It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Adrienne Vaughan to the blog today. Author of the romantic suspense ‘Heartfelt’ series, editor of Romance Matters and aspiring Bond Girl, Adrienne is also one of New Romantics Press, an inspirational group of self published authors who have recently taken part in an author showcase at Waterstone’s Kensington branch. With her being such an amazing lady the Write Romantics had lots and lots of questions for Adrienne…
We know you’re a journalist and editor of Romance Matters as well as a writer. How hard is it to find time to write?
I was given a turquoise Petite Typewriter when I was seven and my fate was sealed. I used to sit at the kitchen table and cut out articles and pictures, then paste them onto pages, making my own magazines. My mother would often sit down with a nice cup of tea and Woman’s Own, only to find I’d snipped out half the magazine when she wasn’t looking! I run a busy PR practice, and Romance Matters is just one of the magazines I work on, the others are more corporate, featuring architecture, construction and property. My creative writing is what I do when I’m not at my ‘official desk’. I write long hand – so my first typescript is an edit – usually very early in the morning, or when I’m on holiday, in an aeroplane, on a train, anywhere really. I think you have to make time to write, I know I do.
How has being a member of the New Romantics benefitted you?
Being a founder member of the New Romantics Press was, and still is, totally inspirational. Four very different writers, with distinct styles and voices, yet I now have three buddies I just can’t imagine being without. We support each other, nag each other, admire each other and love each other. I say unreservedly, I would not be a published writer without Lizzie Lamb, June Kearns and Mags Cullingford. They’ve helped my dream come true. End of.
June, Adrienne and Lizzie at the Waterstones Author Showcase (Unfortunately Mags Cullingford was recovering from knee surgery and couldn’t join them)
How big a help has social media and the New Romantics blog been in promoting your books?
Social media – particularly for an independent – is the main route to our audience, our readers. Without it I wouldn’t have readers who have both enjoyed my books and written some great reviews too. My first novel, The Hollow Heart has been downloaded by over 30,000 people, how else would I have reached even 300 without social media, Amazon and the internet.
We know you’re lucky enough to own a horse (Sharon Booth will be so jealous!) When did you get it? Does riding influence your writing at all?
My beautiful horse was extremely elderly and went to heaven at the end of last year. It was his time and it was a happy ending but I do miss him. One of the most fascinating things about riding, is that you have to communicate with another animal in a way it will understand and you must always remember, the animal you have given your complete trust has a brain of its own too. When it goes right, like a fabulous hack out, or winning a competition, it’s the most amazing feeling. My latest novel, Secrets of the Heart, features riding within the story and of course, the book is dedicated to my horse, Marco, as well as my late grandfathers …all wonderful gentlemen.
What’s next now the ‘Heart’ series of books are finished?
Tough question. I currently have two on the go. The Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel and A Most Deadly Affair – both romantic suspense and both totally different, although ‘Deadly’ will involve a lot more research, so I think that will take a back seat to ‘Scandal’ until that’s finished.
- Why do your books have an Irish setting?
Although born in England, I was brought up in Dublin and my family are all Irish. I have lived in the UK for over thirty years now, although I flit between the two countries very regularly.
My first novel – still (unsurprisingly) unpublished – was written thirty years ago, inspired by Maeve Binchy’s, Light A Penny Candle, so maybe writing about Ireland keeps me connected. I do have to check with family and friends I don’t fall into what they call ‘Plastic Irish’ – if my ‘voice’ wasn’t authentic, they’d soon tell me about it!
Did you have anyone in mind when you created the sexy Hollywood actor Ryan?
(And that was all she’ll say on that one, I’m afraid!)
How did you become editor of Romance Matters (the magazine of the Romantic Novelist’s Association) and what does that involve?
I’d just joined the NWS – a total godsend to me – and there was a notice in the magazine to say the lovely Myra Kersner was standing down after eight years, could anyone help. My hand shot up! The job involves all the wonderful things about being an editor, commissioning articles, planning features, interviewing really important people and making lots of new friends. What’s not to like?
What are your writing plans for the next year?
Hmm, good question. I’m hoping 2015 is the year I start on that long road to becoming recognised as a writer. With three books under my belt, two of which have been shortlisted for an award at the Festival of Romantic Fiction, I’m currently seeking an agent, so we’ll see where that leads. Plus the New Romantics Press has plans for a very special short story anthology later this year, and I also have a small collection of short stories I’m hoping to publish too. I’m hoping I can become a true hybrid, published both traditionally and independently. Although, at the heart of things, it doesn’t really matter, I’ll always write, it’s what I do.
We see that you had ambitions to be a Bond Girl. Have you based any of your heroes on James Bond?
Had? What do you mean HAD ??? Look, if Dame Judy Dench can do it, there’s hope! The character Ryan plays in his movies, Thomas Bentley is based on a sort of James Bond, but for me, Ryan is a true ‘James Bond’. Daring, single-minded, handsome and very hot – yet totally loyal to both Marianne and Joey – even when things get a bit rocky, he sticks to his guns and gets his girl in the end. Well, thanks for having me and a very happy and fruitful new year to you and all the Write Romantics …keep at it and never, never, never give up. Now, must dash …booked my first skiing lesson …well, you never know, do you?
You can check out Adrienne’s website at here, buy the Heartfelt series here and follow her on Twitter at @adrienneauthor. You can find the New Romantics Press here. If you’d like to read Write Romantic Sharon’s review of The Hollow Heart then click here
Huge thanks to Adrienne for joining us today. If you’d like to leave a comment or ask Adrienne a question then please click where it says ‘leave a comment’ or ‘comments’ in tiny little writing at the bottom of this post. Have a great weekend! Alys x