Debut Author Kit Donner!

We Riskies love to showcase debut Regency authors. Today we welcome Kit Donner! Kit is one of Kensington’s Debs, a program that offers readers the chance to read new authors at the special price of $4.99 per book. For one lucky commenter, though, Kit will give away a signed copy of The Notorious Bridegroom. So, Everyone, give a big hello to Kit Donner!

1. Kit, tell us about your debut book, The Notorious Bridegroom.

The Notorious Bridegroom takes place in 1803 when Napoleon was planning an invasion of southeast England. I’ve always been intrigued by spies, so I came up with a plot where my sweet but naive heroine, Miss Patience Mandeley, believes my good but disillusioned hero, Lord Bryce Londringham, is a French spy and has accused her brother of treason. In order to prove her brother innocent, she’ll spy on the earl, and collect evidence to show the local magistrate. It’s a good plan in theory. She disguises herself as a maid in Londringham’s estate and sets her plan in motion. Only, she hasn’t a clue what she’s doing, so before long, Bryce has uncovered her disguise but not her real name. To trust or not to trust? Bryce finds himself falling in love with a woman named Patience who acts suspicious and ke eps secrets he longs to discover about her. Patience is falling in love with the enemy. How can she love a French spy? But is he? Together, they’ll have to learn to trust each other if they plan to capture the French spies and save England from an invasion, and have their own happy ending.

This is a well written historical romance with wonderful and eccentric characters set in a turbulent time in British history. The author makes good use of this throughout the story and has an excellent grasp of the time period and the customs of Regency society–Coffee Time Romance, 4 Cups

2. We love to hear about a new author’s journey to publication. Tell us about yours and include your “The Call” story!
I wrote The Notorious Bridegroom in the early nineties (which began life as When a Heart Surrenders and To Catch a Spy) After three years of writing and research, I put it to bed, determined to get on with my life. You know, find a career, a husband, a home, live a little. Flash forward to 2007 where I’ve achieved many of my goals, and I pull the old disks out of a box, and download to a newer model computer and put the manuscript back together again with LOTS of changes and revisions. It was still a good story, but I had grown as a writer, and improved the new manuscript considerably. I gave the manuscript to my sister-in-law, who enjoyed reading it, and a few other people as well. It eventually ended up in the hands of my Kensington editor. She called me on a very hot day last August to offer me a 2-book contract. (I was sitting in my car with the windows rolled down.) On the way home, I called friends and family and gave them the good news.

3. What do you think is the greatest creative risk you’ve taken in this book? How do you feel about it?
Probably writing many secondary characters who are memorable and not just “dressing.” I make sure they don’t take anything away from my primary characters and their story and romance, but I try to give them a life of their own.

4. Tell us something about your other research for the book.
The main research was about Napoleon’s plans for an invasion and how England prepared the country for the possible attack. Sea fencibles were created (the first line of defense) along the southeast coast. These were mostly volunteers and militia who had little weaponry but they could man the lighthouses and alert anyone in the vicinity if they saw the flotillas being launched from across the Channel.

5. What is it about the Regency era that draws you to it?
More than anything is the language. Whether it’s a Jane Austen character or a Wordsworth poem, Frankenstein, or Keats’ Ode to an Urn, the words are like music to my ears.

6. What’s next for you?
My second book, The Vengeful Bridegroom is scheduled for release next fall, and I just finished my third manuscript, The Wrong Bridegroom.

7. Anything else you want to tell our readers about you or your book? Where else can readers find you?
I really hope everyone will take a look at the book trailer my sister created for me. It’s not what you normally would expect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNn0LBj966g

My website is www.kitdonner.com and I’m on Twitter and Facebook under my name.

Kit, thanks so much for being our Riskies guest. Readers, don’t forget to comment. Tell Kit what you think of her book, of her sister’s booktrailer, or ask her a question. Remember, one of you will be selected at random to win a signed copy of The Notorious Bridegroom.

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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Margay
13 years ago

Kit, 1803 is a time very rarely explored (to my knowledge). Why did you choose this particular time and not a later date? (Wasn’t Napoleon a threat throughout the early 1800s?)
Margay

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Welcome, Kit! We Riskies are glad to have you with us.

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Margay,
Thank you for your question. Napoleon posed the greatest threat for invading England between 1803-1805. After the Battle of Trafalgar and Lord Nelson’s spectacular victory in 1805 against the combined forces of French and Spanish navys, Napoleon directed his attention to the Ulm campaign. He realized the “wooden walls” of England, the British Royal Navy, was too formidable to defeat in the English Channel.

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Diane,
Thank you for having me! I enjoy the Risky Regencies blog immensely. You always have wonderful writers stop by, and I always enjoy reading about anything “regency.”

Barbara Monajem
13 years ago

Your sister did a great job on the book trailer, Kit. I love spy stories, and I’m really looking forward to reading yours. As for vibrant secondary characters… great!! Will any of them have a story of their own?

Virginia
13 years ago

Great book trailer Kit, your sister did a great job! I have been hearing a lot about your book so I am really looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing it with us today.

jcp
jcp
13 years ago

Yum cover model!!

Lois
13 years ago

Hey, that’s a fun trailer! 🙂 I can’t think of any questions, but I’ve had the book on my list to buy since I found your site ages ago – can’t wait to read it. . . has some of my favorite things, Regency, spies and everything in between! 🙂

Lois

Jane
13 years ago

Congrats on your debut release. I like the premise. Is the second book connected to “The Notorious Bridgegroom” or are they stand alones?

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Barbara,
Thank you so much for commenting and your appreciation of my sister’s book trailer. I love it too! As for secondary characters, they are servants, a cat and a dog, and lower class type of shady characters who pop in and out of the three books I have finished. It’s fun to write them and see what they’ll be up to this time, but only in helping the hero and heroine find their destiny: ie. happy ending. My primary characters also appear in the other two books for a scene to two. It’s a “very small Regency world.”

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Virginia,
I appreciate your comment and for reading my blog. I am very fortunate to have a sister who knows how to put a book trailer together. She wrote it, directed it, got the costumes, got all the talent together and made a book trailer that I really love and speaks to the heart of my book. This is my first big step into publishing, so I really hope you enjoy the adventures of Patience and Bryce!

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi JCP,
Um, like, yeah, isn’t he though? I have had many people say he is a dead ringer for Brad Pitt. Who cares, I’d love to meet him. Alas, I don’t know where cover models hide out or I’d look this one up for sure and thank him for being such a good looking hero! Thanks for commenting.

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Lois,
Thank you for reading my blog and leaving a comment! This whole journey of publishing my first novel has been an eye-opening experience. I’ve learned a lot about blogging!, creating my own website, and getting my book reviewed on various sites, all with the hope of getting my name out there. I’m in a hurry to get on the bestseller list! But I have to temper my dreams with time and experience, I know. I really hope you enjoy my book and let me know what you think! Thanks.

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Jane,
Thank you so much for your kind comment. I’ve written 3 books so far. Although they have the word “bridegroom” in the title, they are all standalones. If you read all three, you will recognize some of the secondary characters popping in and out, which was a lot of fun to write. For instance, my hero Simon from book 3 is introduced in book 2, but you won’t read his story, until book 3. (It’s just a glimpse of him.) I found it quite entertaining weaving their tales together but you can enjoy them on their own as well and in any order. I hope you enjoy it!

Louisa Cornell
13 years ago

Hello, Kit. I’m a bit late to the party, but I wanted to say your book trailer is marvelous. Really well done!

And yes that cover is definitely some gorgeous eye candy!

I too am intrigued by the exact time period you chose as it is seldom addressed. Your book sounds like a real adventure in addition to a romance. Can’t wait to read it!

Was there any particular bit of research you found fascinating about the time and place about which you wrote?

Janet Mullany
13 years ago

Congrats on your release, Kit and welcome to the Riskies! Very cool trailer, too.

I think your cover model is Brad Pitt’s head on Joanne Bourne’s Spymaster torso!

CrystalGB
13 years ago

Hi Kit. Great interview. The Notorious Bridegroom sounds good. Love the cover.

Stefanie
13 years ago

Hi Kit!

Your book sounds great and I absolutely enjoyed the trailer.
I’m looking forward to reading your book! 😀

robynl
13 years ago

hi and welcome Kit; very nice trailer and a great sounding story.

Caffey
13 years ago

Hi Kit! So awesome to meet you! I so love to read these debut books from Zebra. So many have been keepers and autobuys! I do love a unique theme yours is with a French spy! Is this a start to more books related to heroines being spies?

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Louisa,
Sorry for the delay in my response! I have found that many historical writers during their research find something interesting that gives them an idea for a story, and that’s what happened to me. If you love this time period (Georgian-Regency), than everything you learn about it is interesting, at least to me.

You know what they say, write what you read! I wrote a story that’s part adventure and part romance, emphasis of course on the romance. I wanted it to read like a real journey of two people falling in love but also have a bit of fun with it as well. I call it a “good beach read” type of book. Pulitzer winning – “it ain’t.” Thanks for commenting.

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Janet,
Thank you so much for commenting! I love your books and your very unique voice! You’re a real stand-out! My sister created my book trailer, which I absolutely love! She is a writer/producer for a film company in Harrisburg, PA, so I’m lucky she has the talents to put it together.

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Crystal,
Thanks for your comment about the cover and the interview! Yeah, I tell you, I could spend the day looking at that guy! Hubba Hubba! (I wonder where that expression comes from!)

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hello Stefanie,
As you know, my first book took a long way around to get published, and I really hope you enjoy it. I wrote a book that I would want to read (memorable characters, humor, passion, adventure, romance, and a few spies thrown in for good measure!). Thanks for stopping by!

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Hi Robyn,
Thanks for leaving a comment! It was a labor of love, as they say, although this one took longer than an elephant to percolate and “give birth!” I think it was worth the effort and hope you do too!

Kit Donner
Kit Donner
13 years ago

Well hello Caffey,
I’m so glad to have the opportunity from the Risky Regencies to introduce myself to everyone. I love this blog, they always have such interesting topics! It’s one of my favorite websites. Good question about future heroine spies- mmmm, don’t know. Every now and then I see a female spy pop up in a regency. I can’t say yay and I can’t say nay. Next up is a heroine forced to marry her brother’s enemy, and after that, a heroine trying to stop body-snatchers. But I’ll definitely think more on that spy idea. Thanks for stopping by!