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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Author! Author! Interview with: Regan Walker

I'm really excited to have Regan Walker on the blog today. Regan's debut novel, Racing with the Wind is an exciting romance set against the back drop of Regency England, if you haven't already, check out my review over here. Regan is also giving away an e-copy of Racing the Wind so be sure to enter at the end of the interview!


Hi Regan! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few of my questions today, I really appreciate it. 
I am very pleased to be here—thanks for inviting me!


Racing with the Wind is your debut novel and it really is a delightful story. What obstacles did you encounter while writing it and how long did it take to get it published once it was finished? 
Well, it was not only my first novel, but my first Regency, so I had a lot to understand and a lot of research to do on what had been happening in France since much of it takes place in Paris in 1816. I wouldn’t call research an obstacle but it is a lot of work.

After talking with my fellow romance writers and attending several conferences, I was not impressed with the long road to publication of the traditional publishers. It can take years and it’s no guarantee even if they accept your book that they will want another. So I looked around. I considered self-publishing but found my home with Boroughs Publishing Group, a new ePublisher with a great editor, Chris Keeslar. As a new author, I benefitted from Chris’s genius and yet as a small publisher, they were very flexible. They accepted my manuscript in March 2012, and I had a contract that same month. I was published that July. By traditional timing, it was lightning speed.

You also have a review blog for romance novels, in your opinion what is essential to making a romance novel irresistible? 
Ah, about that I could speak all day. I posted an article on my blog about the 10 things that I don’t want to see in a romance novel (A Reader’s Pet Peeves: The 10 That Set Me On Edge Every Time, http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com/2012/01/readers-pet-peeves-10-that-set-me-on.html). For what I like you can read my reviews. To win my adoration, I want a strong heroine and a stronger hero and some challenge or great historical theme (with actual history). I do not like cads so if the hero starts out bad, I want a good reason for it. I like an interesting plot where things happen. Typically, I don’t like novels where the whole story occurs in one castle, one house, one place. I like to travel and I want adventure. I also like deep emotion. The authors who move me always have some deep heart felt angst going on at some point. Penelope Williamson, Elizabeth Stuart, Marsha Canham and Nadine Crenshaw are among some of my favorites but the complete list is on my blog (http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com).


Racing with the Wind is the first book in your Agents of the Crown trilogy. Any chance it might become a multi-book series or do you plan to keep it a trilogy?
Well, funny you should ask. I just finished the second, Martin’s story, AGAINST THE WIND, and have started the third, WIND RAVEN, the story of Martin’s sea captain brother, Nick. But I also have the prequel rumbling around in my brain. Tentatively titled ON FAIR WINDS, it’s the story of Nick and Martin’s parents, an English privateer Simon Powell, known as the Golden Eagle, who falls in love with the daughter of a French pirate while the two countries are at war. Ah yes, now that will be a romantic tale. But it will come after WIND RAVEN.


What can readers expect from book two in the trilogy, Against the Wind?
AGAINST THE WIND is a “backwards romance” in the sense that things happen out of order. First the hero and heroine make love, then they marry and then they get to know each other and fall in love. Martin returns from Paris to take on one last assignment as a spy for the Crown (which will end up as the Pentrich Rebellion in the Midlands in 1817), and in the one night he allows himself some pleasure, through a mix-up in rooms at a very fancy bordello, he ends up with Kit who he thinks is a courtesan but who is really a dowager Baroness whose life has just been shattered.


So far, what has been the best part of being a published author? Have you had any memorable fan encounters?
The best part is the readers…connecting with the hearts of other women. It really thrills me to know my story has brought them pleasure. That is why I write! I try to write the kinds of stories I would enjoy.


What would readers be surprised to find on your bookshelf?
Books on Christian apologetics and law.


Aside from being a published author and review blogger what do you do on your spare time?
Well, I read a lot as you might imagine and most of what I read is romance, and most of that is historical romance. Some authors send me advance copies of their books to review, too. My reviews are always my candid assessments but there are some authors who know I like there stuff.

I love to cook (some of my recipes are on my website) and I like having dinner or lunch with friends. Small groups make for interesting discussions. Getting to know other authors at conferences and over the Internet has been a special treat. Some of my best friends in cyber world are other authors.

Oh yes, I should add that I still practice law part time from my home. And I like that, too. Solving problems for others makes me happy.


If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would have written differently in Racing with the Wind?
Yes. Not the main plot or the characters, but every now and then I’ll come up with an idea for a change, something minor, and I have to remind myself the thing is published and that opportunity is lost.


What advice can you give to writers who are looking to get their books published?
Skip the long trek and look for a small publisher or if you have a really good editor consider self-publishing. Just get it done. Entering contests is ok, but at some point you have to leave that behind and get your book out there. Get a good critique group (even an online one) and once the book is done, get some beta reads. That’s a reader looking at the big picture—the story as a whole. It doesn’t matter how well you write if the story or the characters are not appealing. I am delighted when a reviewer tells me they fell in love with my heroine or hero. That is what I wanted—to speak to the desires of their hearts, to give them hope that true love is out there somewhere.

Oh, and for those who think they need an agent for their contract, let me tell you. For a new author, they are all contracts of adhesion. That means it’s a “take it or leave it” proposition. Just sign it and move on. If you want a big publisher you might need an agent, but frankly I prefer dealing directly with my publisher and many in the Indie community prefer dealing with only their readers. Can’t blame them.


I could ask questions until the world ends but I know you're a busy lady so I'll just ask one last question. Is there anything else you'd like readers to know?
Yes. Know that I humbly appreciate that you bought my book. And if you liked it, I am thrilled, honored. It’s what I want more than anything—to bring joy to other women. And I am always open to suggestions for new stories, new locations, new time periods. Just contact me via my website (http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com). I’d also love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

I started a medieval set in 1067, THE RED WOLF’S PRIZE. It’s half done. I stopped it to finish my trilogy when my first book got published, but I’ll come back to it. I love the time of William the Conqueror and wanted to explore how a brave Saxon woman might have reacted to a domineering, proud knight who thinks the land he’s been awarded (and not the girl that goes with it) is his prize. He is so wrong.


Regan, thank you so much, it's been a pleasure reading Racing with the Wind and having the opportunity to ask you a few questions. I can't wait until your next book comes out! Best of luck to you!
Thanks! And thanks for the great review!


Regan is graciously offering a Kindle copy of her book Racing with the Wind to one lucky person. So fill out the rafflecopter form below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Find Regan Walker:
Online l Twitter l Facebook l GoodReads l Review Blog

Purchase Racing with the Wind:

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me on your blog, Adria! And thanks again for the great review. I'm so glad you liked my book!

    Regan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, if you mean me, LH--and thanks for stopping by!

      Regan

      Delete
  3. Congratulations on the new release Regan!!! I love all your titles...

    Good luck with the series!

    Lisa :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lisa! So good of you to stop by and I'm thrilled you like the titles. Once I had the first, the others followed, of course.

      Regan

      Delete
  4. I also like a strong hero and strong heroine to match. Their strengths can make a story interesting to read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Na,
      I so agree. None of those whinny heroines for me, no scrappy ones, either.

      Regan

      Delete
  5. Congrats on the book! Sounds like a good series. I enjoyed the interview.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome advice on new authors. As a novice writer working on her WIP (it's been around for ten plus years, just now getting off the procrastination track to work on it)

    ReplyDelete

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