Veronica's #WritersDairy: A Lovely Chat with Regency Romance Author Kelly Miller!
“...but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”
Today it's my pleasure to have as a guest, Regency Romance Author Kelly Miller! This talented writer creates variations of Jane Austen's classic tales, offering readers a segue into exciting, new scenarios and settings for the characters to experience--an opportunity you won't want to miss! I've had the pleasure of reading most of the books in her Pride & Prejudice variations and look forward to reading her latest release, Captive Hearts, which is a Persuation variation. Let's chat with Kelly:
Q1. Kelly, I've truly enjoyed your Pride & Prejudice variation books so much. You breathe new twists and character vitality into beloved Jane Austen tales. What inspired you to take on these projects?
Thank you so much, Veronica! It's odd, because for most of my life, I never read romances; nor did I ever aspire to be an author. My favorite genres to read used to be mysteries, suspense, and horror. Then I retired and stumbled upon "Pride and Prejudice" fan fiction online. To my surprise, I enjoyed reading them. However, I always thought one or more aspects of the stories seemed unrealistic or wrong for the character(s). So, I decided to write my own. Once I started, I have not stopped! I love the challenge of writing. I even like editing, though it can be nerve-wracking at times.
Q2. Any trepidation on introducing new twists and complexities to a beloved author's stories? Your fans seem very supportive!
I have come to understand that no matter what I write, someone, somewhere will object to some part of it. That makes total sense when you consider that we are all unique, so our preferences and expectations will vary. I write the stories I want to read and hope for the best; after all, I must read them a ton of times during the editing process.
3. Please tell us about your latest release, Captive Hearts, a Persuasion Variation. Will there be follow on Persuasion tales to look forward to?
"Captive Hearts" tells the tale of Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot, who fell in love in 1806, but had a bitter parting. When they meet again in 1814, Wentworth is wealthy and successful while Anne, at 27, is already considered a spinster. Anne is a thoughtful and level-headed person, but her father and two sisters are self-centered and arrogant. There are cameo appearances by Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Darcy, who play small, but relevant roles in the early chapters. Although my story follows the general storyline of "Persuasion" at first, it takes a broad turn and then more surprises ensue. I tried to do justice to Wentworth and Anne, along with the other familiar characters, and yet give "Persuasion" fans an engaging, new story. At this time, I have no plans to write another "Persuasion" story.
Q4. You're so supportive to the writing and reading communities on social media. What advice would you give to authors to help market and promote their books?
Thank you; you are most supportive as well! I am not very savvy about marketing compared to many other authors; I don't have any book trailers, and I do not know how to use photoshop. I would not say I am successful at marketing because I spend countless hours managing my Twitter account alone, and the payoff is tiny for the time and effort it takes. There are a ton of marketing tools out there; some authors prefer Facebook over Twitter. Some are more successful with Instagram or TikTok while others pay for advertising with Amazon, Facebook, or Goodreads giveaways. My advice would be to try as many things as you can and see what works for you.
Q5. Enquiring minds want to know--what projects are in store for you in 2022/2023?
I am editing a "Pride & Prejudice" Regency variation now called "A Dutiful Son." In this story, which begins in 1811, Fitzwilliam Darcy's father, George Darcy, is still living. When Fitzwilliam Darcy realizes he is falling for Elizabeth Bennet, George Darcy will become an obstacle. The Fitzwilliam Darcy that Jane Austen created had lost his father in 1806 and had the responsibility for his vast estate and the care of his sister thrown in his lap five years before P&P began. The Darcy in "A Dutiful Son" will be different from the Darcy in the beginning of P&P. This Darcy is still inclined to be reserved, but he has benefited from the five additional years of guidance by his benevolent father and is, therefore, better behaved; he would never insult a lady at an assembly.
Kelly, thank you so much for being my guest today. Your books are wonderful reads--best to you with your new release and upcoming projects! You can find out more details on Kelly's latest release and books here:
Captive Hearts, A Persuation Variation: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09QK7T6XH
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kelly-Miller/e/B07SRS3FRK
Smoke & Mirrors, the Elusive MacGuffin discussion continues!
Join Bibiana Krall, Cynthia Raleigh, and me as we continue the discussion on the MacGuffin this Sunday, February 27th at 4 PM EST in the #MurdersWeWrite room on the Clubhouse app. This literary technique is not just for mysteries--it also pops up in fantasy and SciFi genres as well. Thirty minutes of literary discussion fun--come join the chat (it's just audio, wear your PJs and crowns!)! 💀🌹
The hunt for clues takes a mysterious turn this week from the writers of Twitter...
Author K.T. McGivens, The Secret at Sunset Hill, 5 ⭐
Katie Porter is hoping to impress the editor of the Fairfield Gazette newspaper and secure a position as a reporter if she can land a buzzworthy story. A society soiree provides just the opportunity for her as she attends a gathering at the estate of her close friends. The celebrations get off to a bumpy start when the guests' jewelry starts to disappear--is there a thief amongst the partygoers?
Katie and her colleagues and friends stumble upon a darker plot at the celebration. When Katie reads correspondence from her deceased fiancé, she's convinced there are nefarious plans in place to retrieve secrets from his last, wartime mission. Will she be able to figure out the clues before the dark forces prevail? Her new acquaintances appear to be honorable men, but can they really be trusted?
Author McGivens writes a clever whodunit, taking us on a spirited, sometimes bittersweet journey as we pour through the clues with Katie. The characters are engaging, and I enjoyed this intriguing tale with a hint of romance very much. I now have an exciting, new series to follow---a great read, highly recommended!
Next up in the reading queue:
Witty Fun with the Fabulous Jay Leno!
Jay Leno has captivated living rooms across the world
for over 20 years with charisma, comedy, and charm as host of late
night television’s top-rated, “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno and
now with “Jay Leno’s Garage” on CNBC. A television icon, standup
comedian, best-selling children’s book author, lovable TV and
movie voice-over artist, pioneering car builder and mechanic, Leno
has been deemed “the hardest working man in show business.”
The OH and I had the chance to see Jay perform this past weekend at the La Mirada Theater. For oh-so-many years we ended the evening watching his late-night show--we love his sense of humor and witticisms! It has been a few years since we last saw him perform in Las Vegas, we couldn't wait to get his comedic perspective on the state of the world in 2022... 😳🌎🤪
And, we were not disappointed as the jokes and one-liners rolled on and on: the never ending Fauci updates; binge watching and binge eating; smart phones and smart apps; male traits and of course how women view them; and many fun tales of his life on the road during his shows. For ninety minutes the audience burst into laugh after laugh. The joyful glee was heartwarming, and just for a moment--life was pretty darn good!
Jay travels the U.S. for his shows. If he comes to a town near you, I highly recommend attending. Laughter is indeed the best medicine and oh-so-good for the soul...
Pssst: If you do attend a show, read the venue requirements for entry. We had to show our vaccine card and license...
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. Hard to believe the days of February are dwindling down--who's ready for spring? I know a few peeps at Cherrywood Hall who are getting quite excited...what can possibly go wrong? #UhOh Gemma and Rikkhe approve 💖👑