Monday, April 20, 2009
Interview with Historical Author Miranda Neville
H.H: What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?
I write historical romance. I've always loved historical novels since I was a teenager devouring Georgette Heyer and Jean Plaidy. I guess I've always had a hankering to write one myself. Last year my father was moving out of my childhood home and I found a box of my old high school stuff that included several unfinished regencies. (They weren't any good!) I've never really considered writing contemporary fiction.
H.H: Tell us about your book, Never Resist Temptation.
Never Resist Temptation, set in Regency England, starts with that old romance staple, the e who is lost at cards by her wicked uncle. Jacobin, being a feisty lady, runs away and goes to work as a pastry cook at the Brighton Pavilion. Then her uncle is poisoned by a dessert she made and she’s on the run again. The good news is she’s been offered another job; the bad that her new employer is the winner of that card game. Anthony, the Earl of Storrington, has his own reasons for employing a pastry chef. He’s unaware of her true identity but things soon heat up between them and he is torn between his growing attraction and his plan to use her for his own ends. Jacobin has to overcome her distrust and team up with Anthony to prove her innocence.
H.H: And it's a great book, too, I must say! So, when did you start to write and how long did it take you get published?
It took about five years between starting my first novel and finding a publisher--for my third. Manuscripts one and two will likely never see the light of day.
Historical Hussies: So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?
I grew up in England but I've lived in the United States for almost thirty years. These days my home is a traditional style New England house in beautiful rural Vermont. I own a small business which runs smoothly enough to give me time to write, especially now my daughter is in college.
I wish I could describe a brilliantly disciplined writing schedule. Up at 6 am and four pages before breakfast. That kind of thing. Alas, I am pretty haphazard, though I do try to write SOMETHING, even a paragraph, every day. I do spent a lot of time planning the next section or chapter of my WIP in my head: while driving, walking, making dinner etc. Then, when I'm ready to write it down it comes out pretty easily.
H.H: Tell me, how do you write? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?
I am very much a plotter. I have a chapter-by-chapter plan before I start a book. Which isn't to say things don't change, a lot. But I prefer to know just where I am going even if I end up taking detours.
I tend to begin with the idea for a story. Then I work on characters who will meet the demands of the plot. Once the characters are set they control things. Changes to my original idea are almost always character driven. "That won't work because he wouldn't behave like that." Most annoying!
H.H: That sounds like a great way to do it. And what are you working on now?
I have a two book contract with Avon for a series surrounding a group of Regency rare book collectors. I used to work in the rare books department of Sotheby's auction house so I'm drawing on my own background here.
H.H. Wow, that’s cool! Well thank you for being our guest here today. It’s been fun chatting with you. I look forward to you next book.
Miranda Neville’s debut romance, Never Resist Temptation, was published by Avon in March.