Viveka Portman

Read more about Viveka Portman.

Interview By: Night Owl Romance

Date: June 06, 2014

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Current Release: The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding

What's your book about?

It is the diary of a gentrified lady in 1813. Lady Jane is happily married to Lord Jacob, but when he has a horrible accident - they find they are unable to have any more children. Ordinarily, this wouldn't be a problem, but the Fielding's have only daughters, and in an era where a male heir was essential, they find themselves having to name Jacob's brother the heir instead. Jacob's brother is a brute, an unpleasant man who will not care for the estate nor its people. So Lord Jacob comes up with a plan to get another child, by means of his distant cousin, Matthew, bedding his wife. Suffice to say, Lady Jane is equally appalled as curious. The plan naturally hinges on the agreement of all three, but tension, jealousy and time all get in the way...

What should readers expect from you titles?

Readers can expect a sexy and titillating read filled with interesting characters and historically accurate language and details.

What's your writing process like?

Basically, I have an idea and write it. If I'm working on multiple projects at a time, I'll sometimes write down a brief scene sequence so I don't forget things, but I'm not a plotter by any means. If a scene really strikes me, I'll sometimes write it out of sequence, and slot it in later.

Which authors do you follow religiously?

George R. R. Martin, Kresley Cole, Bettie Sharpe and Karen Marie Moning.

What books have you analyzed to help grow yourself as an author?

For the Regency Diaries I pawed over 'The Family Sex and Marriage in England 1500 - 1800', by Lawrence Stone. It is brilliant. As for craft books, I don't really read books about the art of writing, but listen to other authors and their advice instead.

What's next for you as an author?

The next book in the series is 'The Observations of a Curious Governess'. It's about a young governess, Miss Martha Jane Swan, at the Stanton Household (you'll have met the Stantons in The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton #2 of the Regency Diaries). Martha is a young lady with lofty ideals, who finds herself witness to some surprising situations. Martha was an absolute joy to write. One day soon, I hope to get to writing those Vikings too!

What is your favorite way to procrastinate?

My favourite way to procrastinate is to cruise the Internet looking at inspiring things. These can be anything from male models (yes I have difficult job), to scenery, to watching television shows and studying the interactions between people. At the moment I'm fascinated by paralinguistics - the aspects of language that do not contain words, it's utterly fascinating.

Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?

Obviously my publisher, the team at Escape Publishing, and my editor Sharon Ketelaar but also Managing Editor Kate Cuthbert - because she is so enthusiastic about what I write. Beyond the publishing world, my husband is an amazing help. I often talk through issues with the manuscript with him, and he gives his honest (and brutal) answers. Also my critique partner, Shona Husk - an awesome author in her own right. We spend hours laughing over each other's manuscripts and I would never have even written any of the Regency Diaries without her encouragement.

Do you have a favorite or interesting reader meet moment?

I have had a few, but one that sticks with me is when a reader approached me and said 'I've read all your books, and my husband wants to thank you for them.' I was like, 'Oh really? Your husband?' and then I realized just what she meant... that made me blush.

If you could have dinner with an author, who would it be?

It would have to be George R. R. Martin. I've read so many of his books, and not just his Song of Ice and Fire series. He really is an incredible world builder. I'd love to see how his mind works.

If you could travel to another time, would you choose past or future or would you stick where you are at? And Why?

Realistically, I'd stick where I am. The rights for women in past times were pretty dismal, and I don't really feel the need to suffer those kinds of injustices. Having said that, I have long been fascinated with the Viking Era (I studied them at University and plan to write about them) so if I could go and be in Scandinavia at around 892 AD, and then come home to my comfy bed and society, I'd do that.

What's a writing day like for you?

I get up, go through the family routine of breakfast and school runs, usually have a coffee with a friend, then at about 10:30 head home and write until 2:30ish. After that, it's basically back into mother-mode!

Do you feel music has inspired your writing?

For certain books, I find myself listening to what I term 'muse music' repeatedly. It really can be any song at all. For The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding, I was totally obsessed with KISS's song 'God Gave Rock'n Roll'. Goodness knows what my neighbours made of that!

What's your everyday life like? Do you write full-time or do you also hold another job?

I am a relief teacher, so I only work intermittently. If I'm not teaching, I spend about four - five hours of the working day writing.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Is there such thing as a midtrovert? Probably not, but honestly, I'm neither completely introverted or extroverted. It depends on the situation and my mood on the occasion.

Signing Off

Thank you for having me today, it's a thrill to have been here.