But for now, let me introduce you to Regency romance author, Jaimey Grant. I hope you enjoy what follows. And yes, we have another giveaway at the end of the interview, so stay tuned to find out how you can win your choice of Jaimey Grant titles at the end!
JDP: Jaimey, how long have you been reading Regency romances?
Jaimey: Only ten years or so, actually. I got a bit of a late start. It was actually several years after that before I even picked up Pride and Prejudice.
JDP: What was the first Regency romance you ever read? (Mine was Friday’s Child, by Georgette Heyer.)
Jaimey: Mine was A Desperate Gamble, a Zebra Regency by Janice Bennett that I borrowed from my mom. I loved the romance and the mystery of the story. Later, I acquired my own copy and it has always been one of my favorites.
JDP: When did you first realize you wanted to write Regency romances?
Jaimey: A year or so after I got married. I viewed it as a sort of challenge, really. My family kept telling me that I knew so much about the time period that I could write them myself. End of story.
JDP: Or perhaps you mean, “The beginning of the story.” :-) Which Regency romance authors have most influenced you in your love for the Regency period?
Jaimey: Many of the lesser known authors who wrote for Zebra and Signet had a huge influence on me. I loved the different styles of writing and the different "takes" on the time period.
Specifically, I have to mention Patricia Veryan. I love the amount of drama she was able to incorporate in her novels while leaving out the graphic love scenes. She proved over and over that you don't need those scenes to write an emotionally involved love story.
Oddly, I'm also largely influenced by some Gothic authors such as Victoria Holt, Madeleine Brent, and Clara Wimberly. I love spine-tingling tales that leave the ghosts out of it.
JDP: My sister is a big Patricia Veryan fan and I’ve enjoyed some Victoria Holt, though it’s been many years since I’ve read her. I’ll have to check out Madeleine Brent and Clara Wimberly. Thanks for the tips! Moving onto another subject, I’m always interested in how authors research their historical novels. Could you tell us a little about how you researched the Regency era for your novels?
Jaimey: I've read some general texts on the period but mostly, I turn to the Internet. It is truly amazing the kind of information you can find online. Some of the most obscure details I've managed to clear up with a simple google search. More recently, Google Books hasbeen incredibly helpful. It was romance author Courtney Milan (www.courtneymilan.com) who suggested looking a word up in Google Books if you are unsure of its usage at the time. By using the Google Book advanced search feature, you can search for a particular word and filter by publication year.
JDP: I just recently had my first experience with Google Books and am eager to learn more about this service. Can you share with us your top three favorite Regency romance research books or other resources?
Jaimey: Only three? Hmmm. I would have to mention Nancy Mayer, Regency Researcher. Her website is located at http://www.susannaives.com/nancyregencyresearcher
Nancy is a wonderfully nice lady who is willing to answer obscure questions.
Google Books definitely have a top spot on my research “shelf.” I have found many, many old titles with full previews available from the time period that were far more beneficial than I ever imagined.
I love the blog, Jane Austen's World. (http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com) This blog is a rather recent discovery for me and I have found so many interesting tidbits of information about the Regency period. Some things I have been able to use and others were more for personal entertainment.
JDP: Are there any historical figures from the Regency era who particularly intrigue you?
Jaimey: A few, I admit, but not many. It's not so much the historical figure but rather the differing portrayals of certain famous personages. Sally Jersey, Beau Brummell, Lord Byron, Lord Castlereagh and recently, Nathaniel Rothschild and Dr. John Keate, the headmaster of Eton from 1809-1834 are some that I find rather fascinating. But honestly, I'm far more interested in the fictional characters that live in my head. :)
JDP: I don’t know anything about Nathaniel Rothschild (beyond the Rothschild name) or Dr. John Keate. You’ve piqued my interest! Do you have an all-time favorite Regency romance?
Jaimey: Other than my own? :) Honestly, I don't think I really have ONE that stands out above all others. I have a few that I read over and over when I need a laugh; The French Affair by Marion Chesney, Annabella's Diamond by Judith A Lansdowne, The Painted Lady by Barbara Metzger.
I take that back. The one that stands out above all others would have to be Janice Bennett's A Desperate Gamble. I know this has everything to do with it being the first Regency I ever read.
JDP: What inspired you to write your Regency romance, Deception?
Jaimey: Ok, this series started with Angel and I don't especially want to get into the whys on that one. After writing it, I found the hero's friend Adam very appealing. I wrote his story, Betrayal, where we meet Levi for the first time. I never intended to write Levi's story but there was something about him that I couldn't leave alone. He's not a tortured hero, just a long-suffering one. He isn't plagued with feelings of self-doubt or guilt. He is pretty straightforward and open. Basically, I was inspired to write this story because Levi was different. Of course, there are also his friends. :)
JDP: Tell us a little bit about Deception.
Jaimey: Deception features Levi Greville, cousin of Betrayal's heroine. He is facing debtor's prison and decides to fix his problems the time-honored way: He'll marry money. He meets Aurora, the woman of his dreams but resists her when he discovers she is not the heiress he requires. She is not as poor as she pretends but she is desperate for a husband who loves her, not her money. An indiscretion leads to a speedy wedding. Then, Aurora's lies begin to unravel, leading to kidnapping, marital strife, and the possibility of death. Sounds a bit melodramatic, doesn't it?
JDP: It sounds intriguing. What project are you working on next?
Jaimey: Angel will get published next, the story of Connor and Verena from Betrayal. It is the prequel that I know some have been eagerly awaiting. wink, wink
JDP: (I think those winks were aimed at me. :-) )
Jaimey: After that is a book titled Intrigue. The connection? In Deception, Levi has a friend who is mentioned in one, maybe two scenes. His name is Gideon. Intrigue is his story. I am now in the painful first rewrite. I am also working on a sequel to Intrigue that takes place, technically, after the Regency time period and revolves around the prison ships.
JDP: You are self-published. What made you choose that route?
Jaimey: I never really considered trying a traditional publisher. I write romances without graphic sex that are not paranormal; not exactly the best-selling type of romance. Besides that, I'm a control freak. I realize that traditional publishers put up the funds for publishing but I still don't care for how much control they take away from the author.
JDP: Where can readers obtain a copies of your books?
Jaimey: Paperbacks are available through Amazon.com and autographed copies through http://jaimeygrant.blogspot.com . Ebooks can be purchased from Amazon or Smashwords.com. (In fact, the e-books are on sale at Smashwords.com for 50% off until July 31st.)
JDP: Thank you for joining us today, Jaimey!
Learn more about Jaimey Grant by visiting her website, becoming a Jaimey Grant fan on Facebook, or following her on Twitter.
Now for the promised giveaway: Jaimey is offering an autographed copy of the winner's choice of Jaimey Grant titles (e-book format for foreign entries), the winner's name to be drawn two weeks from today on Monday, August 3rd. That means the deadline to enter this giveaway drawing is Sunday, August 2nd, midnight PST.
Once again, there are THREE ways to enter (meaning, you can enter three times if you do all three of the following):
(1) Email me at email@example.com WITH YOUR NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS. Type "JDP NEWS Contest" in the subject line, and type, "I need more Regency Romance in my life!" in the body of the email.
(2) Visit Jaimey's blog and become a "follower", then EMAIL ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org TO TELL ME YOU'VE BECOME A FOLLOWER OF JAIMEY'S AND INCLUDE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS IN YOUR EMAIL. Please type: "Jaimey Grant Follower" in the subject line. (If you don't email me, I won't know that you've become a follower and won't be able to give you "credit".)
(3) Leave a comment on this blog about my interview with Jaimey, then EMAIL ME AT email@example.com TO TELL ME YOU LEFT A COMMENT AND INCLUDE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS IN YOUR EMAIL.
You may notice I'm being a bit of a stickler this time about sending me your mailing address. That's because the person I drew as winner of the Donna Hatch giveaway did NOT include her mailing address and did not respond to my email when I informed her she was the winner, so she consequently forfeited her prize to a very happy runner-up who DID INCLUDE HER MAILING ADDRESS as I'd requested in the giveaway rules. This time, if I draw the name of someone who fails to send me her mailing address, you will have 48 hours to reply to any email I send you informing you of your win, after which your prize, too, will be awarded to someone else who entered the contest and abided by the rules.
Okay, now that I've vented on that subject...let the new giveaway competition begin!