Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesdays Tidbits with Kari: featuring author Gayle Wilson

Hi folks! I'm back with the third author in the Regency Silk and Scandal series: author Gayle Wilson. Please give her a warm welcome.

Regency Silk and Scandal is a unique 8 book author generated Regency continuity, featuring an ongoing mystery murder plot that runs through the whole series. It's about three friends, two scandalous affairs, and one secret code that leads to murder, disgrace and revenge. The stories will captivate the reader as they travel from the Cornish Coast to the heights of Hertfordshire, and from the ballrooms of London to the battlefields of Belgium.

Kari: What was it like for you in brainstorming an 8 book mystery plot?

Gayle: I loved having a group of talented and knowledgeable Regency writers to bounce ideas off of and to offer advice and encouragement. For the past few years I’ve been writing contemporary romantic suspense and am a little rusty on the period details, so I loved being able to ask questions of my fellow authors, who all generously shared their expertise. We also had a great time brainstorming and plotting the continuity points in all eight books. Writing a single title can be like walking a tightrope without a net because until the finished product gets to an editor, you never really know whether or not you’ve succeeded in pulling the reader into your fictional world.

My experience with this continuity was very much like having a wonderful critique group, always interested, always helpful, and very, very wise. Working with these particular authors couldn’t have been a greater pleasure for me--unless we had somehow managed to do our consulting around a cozy fire while sharing tea and cakes.

Kari: Oooh, cozy fire with tea and cakes...swap the tea for a margarita and I'm in :-) Can you tell us about your book in the series?

Gayle: At the beginning of Claiming the Forbidden Bride, Major Rhys Morgan, late of His Majesty's Light Dragoons, is on a journey to London, hoping, despite serious injuries suffered on the Peninsula, to continue his service for king and country. The consequences of his heroic rescue of a little girl pitch him instead into the midst of a Romany camp and into the arms of a beautiful and mysterious Gypsy healer. The last thing Nadya Argentari, my Romany heroine, wants or needs is a romantic involvement with an Englishman. When someone seems to be targeting her and her family, however, Rhys vows to protect the woman with whom he has fallen in love—a relationship they both know will never be accepted in the either of the very disparate worlds they inhabit and especially not by Nadya’s very dangerous brother Stephano.

Kari: Okay, I'm hooked. Can't wait to read tha tone. Is this something you would ever do again, and any tips for authors thinking about co-writing a book or contributing to a connected series such as this one?

Gayle: I would consider doing a project like this again, especially with the same authors. I do think that’s the key to success for something like this—working with a compatible, open-minded group. As for tips, I would say that any writer who wants to work in such a collaborative venture should be prepared to participate in the necessary brainstorming. We were very lucky to have members of the group who were detail-oriented and who were, thankfully, willing to be the record keepers for the rest of us.

I’m a “fly by the seat of the pants” writer, one whose stories evolve as I write them, so I was not accustomed to plotting in such detail prior to the actual writing. However, with this kind of connected series, that pre-planning has to happen. The other thing I’d remind authors thinking about becoming involved in a connected series is that the emotional “heart” of each book must be as strong and moving as any romance they’ve ever written. You can’t afford to get bogged down in the minutia of the series elements and neglect the central romance and tensions of your own story.

Kari: Thanks so much for being here and I look forward to reading this series.


Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks again for being here with us Gayle. Great cover! I can't wait to read your book.

www.annie-burrows.co.uk said...

well, Gay might have felt she had to ask for reminders about some aspects of regency life, but she is, amongst the "Continuistas", the acknowledged expert on all things Rom. If you want to know when they started living in wagons, rather than tents, or how to cook hedgehog, Gay will have the answer.
She showed us a whole different layer of regency society - that of the outcast travellers. And it made for a fascinating, as well as very moving story.

Liz Lipperman said...

Wow, Gayle. I find it really fascinating that three women could write a book together. I'm guessing not everyone could do that and have it come out so well. Kudos to all of you and thanks so much for telling us about it here.

Kari, as always, great interview.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Oh, I agree! I think Harlequin has outdone itself with these covers. They are absolutely gorgeous.
I just started Paying the Virgin's Price (which I think is Book 2) and I must say that the murder that links them all together and which took place when the hero (Nathan Wardale) and your heroine's brother, Stephano, were boys, is introduced seamlessley -- and excitingly! (I don't think it gives anything away to say that Stephano comes back into Nate's life by tossing a noose onto the card table where Nate is gambing!)
Although I haven't read Book 1 yet, I don't get the feeling, as you do with so many series, that I've missed crucial info. Paying the Virgin's Price definitely seems to stand on its own so far, as I expect Claiming the Forbidden Bride does, as well. The murder is so intriguing
though, and these families seem so tantalizingly intertwined, that I definitely want to read all the books in the series!

Mary Martinez said...

Welcome Gayle and thanks for joining us. I agree with Kari, great cover. It's been very interesting reading the articles about how 8 authors worked together. I'm not sure I could do it, as I'm a panster also. I have to finish the book before I know what happens.

Great interview Kari and Gayle.

Gayle Wilson said...

Thanks for the kinds welcome!

Ah, Annie, you are too kind. I wish I were an expert on anything!

Taryn, I do think each book can stand on its own, but there is an added dimension by reading the series. Since we were writing all the books at the same time, we're a little shocked ourselves at how well they "play" together. The process was fun, and the results are pretty fascinating and amazing--to me at least.

Claiming the Forbidden Bride 9/2010
"The Soldier's Christmas Miracle" in Regency Christmas Proposals 11/2010

Gayle Wilson said...

Uh... That should be kind welcome.

Typing too fast!

Claiming the Forbidden Bride 9/2010
"The Soldier's Christmas Miracle" in Regency Christmas Proposals 11/2010

Margaret McPhee said...

I just finished reading Gayle's book on Sunday and Rhys and Nadya's story moved me to tears. Rest assured, the emotional heart of the story is most definitely beating strong.

Gayle Wilson said...

Thank you SO much, Margaret!

Claiming the Forbidden Bride 9/2010
"The Soldier's Christmas Miracle" in Regency Christmas Proposals 11/2010