As seen in the January issue of Uncaged Book Reviews.
Uncaged: You started your career as a lawyer, what prompted your change to writing? Was being an author always a dream you had?
I was always a writer but did not always write fiction. In a hiatus in my career, I began reading romance for the first time. One day, I was speaking with my best friend about a story, the ending of which I did not find satisfying. She told me I needed to write one. So I did. By that time, I had fallen in love with historical romance and had my own review blog (Historical Romance Review). The rest is history.
Uncaged: You weave real historical facts and people in with your fictional characters to bring life to your books. How much research do you do for each book?
Hundreds of hours. I read history, original journals and delve into the biographies of the historical figures I want to use. I also look up historic inns, clothing, food and weather, etc. I try to get it “right” and put the reader in the time. It’s what my stories are known for.
Uncaged: The Donet Trilogy, the first two books, To Tame the Wind and Echo in the Wind are out now. You also have a couple other series out also, can you give us a rundown on the different series that are available?
Sure. So far, my Regency series, the Agents of the Crown, has the most books (4 to date, for which To Tame the Wind is the prequel, and 3 related novellas, all holiday stories. The Donet Trilogy has 2 so far and I’m writing the 3rd to be released in 2018: A Fierce Wind… set in 1794… love in the time of the French Revolution. And my award-winning Medieval Warriors series has 4 novels, all related. It’s now in a boxed set, too. You can see them all on my website and on Amazon.
Uncaged: As a reviewer, I’m always curious as to what authors can take away from the reviews, do you read them and what do you take away from the reviews?
As a reviewer myself, I try to be balanced, to always find the good and what was done well. We writers try hard to deliver a good story. I try not to be negative in my reviews of other authors’ work unless the issues are glaring and I know my followers would want to know. If someone writes a negative review of one of my stories without finding any good, I just ignore it, particularly if the other reviews are all praising the story. But if one or two things are noted that I can fix, I will. Often it’s just one person’s perspective not shared by others. The real takeaway for me is if the readers like the story.
Uncaged: Can you tell us what you have coming up next?
I may be relocating in 2018 so this is tentative but I have planned two releases: A Fierce Wind, book 2 in the Donet Trilogy (the trilogy books are all Georgian romances set in the late 18th century) and Rogue’s Holiday, book 5 in the Agents of the Crown, my Regency series. Then I plan to head to medieval Scotland for the Clan Donald Saga.
Uncaged: How long on average does it take you to write a full book? What is your writing process?
Six months from start to release. But that includes beta readers and editing. I always write to the cover so my covers for the next two books are done. (Don’t you hate covers that aren’t accurate for the characters or the story?)
Uncaged: What are your favorite parts about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?
I love the research and developing my characters. Bringing it all together for a fast-paced story that readers will love is like pulling weeds.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Long walks with my dog; dinner with friends; reading (I read historical romance all the time for my blog).
Uncaged: What is the hardest part of a book to write? What is the easiest?
It depends on the book. Sometimes the beginning comes easy; sometimes it does not. Right now, I’m struggling with where to begin A Fierce Wind.
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
I love my readers. They are the reason I write. And they influence my stories. For example, they asked me to make Freddie West, a character in Echo in the Wind, the hero in A Fierce Wind, so I’m doing it. It’s Zoe Donet’s story. You can find me on Facebook (I’m there every day), my Website, the Regan Walker’s Readers Facebook page, on Goodreads, and on my blog, Historical Romance Review (which also has a Facebook page!). Oh, and I have Pinterest storyboards for my books, too!