I’ve always adored romance books. Right from the moment I picked up my first one at twelve I’ve been hooked. Fabulous Harlequin Mills & Boon authors like Nora Roberts and Penny Jordan took me to imaginary places and made me best friends with the characters they created. By the time I left school, I had a secret dream to write them one day. I never dared tell anyone because I’d have been laughed at. Girls like me didn’t become authors.
However, as time went on and I read more books than I dare count, that dream became more insistent. After years working in the media I switched careers and became a history teacher. A little while later, I picked up my first regency romance and it was magical. Dashing men in boots and breaches, feisty heroines who gave them a run for their money, rich period detail- what wasn’t to love? There and then I decided if I ever wrote a book, it would be a historical romance.
Three years ago, I finally plucked up enough courage to quit my job and follow my dream, then spent the next year writing three books. Not one was good enough to be published but those stories allowed me to teach myself how to write well. My fourth attempt felt different from the outset. Special. The characters spoke to me and the story flowed. I never plotted a single paragraph, instead I listened to their voices and wrote what they wanted me to write. I finished it in just five weeks and plucked up the courage to send it to Harlequin Mills & Boon. In May 2016, That Despicable Rogue became my debut novel.
It soon became apparent that not only could I not plot to save my life, but that I am prolific. All those years of daydreaming meant my odd mind has no trouble concocting characters, and once I introduce the characters to each other, they decide the direction of each book. I am currently writing my eighth Regency for Harlequin, something which I know is mad seeing as my first book only came out eight months ago, and each has been completely different. The only similarities have been my feisty heroes, even feistier heroines and the bursts of humour which spill naturally out of my pen. I call them Regency Romantic Comedies. So far, I’ve written about kidnapping, war, family feuds, a pair of talking horses, a foolhardy wager, four gorgeous brothers and the murky world of smugglers. I’ve been inspired by Shakespeare, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Hollywood musicals, a history documentary and a door knob. Yes, you did read that right! It was hanging by a thread on my daughter’s bedroom door because she has a tendency to flounce and slam said door. In my odd mind, in walked a tall, feisty yet sensitive heroine and Her Enemy at the Altar was born.
There’s another sibling series lurking in the queue behind the smugglers. Alongside Oscar Wilde. I’m thinking I might write that series as an homage to his genius. The first book will be my twist on The Importance of Being Earnest…
About the Author
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.
Fortunately, Harlequin Mills and Boon saw some potential in her stories and decided they would publish them. So far, she has been commissioned to write ten books for their Harlequin Historical series. Her first Regency Romance, That Despicable Rogue, was published in May 2016, and since then she hasn’t stopped writing. Her 3rd book, The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide was shortlisted for a RONA (Romantic Novel of the Year Award).
After the success of her Wild Warriners quartet, she is currently working on her second series for Harlequin Mills & Boon Historical- The Kings Elite- which should hit the shelves in the Summer of 2018.
She would love to hear from you on either Facebook or Twitter, especially if you love history as much as she does, and promises to try to remember to Blog about something interesting every month.
A former history teacher and enthusiastic tea drinker, Virginia lives near London with her wonderful husband and two teenagers. When she is not making up stories of her own, Virginia likes to travel to far off places, shop for things she doesn’t need, walk her beloved Labrador Trevor and read other peoples’ stories.
Despite all of that, it still takes her forever to fall asleep.