I've had the grandest pleasure of corresponding with and getting to know over the summer the fab author I am welcoming on the blog today. Her passion is evident and once you read her books, I am sure you won't be hearing "Who's Valerie Bowman?" very often! Get to know more about Valerie and her debut novel below in this entertaining author interview! So without further adieu:
About the Author:
Valerie has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a minor in History from Smith College and has been writing and editing professionally for over 15 years. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and a member of The Beau Monde, Regency special interest chapter.
Originally from Rantoul, Illinois, Valerie lives in Fleming Island, Florida with her rascally dog. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or watching Hoarders.
About the Book:
HOW TO STOP A WEDDING
Young, widowed, and penniless, Lily Andrews, the Countess of Merrill, has strong opinions on marriage. When she spots a certain engagement announcement in The Times, she decides to take action. She will not allow another hapless girl to fall prey to a man—particularly the scoundrel who broke her heart five years ago. Anonymously she writes and distributes a pamphlet entitled “Secrets of a Wedding Night,” knowing it will find its way into his intended’s innocent hands…
HOW TO SEDUCE A WIDOW
Devon Morgan, the Marquis of Colton, desires a good wife and mother to his son—someone completely unlike Lily Andrews, the heartless beauty who led him on a merry chase five years ago only to reject him. When Devon’s new fiancée cries off after reading a certain scandalous pamphlet, he vows to track down the author and make her pay. But when he learns it’s his former fiancée Lily, he issues a challenge: write a retraction—or prepare to be seduced—to find out how wonderful a wedding night can be…
VB: You know, at the risk of sounded a bit clichéd, it’s truly a dream come true. I began writing my first story on June 3, 2007 (yes, I remember the exact day!). It has been a long road filled with ups and downs. It still doesn’t feel quite real that my book will actually be in stores. I could not be more excited!
RJ: Why don’t you tell me and the readers a little bit about your debut book, SECRETS OF A WEDDING NIGHT? What’s it about and where’d the inspiration for your plot, characters, and setting come from?
VB: I’d love to! It is the story of Lily Andrews, a young, widowed countess who is rumored to have authored a scandalous pamphlet entitled Secrets of a Wedding Night. The pamphlet has frightened the ton’s young ladies away from the marriage mart. Lily soon meets her match when recently jilted Devon Morgan, Marquis of Colton, issues her a challenge: write a retraction or prepare to be seduced!
RJ: Let’s get to know more about your Hero and Heroine (Devon and Lily). What are some of their flaws and positive attributes? What attracts them to each other and what keeps them together?
VB: Lily is a bit stubborn. She’s super focused on her goal of keeping her little ragtag household together. She’s sensible, dependable, practical, but don’t call her ‘predictable!’ Devon is somewhat tortured by a promise he made to his father on his deathbed. He spends a great portion of the story trying to fulfill that promise. I think they’re attracted to those qualities in each other. Lily sees Devon as a bit of a good-time guy and Devon’s thinks Lily’s too rigid. They bring out the best in each other in the end.
RJ: This debut novel will also be the first book The Secret Brides Trilogy series. What is the premise for this series and how did the idea for it come about?VB: The Secret Brides have been so fun to write! The second story, SECRETS OF A RUNAWAY BRIDE (April 2013), is the story of Lily’s sister, Annie, who appears in the first book. Annie is convinced she’s in love with a certain man, but when she attempts to run away to Gretna Green with him, she doesn’t count on her new brother-in-law’s best friend, the Earl of Ashbourne, thwarting her plans.
The third book, SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE, is the story of Lord Medford, who also appears in book one. His heroine, Kate, is locked in the Tower of London accused of murdering her husband when the story begins. The trilogy just came about from that first title which I came up with long before I ever had a plot to go with it. : )
RJ: What were some interesting tid-bits you picked up while researching or something quirky that you incorporated into your story?
VB: One fun fact is that I discovered there are no raccoons in England. Ha! I found this out because there is a dog who looks like a raccoon in my story (based on my own dog, btw) and while I wanted to use the word raccoon, I had to insert a sentence about how the dog looks like the animal “the Americans” call a raccoon. Apparently there were raccoons on displays (like a zoo) at the time but no actual raccoons.
RJ: What makes a good romances novel to you and who are your favorite authors? Also, what drew you to the historical romance genre?
VB: Personally, I love a romance novel that’s all about the romance. There are no mysteries or complex subplots in my stories and to me that’s the essence of a great love story, just the hero and the heroine on the page together as much as possible, falling in love. Plus, I’m a sucker for great dialogue. Some of my favorite authors include Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, and Suzanne Enoch.
As for what drew me to historical romance, I never really thought I was ‘qualified’ to write it. While I’ve always adored history and it was my minor in college, I felt like writing a historical romance would be too daunting keeping all those facts straight. But I found the stories in my head were all historical stories. Sometimes you just have to do what calls to you.
RJ: What projects are you currently working on and what can we expect from you next?
VB: Currently, I’m working on a set of novellas based on some of the characters from the Secret Brides trilogy. The first one will be out around February 2013.
RJ: Final Question: Let’s say your book gets optioned for a masterpiece classic film and they bring you in as a consultant. They need help casting your characters- Which actors and actress would you ideally cast to portray your characters in a movie/mini-series?
VB: In my head, Lily looks like Megan Fox. Devon looks like my own fiancé, Marcus (wink) and Annie looks like Ellen Page. I don’t have an actor for Jordan (the hero of book two, but trust me, he’s a hottie) and Medford and Kate are based on Jack and Kate from Lost so Matthew Fox for Medford and Amy Adams for Kate because she has red hair (yes, different from Kate on the show.) I’m still trying to track down Matthew Fox to ask him to be the model for the book 3 cover (grin).
RJ: Thanks again for visiting my blog and best wishes on this and future novels! I can’t wait to become better acquainted with Devon, Lily, and their story!
VB: Thank you so much for having me!