By Anna Campbell
It's my week for hosting fabulous debut authors!
I'm delighted to welcome to the lair a wonderful writer and a fabulous advocate for the romance genre (especially historical romance, yay!), Beverley Kendall! SINFUL SURRENDER, her first historical romance for Kensington, has just hit the bookstores!
Bev has very generously offered TWO signed copies of SINFUL SURRENDER as prizes to people who comment today. So get commenting, people, while I go and pour Bev a margarita and find her a cabana boy. They've been a bit nervy since Courtney's visit so I might have to sneak up on one and throw a net over his head!
You can find out more about Bev and her books on her website: www.beverleykendall.com
Bev also runs a wonderful romance website called The Season which is mainly, although not totally, about historical romance. There are contests and news and a fabulous bulletin board where you can talk other romance fanatics. Check it out! http://www.historicalromancereleases.com/tableofcontents_1qtr.html
Bev, huge congratulations on your debut SINFUL SURRENDER which is a fantastic read. That's a lovely cover too! Yum! Can you tell us something about the story and the inspirations behind it?
I've always adored the stories where the heroine is in love with her brother's best friend, so when I was thinking up a plot for my first historical, it just naturally came to mind. I love a story when either the hero or heroine is pining for the other. I love the angst of it. And you know one of them for whatever reasons, is trying to resist. And the relationship between the heroine’s brother and the hero is something that can live or die depending on how the brother feels about the match. I think most brothers who are a bit wild themselves and hang out with equally rakish friends, don’t think said friends would be suitable for their sisters. That is instant conflict right there, and I love it!
How delicious! Here in the lair, we love call stories. Can you give us yours?
My call story was a little surreal to me. I was sitting at my desk at home, working on my second book, THE GAUNTLET. I’d given up on selling SINFUL SURRENDER as I couldn’t get an agent for it. The phone rang and I noticed it was a New York City area code. My mind immediately went to all the people I knew in New York and my old work place. I quickly dismissed that any of them would be calling me. I answered the phone cautiously. This very lovely female voice asked to speak to Beverley Kendall. Kind of formal, you know. I identified myself. She said this is Hilary Sares from Kensington, and I swear to you that’s all I heard. My mind started racing. Why on earth is Hilary Sares calling me? You see, I’d received a rejection letter from Kensington for the first version of SINFUL SURRENDER months before. I’d sent a ‘better’ version off a week before I received that rejection letter, so when I got the letter, I thought it was dead in the water. Well, apparently she liked the second version and wanted to buy it. I know at one point she started to laugh because I was babbling, and I remember she laughed and said she loved making these kinds of calls. I don’t know that I was coherent for the rest of the call. But I did say I wanted to try and get an agent before I accepted the offer. I asked for a week and she said fine. That’s what I remember about the call that changed my life.
What’s coming up next for Beverley Kendall?
My next book, and the second book in the series, is THE GAUNTLET. Now, that title WILL change as I've been told it's not sexy or romantic enough to remain. LOL. But THE GAUNTLET is the story of Missy's (heroine in SINFUL SURRENDER) brother, Viscount Thomas Armstrong and Lady Amelia Bertram. They appear together very briefly at the end of SINFUL SURRENDER and their introduction is far from amiable. There will be lots of sparks (the good and bad kind) in this book.
I look forward to that. You write in the Victorian era. What appeals to you about this period in history?
To me it was the perfect median between what I felt wasn’t modern enough (hot running water, water closets, better lighting and heating) for a person to be comfortable and too modern to come even close to the industrialization and technological advances of the twentieth century. Does that make sense?
It does indeed! You run a fabulous website for romance readers called The Season, which largely although not entirely concentrates on historical romance. Can you tell us about the site and what inspired you to set it up?
The Season was inspired in part by something Kris Alice, who works for a romance review magazine in Germany, said on Twitter one day. She started following me on Twitter, announced that she’d found another debut author, and said she wished there was a place she could go to find out about all the new authors coming out. My sister then latched onto to that little nugget and suggested I create a site that featured only debut authors. I didn’t think that a site that narrow in scope would work, so I said what about a site that features all historical releases. And so The Season was born. Now it’s expanded to include four contemporaries and paranormals per month and other fun things. I’m trying different things out right now. If they work, I’ll keep them. If they don’t, I’ll stop.
Bev, you’re one of these superwomen who juggles work outside the home, a romance writing career and motherhood. Can you give us a peek at your usual day? Do you have any tips on time management?
LOL. No, I have no tips because I don’t manage them well at all. I feel like various things in my life are getting short changed like cleaning. LOL. Currently, I don’t have a full-time job (paying) as I was laid off last summer. But I work more than full-time hours. I usually work on the site and blog at least three hours every day. I try to write at least three (doesn’t always work out that way). My son gets home at 2:30 so I better have all those things done by then. After he’s in bed, I will go back to working on the site or writing. It’s honestly more work than I’ve ever done in my life. I need another five hours in a day to feel like I’ve truly accomplished everything that needs to be done. Promoting is another strenuous activity. LOL.
Do you have any advice for unpublished writers?
Don’t follow rules. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t right about this or that, or that that story won’t sell. And worry more about writing a great, entertaining story than anything else. Although, you must get through an editor to get your story out there, at the end of the day, the readers have the last say as to how good a job you’ve done.
Bev, what a great interview! Now do you have a question for the Banditas and Bandita Buddies?
I see phases in historical romance. Like right now I’ve been seeing more courtesans as heroines. What type of heroine or hero would you be interested in reading about? Do you have a favourite now?
Bev has very kindly donated TWO copies of SINFUL SURRENDER as prizes today for people who comment. Good luck!