thanks for you insights. Speaking of which, in your latest Victorian set romance called The Importance of Being Wicked, the hero is a Viscount in need of a bride. Can you tell us more about him? What makes him so special?
Victoria Alexander: Winfield Elliott, Lord Stillwell, has been engaged three times without making it to the altar. He is an unusual hero in that he is interested in marriage not just as part of his responsibility toward his family. He would like to find that perfect wife and he'd very much like to fall in love. He has a rather wicked reputation, due to a fun filled youth and thanks in part to those three engagements. (After all, what kind of man is been engaged three times without making it to the altar?) He's also funny and charming in the kind of way that makes you want to know more about those failed engagements. What was wrong with those women?
5) I know it is hard to play favorites but of all your books do you have a particular hero or heroine who is close to your heart? Can you tell us why?
Victoria Alexander: Right now I have to say Winfield Elliott. He appeared in What Happens at Christmas as a minor character and tried to take over the entire book. While I didn't have any plans when he first popped up, ultimately I knew I had to write more about him. I really haven't had a lot of characters who've done that to me. He was very insistent and I have to admit I hate saying goodbye to him. You know, if I could meet one of my characters in real life, I think I'd pick him. But his story is over, I gave him his happily ever after and really can anyone ask for more than that?
6) What is one quality that you feel is essential to try to give all your characters in your books? Do you ever base them on real characters?
Victoria Alexander: I've tried to base characters on real people but they change and grow so much, they take on a life of their own. In the end, they bear no resemblance to who I modeled them after. Which is probably a good thing. J
I'm not sure I can narrow down essential qualities to just one but I can do two. Ultimately, my characters have to have a sense of honor and a sense of humor. I think it's hard to find truly honorable people today in real life. Or maybe it's just the world we live in where honor is not something talked about or expected or obvious although I do think it exists.
As for a sense of humor, in fiction and in real life, if a character—especially a man—can't see the humor in life, can't laugh at his mistakes, he's not the kind of guy I want in my real or fictional worlds. My husband has a great sense of humor. He thinks it's funny that I have a dead husband named after him in nearly every book. J
7) I really enjoy your Christmas romances. Do you plan to write more?!
Victoria Alexander: I love writing Christmas books and I do want to write more. I have a couple of ideas but nothing definite at the moment.
8) I look forward to them coming out soon! What new characters do have planned in future books? Are you even tempted to return to old characters and write more about them? Perhaps in a Christmas anthology?!
Victoria Alexander: The Importance of Being Wicked is really the first of my Millworth Manor books (although What Happens at Christmas was set at Millworth). For the first time I'm setting a series around a place rather than a family. I love it! It's opened up a whole new world of possibilities for stories. I can have Millworth change hands or be rented out. I already have books in the works centering around a wedding at the manor, and questions of inheritance. I'm going to bring in more American characters and slowly move Millworth forward in time. Maybe even to the turn of the century and beyond. It's going to be fun. J
Sometimes I am tempted to return to old characters but not to main characters. I figure they've had their story. But I have a lot of secondary characters that I would like to go back and explore. And a Christmas anthology with some of them is a wonderful idea. Thanks!
9) I have to confess to loving time travel romances. I loved your book, Yesterday and Forever. Will you ever write another time travel romance? If time travel were possible, would you live in the past?!
Victoria Alexander: No, I wouldn't live in the past. I am far too used to the comforts of modern life. And as much as I love Victorian fashions, actually wearing them on a daily basis would be way too much trouble! But I would like to visit. So if the opportunity to spend a vacation in 1895 came along, I'd jump at it.
I do have a time travel I've been wanting to write for years. Whether I ever do it or not is another question. We shall see. J
10) Ohhh! I really hope you get it published, I will be first in line. Your books have given me so many untold hours of reading pleasure. This has been such an honor. Thank you for your gracious time answering my questions!
Victoria Alexander: Thank you, Steph. You had some tough, well thought out questions. And I'm so glad you enjoy my books. That keeps me going! Take care.
Interviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
For Additional Information about Victoria Alexander check her out at:
Recent and Upcoming Romances by Victoria Alexander
The Importance of Being Wicked –Feb. 2013
The Importance of Being Wicked is a dazzling novel, set in Victorian England, at a country estate where love is always at home…it’s the perfect setting for a properly wicked seduction. Winfield Elliot, Viscount Stillwell, needs to find a bride, and has broken three engagements already. His real passion is his family’s fire-damaged country house, which he is trying to restore and renovate. The firm he hires to repair the house send a very desirable widow to represent them. Lady Miranda Garrett finds Win totally irresistible when she resides at his home to oversee the work being done there. Win occupies her days, her thoughts, and her dreams…and eventually her bed. Finally, the wickied Win has fallen in love; and what began as a scandalous proposition becomes a proposal.
Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements -ebook Nov. 2012
We first met Winfield Elliott, Lord Stillwell, in What Happens at Christmas.
His lordship is looking for the perfect bride. And indeed, he truly believes he has found her. Each and every time.
Now learn the real story behind…
What Happens at Christmas -Oct. 2012
Camille, Lady Lydingham, knows precisely what she wants for Christmas—an official engagement to a handsome, dashing prince. Her very proper suitor expects a proper English family and the perfect Dickensian Christmas, which leaves the lovely widow with a slight problem. The last thing Camille wants is for the prince to meet her unconventional relatives. But with the aid of a troupe of actors, Camille intends to pull off a Christmas deception of massive proportions.
At least until Grayson Elliott shows up. A dozen years ago, he declared his love on the day before her marriage to another man, then vanished from her life. Now he’s back, gate-crashing Camille’ s already chaotic house party, playing havoc with her scheme—and with her heart. Because for Grayson, losing Camille once was bad enough. Losing her twice? Unthinkable. And he’ll find a way to show her they belong together—for this season and every Christmas yet to come…
My Wicked Little Lies -Feb. 2012
Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all—a genteel Victoria life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once “Eve”, a spy for England’s most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss “Sir” prove too tempting . . .
Adrian Hadley Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives. Secrets that have a price. Now, as the veil of secrecy frays, a tantalizing game of cat and mouse will test the bounds of unfailing love . . .
His Mistress by Christmas -Sept. 2011
For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow—and thoroughly independent. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him.
Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks-if his family deems him responsible enough. There’s no better way to prove his worthiness than with a home and a wife. But though the lovely Veronica will share his bed, she steadfastly refuses to marry.
But Sebastian has never been one to take no for an answer. Not when it comes to something he wants. And an intimate Christmas sojourn at his new country house will surely change Veronica’s mind. But he doesn’t count on unexpected visitors, meddling relatives and a few innocent deceptions gone horribly awry.
Still, and one way or another, this will be a Christmas to remember.