Here at Risky Regencies we’re thrilled to “meet” for the first time Dorchester author Emily Bryan, who is making a stop here on her blog tour! For more information on her books, be sure and visit her website–and comment here for a chance to win a signed copy of Vexing the Viscount…
Riskies: Welcome, Emily! We’re so excited to see you here. Tell us about Vexing the Viscount (great title, BTW)! Where did you get the idea for this book, and how does it fit into your series (along with Pleasuring the Pirate and Distracting the Duchess)?
Emily: Honestly, the title came first! As you can see, I had a little pattern going with my XXXing the XX style titles, and my editor liked the alliteration. It was a little like solving a puzzle, trying to think of something that fit the criteria without being ridiculous. Diddling the Duke was too silly! Murdering the Marquess too grim. The idea of someone “vexing” someone else appealed to me because I believe part of the charm of romance is the concept of “gentle torture.” My heroine Daisy is bound and determined to have Lucian, Viscount Rutland, and if she has to vex the living daylights out of him to accomplish her goal, so be it!
My books aren’t really a series, though. Distracting the Duchess stands alone. It’s set in 1851, more than 100 years after the events in Pleasuring the Pirate (1720) or (1731). However, I would say my Pirate and my Viscount are related titles. Daisy Drake is the niece of Gabriel Drake (the pirate) and we first meet her in Pleasuring the Pirate as a precocious 10-year-old. Knowing her as a child made her much easier to write as an adult. And a few other characters from Pleasuring the Pirate besides Daisy return in Vexing the Viscount, most notably Isabella Wren, a former courtesan who is also Daisy’s great-aunt. It’s not necessary to read Pirate to enjoy Viscount–I think the stories stand on their own, but of course I hope readers want to dive into both!
Riskies: What are some interesting research tidbits you found for these books? (I’m especially intrigued by the mention of Roman treasure!
Emily: The Romans were everywhere in the ancient world! I’ve been blessed to travel through the UK and Europe and have visited a number of ruins of their distant outposts (haven’t made it to Rome itself yet, but I’m working on it!). It amazed me that these ancients recreated their culture wherever they went, building amphitheaters, bath houses, and elegant villas with indoor plumbing and heated floors. And they also brought along their unique taste in household ornamentation. In the opening of Vexing the Viscount, Daisy is inspecting an ancient clay lamp shaped like an erect phallus. Romans believed representations of male genitalia brought good luck. (Hmmm–I wonder if that is where the phrase “getting lucky” comes from?). The Romans used little decorative phalli as Victorians might use tassels.
I probably wouldn’t have believed this if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. When I was visiting the Romisch-Germanisches Museum in Koln, Germany, there was an entire room filled with phallus-shaped lamps and windchimes, some with wings (I kid you not!) or little legs affixed to the side like a developing tadpole. (A “kissing a lot of frogs” joke springs to mind, but…no! We will not got there). It was so surreal. I had to file it away as something to use in a book someday. It made sense for Daisy to be as fascinated as I was by that naughty Roman art, and why not let my hero be hot on the trail of a lost Roman treasure? If you’re interested in learning more about the Romans who founded Londinium. please visit my Roman forum. There’s also an excerpt from the Roman part of Vexing the Viscount!
Riskies: You also write as Diana Groe. Tell us a bit about those books!
Emily: Maidensong, my debut title, is a Viking romance set in 9th cebtury Scandinavia. Erinsong is my Irish love story, also 9th century. And Silk Dreams is a harem tale set in 11th century Byzantium. Obscure enough for you?? They didn’t take off as well as I hoped in the US market, but they’ve been translated into German, Dutch, Italian, and Russian. Diana Groe has received fan mail from all over the world! All 3 books are still in print and available at Amazon and BarnesAndNoble.com. I maintain a separate website for these tales here.
Riskies: And how do they differ from the Emily Bryan books (aside from setting!)?
Emily: My Emily Bryan books are fun, sexy romps. My Missouri writers group labels my Emily Bryan stories “ribald yet classy”–which I always thought was a pretty fine line to walk!
The Diana Groe titles are darker, grittier, as true to the times as I could make them and still be palatable to a modern audience. I’ve killed off characters I cared about. These stories are not quite “safe,” if you know what I mean.
Riskies: Your website features some great writing tips!
Emily: Yes, I have several pages dedicated to aspiring writers under Write Stuff. When I started writing, I received so much help from other writers. Now that I’ve been published multiple times, I want to give back!
Riskies: What are some of your favorite tips?
Emily: The page on Self-Editing. I need to remind myself to be ruthless with my work. I can’t afford to fall in love with my own words so much that I won’t cut in order to serve the story. Someone is going to slash my baby up–that someone should be me.
Riskies: What’s next for you?
Emily: After Vexing the Viscount hits the bookstores on February 24, I have a number of speaking engagements all across the country in 2009. Check my Events page here–I may be coming to a town near you! And my next release is a holiday novella due out at the end of October. It’s part of an anthology with USA Today best-seller Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson. All our characters will be attending the same Christmas ball, and you’re invited, too! If you’d like to notified as to new releases, you can sign up at my website for the newsletter.
Thanks for letting me visit with your readers, Riskies! I’m delighted to give away a copy of Vexing the Viscount…
I loved your Roman forum it was like getting a quick and painless history lesson that you actually wanted to learn :-).
Vexing the Viscount sounds better with every excerpt looking forward to reading it.
I like that you want to help other aspiring writers on their journey to publication. I think that is so important because before we are published, we all start at the point where we are unknown, untried and inexperienced, and we have to rely on that one person to take a chance on us and help us along the path in some way. I hope, in some small way, to be able to do that myself.
It’s so fun reading your interviews, Emily. You always bring something special to them.
I love following the blogging trail. 🙂 I love your interviews because even after going to your website many times, I always hear something new and informative. Your giving back to new and aspiring writers is very special.
I now will be getting Maidensong and Erinsong. Thank you. Just please keep writing and I’ll keep reading. 🙂
I like the way you satisfy 2 sides of your personality with 2 different styles of books. Would love to read Vexing the Viscount!
Hiya! 🙂 Just loved the Pirate — and as I was reading, knowing Daisy’s was next, it definitely made me wish I was reading that one right after, can’t wait for her story!! 🙂
Welcome to a fellow Eastsider! Congratulations on your release of VEXING. Having read PIRATE and met Daisy, I’m really looking forward to reading grown-up Daisy’s story.
What made you choose the early-to-mid-17th-century as your period?
Sheesh, those Romans and their everyday stuff would put me to blush, forget about what they considered titillating.
My introduction to things Roman and Londinium came from the comics Astérix et Obélix. Adore those two!
I adored MAIDENSONG and cannot imagine that it didn’t do as well in the U.S. Do you think now that interest in medievals is picking up among readers and editors, your books will get a boost here? Do you plan on writing more medievals, or will you concentrating more on your Emily books?
Welcome to the Riskies, Emily. It’s always fun to discover a new author. Your books sound great, and I can’t wait to read “Vexing the Viscount.”
Congrats on all your successes, and thanks for posting the writing tips!
Emily, welcome to the Riskies. I, too, am very fond of alliterative titles!
Vexing the Viscount sounds like a delight. I especially like the heroine examining the Roman artifact. That must have been fun to write.
I took a peek at your website and writing tips. What a resource! Good Job.
Good Morning Emily! Curious to know how you actually went about pickig a pen name? Do you use a family name or just pick one out of the blue?
Very interesting interview today. Like others have said, I seem to learn something new from every blog you’re doing in this blog trail.
I’m always on the lookout for future works of my favorite authors. Have titles been chosen for that future anthology and your story in it?
Good Morning Emily, I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I really enjoy your posts. Please do not enter me in this contest, my copy of Vexing the Viscount will be on its way soon. I hope you have a great day and happy blogging.
I like how you seperated your two styles of writing with different names. Would you ever write a contemporary story?
Welcome to all our new visitors! Emily, you’ve brought a bunch of new friends. I hope you all come back to visit.
Emily, I LOVED Distracting the Duchess! It was such fun and so sexy and sweet.
Your website is a great resource for writers! Thank you!
I am amazed at the research you do for your books. Is it difficult to research so many different eras? Which is your favorite to write?
What are your favorite research resources?
Great interview! I really like your books. And the covers… They’re beautiful!! 😀
@ Diane: Well, I might look new to you too. But I do visit and read the blog often. But most of the time, I just don’t find the time to answer. :p (Or I just don’t know what to write) 😉
Emily, I like that you’re passing on what you’ve learned through intensive research in a manner that is entertaining and at the same time informative through your story telling.
Great advice about editing. I tell my students when they revise to think of their work like a refrigerator–get rid fo the garbage and save the good stuff.
I cannot wait to read Vexing the Viscount. I got a gift card at Christmas and your story was the first on my list to purchase. It just sounds so fun to read.
Loved your comments on the “decorations” the Romans used. One of my kids went to school in Italy for four months and one of the school projects was to travel around and see how many of these pieces of art they could find on the outsides of homes. Listening to her tell the stories was a hoot. Interesting how different cultures and views can be.
Do you think you’ll revert to writing darker, grittier stories?
I love following your trail! So many new things and places, although this is one of my favorite blogs!
Your Diana Groe-books sound interesting too, I’ll put them on my wishlist. My birthday is coming soon…
Wow! I’m so happy to hear from all of you today!
Afshan-I love history. It’s only boring when a teacher makes it so.
Margay-I’m really excited about going to Seattle in March. I’ve been invited to speak at Eastside RWA, the group that gave me my start!
Carol-Hope you love MAIDENSONG and ERINSONG!
Alaine-I think we all have many facets to our personalities. I’m lucky to be able to indulge both.
Lois-I’m so glad you loved my PIRATE. Only 36 days till VEXING–probably less if you pre-order.
Keira-I like the Georgian era because it’s close to Regency, but with enough differences that I still feel I’m bucking the trend just a bit. Alway a rebel at heart, I guess. See you in March.
Andrea & Diane-Thanks so much for having me today. Risky Regencies iw a great blog!
Thanks, Gillian! I hope my Write Stuff is helpful.
Jane-Social Security is to blame for Emily. According to their stats, that name was in the top ten for new baby girls for the last 10 years.
Karen-We don’t have a title for the Christmas anthology yet, but my novella is tentatively called MY LADY BELOW STAIRS. My heroine is a scullery maid who’s at the ball under false pretenses.
Sarabelle-I hope you love VEXING THE VISCOUNT!
Maureen-I have actually written a romantic suspense that’s under consideration at a major house right now. The market’s tough. We’ll see how it goes.
Louisa-I’m so glad you loved DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS. It was just nominated for an RT Reviewers Choice Award. I love all the different time periods I write in. I use Bernard Grun’s THE TIMETABLES OF HISTORY as a jumping off point for my research.
Stephanie, Sue and Anonymous–Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!
Hi Emily, great to have you visit and I hope your book does exceedingly well (and that the blog tour doesn’t wipe you out!).
Paisley-I’m always humbled and grateful when someone plunks down their hard-earned money (or their gift card!) for one of my stories. Thank you.
Jane-I may someday write another “Dark Ages” romance. Heaven knows, I have plenty of material for one. I know we’re always told to “write the book of our hearts,” but the market still speaks loudly.
Eva-You can read more about my Diana Groe stories at http://www.dianagroe.com. Always good to see you and all the “blog touristas” who have joined this cyber-party! Hope to see you tomorrow too.
Hey Janet! Thanks for having me here. I’m loving the blogtour. It’s great fun to meet new readers. My only fear is that I’ll repeat myself and bore my faithful “touristas.”
One of the things I like best about the Riskies is meeting new to me authors.
Damn it, I will never be happy now until you write Diddling the Duke 😉 — willaful
Hi, Emily! I’m sorry, but I didn’t know about your titles as Diana Groe–must add those to the TBB list! I’m definitely enjoying your interviews–thanks for taking the time to do them! (Don’t enter me, please–still very fun to tag along for your tour!)
Hi Emily (and Amanda!)
Since I won VtV yesterday, I’m not in the running. I wanted to say thank you to introducing us to all these wonderful sites! I’m going to keep following you around the web just to see the sites and learning more tidbits. Thanks!
Welcome, Emily! Sorry I’m late popping in here. 🙂 I, too, really enjoyed looking at your Roman Forum–I am such a sucker for things like that! I was LOL at your description of the room full of lamps, wind chimes, etc…
Hi Emily, nice to see you here at the Riskys. I was just wondering how you kept a straight face when you walked into the room with all the phallus-shaped lamps and windchimes, I would have cracked up myself.
You have me wanting to try one of your other books now. I am going to look into them.
And by the way, Emily, I was so thrilled to hear you were an opera singer as that was my first career as well! What is it about those romantic dramatic operas that makes us want to write romances of our own!
What voice are you?
Jane, Willaful, Fedora, Kytaira, Amanda & Virginia–I’m so glad you dropped by and glad you enjoyed the Roman decorating lesson! LOL!
Louisa- I was a lyric soprano with pretensions toward being a coloratura. I could pop off a good high E flat for Violetta from La Traviata, but I also loved singing Mimi from La Boheme. Bonnie Vanak posted a pic of me as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus on her blog yesterday. The costumes were always such a hoot.
Very interesting blog today, Emily. History is so fascinating. I also like the title of Vexing the Viscount because it sounds like it’d be a Regency novel, or sort of like one of the Barbara Cartland romances I grew up on. Julie
Emily, I was a coloratura with pretensions of being a lyric! LOL I debuted as the Queen of the Night and it continued to be my signature role. However, I also sang Violetta and Rosalinde. Never did Mimi. Did Lucia and Lady Macbeth and Desdemona and did a tour with Berg’s Lulu that was LOADS of fun! Talk about costumes that were a hoot! I spent most of that role in lingerie and fishnets in Eastern Europe in the winter!
Great interview. I love how on each stop of this blog tour we learn new things.
I always like reading these interviews : ) Never a case where theres not something interesting in them : D
that was another fun interview! And interesting comments – I’m wondering, in what period is the Christmas novella set? And the romance below stairs sounds dreamy – like Cinderella but better!
Julie- I admit, to my shame, that I have never read a Barbara Cartland novel.
Louisa-QUEEN OF THE NIGHT, WOW! Talk about walking a musical tightrope. One missed high F and you’re toast. I tip my soprano hat to you.
Donna & Jen–Thanks for stopping by!
Nynke-MY LADY BELOW STAIRS is set on December 24, 1822. Prinny’s finally on the throne and life is full of barely-post Regency fun!
Thanks again for having me here, Riskies! This site is a fabulous resource.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for–My DH has chosen our daily winner. Congratulations to MARGAY! Please contact me through my website with your mailing info.
Another day, another blog and another chance to win a VEXING THE VISCOUNT. My blog tour is zipping over to Yankee Romance Reviewers. I interview Lucian, Viscount Rutland, about walking the hero’s path.
I had to start of blog for a library science class, so I decided to do Jane Austen fan fiction as well as looking at some of the movie adaptations. Please check it out, but understand I will make mistakes. Hope you enjoy!