Well, weekend is here – although I’m stuck working a 12 hour shift tomorrow so perhaps not the most fun one! You may have noticed we migrated to a new site (though don’t worry if you’ve come from the old one, it should just divert you through!). Since some of you probably know I’m not the most technically-minded of people so do bear with me if there’s any odd blips – hopefully it should all be smoothly running very soon 🙂
Today though, I have the fab Alyson Pearce dropping by – and if you’re looking for a fun Regency read for the weekend then you may be in luck!
So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself (bio).
I’m an American currently living in London and working in publishing. I fell in love with romances after discovering my grandmother’s collection, and I haven’t looked back! As a member of the LGBT community, I believe that everyone deserves their happily ever after, and try to incorporate that into my romances. In addition to writing, I’m one half of Between the Lines Editing, an editorial services company for LGBT romance. The Viscount and the Artist is my first book.
Exciting 🙂 Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve loved writing since I was a child. When I was five, my grandma gave me a blank piece of paper and a pencil, and I wrote a ‘short story’ of about five sentences. I kept at it, writing more short stories, which were always encouraged. At twelve, I started writing my first novel—which I abandoned—and during my undergraduate years, I wrote fanfiction and the first draft of what became The Viscount and the Artist.
Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?
I’m a planner to the core. Before I write a single word, I spend a solid month figuring out who the characters are, what they’re like, what their motivations are. I plot out what’s going to happen, almost down to the chapter. Once I have a good idea of the direction I’m going in, then and only then will I start writing. When I write, I have to have music or noise of some kind in the background. I find that ambient mixes help set the mood of a scene. I’m also not one of those people who can write scenes out of order, so I suppose that’s part of the routine.
Lol, I may be in awe of those planning skills – I’m afraid pantser to the core here 🙂 Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.
I write M/M historical romance. I’ve always loved historical romances. Authors like Lisa Kleypas and Elizabeth Hoyt drew me in, and when I discovered M/M historical romance, I fell in love with them immediately. I’ve always found the Regency era fascinating, and being able to look at a different side than is presented in mainstream romance was a lot of fun!
I do agree there’s just something about Regency times, it’s a period I’d love to be able to ‘step into’. Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?
The first authors I ever read in the genre were Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon. Their books Seducing Stephen and The Gentleman and the Rogue were my first M/M historical romances, and I fell in love with the setting and the characters. They were the entire reason I started writing M/M romance to begin with, so they’ll always have a special place in my heart. I also adore KJ Charles’ Society of Gentlemen series, which I think is absolutely brilliant, and Heidi Cullinan’s A Private Gentleman.
What five things could you never do without?
A laptop with wifi, my phone, my Alpha reader (she’s the only reason The Viscount and the Artist exists!), my support network of authors and friends, and chocolate chip cookies—they’re my biggest weakness!
Hehe, I may be with you the cookies! Tell us a bit about your new release.
The Viscount and the Artist is a Regency romance, set in 1813. It follows Andrew, a damaged viscount, and a young artist named Jeremy. Still recovering from the death of his uncle and a wound he received in the Napoleonic War, Andrew sponsors Jeremy for the Season with the intention of helping him find a patron. He believes the arrangement will be temporary—but what he doesn’t anticipate is how much he’ll come to care for Jeremy. Facing pressure from his father to become a curate, Jeremy takes Andrew up on his offer to go to London. Although he knows his time with Andrew is limited, he can’t help falling for him, even after discovering Andrew intends to wed a woman he doesn’t love. The two must work through a multitude of obstacles—not in the least of which is their own doubts about their relationship—to find happiness.
Ooh, sounds intriguing. Where did your inspiration for it come from?
The inspiration for writing an M/M historical romance was simply that I couldn’t find anymore, so I decided to write my own. For this particular book/series, I discovered the real Society of Eccentrics very early on in my research into the Regency era, and knew that I wanted to include it in some way, so I based the series around it. The Society of Eccentrics included a lot of philanthropy and patronage of the arts, which has always been close to my heart, so each of the books features a different creative type (artist, actor, musician, and author.)
Sounds like a fab concept for a series, can’t wait to see them all coming! What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?
I loved the planning that went into it—getting to know not only the plot and the setting, but more importantly, the characters. I loved developing Andrew and Jeremy and seeing who they were and why they loved each other. I also really loved writing scenes where they’re intimate—and I don’t just mean the sex! There’s a scene where the two of them sneak away from an assembly to have a quiet moment together and they have an almost Pride and Prejudice moment where it’s just the two of them dancing where no one else can see. I loved writing those moments like that.
Aww, that sounds so sweet. What was the hardest part about writing it?
Keeping the motivation up and the momentum going. This was my first novel, and it’s something that I’ve been working on for a few years now, but I’ve only really been putting all my effort into it for about a year. It’s definitely more of a marathon than a sprint. Sometimes it was difficult to stay excited about the plot and invested in the characters, but I had fantastic critique partners and beta readers who helped me keep my morale up.
True, and I think something we all face. Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)
Oh now this question just isn’t fair! I love all of them! If I had to pick a favourite, it would be one of the side characters, actually, Percy. He’s the voice of reason in the story and the only one who seems to think with his head instead of his heart (and other parts.) Book two of The Eccentrics series will follow him, so I’m excited to get started on it!
Lol, I do love when your side characters insist of getting their own story told. Why should we run out and buy it right now? 🙂
It’s got just the right mix of romance, sex, and historical charm, with just a dash of mystery! Plus, as it’s the start of a series, you’re guaranteed more fun Regency stories to come.
You can’t argue with that 😉 Check out the book details here: