#AuThursday – Beverley Oakley

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I was born in the tiny African mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, which is land-locked by South Africa. When I was small I emigrated with my family to South Australia where we built a two-story mud brick home and planted 25,000 trees in the wine-producing Clare Valley before I returned to Africa in my 20’s – this time to Botswana’s Okavango Delta – to manage a safari lodge. There I met and married a handsome Norwegian bush pilot who took me to live and work in 12 countries before we settled, a few years ago, in Melbourne, Victoria.

I write fulltime in between teaching creative writing interspersed with communications and marketing contracts, mainly for the Victorian government.

How do you make time to write?

I have to work hard at the discipline. When I was writing for traditional publishers I was given deadlines but now that I self publish, mostly, I have to make my own deadlines. Often that’s locking myself into a pre-order which usually ends with me burning the candle at both ends – such as now when trying to finish my work in progress, Devil’s Run. I still have at least 10,000 words to write in less than a week!

What genre are your books?

I used to call them straight historical Regencies or Victorian-set romances. Now, however, I find that there are multiple layers of plot and either mystery and intrigue with, quite often, a lovely, honourable hero and a heroine who has a blemished past or who is spoiled or needs redeeming in some way. I don’t consciously set out to write noble heroes and heroines in need of redeeming with either a wicked villain or a vain anti-heroine in the wings, but there’s often a version of that set-up.

So my books aren’t for readers who like a straight, sweet and uncomplicated historical. My biggest series – Daughters of Sin – is like a Regency-set soap opera with four different sisters – 2 illegitimate, 2 nobly born – lots of rivalry, double-dealing, mystery, a wicked rake being pursued for traitorous activities, and so on. I recently wound up the series with book 5, Lady Unveiled: the Cuckold’s Conspiracy, but intend to do a spin-off series of the various children – legitimate, illegitimate, secret, swapped and stolen – who have resulted from the five books in this series.

What draws you to this genre?

The inequalities between genders and the social divide, as well as the clothes and the manners. There’s so much scope for desperation to override good judgement and other rich plot possibilities when there’s not the social safety net that we take for granted today where no one starves and or doesn’t get treated at a hospital. (At least, that’s the case where I live in Australia so I let my imagination take me to another century when people couldn’t take health and not starving for granted.)

What are your current projects?

I’m nearly finished book 3 in my Beautiful Brazen Brightwell series. It’s called Devil’s Run about a young woman whose dying aunt may or may not leave her a fortune so she makes a wager to marry this betting man, both of them having very different motivations for wanting the marriage to go ahead (all about a horse) except that love gets in the way.

Are you an Introvert or Extravert?

Introvert.  How does this affect your work? I’ve forced myself to do author talks and, as I love making historical costumes, it’s less intimating to do an author talk dressed in a 1780s polonaise as I can then pretend I’m someone else.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Porridge to get me going for breakfast, a glass of wine to spur me on after dinner and sometimes chocolate in between. I have very different writing schedules and as my husband is away in Singapore for six weeks at the moment and I’m between government contracts (plus it’s school holidays) I can write around the clock if I want – and as my next deadline draws near I have in fact got to work after waking at 4am.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Never give up.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

www.beverleyoakley.com

Do you have a sexy excerpt you’d like to share with us?

I just grabbed this paragraph from my unfinished work in progress, Devil’s Run:

Perhaps in the glow of moonlight he saw the spark in her eye that reflected his own feelings. Whatever it was, something in his expression flared. There was a split second of arrested awareness before a subtle shifting in the mood between them, then the sharp excitement of melding bodies, arms entwined and mouths unexpectedly fused in a kiss. The jolt of something come to life within her sent Eliza into the abyss, her mind a mass of coalescing thoughts, her body a jumble of nerve endings.

Thanks so much for having me, Tina.

You are welcome Beverley!   Join me on Saturday when we read a post for Beverley’s Blog Tour! 

Banner The Duchess and the Highwayman

This interview was scheduled by: 

 

AuThursday – Miguelina Perez

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Originally born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I first discover romance reading during my years in High School. I discovered Barbara Cartland, then Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. I was hooked. From there I went to Harlequins. Back then they were clean which is what I was allowed to read. I move to the Washington, DC area back in 1985. Moved around a couple of times; including a stint in Texas for three years before coming back here. I used to have these little stories form in my head, but never knew what to do with them. Until one day I started hearing authors talking about the stories within them wanting to be written, I realized that I had been experiencing the same thing since I was very young. One written line led to another and then another line till I had a completed novel. I began with poems, prose and then short stories. By then I was confident I could write a full-length novel. Hence the Vicar’s Deadly Sin was born.

I am also the coordinator for the Lady Jane’s Salon Silver Spring. A gathering that takes place 8 times of the year where I invite local romance authors to read from their latest releases. We meet at the La Madeline’s in Bethesda, Maryland. It is my hope to connect readers and writers. Right now it is on hiatus but I hope to bring it back soon. I need to work on a way to bring readers in. So when not working, I am writing and doing anything that involves the writing romance world.

Which writers inspire you?

I love Nora Roberts and was honored to have met her twice at a picnic in her home. I have come meet some real talented and gifted ladies in my journeys to authorhood that have inspired me: Sally MacKenzie, Leigh Duncan, Mary Behre, Harper Kincaid, Ingrid Hahn, TW Knight…I can go on and on. I have been very fortunate.

So, what have you written? 

I have an anthology out called Pieces of Me, these contain short stories, prose, poems and essays. My romance regency mystery is now out called The Vicar’s Deadly Sin.

What genre are your books?

Right now VDS is a Regency romance mystery. It is called The Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard Mystery, Book 1 of the Seven Deadly Sins series.

What are you working on at the minute?

I am working now on the sequel to VDS called Angel’s Lust, The Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard Mystery, Book 2 of the Seven Deadly Sins series. AL will have a little of paranormal elements in it.

What’s it about?

A new force is in town and young maidens are going missing and being sacrificed. The young ladies are up to their investigative snooping, but this time around, Jane newly engaged does not have her heart in it-she is focused on her upcoming wedding to Sir Hugh Cameron. So Margaret is the one trying to find out what is going on.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding the time when you work full-time. But what really gets me is people telling me to write within the constraints of what a publishing house dictates you should write. For example, Random House was interested in VDS and when they asked where is the sex? I said it didn’t have any. VDS is sort of a Jane Austen meets Nancy Drew. That quickly closed my pitching of the novel. I totally understand readers want sex, but VDS was never that type of novel. So after beta readers and more beta readers, and then getting an affordable editor, I published it.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

When you have the scenes in your head and you transform them into the paper. Writer’s block can be a true pain, so I try not to let it control me. Writing your story – When the characters come to life and you create the world in which they live in and interact with the secondary characters.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I have several sites. The main one is www.miguelinaperezauthor.com. I have another site where I do author interviews and reviews, www.theregencyinkwell.wordpress.com, but it has taken a side trip since I am trying to market VDS and finish book 2.

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Sure:

The Vicar’s Deadly Sin

A Touch of Romance…A Touch of Regency…A Touch of Murder… Lady Jane Bartholomew and Miss Margaret Renard have been friends since the age of twelve. Together they share their dreams, hopes and a love for reading. However, it is their wild imagination and a penchant for solving mysteries that will test their abilities when the Vicar of Dover is found murdered. The young ladies are joined by two gentlemen, also eager to find the murderer in order to prove to the ladies that detecting is a man’s job, though the gentlemen find their beauty, wit, and pride more troublesome than solving a murder. The Vicar’s Deadly Sin is a delightful and witty Regency romance mystery about two friends and their love for solving crimes while keeping society and its rules at bay.

Join me next Thursday when I interview writer Kathryn Lively. ~Tina