Friday, February 29, 2008

Interview with Victoria Dahl

by Jo Robertson

Hello, Banditas, Honorary Banditas, and Readers, today we’re very fortunate to have new historical writer VICTORIA DAHL with us.

Victoria Dahl’s debut novel TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN from Kensington caught my attention for two reasons: the hot, hot cover (check out the deep-red, sexy color – isn’t that a gorgeous cover?) and the wickedly handsome Scotsman, Collin Blackburn, the hero of her story. I love a spunky heroine who isn’t afraid to step outside the strictures of her society. Lady Alexandra Huntington is such a woman and she’s more than a match for Collin Blackburn, who hounds her with a vengeance because he believes she’s responsible for the death of his brother.

So, I in turn, hounded Victoria until she agreed to interview with the Romance Bandits LOL. As you know we interview writers by invitation only, but having read her book, I knew Dahl was a talented author with many lovely books in her career. TTAS is sexy, fast-paced, and utterly delightful. You can click on the title and order it from Amazon. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Jo: We love call stories in the Lair, Victoria. Can you tell us about your road to publication and how you received your first contract?

Victoria: Hello, Banditas and readers! I’m so excited to be here! Thank you so much for the invitation, Jo. After reading that intro, you are now one of my best friends, so I hope you’re prepared to see a lot of me. Wanna cuddle?

Jo: Hehehehe, method to my madness.

Victoria: My road to publication was a fairly long one. I’ve been reading historical romance since about the age of twelve. I always hoped to be a writer, but I didn’t start seriously writing until seven years ago when I had my first child and became a stay at home mom. Cleaning the house wouldn’t hold my attention even if I did bother to do it, so I knew I’d need something else to occupy my mind. My first manuscript sucked harder than my unused vacuum cleaner, but it was a book! And I’d written it!

Jo: You’ll be happy to learn that housecleaning is verboten in the Lair.

Victoria: I joined RWA and started entering contests. I finaled for the first time with my second manuscript, and then I was hooked on contests. Four years (and four manuscripts) later, I finaled in the Golden Heart with TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN!!! It was an unbelievable experience even before I won. A whirlwind of sparkly chaos! And then I came home, and my agent sent out the book with a triumphant cover letter and… nothing. Ten months of nothing before I finally got the call from John at Kensington! Woo-hoo!

Jo: Collin Blackburn is exactly the kind of hero I adore – a principled man who comes up against a woman he has the wrong idea about from the get-go. How did you come up with your characters and the story for TTAS?

Victoria: Well, I love to torture my hero. I really do. If I can arrange a fake death to send him into a spiral of despair, I’ll do it in a heartbeat. Mmmm. So delicious. I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

Jo: Uh, dunno, I got lost in imagining your hero being tickled to death with a feather on his bare chest.

Victoria: Oh, yeah. I also love a very steady, reliable hero who falls for a wild girl, perhaps because my husband is very steady and reliable, and I might be a tad wild. *g* Since Collin is such a good guy, I had great opportunity to torture him with his misconceptions and doubts about the woman he loves. He doesn’t want to suspect her of doing wicked things, but she’s just so naughty! Just to be clear though, I really hate plots that are built on easily-dispelled misconceptions. I don’t think you’ll find any of those in TTAS.

Jo: Absolutely, not at all! You really kept me going with the plot complications.

Victoria: My very first idea for TTAS was the post-love scene. (The one in the cottage, Jo.) For some reason, my characters introduced themselves to me with this truly disastrous moment. I knew I had to write the book as soon as this scene popped into my head. I couldn’t resist a story about two lovers whose first time doesn’t end with butterflies and melting hearts. Instead of bringing them closer together, this love scene is just the start of the bumpy road ahead. (Pssst. Don’t worry. It all works out in the end, I promise.)

Jo: You did it beautifully. I know you have an exciting and happening blogspace going on at www.MySpace.com/VictoriaDahl. What kinds of topics do you like to discuss? I’ve popped over and seen some quite naughty dialogue.

Victoria: Oh, God. Very little that has to do with writing, I’m afraid. I used to blog with the History Hoydens about professional kinds of topics that mature readers might want to read about. But due to scheduling conflicts and a shift in my career, I had to bow out. (It’s a great blog, so check it out at HistoryHoydens.Blogspot.com) Now I do most of my blogging on my MySpace page, and there is no one there to guide me. Here are the last five topics as of mid-February: Irish Butts, My Great Weekend, The Mental Breakdown I Had While Planning my 6-Year-Old’s Birthday Party, A Hilarious & Disgusting Rap Video About George Washington and, finally, You May Have Heard a Rumor That I’m Strange. I also hold contests, of course. And sometimes I even talk about my books. Please stop by. If you don’t have a MySpace account, you won’t be able to post a comment, but I will be adding a mirror of my blog to LiveJournal in a few months. I’m waiting for my website redesign before I take that on. In the meantime, Friend me!

Jo: Everyone’s saying historicals are making a come back. Did you have any idea of writing in another genre when we all thought historicals were “dead”? Both your books are set in England, 1844. What did you find particularly attractive about this early Victorian period?

Victoria: Other genres? Definitely. I am a fickle book mistress. TTAS was the third historical I wrote, and then I decided the market had tanked. By the time I sold TTAS, I’d written three contemporary paranormals. Now, of course, that market is glutted. Ha! My agent actually took me on based on my paranormals, which are light and funny and sexy. She never even READ my historicals until after I won the GH. That’s how bad the market was! When my paranormals didn’t sell (not dark enough), my agent asked if I would write a straight contemporary… something funny and sexy but without vampires. I had never even considered it, frankly. I LOVE the automatic conflict that comes with both historicals and paranormals. Forced marriage or dating with fangs. You know what I’m saying. But I’d already written my second historical for Kensington, so I took a deep, terrified breath and wrote my first contemporary. Turns out my agent is a genius. It sold to HQN just a few months ago! As far as writing in the early Victorian era… I was drawn to this era because it is an age in transition. There are still a lot of Regency ideals left over and we haven’t gotten into the standard strict Victorian mores. It’s rather unexplored as far as romances go. I really wanted to write a story that didn’t automatically push preconceived notions into the reader’s head.

Jo: Your next historical from Kensington is coming out this year. Can you tell us a little about that?

Victoria: A RAKE’S GUIDE TO PLEASURE will be out in August and I can’t wait! I love this book. (Am I allowed to say that?)

Jo: Absolutely -- you, your mom and your agent LOL!

Victoria: The hero is the Duke of Somerhart, the older brother of the heroine of TTAS. He’s cold and controlled on the surface, but when he meets up with Lady Denmore, he finds himself tripping over bad decisions and an impulsive attraction. But Lady Denmore is not what she seems. In fact, she’s not Lady Denmore at all. Her real name is Emma Jensen and she’s masquerading as a titled widow in order to make her fortune at London’s gambling tables. Emma is hiding her real identity, and this masquerade is what draws her to Somerhart, a man who’s been hiding his true self for years. Together, they have to decide if love is really worth the gamble. (Warning: this book is a bit naughtier than TTAS, so if TTAS pushed any boundaries for you, approach with caution!)

Jo: I knew Somerhart would have his own book because I read the excerpt , but I’m so eager to read his complete story. And don’t worry, we Banditas love to go where no man – er, woman – has gone before!

Victoria: There’s a pretty long excerpt of RAKE’S GUIDE at the back of TTAS, which was a wonderful surprise for a first time author. Zebra’s Debut program has been an amazing opportunity for a lot of us new historical writers, btw. Kensington/Zebra is really stepping up to the plate, taking a chance on debut writers and giving readers a great opportunity to try out an unknown author for only $3.99. And the covers! Whew! I can’t say enough great things about this program. Distribution was amazing. TTAS was in Walmart!!!! One last thing… That contemporary I mentioned will be out with HQN in February 2009. TALK ME DOWN is the story of a young woman who goes back to her small hometown in Colorado and causes a huge stir with her secretive career, a mysterious stalker, and her burgeoning relationship with the chief of police. I like to say that if you like cold weather, hot sex, and dirty jokes, this is the book for you! But I haven’t walked away from historical in any way, shape or form. I’ll have another historical out with Kensington in 2009 as well as a novella in a Kensington historical anthology. Have I mentioned that 2009 will be a busy year? Thanks again to all the Banditas--and especially Jo!—for inviting me to come visit. I can’t wait to chat!!!

Victoria is giving away an autographed copy of TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN to one lucky commenter. I promise you’ll adore it. I did!

Victoria will be hanging out in the Lair today so drop by, say hello, and shoot her any questions you have about her books, the genres, or her sassy MySpace blogspot. You can also check out her website at http://www.victoriadahl.com/.

88 comments:

jo robertson said...

Lest you all think there's something hinky going on, I had to re-post Victoria's interview. So sorry. Me and html DO NOT mix!

Suz won the GR and got him back in her old Kentucky home, right?

Black Rose posted a comment. We won't forget you, but if you'd like to comment again, we'd appreciate it.

And I believe Kate was cursing, but don't hold me to that. Something profanely scatological, tee hee, about missing the Golden Rooster.

Helen said...

Congrats Suzanne on the GR he obviously wanted to cool down although I really think autumn has arrived a day early here in Australia.

What a great interview Ladies I love hearing about new authors especially historical I will be ordering this book asap I love a Scotsman does he wear a kilt by chance Victoria? it sounds really hot maybe I will need a fan close by when I read it. The cover is beautiful love the colour.

Have Fun
Helen

jo robertson said...

Glad you're ordering this one, Helen. I just picked it up on a whim and fell in love with Victoria's writing. And her next sounds even hawt-er!! Yikes, bring on the ice cubes.

Victoria Dahl said...

Hi, Jo! Thanks again for the invite! I can tell it's going to be fun!

Helen, you silly thing, my Scotsman's not wearing anything at all. Can't you tell? *g* Seriously though, I'm afraid he's a Lowlander, so no kilt for him. Luckily, he looks good in anything. Or nothing.

Btw, my mom's name is Helen, so when my contemps come out in 2009, you'll notice that I've written in a woman named Helen who gets the hot younger guy. LOL

I'm off to bed!

jo robertson said...

Ooh la la, Victoria. I can tell you keep your mama very happy!

Christine Wells said...

Victoria, welcome to the Lair! Snorked at that interview. JoMama, you are wicked--no wonder you loved Victoria's book! I always enjoyed your posts on Hoydens, Victoria. Must check out your myspace page. With a 5yo I need some tips on retaining my sanity during birthday parties!

Congrats on selling your contemporary to HQN and on the success of TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN. So glad you're continuing with the historicals. It sounds like you found a niche in that early Victorian era. I write Regency historicals and I have the internal editor on one shoulder and the Regency Police on the other sometimes;) No wonder I have back trouble.

Anyway, must go and stir the mac cheese. Have fun and good luck with all your future projects.

Helen said...

Nothing at all sounds even better Victoria can't wait to read it.
Your Mum must be a wonderful lady with a name like Helen. I love reading a book when an author has used a name that is the same as someone close to me or even my name.
Have Fun
Helen

PJ said...

Hi Victoria!

Great interview ladies! Anyone who hasn't read TTAS should correct that oversight right now. It's a terrific book! I have the date for Somerhart's book marked on my calendar, Victoria. He's going to be an amazing hero.

Congrats on the success of your debut novel and keep on writing, girl. You have a growing fan base out here in reader-land anxiously waiting to buy anything you publish!

Hugs,

PJ

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Hi Victoria, love your name by the way. I also love a Scotsman, with a kilt, without a kilt, doesn't matter *eg* As usual, I will be adding to my growing collection of books I have to see just how you tempted the Scotsman!
I am more of a historical reader but since I found the lair I have definitely been branching out into contemps, westerns, etc. I will just have to "hear" your contemporary voice as well as the historical.

Minna said...

Great interview!

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Victoria! I'm so looking forward to your next book. And may I say that it has a fabulous cover as well! Verrra nice!

Off to pack--I'm leaving for Columbia, SC today to head to the Celebrate Romance conference. I'm really looking forward to a weekend chatting with wonderful romance authors and readers. And I finally get to meet PJ!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

brownone said...

Wow, what a hot cover! I love the colors! I'll definately have to pick this one up.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Victoria - Welcome to the lair! Loved TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN. Just wanted to bop in and wave before I dash out in snow and ice. I'll be back.

Christie Kelley said...

What a great interview, Jo and Victoria (waving to another Zebra Deb).

Victoria, your books all sound so good. Now that I sent off Every Time We Kiss to my editor, I'm going on a reading binge. I have to read Anna Campbell's first then I'll look for yours.

Kim Howe said...

Fabulous interview, Jo and Victoria! Victoria, I love your voice so much, I can't wait to read your book. Congratulations on your first sale. I'm sure there will be many more to celebrate!

KJ

Joan said...

No....Joan did :-)

Joan said...

Hi, Victoria and welcome to our world. (echoing)

TTAS sounds fabulous and since I'm headed to the bookstore today to stock up will add it to my list.

Ok, you use feathers and Donna used a mink paint brush...those Victorians were an inventive lot LOL. (Hmmm...wonder what a Roman could use?)

Can you share what winning the GH felt like?

doglady said...

Well, Suz, just serve the GR a mint julep and he'll be fine. What a terrific interview. You definitely know how to ask the right questions JoMama! That cover is fabulous, Victoria. And it sounds like the book is wicked fun, my favorite type of fun to have.

Is it easier to torture a hero with his own misconceptions, his own deep-seeded character quirks and flaws than it is to torture him with outside events? In other words, which is easier - external conflict or internal conflict and how do you achieve a balance between the two?

Joan said...

I'm having a hard time getting my posts completed before posting....must be the excitement of going to have my tires rotated this morning :-)

Victoria, I'm also going to check out your blog on Irish butts....going to Eire in April and want to see what's what

rebekah said...

Great interview. The book sounds great. I just love books about scotsmen.

Brigid Coady said...

The books sound great! And as I can't resist a Scotsman I will be adding you to my list :-)

Deb Marlowe said...

Victoria, Congrats on all of your success! I agree, your covers are beautiful! I'm looking forward to all of your new releases!

AndreaW said...

Hi, Victoria!

Great interview! I read and loved TTAS (thanks to your visit at RNTV) and now I am soooooooo lookng forward to Hart's book. Congrats on selling your contemp! Now, I'm looking forward to that one, too. ;)

~Andrea, who loves BOTH covers!

Victoria Dahl said...

Wooo, you people are FAST! I can't catch up!


Hi Christine! To be honest, the Regency cop scared me to death, which is one of the reasons I chose a different era! Eeeek!

I was really sorry to have to leave the Hoydens. What a great group! But in the near future, at least, I'll be working on two contemps and one historical a year, and I just can't blog well about historical research when I'm actually looking into whether or not diesel engines have spark plugs! (No, they do not. *g*)

Victoria Dahl said...

PJ and Donna, thank you so much for reading!!!

Gannon, have a safe trip! And everyone else, my head is spinning! You ladies are busy around here. Thanks so much for the warm, warm welcome!

Victoria Dahl said...

Doglady (and I feel very strange calling you that!), I love--LOVE--internal conflict! Seriously, there's nothing better in the world. Especially if it involves a pretend death!

Thsi is frightening. I just realized that out of the five historicals I've written... the hero thinks the heroine has died at some point in four of them. Once, for mere seconds. Once for eight years. HAHAHAHA God, I need to break out. Except that in the historical I just started.... Oh, God. The book starts with the heroine faking her own death!!!

Somebody call a therapist.

Victoria Dahl said...

I swear all the books aren't the same though. I promise!!! Actually, in the one I'm working on now, the fake death is kind of funny. The heroine is actually hiding the hero's abandoned manor, when he suddenly returns after a ten year absence and ruins all her plans. She needs him gone, so she decides to haunt him. Especially when he's naked in bed.

Farrah Rochon said...

A fun, entertaining interview, as always. You never fail to make me smile, Mrs. Dahl.

I think I'm also hooked on the Lair. I've had a great time reading previous posts, as well (yeah, the work at the day job had to take a back seat).

Off to bookmark this blog!

Happy Leap Day,

Farrah

jo robertson said...

Speaking of five-year-olds, Victoria and Christine, you both have young children.

How do you ladies find the time (never mind the energy) to write and take care of your little ones?

Both of you are stay-at-home moms, which as we well know, gives flexibility, but NOT more time. What's your writing schedule like? Do you keep regular hours or catch as catch can?

jo robertson said...

Gannon and Brownone, aren't Victoria's covers delicious. Of course, I never buy a book based on the cover design. Oh, no. Never. Nope.

I'm beginning to see an emerging pattern to the covers -- neither hero seems to spend much time picking out his wardrobe for the day.

jo robertson said...

Yes, Christie Kelly and Jeanne Adams are both Kensington debut authors and Banditas.

Victoria, can you tell us more about Kensington's program for debut authors? I think it's a fantastic way to give first-time authors a chance to put their works out there.

Victoria Dahl said...

I know I'm missing some people, but I promise I'll be more thorough later. I love all of you, equally! LOL

I'm going to be on my way out the door in a about an hour. Off to FedEx the final page proofs of A RAKE'S GUIDE TO PLEASURE!!! Woohoo!

Yes, Jo, my heroes clearly don't have much time for clothing. I was a little disappointed that Hart had time to pull his trousers on for the shoot, but there's something on the cover that makes up for it... If you look very closely, you'll notice that the heroine's hands are hidden. It appears as thought they could be held in Hart's strong grip. They might even be tied up.

Hmmmm...

Victoria Dahl said...

And while I'm out of the house, use your time wisely. Head over to my MySpace blog to grab your very own "I'm an Unsympathetic Heroine" author sticker!!!

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=159637272

jo robertson said...

Bridget, Coady and the rest of you who are adding Victoria's book to your TBR pile, TTAS is a highly entertaining, quick read.

(No, Victoria doesn't pay me a commission LOL).

Someone mentioned Victoria's voice and that's one of the things I enjoyed about TTAS. It's distinctly historical, but almost has the tone of a contemporary, which makes the book highly readable. And the historical detail never gets in the way of a good story. I always hate when an author blocks in a bunch of historicity that pulls me out of the story.

jo robertson said...

Farrah, so glad you're able to join us from work. Some of the Banditas have BLOG POLICE at the place of their employment.

Can you imagine such audacity??!!

Victoria Dahl said...

Blog police? That's terrible!

Farrah is one of my favorite people in the world. She judged TTAS for the Golden Heart, so we started off on a VERY good foot.

Jo, I do think Alexandra is a particularly modern heroine, but not anachronistic, because of her unique position. For those of you who haven't read it, Alex is an heiress, not to mention the beloved little sister of a powerful duke. So though she may have gotten herself ruined, she still has a lot more power than other unmarried women of the day. And she knows it. *g* She would still be able to make a good marriage if she wanted to. Or she can live the rest of her life under her own support being as scandalous as she can afford. I think it makes for a very different attitude when you've been raised knowing you have choices.

jo robertson said...

Okay, I just called PSYCH 911. I think we have to do an intervention on Victoria. Every heroine thought dead??!! Hmmm, what would Freud say?

But, seriously, I love that plot device. Think about it. You believe the person you've come to care about more than life itself dead? The panic, the sense of loss, the God-please-don't-let-it-be feeling? What an emotional ride!

jo robertson said...

You're right, Victoria, Alex is a highly likeable heroine, one I think appeals to a modern woman. She's smart, spunky (wears pants when working), and yet appealingly feminine.

Victoria Dahl said...

Okay, I just called PSYCH 911.

Wait, are you saying I'm strange???

But I've got good news! I just remembered that ONE of those four is actually the book I'm working on now. I'm totally re-writing it for the third Kensington book. Whew. Okay, only 4 out of 5. NOT five out of six. That's better, right? RIGHT?

Victoria Dahl said...

And, oh, the novella I'm working on has no deaths in it, fake or otherwise!!! Woohoo! I'm free of this neuroses!!!

Cassondra said...

Victoria, welcome to the lair!

Jo has been raving about your book. I'm so glad she finally stalked you into blogging with us. (grin)

Your cover IS gorgeous and since I'm going by the bookstore today, well....hmmmm..I'm thinkin I'll come home with a new read, and it ain't going on the bottom of the tbr pile.

I'm interested in how you make the mental switch from one genre to another, since I know you have to do edits on one book while working on another, and all that. Also, was there any weird reaction from the historical house when you sold the contemps? This is not that unusual I suppose, but I know every publishing house is concerned with branding their authors. You're flying in waters that many of us fear and have been discouraged from treading.

How has that played out for you?

Donna MacMeans said...

Sharing my connection to Victoria - she's the one who presented me with my Golden Heart back in Atlanta in 2006. Very, very cool.

jo robertson said...

Oh, Donna, cool! I was going to ask Victoria which year she won the GH -- 2005, then?

Man, I was so zoning out, I don't remember who presented to me. Aren't I awful. Hmmm, better check that out. I do remember she was incredibly sweet.

Aren't Romance Writers the best??!!

Aunty Cindy said...

BIG WELCOME to the Lair, Victoria!

Don't worry about the 911 call, we get those here all the time... er, um, I mean things are always interesting here! (and exactly WHO has the GR? Joan is in Kentucky, not Suz...)

PULL-LEASE PULL-EEEEASE let some of your wonderful cover magic rub off on me! I'm IMpatiently awaiting my first cover, and as you can see from our blog sidebar, the Banditas have been SUPER LUCKY so far... I'm scared to death I'll be the first exception!

LOVE your hero's name in TTAS.

AC

jo robertson said...

OMG, brain freeze! Yes, Joanie has the GR; you know I can't tell those nurses apart :-D.

Victoria Dahl said...

I'm back! I'm back! I just need a minute to scarf down some lunch and then I'll answer questions.

Fridays are crazy around here. We only have a half day of school, which means my kindergardner only has a QUARTER day, which is just enough time for me to run errands like a crazy person before I race back to get them.

Be right back!

Susan Seyfarth said...

Hi, Victoria!

As a fellow stay-at-home mom, I can't tell you how much I admire somebody who can write more than one book a year. I just can't seem to produce any faster than that. I don't what I'll do if I ever sell a book before my youngest (who's only 1) goes off at least to kindergarten. I'd never be able to handle the pressure! How do you manage to write multiple books a year, let along multiple genres??

Victoria Dahl said...

Joan, what did you think of the Irish butts? *g*

Thank you for all the compliments on the covers!!! The first time I saw the TTAS cover, I stood at the mailbox and called my husband to yell, "Oh, my God, there are TWO NAKED PEOPLE ON MY COVER!!!" A cute little tidbit: if you blow up the cover to 300%, you can see that the male model has freckles on his shoulders! Awwww.

Victoria Dahl said...

How do you manage to write multiple books a year, let along multiple genres??

Susan, it gets easier, honestly. My boys are less than two years apart, and when people ask me what that first year with both of them was like, I answer honestly: I have no memory of that whatsoever. Totally true. But now they play together constantly, so I don't have to spend time entertaining them.

To answer Jo's question about finding the time... I'm REALLY lucky that I don't need peace and quiet--or even large chunks of time--to write. I can grab fifteen minutes here and there. I don't really have a schedule. I try to make use of the three hours my youngest son is in school, but I have to divide that between writing and shopping and haircuts and doctor appts, sooooo... *g*

But next year they will BOTH BE IN SCHOOL FULL TIME. Not that I've been counting down for the past three years or anything. Ahem. This year will be the toughest because of my new contracts, but I just have to get to September!!!

Also, I don't clean the house, I only cook a couple of times a week, and I refuse to enroll the boys in ANYTHING that collectively takes up more than two hours of my time a week. Chess club? check! Competitive Soccer? Over my dead body.

catslady said...

All I can say is all your books sound fantastic and I adore the covers - historicals have always been my favorite and add a Scott and I'm in heaven!!!

Victoria Dahl said...

I'm interested in how you make the mental switch from one genre to another, since I know you have to do edits on one book while working on another, and all that. Also, was there any weird reaction from the historical house when you sold the contemps?

Hi Cassondra! Thanks for the kind words!

I think writing in more than one genre is becoming more commonplace these days. I'm actually surprised by the number of writers, for instance, who write BOTH adult and YA romances under the same name! I wondered if there would be some concern about branding because I'm so new, but neither of my publishers ever even brought it up.

I started out writing just historicals, and contest judges always commented on my "historical voice." But all my online friends always thought I should write contemp, which I wasn't interested in, frankly. Then I started reading paranormals and got an idea for a vampire romance that wasn't so dark and life-matey. And I found that switching back and forth between historical and contemp gave me some good breathing room. Kept me interested.

When those didn't sell, my agent asked me to move onto sexy romantic comedy and here I am! This is the first time I've been writing contemp and working on editing historical, and it was surprisingly easy.

But to be honest... I'm not very good at concentrating, so maybe this is ideal for me! LOL

Victoria Dahl said...

Hey, Donna! You've got an AMAZING memory! I nearly blacked out from having to be on stage and I wasn't even the one receiving the award.

I'm so glad you re-introduced yourself later. :-)

TJ Bennett said...

Victoria, I loved TTAS, as you know. And this comment of yours: "(Warning: this book is a bit naughtier than TTAS, so if TTAS pushed any boundaries for you, approach with caution!)" means of course I'll be first in line to buy A Rake! Love your writing and I think you might have a future in this writing business *wink*.

TJ Bennett

Victoria Dahl said...

TJ, you're so sweet! As always!

I'll tell the Banditas the same thing I told the RNTV girls about RAKE'S GUIDE... When my husband was reading the manuscript, he stopped at a certain part, put the pages down and said, "You can not put that in a romance novel." Ha! Silly man. Of course, he's never read erotica, so he may be a bit innocent.

I'm going to have a contest in August to see if you can all Guess The Scene That Scandalized The Author's Husband!

Jill Sorenson said...

Don't enter me to win cuz I already have To Tempt a Scotsman. A Rake's Guide is even naughtier? Yum. I can't wait to read it! I liked the brother/sister dynamic in Scotsman, and I loved the exchanges between Hart and Collin. I'm a sucker for scenes with two sexy men arguing, fighting, and becoming friends.

The funny paranormals sound interesting! Vickie Lewis Thompson has a great book out in this style, so there is a market...

jennifer echols said...

Vicki! ROLF! If the upcoming Talk Me Down wasn't so uber-hilarious, I'd say you're a hilarious blogger.

Victoria Dahl said...

Hi Jennifer! Jennifer is my critique partner, everybody! Give her a round of applause for putting up with me!

Jill, that's a great paranormal series! There are some good, funny ones out there, but editors seem to be hungry for dark, world-building paranormals, or that's the rejection line they fed me. *snort* I'm hoping the upcoming Sookie Stackhouse series on HBO will open the door to even more humor.

Victoria Dahl said...

And about crossing genres... I should note that we shopped my contemporary to Kensington first, but John passed on it. He said they've been doing REALLY well with historicals and not as well with contemps, so that's good info for all of you!

He sent me on with his blessing and was thrilled when I sold to HQN. Kensington still wants only one historical a year for the time being, and I can write a minimum of two books a year, so there were no concerns there. (Though my husband may be starting to regret my 3 books a year commitment! *g*)

Jane said...

Hi Victoria,
Your covers are hot. Did you pick these covers yourself? I saw on your site that you're coming out with a contemporary in 2009, are you going to follow that up with more contemporaries or go back to historicals?

Victoria Dahl said...

Hi Jane!

No, I'm afraid we authors have very little say in the covers. In fact, I had no say at all in these two! LOL It's just a matter of being lucky!

Now, with Harlequin, my editor and I actually went back and forth with ideas, and I can't WAIT to see what they come up with. So fun!

I'll definitely be continuing with historicals. I just signed a new deal with Kensington that should take me through 2010.

Rake's Guide will be out this year, and then in 2009 the schedule looks something like this:

February: TALK ME DOWN (contemp)
Summer: HISTORICAL #3
Fall: HISTORICAL ANTHOLOGY with Kristina Cook, Sally Mackenzie, and Virginia Henley!
Fall: START ME UP (tentative title for contemp #2)

The reason I'm so busy is that I've only actually written ONE of those. hahahaha

Not sure what will happen in 2010, but I'm hopeful it will be just as busy.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Uhm...I think you have your nurses confused Jo! Joan is in Kentucky, I'm further south in Texas. And congrats Joan on the GR snag! Keep him warm.

Welcome to the Lair, Victoria. I love sexy books with sexy Scots in them. The red cover struck a chord in my memory, and after a quick flip through my TBR pile and yep, I've got a copy!

jo robertson said...

Hey, hey, Victoria. I love your attitude about children's activities. As some readers know, I have seven children, and they were allowed one sport and one musical activity. THAT'S ALL!!!

I attribute my sanity to that policy. And I didn't even write when they were little.

jo robertson said...

Oh, and I think I cleaned once in 1977, but I'm not sure; it's a little fuzzy/

jo robertson said...

LOL, Victoria, you're husband's a reader-virgin! That's too cute.

Mine just makes sure everybody knows I did NOT get those ideas from him.

Joan said...

Darn it I couldn't find the Irish butts blog....

But the one with the pic of sock monkey slippers kind of creeped me out...

I have a thing...against monkeys...no offense to monkey fans :-)

But in reading many of the others it is clear...you ARE a fascinating person, Victoria!

Tomorrow...after I make my brother put in my birthday gift money into this FABULOUS new piece of luggage I'm going to get TTAS....ASAP!

Victoria Dahl said...

But in reading many of the others it is clear...you ARE a fascinating person, Victoria!

Fascinating? Does that mean odd? LOL

Joan, I do not want you to miss out on my Irish research. Here it is. (Only one Irish butt, btw. Sorry about the misrepresentation.)

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=159637272&blogID=355993845&Mytoken=83A9C48D-D518-4255-8E7FD4C439525CFB141867251

Victoria Dahl said...

Jo, you have SEVEN kids?!? And you're still interested in writing about romance?!? Hats off to you, woman.

Btw, my husband's actually read ALL my books, so it made me very happy he was shocked by this one. *snicker* And he always tells people, "Actually, my wife has no imagination at all." *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*

Victoria Dahl said...

(Only one Irish butt, btw. Sorry about the misrepresentation.)

But it IS naked. Be sure to scroll all the way down, because there's a better version of the pic in the comments.

Joan said...

Whoa.....nice ass-ets, indeed.

I would agree with your one commenter. WHY is the "evil queen of the galaxy" looking in his EYES and WHY are her hands not "exploring strange new worlds, boldly going where no woman has gone before?"

Ack!

I'm taking a copy with me to Ireland in April and compare :-)

Oh, and should I meet you in San Fran and should your 100% Irish husband be in attendance...forgive me if I take a quick peek :-)

flchen1 said...

Boy, I'm late to this party! Victoria, those covers are SO beautiful!! Mmmm... I'm going to admire them for a bit...

... seriously, thanks for taking the time for such a great interview! I haven't read your work yet, but am going to remedy that right quick! Your books sound awesome! (But the heroine's thought dead in nearly every single one?? Zoinks!)

And major hats off to you, author/mom/goddess! I, too, love your thinking on kids and activities (and thankfully my oldest is totally in agreement--team sport of any kind over his dead body! My second's going to take convincing though...)

(And wow, Jo--I must have missed that somehow--seven??!! You are truly amazing!)

Anyway, congrats on your multi-genre success! Can't wait to read them all! :)

Victoria Dahl said...

(But the heroine's thought dead in nearly every single one?? Zoinks!)

Oh, God, I should never have pointed this out. You wouldn't have even noticed otherwise! I certainly didn't. Last month I read one of TJ's historicals to give her a quote, and I was rhapsodising (sp?) over a fake death in HER book. I was like, "Oh, I love that plot device! I use it in A Rake's Guide to Ruin! Hmm. And in TTAS. Huh."

Victoria Dahl said...

Ooooops! Sorry, It's A RAKE'S GUIDE TO PLEASURE now. A Rake's Guide to Ruin was the original title. I may also have called it A Rake's Guide to Passion online at some point before I'd memorized the new name. Way to market, huh? LOL

flchen1 said...

Hee! Sorry, didn't mean to dwell on it--it's just one of those things that you incorporate naturally like some people always write about oh, heroines with pets or something ;)

Seriously, I'm heading over to check out your blog--the topics sound hilarious, and boy, I can always use more hilarity! (Especially when trying to convince a sobbing two-year-old that socks and shoes are actually a good idea since we're leaving the house in the rain or cleaning up the third glass of spilled something or another for the morning ;))

And to clarify, your paranormals aren't available yet, right? I'm much more a fan of light/funny paranormal than dark (yes, count me among those hiding under the bed with a Maglite when the creepy stuff comes along)! What is that market thinking??

doglady said...

Quick shout out to Jennifer Echols! I got one of her YA's for my niece and she absolutely loved it! Was very stoked to have it personally autographed too. Now she wants everything by Jennifer Echols. So you have a great CP, Victoria! Do you ever write something even if your CP says "Nooooo. Don't!!!!"

jo robertson said...

Hi, folks, popping back in to say thanks for playing in the sandbox with us today.

My husband MADE me go out to dinner for my birthday, so I HAD to accommodate him. Oh, the sacrifices I make.

Victoria, thanks for being such a clever guest today.

Readers, be sure to drop by to see who wins an autographed copy of TO TEMPT A SCOTMAN!

Kirsten said...

Victoria, girl, you can come hang with the Banditas any time! It's like having a new soul sister! I'm just reading the comments from the day and LMAO. Thanks for visiting! :-)

I also write in a couple of different genres (only sold in YA, but there's always time, right? snort) and have found it isn't so hard to go back and forth. But then, I share your short attention span, so perhaps that's why!

Can't wait to add your fabulous books to my burgeoning TBR pile!

BTW, the delightful Delilah Marvelle is a chapter mate of mine and she says lovely things about you!

Victoria Dahl said...

Oh, no! Jo, I totally forgot it was your birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

I hope you had a lovely evening!

And to clarify, your paranormals aren't available yet, right?

No, they're not available! They were very much vampire romance for people who don't like vampire romances, which is a pretty hard marketing scheme. hahahaha Ah, well. Maybe one day!

Now she wants everything by Jennifer Echols. So you have a great CP, Victoria! Do you ever write something even if your CP says "Nooooo. Don't!!!!"

She's an AMAZING cp! We are cheerleaders for each other, and that's a great thing to have in this world. And YES, I do slip some stuff in that she hates. For instance, I made her cry with RAKE'S GUIDE and she hates to cry. She wanted me to take that part out. But of course, most people like a good sniffle in a romance. Silly girl.

Also, like Joan, Jennifer is creeped out by monkeys and wanted me to remove a monkey joke from my contemp. I defied her!

(And I'll keep checking back in on Saturday. You ladies can't get rid of me so easily. Sorry. Nope.)

Victoria Dahl said...

Delilah has been paid off.

*g* Thank you, Kirsten!

Victoria Dahl said...

I will keep hanging around, because I'm determined to be the last one to leave the party. But for the rest of you who are excellent guests and know when you're no longer wanted *wink*, I'll say my farewells!

Thank you SO MUCH for having me!!! What a blast! Everyone's been extraordinarily friendly. A huge thank you to Jo for the invitation. You made my day when you sent that note.

Everyone come Friend me on MySpace!

Victoria Dahl said...

(Btw, Jenn, now that I'm totally hung up on killing off my heroines... Did you ever notice that? It's weird, huh? Then again, it's possible you're weird enough never to have noticed!)

Joan said...

Victoria,

It was a sheer pleasure having you with us today. I'm headed over to try to friend you....it is a "monkey free" zone, right?

I'm not the most tech savvy Bandita...but if I don't accomplish it, know you've gained another fan.

Helen said...

Happy Birthday Jo hope you had a wonderful time

Thanks again Ladies for a great day

Have Fun
Helen

flchen1 said...

Ooh, rats! Your paranormals sound right up my alley! I would totally buy them! (Uh... I guess that makes me... completely weird?)

Happy birthday, Jo!

Victoria Dahl said...

And Aunt Cindy, good luck with that cover magic!!!

jennifer echols said...

Hey Doglady, thx for the shout out! I'm so glad your niece enjoyed the book.

Do you ever write something even if your CP says "Nooooo. Don't!!!!"

ALL. THE. TIME. Generally she ignores me and it works out fine. You could say Vicki doesn't really need a critique partner. But don't tell her. Reading her books a year before everyone else makes me feel superior.

And to clarify, your paranormals aren't available yet, right?

Those paranormals have GOT to get published sooner or later. All three of them are awesome, and the hero of the third one is my very fav of Vicki's heroes, as she knows. I feel confident they'll find a home.

Also, like Joan, Jennifer is creeped out by monkeys and wanted me to remove a monkey joke from my contemp. I defied her!

You watch. HQN is going to put a monkey on the cover and THEN you'll be sorry.

(Btw, Jenn, now that I'm totally hung up on killing off my heroines... Did you ever notice that? It's weird, huh? Then again, it's possible you're weird enough never to have noticed!)

Uh.

Nathalie said...

Hi,

I am looking forward to your new book... may I add that the cover is pretty intense ;)

Victoria Dahl said...

Thanks, Nathalie!

And thank you, Jennifer!

Now you can all see why I lurve her so much. All that AND she's an amazing writer.

You watch. HQN is going to put a monkey on the cover and THEN you'll be sorry.

Ha. Very funny.

Btw, for all of you who DON'T win the Banditas copy of my book, I'm running a contest on my blog this weekend! Come check it out!

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=159637272&blogID=362858782

Kimberly L said...

Victoria, What a great interview, your books all sound so good.I love reading historicals.