A Warriner To Seduce Her by Virginia Heath
A Warriner to Seduce Her
A sensible schoolmistress…Awakened by the notorious rake!
In this The Wild Warriners story, schoolmistress Felicity Blunt feels old beyond her years―and desperately dull. Meeting confirmed rake Jacob Warriner brings her gloriously alive, and yet no matter his allure she must remain immune to his obvious charms and unashamed flirtation. But is Jacob merely a mischievous scoundrel? Or is there much more to this Warriner than meets the eye…?
| Interview |
When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. But it still takes her ages to fall asleep.
What book truly inspired your life and why?
Montana Sky by Nora Roberts- She gripped me from the first page to the last, wove four romances seamlessly into a thriller about a serial killer, with a twist so unexpected it could have come from the pen of Agatha Christie. I’d always wanted to write, but after reading that book I knew I wanted to write as brilliantly as Nora. She is a goddess.
How did you pick who you dedicated your book too?
I’m gradually working my way around the family and friends who mean the most to me. As this book is about a silver-tongued devil who could charm the birds from the trees, it seemed fitting to dedicate it to the charming, silver-tongued long-standing boyfriend of my daughter Dave. He was due a mention.
Did you do a lot of research for your book?
Yes, I did. It’s all about smuggling during the Regency, so I had to know all about it before I could write it. Most research doesn’t make it in to the finished book but serves to make my own writing richer, however, in this case I discovered a fascinating piece of local history from my little corner of Essex which made it into the finished story. There is a pub called the Bull in Corringham and the church of St Michael’s just up the road in Fobbing. Back in the early 19th century they were set in marshland that has since been drained, and the local legend is that both were connected by a network of underground smuggler’s tunnels. There had to be a scene on Fobbing marshes…
What was your favourite read of 2017?
When a Scot ties the Knot by Tessa Dare. A lovely, funny, unexpected romance.
If you had to take three books on a desert island what would they be?
The moon’s a Balloon by David Niven. I adore this autobiography. It’s fascinating, honest and laugh out loud funny. I’ve read it half a dozen times.
Montana Sky- Just so well written and exciting
An empty but very thick notebook to write in- (I couldn’t waste such a wonderful stretch of undistracted writing time).
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
For a decade I was a history teacher at a local secondary school. But that creative stuff reawakened the secret dream I had had since I was a little girl, because even then I had wanted to write stories, and as the years went on the need to write a book went from being a secret I had never shared with anyone into a burning desire to see if I really could. For a long time, I promised myself I would write in the school holidays, but inevitably I had to catch up on all of that paperwork and marking every time I had a break, and by the long summer holiday I was always so burned out by the previous academic year, all of my creative juices dried up. It became a standing joke with my students that I was going to write a novel because I never had the time to actually write one. I started the odd chapter but never got any further.
On the 24th October 2013, I had what I refer to as my Michael Douglas Falling Down moment. I’m not sure if you’ve seen that film, but it shows how one upright, over-worked and undervalued man suddenly snaps and goes on the rampage with machine guns. There were no guns in my moment. No rage. No violence. I had just sat through yet another long and pointless after school meeting. We had just had an OFSTED inspection and I was exhausted. My inbox had suddenly got even bigger and I realised that I was never going to write a damn book and be a good teacher at the same time. Something had to give.
In that one miserable moment, I did something rash- yet I still don’t regret it to this day. I turned towards my archaic school keyboard and began to type my resignation. It was short and sweet, just two lines, and in case I lost my nerve I hit send straight away. I calmly packed up my things, walked to my car and drove home.
My husband, bless him, took the news well. He even went out and bought me an author’s desk and chair. A fancy desktop. He believed in me and that helped. In January 2014 I started my career as a writer- part-time. I did a couple of days of supply teaching each week to help make ends meet and wrote on my days off.
From the outset I loved it. I decided to write historical romances. I wanted to write things that stressed-out women like me could read, something entertaining and funny with enough spice to keep things interesting. I love Tessa Dare. Julia Quinn. Sarah Maclean. Historical writers but with a decidedly modern twist. Some people get angry at the term bodice rippers but I don’t- my feisty heroines wear bodices and my sexy heroes are ripped. My stories are unashamed, romping escapism- I call them Historical Romantic Comedies- but my research is always spot on.
After writing three books which nobody wanted, I was hoovering one day when I came up with a title. That Despicable Rogue. I remember thinking, that’s a good title- all I need now is a story. I am not a plotter. I’ve tried plotting and it never works, but I usually start a book with a vague idea of what the hero and heroine are like and one or two things I want to happen in the story. Thanks to the title, I had to have a rogue and he had to have done something bad to my heroine in order for her to call him despicable- so I started the book at a card game where the heroine’s house was the stake. Six weeks later and it was done and it felt right. I can’t explain why; I just knew that this book was worthy of sending off. I was right. I signed my first two-book contract shortly after. I’m writing book twelve for that same publisher as we speak.
Can you share with us a photo that tells a story?
What would you like your readers to know before starting your book? That Jake Warriner is the youngest of four brothers- but all of my Wild Warriners books are standalone so they don’t have to have read the others to enjoy it.
Do you have any questions that you would like to ask your readers?
Why do you read romance books?
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Thank you to Rachel Gilbey for the opportunity to be on the tour.
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