Buried Under Romance is pleased to welcome author Susanna Ives, whose first book with Sourcebooks Casablanca is Wicked Little Secrets, a Victorian romance soon to be released on December 3rd.
**Susanna is giving away an advanced copy of Wicked Little Secrets to one lucky commenter (via Rafflecopter), but it's U.S. only! **
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release date: December 3, 2013
It's Not Easy Being Good...
Vivacious Vivienne Taylor has finally won her family's approval by getting engaged to the wealthy and upright John Vandergrift. But when threatened by a vicious blackmail scheme, it is to her childhood friend that Vivienne turns; the deliciously wicked Viscount Dashiell.
When Being Wicked is so Much More Exciting...
Lord Dashiell promised himself long ago that his friendship with Vivienne would be the one relationship with a woman that he wouldn't ruin. He agrees to help her just to keep the little hothead safe, but soon finds that Vivienne has grown up to be very, very dangerous to all of Dash's best intentions.
Susanna has graciously agreed to a guest post/interview, so take it away, Susanna!
Thank you, Mary, for letting me come out and play on your lovely new blog! Your questions were just fabulous. And, in turn, I have a question for you and your readers at the end of the interview. I can’t wait to hear your answers!
1. What made you want to write romance? And more specifically, romance set in the Victorian era?
It’s not that I “want” to write romance; it’s that I just write romance. It’s the natural bend of my mind. I guess I must refer to Stephen King’s oft repeated quote when asked why he chooses to write what he does, “What makes you think I have any choice?”
I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian Era. Queen Victoria reigned for so long and during a time of great social change. The society was highly stratified and, at times, repressive, giving me a great deal of comic leverage.
I had completed a Regency before Wicked Little Secrets, and I adore that era. Many Regency writers live and breathe Jane Austen. As much as I truly adore Austen, I’ve been more influenced by Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde. I just drink Dickens’ work. His characters and setting are brilliant and vivid. He has such sensory detail in his work that I feel transported one hundred and sixty years back in time when I read him. I did a great deal of research on his character Jaggers in Great Expectations when creating the solicitor Robert Teakesbury in Wicked Little Secrets.
Also, I spent much of my young life volunteering at the local theater, where I was exposed to such great comic farces as Arsenic and Old Lace, Charley’s Aunt, Strange Bedfellows, and, of course, The Importance of Being Ernest. I adore that play. I can read from any point in the script and just laugh aloud.
2. As your first book with Sourcebooks – Wicked Little Secrets – is coming out next week, please give some inside information on the book. For instance, how did you come up with the plot and characters?
They grew organically out of the story. I had recently stopped working on a Regency after I had complicated the plot until it was a hopeless mess. My other Regency, Rakes and Radishes, I had decided to shelf (It was later ePublished.) I really wasn’t writing anything for a stretch. Then one day, I typed out a single paragraph about a rigid Methodist biddy who was conducting a Bible study in her parlor. I sent the single paragraph to one of my dearest friends, the brilliant writer Catherine Scott/Catriona Iams. She loved it. The entire story was born of that paragraph.
3. What research did you have to do for your book?
Every page in the book has a least one or more detail that needed to be researched. I typically do enough research to get myself in trouble when I write the initial drafts. Once I have the general plot and scenes tacked down, I research the specific details. Sometimes, I get in trouble using this method and have to do a little tap dance to get myself out of a nasty historical faux pas. For instance, Wicked Little Secrets was initially set in the late 1830s and included a plain-clothed detective. I moved the year up when I found an obscure history website that stated the first plain-clothed investigators appeared in 1845. Later, I revised out my plain-clothed policeman but the year remained.
I think the most enjoyable research for the book was actually touring John Wesley’s chapel in London. The Methodist chapel in Wicked Little Secrets borrows some details from John Wesley’s. http://www.wesleyschapel.org.uk/vchapel.htm
4. When you set out to write Wicked Little Secrets did you have in mind a certain tone (i.e. dark and gritty or light-hearted) for the book?
I wanted laughter and naughtiness. I also desired to experiment with a strong plot-driven story. Several of my friends are mystery writers, and I wanted to dabble with a mystery plot in a romance.
5. Do you have a current work-in-progress? When can we expect your next work?
I get nervous talking about my current work-in-progress. I’m rather superstitious about revealing what I’m working on. I prefer to remain silent.
So, I have a question for your wonderful readers. If you could live in any historical novel, what would it be and why? I’ll start. I would live in A Room With A View. I would love to tour Italy, sharing delicious meals with the fascinating George Emerson and his father. They would tell me profound and soul stirring things just like in the book.
***About the Author
Susanna Ives grew up in the rural South, where she spent most of her youth at the local theater, acting in productions, working in the lighting booth, and building sets. Eventually she left her small town for the city lights of Atlanta, where she attended college and worked in corporations as a multimedia developer. These days she chases after her two curious, energetic children, designs web pages, and writes.
You can learn more about Susanna Ives’ work at: