Linda Banche is a 2010 EPIC Award nominated author; she shares with us details abuot why she loves to write Regencies and and all kinds of other good stuff.
What prompted you to write Regency Romances?
I write Regency because I read Regency. When I read a romance, I want an escape to a world that is different from ours, but still familiar. The English Regency, that period about 200 years ago during the Napoleonic wars, fits the bill because the first stirrings of the modern era occurred then.
I've enjoyed Regencies for a long time, but a few years ago, I went on a romance reading binge. I visited the library twice a week. I took out armloads of books. The librarians all knew me. I wallowed in Regency, and did I have a great time wallowing.
But then the unthinkable happened: I ran out of books. Panic! My favorite authors can write only so fast, and I didn't like the second string. How could I feed my Regency romance habit? The solution: write my own.
And so the journey began, as I spent my days and nights warming my desk chair as I typed and typed. A story took form. The tale had a beginning, middle, and an end.
I wrote a book! (I won't tell you about all the writing errors I made. After all, I want a happy ending.) I tell people I'm persistent. That's French for "too stupid to quit".
Share with us the nitty-gritty about research and how you mold your historical characters so they’re true to their era while also sympathetic to those of us in the “modern” world.
I read a lot and I Google a lot. Period novels provide a lot of information about social attitudes. For basic facts, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool is very useful. This book spans the Regency and Victorian eras, and contains a lot of not-obvious information, such as explanations about English money, the political system, and such uniquely British things as titles and the entail.
From there, I went to Google. I searched and I bookmarked everything. I have over fifty Regency bookmark folders, each with about ten bookmarks apiece. I also take the historical courses offered by various Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapters. The Beau Monde, the Regency chapter of the RWA, has a private loop with lots of people who know tons about the era and are more than willing to help.
What aspect of actual writing do you find most enjoyable: plotting or characterization. Why?
Characterization. I don't plot much. I start with an outline, about nine to ten single spaced pages of story, then I go back and fill in. The story follows the outline, but tends to expand as I write and think of more things to add. Pantser am I.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a writer?
Not letting the promotion overwhelm me. Promo takes an incredible amount of time, and I still don't know what works and what doesn't. We all have to promo, but the writing has to take priority and I still haven't figured out a good balance.
What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.
My latest available book is Pumpkinnapper, a Regency Halloween comedy novella. Here's the blurb:
Pumpkin thieves, a youthful love rekindled and a jealous goose. Oh my!
Last night someone tried to steal the widowed Mrs. Emily Metcalfe's pumpkins. She's certain the culprit is her old childhood nemesis and the secret love of her youth, Henry, nicknamed Hank, whom she hasn't seen in ten years.
Henry, Baron Grey, who's never forgotten the girl he loved but couldn’t pursue so long ago, decides to catch Emily's would-be thief. Even after she reveals his childhood nickname--the one he would rather forget. And even after her jealous pet goose bites him in an embarrassing place.
Oh, the things a man does for love.
Available from The Wild Rose Press in e-format only: Buy link here: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/pumpkinnapper-p-3685.html
What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?
The Wild Rose Press has just accepted my Regency Christmas novella, Mistletoe Everywhere. I expect the story will be available next December. Here's the blurb:
A man who sees mistletoe everywhere is mad--or in love.
Charles sees mistletoe. Not surprising, since he's spending Christmas at Mistletoe Manor. But, the mistletoe always hangs over Penelope, the despised lady who jilted him after their last meeting. And no one except him sees the mistletoe.
Penelope wants nothing to do with the faithless Charles, the man who cried off after she had accepted his marriage proposal. But he stares at her all the time. Or rather, he stares at the empty ceiling over her head. What does he see?
According to folklore, mistletoe is the plant of peace. Penelope and Charles, so full of hurt and anger, must decide if they will heed the mistletoe's message and make peace.