Interview with Christie Kelley

Welcome to the Riskies, Christie! I’m very excited about this book because I was a critique partner with Christie, and I can’t wait to read the finished version. Christie will drop by during the day to answer questions and comments, and the Riskies will pick a winner, who will receive a signed copy of the book (the usual rules apply–no masquerading under different handles–we know who you are and we will say rude things about your cats).

Christie, tell us about your book:

Thank you for having me here! I really am terrible at giving the short synopsis on Every Night I’m Yours so instead, I’ll give you the back cover blurb:

At twenty-six, aspiring novelist Avis Copley intends to wear spinsterhood as a badge of honor. But when she discovers a volume of erotica that ignites a searing fire within her, Avis realizes just how much she doesn’t know about the actual pleasures of the flesh. Determined to learn more, she devises a daring plan…

Avis chooses Emory Billingsworth, a fellow novelist-not to mention a beautiful specimen of manhood-to instruct her in carnal pleasure. But when the brash earl of Selby, Banning Talbot, a man she has known for years, unearths Avis’ true intentions, he claims she’s made a dangerously bad choice. Volunteering his services for one wicked night of reckless, abandoned passion, Banning promises he will satisfy all of her deepest longings. Yet Banning cannot begin to imagine the effect his willful, voluptuous, and very eager student will have on him-or how far an innocent lesson in desire can go…

Oooh. What gave you the idea?

This story woke me up from a great sleep one night. I had been writing a different story that had both Avis and Banning as secondary characters. I really hadn’t intended on writing about them. At least I hadn’t until I woke up one night to Avis telling me she planned to take a lover. My first thought was, no. A spinster in Regency England just doesn’t do that. Well, Avis wouldn’t listen to me. So I had no choice but to write the story.

What attracted you to the Regency as a setting?

I have been reading Regency set historicals forever. So for me, after I wrote a few manuscripts that should never see the light of day again, I decided to focus on writing what I love to read. Every Night I’m Yours was my second Regency historical.

What’s your favorite part of the book?

My favorite scene is when Avis decides she can’t take Emory as a lover. So she tells Banning that she will have to find another man. Banning blurts out that she should take him as a lover. He’s more shocked that he said it than she is to hear it. When she leaves the room, he realizes that he can’t take his sister’s best friend away for a two week affair. But the more he ponders the situation, the more he realizes that Avis is exactly what he’s been looking for in a wife.

(The Risky question) What part of this book do you–or your editor–consider risky or unusual?

I think the riskiest part was having my heroine make a logical decision to have an affair. This wasn’t an emotional decision based on love but purely on satisfying her own curiosity. Some people might not like that in a romance because she didn’t wait until she was in love with the hero before she bedded him.

What’s next for you?

The story is about Banning’s sister, Jennette. She has a deep secret that only one other person knows, and he’s ready to blackmail her to keep it secret. Only blackmail turns to passion and then to love. It’s been a tougher story for me to write because it is such an emotional book.

Your question or comment enter you into a drawing for a signed copy of the book. Have fun!

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Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse)

Well, goodness! I can’t believe I’m the first to comment on this great book! :> Christie, I’m still wiating for my copy, drat it. Every mention of it over on the Romance Bandits Blog is such a tease. Sigh. Christie, do you think a series like yours works better in Regency or contemporary? I’ve seen both and so far, I think the family based ones in Regency work better. I’m open to other opinions, of course…

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse)

Oh, I forgot to *wave* at Janet Mullany. Janet, I swear I didn’t change my name, but you can still say bad things about my dogs if you want. I do it all the time. :>

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

Hi, Christie!
Welcome to Risky Regencies. We are delighted to have you.

Your book sounds terrific! I can certainly buy the concept that a Regency woman might want to have lovers but not marry.

I, too, abandoned my stack of unsold manuscripts to write what I loved to read and I’ve never regretted it! I get to ‘live’ in Regency England every day of the week if I want to!

Janette Kenny
14 years ago

I’m just popping in to say, congrats, Christie on your debut! That’s such a special feeling. Love the blurb! I’m heading over to Amazon to order Every Night I’m Yours.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Sorry I’m a little late getting here. The day job interrupted me again. I had to go show two houses and hopefully I’ll be writintg a contract on one of them today.

Hi Jeanne,

Yay! The banditas are coming! I think series work well in any genre. Let me qualify that with, as long as the series doesn’t go on too long.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Diane! I haven’t seen you in ages. Hopefully MRW will pick some good workshops to pull you over for a day (hint, hint, Janet).

If I ever had the chance to travel back in time, it would definitely be the Regency period.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Thanks, Janette!

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Christie, He-llo and welcome to the Risky Regencies. No Bandita behavior here, alright? No brandishing of swords and swinging around in your boots

Janet and Christie, a great interview.

Christie, I came to the end of the back cover copy, and I frantically scanned to the end of the post trying to find the rest of that. Anything really. But nothing was there. Aaaarghhh! Now I’ll have to go get the book to find out what happens. Very good teaser!!

Do tell us the story behind Avis’s name. It’s an unusual one.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Oh come now, Keira. What fun is having the rowdy banditas here if we can’t get the swords out now and then.

I’m glad you liked the teaser.

Avis’ name…okay, here’s the real poop. I really didn’t care what her name was because she was just supposed to be a secondary character in another book. I found this rather silly regency naming website, click through it a few times and up popped Avis. I actually thought it suited her perfectly as a secondary character.

By the time I started writing this book, her name was so ingrained I couldn’t change it. She was Avis.

Kimberly Killion
14 years ago

Hey Christie!
Congratulations on your debut book. So how has the month been for you? Crazy? Do you feel like all great and powerful or just exhausted? 🙁

You have been blessed with a fabulous cover, can’t wait to sink my teeth into your book.
~Kimberly

jo robertson
14 years ago

Christie, as I’ve said before, the premise of your story is so delightful! I can’t wait for my Amazon order — agonizingly slow!! — to arrive.

I love that your characters speak to you, telling you exactly what they will or won’t do. That makes for the best kind of characterization, I think.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Christie, lovely to see you at one of my favorite places, Risky Regencies! These girls rock – which was pretty risky in the Regency too! Great interview, Janet!

Christie, the book sounds fantastic and it sounds like it’s just running out of the bookstores. Congratulations!

I’m interested to know what your theory is of why this book was the one that sold. Was there something you did here that you hadn’t done with earlier books? Do you think it was that sexy hook (works for me!)? Was it that you took risks??!!!

Alyssa
14 years ago

Very nice interview . . . and gorgeous cover. The book sounds terrific. I’ll definitely look for it. The scene you describe with Banning sounds awesome.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Kimberly, the first thing Janet Mullany said to me Thursday night at our chapter meeting was “you look exhausted.” And I am but more from everything else than the book.

My deadline for book 2 is March 1. Real estate (the money job) has suddenly made an upswing. And my home is in total reconstruction. Just yesterday we moved out of our 12×14 living room where we’ve been living, sleeping and eating for the past 4 months.

Thanks for the comments on the cover. John took care of me on this one.

rugosa
14 years ago

Christie,

What an intriguing plot. I certainly will be looking for this book. Might mean a trip to Amazon.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Jo!! Thanks for stopping by. Boy that book is taking its time getting to you. Usually Amazon is fast.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Anna! I’ve been very bad and haven’t made it over to the bandits to comment on your post. It will happen. As soon as I’m done here.

I’m not sure what the magic formula with this book was. Maybe Janet can comment on this since she was my critique partner at the time.

I think part of it was the sexy hook, and a bigger part was I finally figured out characterization and motivation.

Jane
14 years ago

Avis’ goal was to learn about pleasure. Was it common for spinsters to use seduction to trap a man into marriage because of their lack of prospects?

Nancy
14 years ago

Hi, Christie and Janet–great interview! Christie, I love your setup. I can’t wait to read the book. I do think you might have had trouble with a heroine choosing an affair a few years ago, but I think the climate is more open for assertive women in historicals, sexually and in other ways.

I think it’s terrific that your hero and heroine started out as secondary characters. No character is ever wasted, huh?

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Alyssa,

Thanks! I hope you love it.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Rugosa! Watch out for those trips to Amazon, they get expensive!

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Jane,

It certainly wasn’t unheard of that women (not necessarily spinsters) might want to trap a man into marriage. In Avis’ case, she didn’t need a man to survive because she’d inherited quite a bit from her father.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Nancy! I agree that when I first started the book, the sexually assertive woman in historicals was just starting.

And you’re right, no character is ever wasted.

Michelle
14 years ago

Very nice interview. I think it is so interesting when “secondary” characters take over. I wonder how many books start out as stand alones but then other characters demand their own stories.

Anna Campbell
14 years ago

Thanks, Christie. Interesting that those things fell into place and then you sold!

Jane, my take on the seduction thing for a spinster is that I’m sure it did happen. But the woman was taking a huge risk. The disgrace was almost entirely hers and she would be an outcast from society if the man didn’t marry her. We sometimes forget in our liberated times just how valued a woman’s chastity/reputation was in previous ages. Definitely part of the patriarchal conspiracy ;-)That’s one of the reasons I love writing historicals – the stakes are so high!

Caren Crane
14 years ago

Hi, Christie! Another Bandita checking in. This was a fun interview. I love it that Avis and Banning were secondary character who demanded their own story. I know some secondary characters like that! *g*

Anna C., it’s interesting that you commented on how valued reputation was in the Regency. I was watching North & South yesterday (which was FABULOUS!) and even then (after the Regency era), people were depicted as really studying other people. Scrutinizing every word, gesture or facial expression. I think these days we don’t pay nearly as much attention to other people.

I have always read lots of Regency and wondered how in the world the entire ton would know if someone did something very privately. Well, reading period writers, like Austen, tells us all. You could barely breathe hard in the Regency without it causing some sort of speculation. I’m sure a spinster taking a lover – no matter how discreetly – would cause no end of talk and effect her complete ruin!

Christine Wells
14 years ago

Hi Christie! Congratulations on your debut. I’m off to pick up my copy today:) Can’t wait!

Isn’t that interesting that secondary characters took over and you simply had to write their story? I always fall in love with my secondary characters. When I’m struggling with the book I’m writing (which is almost all the time) I long to write the secondary characters’ story. Grass is always greener and all that. I’m glad you took the gamble and it paid off so well!

Has it been all you expected? Was there anything that surprised you about getting published?

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Michelle,

I think there are a lot of books where the characters start as secondary characters. Readers love series!

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Anna,

I love your comments on name and reputation. I’m struggling with my second book because I wonder how many people realize the importance of a name. If your name wasn’t held in esteem, you were nothing. It’s hugely important to the motivation of both my characters in this book.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Caren!

The fact that people watched every thing is one of the best parts of writing Regency. I love using that as a plot device but it can also make some scenes difficult. One of the reasons I had Avis and Banning go away was to give them the opportunity to be alone.

I also love the language of the fans. I haven’t explored that much, but I’m sure I will.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Christine! Thanks for stopping in. I sooo agree with the grass is greener regarding secondary characters. Until they become the h/h then they become difficult and stop talking to you.

The only thing that really surprised me was the number of people who sent me emails about the book. Silly me, I never sent an author an email about a book they wrote. And now I feel like a terrible person because of it.

Anna Sugden
14 years ago

Hey Christie and Janet – another Bandita checking in!

I’m another one whose book is on the way. Can’t wait to read it – especially as I have a few long, long plane journeys coming up this month!

jo robertson
14 years ago

I know, Christie, and I’m chomping at the bit. Amazon usually ships from California or a nearby state. This time they shipped from back east. Hmmm.

Suzanne Welsh
14 years ago

Christie, the more I hear about this book, the higher I’m moving it on my too be read pile! I love to hear new twists to conventional plots. Way to go!

Trish Milburn
14 years ago

I bought this book this week and can’t wait to read it. I love the premise, and as an aside — I like Avis and Banning as character names. Congrats on your debut, Christie!

Eva S
14 years ago

Oh, this is a book for me! I never get tired of Regency historicals…
And I’ve heard so much about this book, it is on top of my TBB list!

doglady
14 years ago

Hey, Christie. I have to say I love your characters’ names too. Nothing run of the mill about them. I am intrigued by the idea of a heroine who is willing to risk so much to get a sexual education at at time when that was the LAST thing a woman ever learned. The fact that you took a secondary character and gave her such a terrific and compelling story says a lot about you as a writer.

Kate Carlisle
14 years ago

Another Bandita checking out Christie’s interview. Well done, Christie and Janet! I’m excited to have found this blog. It looks like so much fun! I’m not sure why but I didn’t make it over here when Anna Campbell was interviewed last year. Must’ve been living in a cave back then. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve got your book, Christie, and I can’t wait to read it! It’s to be my treat later tonight after I’ve finished my pages for the week.

And I so admire you for being able to writing in the midst of all the other madness going on in your life. Your next book sounds fascinating. Can’t wait to see how it develops!

Janet Mullany
14 years ago

Hi Christie,
dropping in late to say congrats again!
So nice to see many of the usual suspects (hola, Las Banditas).

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Anna S, waving to another bandita who’s invaded us.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Jo, it’s probably coming from Delaware. That’s where most of the books I order come from. Of course for me, that’s only a quick UPS trip.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Hi Suzanne!! I think you need to just move that book to the top 🙂

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Thanks, Trish. I’m glad you like my h/h names. I did get contest feedback a couple of years ago from an editor who absolutely hated Avis’ name.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Eva and doglady, thank you!

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

Kate, thanks for popping in. I hope you enjoy ENIY.

Christie Kelley
14 years ago

About time you showed up, Janet.

Cara King
14 years ago

Oh come now, Keira. What fun is having the rowdy banditas here if we can’t get the swords out now and then.

Beware, Christie — while at Risky Regencies Keira’s been known to force a duel or two on the flimsiest of pretexts — though come to think of it, that may have been pistols rather than swords… 🙂

I did get contest feedback a couple of years ago from an editor who absolutely hated Avis’ name.

Isn’t life weird? Certain things end up not being just “okay” for anyone — they’re love it or hate it. FWIW, put me too in the “love” category for your character’s names!

And I, too, love to write characters who boss me around…and I love to read them, too. 🙂

BTW, nice to have so many banditas visit again! You’re all so much fun!

Cara

Keira Soleore
14 years ago

Well, lookee there. All the Banditas are visiting (and behaving).

Pssst, Cara. Don’t tell Todd, but at National, I’m rooming with someone from whom I hope to gain weaponry expertise. Yay, me. Poor, vanquished foe.

Christie, it’s interesting how characters get their names. The reason are as varied as the names themselves.

Christie, working on a book deadline while living in a 12×14 space with the family is dedication defined.

Poor Caren. Is no one paying you attention? I promise to scruntinize your face minutely every time I run into you in July.

Altogether now: Richard Armitage is smokin’ in North and South.

Christie, Sophia Nash does a smashing job of using the language of the fans.

Cara, you like being bossed around?! Bertie, are you reading this?

Donna MacMeans
14 years ago

Hey Christie –

Sorry I’m checking in so late. It’s been a day away from the computer.

I’m so excited to have been able to find a copy of Every Night I’m Yours. It’s a tough one to find. I think the word is out that this promises to be a GREAT read. Gotta love those “lessons in love” plots *g* Now if I can just get these RITA entries out of the way so I can read it (grrr).

Cara King
14 years ago

Cara, you like being bossed around?! Bertie, are you reading this?

Sorry, Keira, but Bertie’s not been around recently. Apparently that whole problem he had with his time-traveling aunt and Keira Knightley led to some sort of brouhaha, and he seems to have gone into hiding… 🙂

Who knows, maybe I can lure him out soon…

Cara