Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Victoria Chatham talking about Heroes, Heroines and Villains

Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?

I write historical novels, especially Regency which is my first love. I also have two novellas in a trilogy that is set in the Edwardian era. Book 3 in this trilogy is coming soon. I’ve loved the Regency period since I read my first Georgette Heyer novel, Frederica. Since then I’ve read many more Regency novels by various authors including Mary Balogh, Jo Beverley and Lisa Kleypas. I also have several outlines for contemporary western romances, these prompted by authors Linda Lael Miller, Diana Palmer and Jo Goodman. These outlines are still under the bed but could work as a series as all the characters are linked. Paranormal, science fiction and fantasy are subjects I just wouldn’t attempt as I do not have the particular mind-set to even want to try. I’m a slow writer and it would take me far too long to dream up my own ghosts and vampires and other worlds, especially when there are so many talented authors who already do that.

1.      Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?

I like my heroes and heroines to be as equal as the genre will allow so I can’t say that either is favourite. Usually I begin with whichever character makes the most chatter in my mind. Something akin to the squeaky wheel getting all the attention.  Villains I have a hard time with as I tend to not make them villainous enough! I have to dig really deep to make them truly nefarious within the context of the story.

2.      Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

This is a really good reason to look at guys and I find magazines for men and adverts in which men are featured to be really useful. I collect these pictures and put them in a file and often will build up a physical picture from these.  Although I must say I think I’m lucky in that my characters usually come to me pretty well fully formed. Sometimes a name will pop into my head which starts me off building the  character. Other times I ‘see’ the character and then have to come up with a name. I will write a timeline for each character, starting with their date of birth so I can use astrological signs to build their strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. The characters always come before the plot. They are usually so clear to me and then I have to decide what happens to them.

3.      Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?

My heroines appear as do my heroes so I follow the same process with them. I recently met a young lady with a very pretty name and asked her if she’d mind me naming a character after her. She was thrilled. I’m not sure yet in which book that character will appearbut she’s pretty feisty already as I like my heroines to be capable of standing up for themselves.

4.      Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?

Picking or creating a villain or villainess comes after I have created a plot. Who will mostly be affected by my hero and heroine’s relationship? Who wants to keep them apart? What does that person hope to gain? Whatever I come up with I have to work at making the situation worse but I always like to create a feasible reason for my villains to be the way they are and there are so many emotions to choose from whetherit be revenge, fear, or just plain envy. 

5.      What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?

His Dark Enchantress came out in paperback in August. The hero is Lucius, Earl of Avondale and the heroine is Miss Emmaline Devereux. I actually have two villains in this novel, Lady Rosemary Darnley and her nephew Sir Peregrine Styles who does all her dirty work for her.

6.      What are you working on now?

I’m finishing the third book in the Buxton Chronicles trilogy, Shell Shocked. It’s set right at the end of World War 1. My characters in this series are Lord Randolph and Lady Serena Buxton. Whatever I am writing I am always jotting down notes for other stories as ideas come to me so I don’t think I’ll ever be short of material.

7.      How can people find you?



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