It has been a while, but I am back and as I promised in my update a few weeks ago I have got an absolutely brilliant author visiting Chicks Rogues and Scandals, she is one of the most lovely people I have come across and it is a great pleasure to have Best Selling author Virginia Heath sit down and chat with me, so take a seat and let’s get to know a little bit more about lovely Virginia.
“When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. She lives just outside London with her wonderful husband and two teenagers. It still takes her forever to fall asleep”
Hi, Virginia Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, firstly what five words would you use to describe yourself?
Quirky, loud, cheerful, thoughtful and resourceful.
Lovely, If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?
Ooh! That’s tough. I used to be a History teacher so there are many time periods I would have wanted to live in. I would love Ancient Rome, Medieval England, the Tudor court of Elizabeth I and, obviously, Regency Britain. However, I am going to say the Roaring twenties. It must have been so liberating. The Great War was over, women got the vote and all those heavy long dresses and corsets were discarded. I would definitely be an outrageous flapper and do something risqué like Isadora Duncan dance semi-naked in translucent fabric, or be an exotic silent film star like Greta Garbo. I’m a bit of a rebel so I would have to be a little outrageous! And in Hollywood.
Ooh! I love it 🙂 and so interesting, I think that I would have to agree with you there, the twenties did seem a little more liberating at times didn’t it? lovely thank you, Ok, Who was your childhood hero?
There were lots- most of them fictitious! The Bionic Man, all of Charlie’s Angels, Calamity Jane, Virgil from Thunderbirds (I was actually a little bit in love with him when I was seven or eight. It didn’t matter that he was a puppet.), Pip from Dicken’s Great Expectations, Katherine from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and I was convinced I was going to marry Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran. A real-life hero was Oscar Wilde. He still is. You have to admire a man who lies dying in a cheap hotel room far from home and who still makes his last words hilarious for the sake of posterity. “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.” Priceless. I hope I am that erudite in my final moments.
Wow, I never knew that about Oscar Wilde, you learn something new every day, right an easy one, What is your favourite time of the year?
Spring. I love to see blossom on the trees and hear the birds singing. It is pleasantly warm but not hot (menopause is a bitch!).
Lovely, OK time to get those little grey cells working with another tough one. Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?
Another difficult question, because I love all of my characters. However, I am going to plump for Bennett Montague, the sixteenth Duke of Aveley, from my November release The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide. Bennett is my Mr Darcy. Aloof, stiff and pompous on the outside and a churning pit of suppressed emotion beneath. He has been groomed since birth to become Prime Minister and needs the right sort of wife to stand at his side. Actually, finding that wife has become a bit of a mission for him and he has written a book outlining the exact qualities he requires- ‘The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Bride’. Except, the woman he ends up with is nothing like the woman he thought he needed. Watching Bennett unravel as he fights his attraction was funny and touching. By the end of the book, all of his inner feelings explode out of him like Mount Vesuvius…
Oh that sound’s really good and right up my street and right up the street of my readers too. Bennett sound’s like such an interesting character, I can’t wait to meet him 🙂 Your books are incredible, where does your inspiration for them come from?
Different places. With my first book, That Despicable Rogue, the title came first. I was vacuuming and it popped into my head. I remember thinking, now there’s a great title, so I wove a story around it.
The inspiration for Her enemy at the Altar, which comes out in July 2016, was my daughter’s teenage flouncing and mood swings. In fact, Lady Constance Stuart and my daughter are quite similar in lots of ways. Both are six feet tall, both are feisty and fiery and both of them have no idea how beautiful they are inside as well as out. (If she reads this, she will pretend to vomit in a bucket). I also wove in a bit of The Taming of the Shrew for good measure. There has to be humour in my books.
For The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide, I saw a history documentary which mentioned the fashion for 19th century etiquette manuals. They were hilarious and filled with advice about behaviour which we could find laughable now. Which made me wonder if it would be funny if I got my hero to write one? All his pompous advice about selecting the perfect wife and making the heroine the polar opposite of everything he thinks he wants.
And it was Cinderella who inspired book four, Miss Bradshaw’s Bought Betrothal, except there are no pumpkins and Prince Charming is not charming at all…
Very interesting Virginia. What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Believe in yourself. Be prepared for rejection and persevere. Nothing good comes without hard work- but when it comes it’s awesome!
Those are three brilliant tips thank you, Virginia, If you were hosting a dinner party what three people would you invite?
Oscar Wilde, obviously, because he’s soooo witty and sarcastic. Jane Austen, so that we could compare stories and gossip about the Regency. And Walt Disney. Not only was the man a genius, I would like to be the one to show him what his company are creating in the 21st century. I bet he would be chuffed. Tangled and Beauty and the Beast are two of my all-time favourite films. Especially Tangled. I’m hopelessly in love with Flynn Rider (Yes, I know he’s a cartoon- but I did used to be in love with a puppet!).
All I can say about that dinner party is. . .Can I come too? Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today Virginia, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun. . .What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?
Simple- cake! I adore it. Not the sickly cupcakes with too much frosting, but the old-fashioned cakes. Lemon Drizzle cake. Battenberg. Victoria Sponge. Fruit cake. Swiss roll. Fondant Fancies… Now I’m hungry. Can’t stop. There’s a cup of tea and a slice of Cherry Genoa in the kitchen with my name on it…
Ooh yummy!! Lemon Drizzle and a cup of tea are my idea of heaven, Thank you again, Virginia.
That Despicable Rogue is available now and her second novel, Her Enemy at the Altar, comes out in July 2016.
If you would like to learn more about Virginia and what she is up to then click on one of the links, Virginia always loves hearing from her readers.