Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Author Interview: Heather Boyd

I'd like to welcome Heather Boyd, Regency Historical Romance Author, who was brave enough to come to It's Raining Books and answer a few of our questions!

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

In the beginning, romance novels made me laugh out loud and lifted my mood. I haven’t always read romance novels, but when I found historical romance genre it was fascinating and I had trouble not laughing at the situations the authors put their characters in. I read Medieval, Victorian and Scottish but I grew addicted to the light heartedness of Regency era more than any other. When I began to dream up my own first stories the heroes were always wearing a cravat (or removing one) and trying to win the girl. I write what I love to read.

What research is required?

The true Regency (when George, the Prince of Wales officially took over from his ill father) encompassed nine years from 1811 to 1820, but due to the influence of the Prince of Wales the regency is often described as being from 1780 to 1830. So far, most of my research for stories has focussed on a few years (1813 to 1815) and I’m always stumbling on a new and fascinating detail of early 19th century life. Just last week it was a Pudding Hat -- head protection for young children. I’d love to find a use for that one. I think focussing on one time period to write in and research is an advantage. But how did I start? I read a lot of research books, blogs too are a great beginning for new information, but I try to read as much primary source material (books published in that time) as I can.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

That every character can be redeemed, even misunderstood ones. For instance, in my book Engaging the Enemy, I ended the story with one secondary character’s sanity in serious doubt. However, that character was to be the heroine of the next novel in the series. Once we were finally in her point of view I had a chance to redeem her, make her actions understandable -- she was grieving and not thinking clearly -- and bring her back to life. That’s where my improper hero stepped in, helping her to accept the changes happening around her and showing her how to embrace a more relaxed way of living. She’s was one of my favourite and most challenging characters to write.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

No muse or major superstitions, but I do like to write the ending of the story just after I’ve started writing the beginning. A bit roundabout perhaps but I can usually see how the hero and heroine will be at the climax of the story really early on, sometimes before I start. I like to get the dialogue and basic setting for that scene down on the screen sooner rather than later. Then, I write toward that moment. Hopefully that makes sense.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Pantser mostly. When I start writing, I have a strong idea of the beginning and ending plus fuzzy details of the major turning points, big decisions, my hero and heroine must make. I find that the more detail I have worked out in advance the harder it is to complete the story. My writing process is easier if I have fewer details set in concrete but that does mean I have to check research details at the end of the day while I’m writing or leave myself big notes in the draft manuscript to check something during edits. I truly love it when my characters surprise me.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

Mouse, coffee, water bottle, iphone, photo of my kids and a Thor Bobblehead. He’s currently wearing a hair tie of mine as a sweatband. The man is hawt.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

July sees the release of Miss Watson’s First Scandal -- a sensual regency historical romance novella set in Brighton, England. No lords or ladies but a hardworking banker, a bold debutant, and an uncomfortable debt. Here’s the blurb:

Overworked London banker David Hawke has two goals for his week in the seaside town of Brighton: one, demand repayment of a debt without losing a valued friendship and two, relax for the remaining holiday without further distractions—except he encounters his friend’s newly confident younger sister. Abigail Watson is flirty, bold, and determined David will agree to her bargain and save her brother from debtor’s prison. But is her game to prevent him from calling in the debt, or are her sweet kisses a sign she is after a much greater prize instead?

Do you have a question for our readers?

I do actually. I like to write various length stories: short stories, novellas and novels. Miss Watson and her friends (three more books to be released over the next year) are novella length, about 30,000 words. The Wild Randalls series were all novels - 75 to 85,000 words. I’ve discovered writing various lengths is fun and keeps me happy and I hope my readers, too. I’ve just completed writing the last novel in the Wild Randalls series -- it's due out in September. Series take a lot of work and energy to do well and I cannot decide whether to embark on another novel series straight away or to write stand alone (unconnected) novels next. Which do you prefer, dear reader? Series or not?

About the Author:
Heather Boyd is the author of sizzling romance with an historical bent. A fan of regency England settings, she writes m/f and m/m stories that push the boundaries of propriety and even break the laws of that time. Brimming with new ideas, she frequently wishes she could type as fast as she can conjure up new storylines. Heather lives with her testosterone-fuelled family north of Sydney, Australia.

For more information visit: www.heather-boyd.com

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