Interview with Vanessa Kelly!

Today I have an interview with Vanessa Kelly.
Vanessa’s debut novel, Mastering the Marquis, released this month!!!

Here’s a blurb:

mastering-the-marquess-1Since the loss of her parents, Meredith Burnley has contented herself with a solitary life looking after her half-sister, Annabel.  But Meredith’s peace is shattered when her uncle schemes to marry her off to his son in order to gain her inheritance.  Desperate, Meredith has only one choice:  to flee with Annabel to their estranged grandparents’ home.  But their arrival soon reignites a family scandal—and kindles unexpected romance…

Happily reunited with the girls, Annabel’s grandmother resolves to convince her nephew, Stephen Mallory, the Marquess of Silverton, to abandon his rakish lifestyle and wed Annabel.  Stephen is clearly captivated—but with the wrong sister.  Determined to make Meredith his own, Stephen embarks on a seduction that will leave her with no choice but to surrender to his touch…

Now here is my interview…

Welcome to my blog.  Congrats on your debut release.  Can you tell us a little about it?
Hi Jennifer – thanks for having me here!  Mastering The Marquess is a Regency-set historical with Gothic overtones.  It’s about a woman determined to save her young sister from incarceration in a madhouse, and the arrogant marquess she must turn to for help.  A bit like Jane Austen meets Jane Eyre!

That sounds great.  What inspired the story?
I spent several years in graduate school, studying British women authors of the Regency period.  I was fascinated by the theme of madness in the novels of so many of these writers, and I did a lot of research on that topic.  When I began to write my own novel that theme kept nagging away at me, and I just knew it would make a great basis for a story with a Gothic vibe.  It wasn’t uncommon in late 18th and early 19th century England for women to be locked up in asylums by their male family members—for all sorts of reasons.  My heroine, Meredith, must confront that situation when her sister’s guardian wants to do that to her.

Can you tell us a little more about the hero and heroine?
My heroine is Meredith Burnley, and she’s a strong woman who’s used to caring for everyone.  Her parents died years ago, and she’s spent much of her life looking out for her younger sister, Annabel, who is an invalid.  But even though Meredith is strong and capable, she’s lead a fairly sheltered life in the country.  When Annabel is threatened with danger, Meredith must leave that quiet life behind and face many new and challenging difficulties in
London.  She’s up to the challenge, though, and will do whatever she has must to protect her little sister.

My hero is Stephen, the Marquess of Silverton.  He’s handsome, rich, and powerful, and is used to controlling everything and everyone around him.  That’s made him a tad arrogant and more than a little cynical in the ways of the world.  But he soon finds out that Meredith has no intention of bending to his will, and he finds that both intriguing and admirable.

What was your favorite thing about writing this book?
I just loved how Meredith’s character developed.  She’s a loving and selfless person, but one who doesn’t expect much good to come her way.  It was great fun watching her learn that she did deserve to have good things happen to her, and that she didn’t always have to take care of everybody else.  Stephen, naturally, helped her learn that lesson!

What is your favorite thing about being a writer? 
When everything starts to click and the words flow out almost faster than I can type them.  When that happens, I feel great—physically and emotionally.  It may have been a crappy day up to that point, I may have been feeling lousy, but the writing just makes everything sing!

Least favorite?
That period between finishing the last book and starting the next.  I’m just so nervous that I won’t do a good job on the next one, so I try to keep that period as short as I can.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Optimistic, people-oriented, romantic!

If you had a time capsule to be opened 50 years from now, what would you include in it?
All my Georgette Heyer and Lisa Kleypas novels, my DVDs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my Jane Austen movies, and a copy of Mastering The Marquess!

What’s next for you?
I’m doing revisions on the second book in my Regency series.  It’s the romantic adventure between Sophie Stanton and Simon, Earl of Trask, two characters introduced in Mastering The Marquess.

Is there anything you’d like to ask my blog readers?
What do readers like to see in their Regency historicals?  Do you like them darker, with that Gothic edge?  Do you like all the glam and glitter of the high society parties, the witty conversation?  Or both dark and light?

Thanks so much Vanessa!

Readers, you can learn more about Vanessa and her books on her website:

Be sure to look for Mastering the Marquis in stores and online now!

Vanessa asked some really interesting questions for you fans of historicals…feel free to answer them…


13 Responses to Interview with Vanessa Kelly!

  1. Helen says:

    This book sounds so good. I love both dark and light in the regency historicals I read I will be looking for this book.

    Thanks for a great interview Jennifer and Vanessa

    Have Fun

  2. Caffey says:

    Hi Jen, How you feeling? Hi Vanessa!! Since I heard about this release I’m so looking forward to it! I love reading the regency romances! As historical romances have a big place in my heart, I have tried many and now have many favorite settings including regency, medieval, and American Western too! What other settings would you like to writ in, in historicals. I’m learning too to figure out the differences for Victorian and Georgian time periods too. Great to meet you and congrats on your debut!

  3. RachieG says:

    I kind of like them a bit darker. Then when the ending is happier it makes the difference more noticable and I think I go away happier. The bigger the change in the hero & the heroine from the beginning to the end always makes me enjoy the book more.

    On a personal note, I read your last book and enjoyed it! Your characters are enjoyable and I loved the dialogue!!

  4. Hi Helen – I love both dark and light, too. Books that mix a little humor with a dark edge are really fun.

    Hi Caffey, thanks for stopping by! I love the early Victorian period, so I might have to check that out. And the Georgian period is great, too. A Georgian romance set in Bath would be fun. My next book is set in Bath, but the Georgian period was the city’s hey-day.

  5. Lori says:

    I like both! Congrats on your book Vanessa!

  6. Kris Kennedy says:

    Hi Vanessa & Jennifer,
    Congrats on your release, Vanessa!

    I don’t read a lot of Regencies, or rather, ‘traditional’ Regencies, so I don’t know if I can answer about preferring ‘light’ or ‘dark’ themes, as I haven’t read a lot of the ‘light’ ones. But in general, I like books with beef, . (And me, a vegetarian. ) Strong external plots, big obstacles for the characters, real issues being grappled with, both internal & external, whether there’s a light, humorous feel to the book, or a more serious tone.

  7. Hi Rachie! Thanks for stopping by – I’m so glad you enjoyed MTM.

    Hi Lori! It’s great there’s so much choice out there in Regencies. Readers can find just about whatever they want, on a whole spectrum of dark to light.

    Kris! You world traveler, you! Thanks for stopping by. I love bigger stories, too, with lots of sweep and emotion. And I love plot. Lots and lots of plot!

  8. Roberta Harwell says:

    Hello Vanessa,

    Congrats on the book. I enjoy historicals with both a light and dark side to them. Have a great day.

  9. Thanks for stopping by, Roberta!

  10. sara hurt says:

    COngratulations the book sounds fantastic and I love historical serieses. The cover is smokin and I would love to read it. I really hope I get the chance to soon.

  11. Hi Sara – my cover is great, isn’t it?

  12. Pam P says:

    Congrats, Vanessa, I’ve been looking forward to your release.

    I like both lighter and darker reads, and especially witty bantering between the H/h. I loved gothics years ago as a teen, so I do tend to prefer the newer ones today with that darker, gothic tone.

  13. Thanks for stopping by, Pam!

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