Lavinia Kent is Here!!

I am so delighted to introduce my very good friend, Lavinia Kent. I met Lavinia years ago when she came to one of her first Washington Romance Writer meetings. We ate lunch together and, as sometimes happens, I knew instantly that I’d made a new friend. Lavinia, Mary Blayney (Strangers Kiss, Sept 2009), Julie Halperson, and I were all writing Regencies and we had regular lunches together and yearly all day talk-fests at Mary’s house. Still do!

But this is an exciting debut for more than one reason! Read what others have said of A Talent for Sin.

I was captivated by every page of A Talent For Sin by Lavinia Kent, a masterfully written book that brims with style and vitality—it is a sexy and emotional experience that will sweep you off your feet!”– Lisa Kleypas, New York Times Bestselling Author

“a refreshing romantic dynamic.”– Publisher’s Weekly

“4 1/2 Stars”– The Romantic Times

1. This is your debut novel, Lavinia! Tell us about your book.

I started writing this book because I wanted to do something different. As I’ve gotten a little older myself I’ve had a greater desire for more experienced heroines. One of the greatest things about being a writer is that when you long for a character you can create one.

Violet, Lady Carrington has actually existed since my first (unpublished) regency manuscript. I was shocked when I realized how much of her character I’d already laid out – three dead husbands before she was twenty-one, wealthy widow, likes younger men, very independent.

I took the basic idea of her and combined it with the desire to try to write a book that started with a sex scene – a relevant one. The first scene in the book – the excerpt on my website – is all about my hero showing he would do anything for Violet. All he wants is to make her happy.

2. We love to hear about a new author’s journey to publication. Tell us about yours and include your “The Call” story! Did being a four-time Golden Heart finalist help?

I’d actually gotten The Call after my first Golden Heart final and had turned the offer down on my agent’s advice. I don’t know if I would do the same thing again. I love where I’ve ended up, but it was an awfully nerve-wracking couple of years in between.

When I got The Call this time the biggest thing I felt was relief. I’d spent over two years wondering if I’d made a huge mistake. I actually got called by another publisher before Avon and was about to accept then when Avon called. It felt like a real dream come true moment. I think I danced for a week.

3. What was risky about your book?

I think the heroine was the riskiest thing about my book. I know that the romance world has changed, but writing about an unapologetic experienced woman who doesn’t have any wish to marry again still felt like it was pushing some boundaries.

There is also a risky scene where the heroine is being forced to sleep with another man. I wasn’t sure until I finished writing the scene what would happen. All I knew for sure was that the hero would love her anyway.

3. I read A Talent for Sin’s tantalizing excerpt and can guess about how you researched that! But tell us something about your other research for the book.

It sounds strange, but what I ended up researching the most was whether I could move the book forward a year in time. I’d written this book to follow an earlier book that had to happen over a certain period of dates. When this became the book that sold and it was separated from the first book all that changed.

One of my following books begins with George IV’s coronation and I needed the right amount of time between the books. I had to go through everything in this book to remove any reference that would have made changing the date impossible.

5. What is it about the Regency era that draws you to it?

I must confess that I’d actually intended to write Medievals. I was drawn to the idea of physical strength and political power being tied closely together. When I actually started to write, many of my friends were writing Regencies and I got sucked in. It is such a wonderful period it would be impossible not to be drawn to it.

6. What’s next for you?

I have another Regency, Bound by Temptation, coming out in February 2010. It’s the story of Violet’s brother. He was never intended to be a hero – in fact was more of a villain, but something about him just captured my interest. I loved being able to explain his side of the story.

I am also working on a proposal for the youngest sister’s story (the one that caused the timeline change). She’s still young, but has been through some really rough patches. If things work out she’ll end up with my favorite hero of them all.

I also have a second proposal in the works – but that one will just have to be a surprise.

I cannot wait for A Talent for Sin. You have a chance to win a copy, just by commenting here. So ask Lavinia some questions!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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30 Responses to Lavinia Kent is Here!!

  1. Helen says:

    This book sounds excellent and I have added it to my must get list September isn’t that far away can’t wait to read it.

    I love regency stories and I love medieval as well do you think that in the future you might still write a medieval.

    Congrats on the release

    Have Fun

  2. Anne Barton says:

    Great interview, Diane and Lavinia! Violet sounds like a fun heroine. I’m heading over to read the excerpt. Congratulations, Lavinia!

  3. Lavinia says:

    I am delighted to be here. Thank you for the wonderful interview Diane.

    I do sometimes think of writing a medieval, although the fast amount of research required frightens me now that I understand how much is required to understand any period well.

    I hope you enjoy the excerpt.


  4. Hi Lavinia,

    Great interview. I really enjoy reading how the book developed. This book is on my BTB list.

    I’m glad you decided to write in the Regency because that is my favorite time period. I just read your excerpt and I love the fact you’ve written a ‘cougar’ heroine. Violet’s not the usual type of heroine and I like that. It gets a little boring reading about the young, nubile virgin all the time. Need to throw in a woman of experience once in a while!

  5. Deb Marlowe says:

    Hi Lavinia! I’m so glad that your debut is finally here! Violet sounds wonderful. Was she a secondary character in your first regency manuscript?

    Also–love to hear you’ve turned your villain into a hero–those can be the richest books, sometimes! I’m looking forward to that one too!

    Congrats on your success–I hope we can drink a toast in DC!

  6. jcp says:

    This storysounds different:)

  7. Diane Gaston says:

    Everybody, go buy the book this week after May 26. That’s the week the best seller list is based upon. (and I’m unabashedly pushing Lavinia’s book!!!!)

    Lavinia, as you well know, The Mysterious Miss M was my first sale AND I’d done something risky (a prostitute heroine) AND a sex scene in the first chapter. Sometimes it’s the books we take a chance on that are the ones that help us break in.

    And may this break in be the BEST break-out bookk!!!!

  8. Lavinia, welcome to the Riskies and a huge congratulations on your debut Regency bow onto the publishing scene.

    With that cheeky heroine on the cover, I’m expecting some derring-do, adventuring, and laughter.

    I second Helen’s request for a medieval, pretty, pretty, please!

  9. Virginia says:

    Hi Lavinia,

    I love to read authors debut books because it gives me the chance to try the authors works. Historicals are my favorite read, so I think i would really enjoy your book. Great interview! I was wondering if you enjoy the research that go along with writing your books? I think I would enjoy researching history.

  10. Welcome to the Riskies, Lavinia! It’s so great to see you here, talking about your debut book. 🙂 It does sound like an intriguing story–I love a hero totally devoted to the heroine’s happiness.

  11. I think what makes you such a risky regency is that you took such such a risk in turning down your first offer! That must have taken a lot of courage – and faith – that your book would do better elsewhere. As per Diane’s instructions, I am running right out to Amazon this minute to order a copy of your book! Congrats.


  12. Jane George says:

    Turning down that first offer and trusting in your future qualifies you as the riskiest of Riskies!

    Big congrats on the book, which sounds fabulous (I’m also intrigued by the bad brother’s tale) and here’s wishing you great success!

  13. Good luck with your book. While we call older, experienced women with a penchant for younger men cougars, in the eras of dynastic marriages, it wasn’t uncommon, but so many books are written to reader “expectations” when the truth is less than palatable. Way to go. Hope Violet is but the first flower in your garden.

  14. Lavinia says:

    I do enjoy research, but I live in fear of getting it wrong on something basic. When I first started writing I didn’t have a true appreciation of what was involved.

    I do love having an older heroine,even if I laugh at calling 31 older.

  15. Lavinia says:

    I do enjoy research, but I live in fear of getting it wrong on something basic. When I first started writing I didn’t have a true appreciation of what was involved.

    I do love having an older heroine,even if I laugh at calling 31 older.

  16. robynl says:

    hi Lavina and welcome; I love the ‘suggestiveness’ of your book cover. Very nice indeed.
    I like older heroines myself and congrats on your release.

  17. Hello, Lavinia ! Your book sounds fabulous. Congrats on your debut and on being smart enough to hold out for Avon. I can’t imagine what a scary prospect it was to turn down an offer and wait for what you really wanted. Good for you!

    Your heroine sounds like my kind of gal and it sounds like you took plenty of risks with this one. Of course you couldn’t follow a better example than the Divine One – Diane Gaston !

    I love books that make me sit up and take notice at once. This one sounds exactly like that!

    And as an “older” woman I am thrilled to read a book about a mature woman who knows exactly what she wants!

    How did you keep writing in those between years when in spite of Golden Heart nominations you didn’t sell? What sort of advice would you give someone who is beginning to doubt their writing skills?

  18. Lavinia says:

    Doubting your writing skills is an endless problem. I think the only thing you can do is just keep at it. For me the key was just to keep doing fresh material.

    I don’t think I would have made it without my friends cheering me on and showing that it could be done.


  19. Mary Blayney says:

    Welcome to the world of published authors, Lavinia. I can’t wait to see A TALENT FOR SIN in print and have my order in already.

    I hope you and your friends are going to celebrate this big step!

  20. Diane Gaston says:

    Lavinia, I forgot to say, I already fell in love with your hero!

    And I’m with Mary. Celebrate!!!!

  21. Raven99 says:

    Congrats on the release of your debut novel! Your heroine definitely sounds like a character I will enjoy reading about. She sounds very different from many of the heroines in Regencies. Now I need to go read that excerpt on your website. It sounds like a great way to start a book.

  22. Lavinia says:

    I do love my cover. The only problem is that my husband loves it even more. He has a bit of a crush on her.

  23. Kammie says:

    Congratulations to you on your story and those great reviews! I’m always looking for new “favorite” authors. I think your story sounds great! Adding this one to my wish list.

  24. “He has a bit of a crush on her.”

    LOL! I think she looks a bit like Amy Adams…

  25. Hi Lavinia, great to have you visit at the Riskies and congrats on your debut release!

  26. Jane Austen says:

    Lavinia….congrats on the book. As a 29-year-old I hope 31 isn’t that old!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I think there are a lot of readers really hungering for stories about women who aren’t tender young virgins, so I suspect your book will find an audience! — willaful

  28. Maureen says:

    This does sound like a risky story but I like reading something different and unique.

  29. Diane Gaston says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your debut with us today and may you have reason for many many promotional guest blogs on Risky Regencies!

  30. Caroline says:

    Hi Lavinia – love your name btw – it could easily be a heroine’s name in any Regency novel! Congrats on your debut novel – and good for you for having the conviction to hold out for Avon! Take care. Caroline x

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