Today on BookSmart, I’m interviewing historical romance author, Valerie Bowman. Her novels are smart and fun and I’m a big fan.
Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. 🙂
Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzer, Huckleberry. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV (which she’s actually been on — keep reading to find out more) and PBS. She is the author of the Secret Brides series, starting with Secrets of a Wedding Night, Secrets of a Runaway Bride, and Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage. The Right Kind of Rogue is the 11th full-length book she’s written.
Diana: What is it about Historicals that entice you? Have you ever thought of writing anything else?
Valerie: I just adore all the pomp and circumstance of the Regency. I love the clothing, the customs, and the pagentry. Plus the rules and restrictions they had makes for some great stories, I think. I have thought about writing contemporary romantic comedy too. Whatever I write will always be rompish and light. That’s my favorite thing to read too.
Diana: Lately you’ve been writing about pirates as much as nobles. Which do you prefer: dukes, princes, or pirates? Did you talk like a pirate on September 19th?
Valerie: I LOVE to read pirate historicals but I honestly never thought I’d write one because I don’t know much about ships or sailing. My Playful Brides series just happened to have a hero who (when I examined where he’d been after ten years away, I decided) had been out at sea, so I had to figure out enough about ships to make his story believable. I’ll take a prince, a pirate, or a duke. They all sound good to me. And unfortunately, I didn’t talk like a pirate on Sept 19th but only because I was a bit distracted by Hurricane Irma this year since I live in Florida.
Diana: Oooh, that was tough. I’m so glad you’re okay and I’m sending good thoughts to everyone in Florida, Houston, and Puerto Rico and everywhere else effected, too.
What does your husband think about your books and on being on Say Yes to the Dress?
Valerie: I met my husband after I’d already begun writing romance novels so he never knew me any other way. He couldn’t be more proud of my books. He didn’t want to be on reality TV (and I don’t blame him) but that’s ok because Say Yes to the Dress isn’t a show where the groom should be there.
Diana: Well you were my most favorite Yes to the Dress bride ever!
If you were on a desert island, what three things would you take with you? Which three people?
Valerie: Sadly, I would have to take my chapstick with me. I’m horribly addicted to that stuff. And probably coffee and books. (Can I bring more than one book? Please say yes!) As for people, I’d bring my family, of course.
Diana: How has becoming an author changed you as a person?
Valerie: I’m not sure it’s changed me as a person but I certainly feel lucky to be able to write books that people want to read. It’s the best profession in the world if you ask me.
Diana: Now for my favorite question. Pets?
Valerie: Yep. I have two mini schnauzers named Huckleberry and Violet and they’re both handfuls.
Diana: They sound adorable and I’m cross with you for not sending photos! 🙂 But your newest book is so wonderful, I can’t be cross for more than a nanosecond. Here is the blurb:
Can two star-crossed lovers come together—until death do they part?
Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride—ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded. . .
Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry—or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance. . .for all time?
The Host of Book Smart on TV and Editor-in-Chief of our blog, Diana Belchase is a multi-award winning author of spy thrillers, short stories, mainstream fiction and nonfiction. She loves everything about books — the ideas, the fonts, even the feel of the pages. Most of all, she loves using her behind the scenes knowledge -- the whispers and dealings of Washington, D.C. power brokers -- when bringing her characters and stories to the page.
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