Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Author Interview & Giveaway with Regency Author Wanda Luce

As you know, if you follow my Tuesday Teasers, I am smack in the middle of a brand new Regency romance by debut author, Wanda Luce. Wanda has kindly agreed to be interviewed for my blog and is generously giving away a copy of her Regency romance, Lydia. Read on, and at the end of the interview, I'll tell you how you can enter to win a copy of her book.

JDP: How long have you been reading Regency romances?

Wanda: I fell in love with Jane Austen’s novels when I was eleven or twelve.

JDP: What was the first Regency romance you ever read?

Wanda: Pride and Prejudice.  I remember having a big crush on Mr. Darcy and reading it twice just to fall in love with him again. 

JDP: When did you first realize you wanted to write Regency romances?

Wanda: Just three years ago I started re-reading the British historical novels I had loved as a girl.  First, I re-read all of Jane Austen’s books, and then I read every clean Regency I could find in our local library.  My husband likes TV, and I prefer to read, so every evening, I would read while he watched.  One day he suggested that I write a Regency, so I just sat down at the computer and wrote the first line for fun.  I was hooked from then on and one line became ten and then twenty and so on until six months later I wrote “The End.”  That very first line once read: 

“Condolences were generally felt though no longer expressed that the lovely Lydia still stood in want of a husband.”

I am currently finishing up the first draft of my second Regency.  Now that writing has gotten into my blood, I just can’t quit.  I’m addicted to the thrill of the hunt with words and plot as my game.   

JDP: That's a lovely first line! Although I think readers will thoroughly enjoy your revised beginning. :-) Which Regency romance authors have most influenced you in your love for the Regency period?

Wanda: Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer lead the list.  Next, I’d have to say Pamela Aidan whose rewrite of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view leads in quality every Pride and Prejudice rewrite ever released.  Elizabeth Aston’s novels are excellent as well.  I love the incredibly poetic way they combine words into sentences and scenes that transport me back to the nineteenth century.  The beauty of Regency romance lives not only in the story line but in the chivalrous ebb and flow of how the hero and heroine fall in love. 

JDP: I'm still in the middle of reading Lydia, but I can already attest to your own "incredibly poetic" prose. :-) Since 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 Lydia?

Wanda: Most of my research comes from what I can find online or in books by British authors written in that time period.  I always spend a great many hours reading about the geographical areas where my books take place, even if I use very little of what I learn.  I search through a lot of British names before I name my characters, and I always check to make sure my idiomatic or slang phrases were in common use in early 1800’s England.  Overall, I have to be sure that anything in my books was common during the Regency period.  I also like to pick out real locations where I can imagine the events of my books taking place.

JDP: Can you share with us your top three favorite Regency romance research books or other resources?

I used all three of these and a great many others for information.

****Jane Austen’s World

****Michele Sinclair:  Regency Era Life

****Diane Dishman’s Writing and Research Website

JDP: Are there any historical figures from the Regency era who particularly intrigue you?

Wanda: William Wilberforce is one of my biggest heroes.  I even put a mention of him in Lydia.  If you are reading this interview and haven’t seen the movie Amazing Grace, you must go rent it.  His was the most powerful force behind the abolition of the slave trade in England.   Quite a man.

JDP: I haven't seen the movie, though I've heard much about it. I'll have to check it out. Do you have an all-time favorite Regency romance?

Wanda: Yes.  Persuasion by Jane Austen.  I relate so deeply to Anne Elliot and her acute pain because of her love for Captain Wentworth.  If anyone reading this has not seen the 2007 BBC release of Persuasion, the movie, you are really missing something. Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth is drop-dead gorgeous. 

JDP: What inspired you to write Lydia?

Wanda: Really, I started Lydia on a sudden whim.  I had read so many Regencies, that I thought it would be fun to try my hand at it—just for fun, you understand—and my husband encouraged me in the idea.  I NEVER had any intention of submitting it for publication.  Once I had revised it a few times, I decided I would like some feedback on it, so I submitted it to about twelve agents and publishers.  I was unbelievably SHOCKED when I ended up with two offers!   

JDP: Tell us a little bit about Lydia?

Wanda: At six and twenty, the impoverished Lydia Hathaway has endured bleak years of heartbreak, longing for a love that never came. Her deceased father's foolhardiness has left her family bankrupt, and Lydia is eventually left no alternative but to take a position as the companion and governess to Susan Ashcroft of Danbury Park in Surrey. During the first days at her post, Lydia pines bitterly for a life she believes forever lost. Anxious for peace, she rambles one morning across the muddy wilds of the Ashcroft estate where she has a most unimaginable encounter with the notorious Lord Connor Denton. As their paths continue to cross, Lydia falls ever deeper in love with the charming rogue while battling against his growing assault on her heart. In spite of his forward attentions, she considers his behavior toward her as nothing less than idle flirtation. And why should she think otherwise? As the wealthy son of an earl, Lord Denton may choose from among the most beautiful women of England's first circles--none to which Lydia claims inclusion. In spite of her indignation over Lord Denton's rakish maneuvering, she anguishes beneath the reality that he is forever beyond her reach. Tormented in a relentless battle to suppress a love she cannot overcome, Lydia resolves to leave the Ashcrofts and Danbury Park forever. 

Hope you will read Lydia to discover the twist of fate that reunites Lydia and Lord Denton in the end. 

JDP: What project are you working on next?

Wanda: I have nearly completed the first draft of my second Regency.  This one is mainly in the hero’s point-of-view.  He is the rakish son of the Marquess of Lansdowne.  His covert escapades to ferret out a ring of aristocratic criminals requires that he disappear into the British countryside for a short time under a false identity.  Here he meets Alexandra Dancy, a country miss whose family hides its aristocratic origins because they must guard a dark secret.  How can the two overcome the prejudices and hidden identities that divide them?  Sorry, you will just have to wait and read it to learn the answer.

JDP: Oooo, that sounds fascinating! I can't wait to read this one. In the meantime, where can readers obtain a copy of Lydia?

Wanda: Lydia is available online at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Deseretbook.com, Brigham Distributing, in Deseret Bookstores, BYU Bookstore, through the University of Utah Bookstore, or in independent bookstores in Utah.  Lydia may be available elsewhere, depending upon which stores opt to carry it.  I love to hear from my readers and hope you will drop me a line when you have finished it. 

JDP: Thank you so much for joining us today, Wanda! 

Readers can learn more about Wanda and her books by visiting her at her  blog or on Facebook


Now to the giveaway! For a chance to win WINNER'S CHOICE of either a print or Kindle version of Lydia, do one, two, or all three of the following. (Each counts as a separate entry. Print copy USA entries only.)


(1) Leave a comment on this blog interview, then email me at jdipastena@yahoo.com WITH YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS, with “#1 - Regency Romance Rocks!” typed in the subject line.

(2) Visit Wanda's blog, click on the Excerpt (Lydia) tab, read the excerpt and find the question that Lord Denton asked Lydia while they were dancing. Email me the answer at jdipastena@yahoo.com WITH YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS, with “#2 – Regency Romance Rocks!” typed in the subject line.

(3) Read the biography of Wanda on The Book Table and tell me where she served an LDS mission. Email me the answer at jdipastena@yahoo.com WITH YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS, with “#3 – Regency Romance Rocks!” typed in the subject line.

Deadline for entries is August 16, midnight PST. The winner will be announced on August 17.


(If you have trouble with any of these links, please email me at jdipastena@yahoo.com)

28 comments:

Susan Aylworth said...

Although I have not always been a big reader of Regency romance, this book is appealing. Thanks for the introduction!

I'm running a contest at my blog, too. Check it out at www.susanaylworth.blogspot.com. Thanks!

Marsha Ward said...

I love, love, love the cover of Lydia! It sounds so awesome. I want to win!

Donna K. Weaver said...

*wipes brow*

What a lot of work.

Not really, unless you're dumb like me and forgot to include my email address in one of the emails.

ann said...

If I win it will be the first regency romance book I will read. I always figured romance novels would be to sappy


amhengst at verizon dot net

Larry Hammersley said...

I enjoyed the interview with you, Wanda and thanks, Joyce for having her. I've just finished reading Jane Eyre and really enjoyed it. I've read two of Jane Austen's novels and Whuthering Heights by Emily Bronte as well. Lydia sounds like an enjoyable read. I'm green with envy in your immediate success with acceptance. Bottle that success and sell a bottle to me. Larry

Debbie Brown said...

Sounds like a lovely book!

EnglishRose said...

I simply love reading Regency Romances. They were the first ones I read and I have loved them for 13 years since.

Angie said...

Great interview! I am looking forward to reading Wanda's book.

Nichole Giles said...

Great interview! I'm adding this book to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Dewald said...

Lydia sounds great! I am excited to read it! I am still learning in so many ways, I guess I didn't understand what a Regency romance is. What a wonderful surprise to learn that I already have enjoyed several- I love Pride and Prejudice, and have just finished An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan.

RW1010 said...

Lydia sounds wonderful! I loved the excerpt! Thanks Joyce & Wanda!

Garden Committee said...

I love regency and so does my daughter. I can't wait to read it!

Audrey said...

Lydia sounds incredibly interesting, and I love historical romance. That's so funny that Wanda submitted it for feedback and got two offers!

Danielle Thorne said...

I dearly love Regency and have to share that Jane Austen too made me a romantic for life. I love the comment about how Regency is poetic. One of the saddest things we have lost in our modern fast page-turning literature is the appreciation for description and deep thought translated into poetry within paragraphs. That is the reason I can read Austen over and over; not a word is wasted but each one counts.

Wonderful interview. Please enter me in the Giveaway!

Miss Mae said...

Lovely interview, Lydia sounds wonderful! Alas, though, I don't enter contests, so please don't include my name.

And yes, gotta love Mr. Darcy (and Captain Wentworth) True hunks of heroes! :)

Alexis Walker said...

Wanda, I loved all the BBC productions of Jane Austen. Absolutely wonderful to see them all come to life. LYDIA sounds enchanting :-) How wonderful for you to be able to write what you love :-)

Patty Ann said...

I am going to look up those BBC productions and see those movies. I would love to win this book!!

Gayle said...

Great interview! Regency romance is becoming one of my favorite new genres.

Heather Ackermann Hilmer said...

Ahh, this sounds so good!!!

earwaxtasteslikecrayons said...

I am always, always up for a good Regency.

Wendy Jones

Taffy said...

Thanks for the interview! I loved that Wanda took her husband's advice and sat down and wrote a book!

Susan Aylworth said...

I've entered and altough my chances aren't any better than anyone else's, I do have a connection I doubt anyone else can claim. When I was a newlywed senior at BYU, one of my writing professors challenged each of us to produce a letter to our parents dated ten years ahead, telling what we were doing with our lives in a decade. I was going to be a novelist with a new book called LYDIA just starting to earn royalties. Tee-hee. 40 years and 9 books later, no LYDIA yet, but I've never forgotten it. :_)

Debra Erfert said...

I'm stuck on Regency Romances and I'm always looking for a new source. Let's see how many entries I can get, hmmm?

Laurean Brooks said...

Wanda, you do right with such eloquence. A gift I'd give my eye teeth to have. LOL.

You took a huge step and one I believe will take you far. Keep writing and give the glory to God.

Oh, I wish you hadn't changed the opening line. It made me want to devour the entire book.

Please throw my name in the hat. I WANT this book. landtbeth@yahoo.com

Writers said...

This is a nice interview. Lydia is a book I would enjoy reading. Love the cover.
Margaret Turley
musicnurse68@yahoo.com
administrator of Writers Unite to Fight Cancer at
writersunitetofightcancer@gmail.com
author of Save the Child
http://margaretturley.com

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I grew up on Regency Romance and also love to get into a good story. Lydis promises to be one of the good ones. Hope I win.
Barbara b

Anonymous said...

I honestly know how to spell Lydia. I'm wearing a brace on my left hand and that is my excuse!
Barbara b

Jeannette said...

I've been following your reading progress of Lydia, Joyce. I would love to win this one! :)