Viscountess of Vice Blog Tour and Author Interview
Today we have a special treat. Historical Romance author Jenny Holiday is here with her newest book Viscountess of Vice, Book 3 in her Regency Reformers series.
Secrets and lies, scandals and spies.
All Lady Catharine, Viscountess Cranbrook, wants is a little excitement. Bored of playing the role of the ton’s favorite slightly scandalous widow, she jumps at the chance to go undercover as a courtesan to help with an espionage mission. After all, beneath her outrageously low bodice beats the heart of a patriot.
Social reformer James Burnham is conducting a study of vice in England’s capital. Driven by his own secrets, he is methodical, intelligent—and wickedly handsome. Catharine is the last sort of woman the upstanding James should want. But want her he does, though she stands for everything he opposes.
When Catharine and James are forced to band together to advance their causes, they’ll be drawn into a web of secrets and lies that endangers their lives—and their hearts.
Hi Jenny, it’s wonderful to have you here. Let’s get to know a bit about you….
Do you have a day job?
No! But I have only recently quit the day job, so it’s still a thrill to answer that way. I worked for a lot of years as a writer and PR person in the higher ed sector.
Tell us about your greatest adventure?
Moving to Canada, where I didn’t know anyone, by myself in my early 20s
What is your biggest fear in life?
Being on vacation and being in the ocean and being surrounded by fish. They don’t even have to be sharks—just a big-ass school of fish.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
I would say successfully breastfeeding my son. (It was really hard!)
Do you have any unique talents or hobbies? (besides writing
Breastfeeding? No, I am kidding. That ended a lot time ago. I am freakishly good at remembering long strings of numbers (really).
Who is/are your biggest supporter(s)?
My dad. I grew up in the US midwest, where We Do Not Talk About Things. I *told* my dad not to read my first book, but he did. We didn’t talk about those parts, thankfully, but he had a lot to say about things like the wall color in some of the scenes. He also used to print out my Amazon reviews and hand them out in his town.
If you could live in any time period which would you choose and why?
Right now! Though I love the world of Regency romance, really I love other things more—women’s sufferage, antibiotics, indoor plumbing, etc!
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
No. I mean, some parts of some books are harder than others—heck, some parts of some books are like pulling teeth—but I don’t stop. I firmly embrace the “butt in chair” philosophy. You just have to push your way through.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Left to my own devices, I don’t outline per se. I do plan books in the sense that I know what the characters want and how they are going to come into conflict with each other. I actually spend quite a bit of time thinking about that stuff before I start. I might know some of the plot, but I don’t sit down and outline the whole thing …unless it’s the first book in a series and I have to sell it to a publisher. Publishers, even ones you’ve worked with before, won’t buy anything without a synopsis. So in those cases, yes, I do outline the book, but only because I have no choice!
What process do you use to research for your book?
With this book, I read about the earliest social reform movements in England. Mostly, we associate these movements with the Victorians, but many of them had their roots in the Regency period in which the book is set. I also read a lot about gun manufacturing! I would not have been able to write this book without the amazing efforts of the interlibrary loan department at my local university. They got their hands on lots of cool stuff for me!
Who has been your favorite character thus far?
Of all my books? I think it’s Rose Verma, the heroine of my contemporary novel The Engagement Game. Rose was a goofball with a spine of steel.
Who has been the hardest character to write about? What character has given you the most trouble?
I actually think it might be Catharine, the heroine of Viscountess of Vice. She is so wounded and has built up such emotional armor. Sometimes it is hard to write a character like that and then come down from it in a way that is credible. It doesn’t work to just stick a hero in there and, viola, everything is fixed!
What project are you working on now?
A trilogy of novellas I’m calling New Wave Newsroom. They are set in the 1980s and each book is inspired by a song from the decade. The characters work on their college newspaper.
Your life is being made into a movie and you get to choose any actor/actress to play you, who would it be and why?
I would choose Mindy Kaling, not because we have anything in common but because I think she is genius (I may be a wee bit obsessed with her, actually), and I want to meet her!
Tell me about your book/release, (title).
Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Fans of Regency romance will enjoy the intrigue in this book and a few unexpected twists it throws at them.
How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
I was writing about ahead of their time social reformers in the Regency era, so it was a natural progression to call the series Regency Reformers.
Tell me about your Hero and Heroine?
Catharine is a slightly scandalous widow (she enjoys the company of men, let’s just say) who is moonlighting as a spy. She is posted in a house of ill repute, trying to ensnare an enemy of the crown. James is a social reformer who doesn’t approve of anything about Catharine.
How do you come up with your characters names?
I just pick names I like that seem to fit the characters, and in this case, are consistent with the historical setting. With contemporaries, sometimes use internet-based random name generators if I need inspiration. Sometimes I’m stuck because I have a secondary character in one book that I’ve already named, without giving it much thought, and then that character ends up getting his or her own book!
Are your Characters modeled after any one in your life?
Nope! My life is not that exciting!
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
I think James. He tries so very hard to do what is good and right, but he can’t see the forest for the trees.
What was your favorite chapter to write? Scene? Why?
There is a scene in which the heroine has to do something that goes against her code of ethics (I don’t want to be too specific because I don’t want to give it away). That was tough for me to write, but also tough because I didn’t want readers to turn on her.
Do you have a least favorite character? What makes them your least favorite character?
Well, the villain—that one is easy! Again, I can’t say exactly why, but he is a baddie! He also wears ugly hats!
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
I wrote most of it in one-hour chunks. I was still working a day job, and I would write over my lunch hour and then again for an hour after my kid went to bed.
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
My website is jennyholiday.com, or you can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenny.holiday or Twitter (where I am more than I’m on Facebook) @jennyholi