I had the pleasure of meeting Vanessa at the Beau Monde mini-conference last week and knew I needed to interview her and her very interesting Regency Romance for Teatime. Please welcome Vanessa Riley to the tearoom.
Vanessa, tell us about yourself.
I am a very southern girl who loves to stay busy. I have an active eight-year old artist and wonderful active duty husband. We live in Georgia and from my porch, I get the best views of trees and pollen.
Another southern girl! Tell us about what you write.
I am drawn to historical romances, particularly Regencies. The wit of the dialogue, the color of the settings, and the strict code of honor and behavior, all delight me and get those creative juices flowing.
Madeline’s Protector is a Regency romance about two people who should not have met but are thrown together under dire circumstances. In saving Madeline St. James’s life, Justain Delveaux, Lord Devonshire, unintentionally compromises her reputation and is forced to marry her. The last thing on Madeline’s mind was to wed after being betrayed by a man she thought a friend. Getting married is the beginning of their romance, and the two must overcome their hurts and learn to trust each other to thwart the evil threatening their families.
How did you get The Call?
The call for me came while I was at work. I was sitting in a lobby waiting to go visit a client and talk about customer service software when I saw the magical email on my phone. My editor, Lisa at Pelican Books, White Rose Imprint, saw my vision. She got Justain and Madeline and said she wanted her house to publish my book. It was the best way to psyche myself up for a sales call ever.
Waiting on the call is hard. Keep working on your craft and never stop writing. When I first started, seriously dedicated, I had all the writing ticks: POV issues, velvet covered purple proses, dialogue too stiff to be ironed. Yet, I kept at it. The need to tell stories could not be smothered, even if I wanted it to. You have to know your tales are meant to be told. You have to want them to be read aloud, outside of your head, no matter what the cost.
Is this book part of a series? Tell us what’s next?
Madeline’s Protector is not a series, but I don’t think Madeline and Justain’s stories are done. A reforming rake and sheltered duke’s daughter have more tales to tell as they work on their love.
If you were to save five of your favorite books from a burning building what would you grab?
I would save at least Song of Solomon (Solomon), Gone with Wind (Margaret Mitchell), Lady in the Mist (Laurie Alice Eakes), The Perfect Mistress (Betina Krahn), and A Proper Marriage (Debbie Raleigh).
As this is a tearoom, how do you take your tea?
I love hot cinnamon spice tea from Harney and Sons. Sweet with a bit of heat. Hot cinnamon spice tea is the only one I can drink with no sugar, so no lumps for me.