Regina Jeffers Tells All!

Regina Jeffers Tells All!

ReginaSharon SOKYI feel like I have known Regina Jeffers forever…. and I mean that in a good way! Yet the truth is that we became acquainted in the fall of 2010 when Austen Authors was being formed (Regina was one of the original members), strengthened our friendship entirely via the blog and emails, and did not meet face-to-face until last month. Shocking, I know! We came close a few times, but something inevitably interrupted. Finally having the opportunity to give her a hug and chat non-stop for hours on end was fantastic! The pic to the right was snapped by my husband Steve, the two of us at the Southern Kentucky Book Festival on April 26.

Today it is a tremendous pleasure to welcome the amazingly prolific Regina to my blog with an interview and newest novel release.

ReginaJeffersRegina Jeffers is the author of Austen-inspired novels, including Darcy’s Passions, Darcy’s Temptation, Vampire Darcy’s Desire, Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion, The Phantom of Pemberley, Christmas at Pemberley, The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy, Honor and Hope and The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy. She also writes Regency romances: The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, A Touch of Grace, A Touch of A Touch of Love, A Touch of Honor, and The First Wives’ Club. A Time Warner Star Teacher and Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, Jeffers serves as a consultant in media literacy. Currently living outside Charlotte, North Carolina, she spends her time with her writing, gardening, and her adorable grandchildren.

Awards ~

The Phantom of Pemberley – SOLA’s Fifth Annual Dixie Kane Memorial Awards, 3rd Place Romantic Suspense
Darcy’s Temptation – 2009 Booksellers’ Best Award Finalist – Long Historical
The Scandal of Lady Eleanor – Write Touch Readers’ Award, 2nd Place Historical Romance
A Touch of Grace – SOLA’s Seventh Annual Dixie Kane Memorial Awards, 3rd Place Historical Romance
The First Wives’ Club – SOLA’s Seventh Annual Dixie Kane Memorial Awards, Honorable Mention Historical Romance
Christmas at Pemberley – 2011 Booksellers’ Best Award Finalist, Inspirational Romance; 2nd Place, General Fiction, New England Book Festival
The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy – 2014 Winter Rose Award for Romantic Fiction, 2nd Place Romantic Suspense; SOLA’s Eighth Annual Dixie Kane Awards, Honorable Mention Romantic Suspense; finalist for Frank Yerby Award for Fiction
Angel and the Devil Duke – SOLA’s Eighth Annual Dixie Kane Awards, 3rd Place Historical Romance

Regina’s website www.rjeffers.com and blog Every Woman Dreams
Connect on Facebook and on Twitter @reginajeffers
Amazon Author Page
Pinterest

 

Regina’s latest release, A Touch of Honor ~

ATOHFor two years, BARON JOHN SWENTON has thought of little else other than making Satiné Aldridge his wife; so when he discovers her reputation in tatters, Swenton acts honorably: He puts forward a marriage of convenience that will save her from ruination and provide him the one woman he believes will bring joy to his life. However, the moment he utters his proposal, Swenton’s instincts scream he has made a mistake: Unfortunately, a man of honor makes the best of even the most terrible of situations.

SATINE ALDRIDGE has fallen for a man she can never possess and has accepted a man she finds only mildly tolerable. What will she do to extricate herself from Baron Swenton’s life and claim the elusive Prince Henrí? Obviously, more than anyone would ever expect.

ISOLDE NEVILLE has been hired to serve as Satiné Aldridge’s companion, but her loyalty rests purely with the lady’s husband. With regret, she watches the baron struggle against the impossible situation in which Miss Aldridge has placed him, while her heart desires to claim the man as her own. Yet, Isolde is as honorable as the baron. She means to see him happy, even if that requires her to aid him in his quest to earn Miss Satiné’s affections.

 

An Interview with Regina Jeffers ~ 

Q – What were you like as a youngster? Tell us about where you grew up. Share a favorite childhood memory.
A – Even as a child, I have always been the “adult” in charge. My parents separated after I was born, leaving my mother and me to fend for ourselves in a time when divorce held a negative stigma for the woman. My mother was of a different generation, very much of the quietly accepting personality of which I write in my novels. Unless she was angry, my mother rarely asserted her demands. I was born and raised in Huntington, West Virginia, where my mother and I lived with a variety of relatives over the years, often assuming a subservient position with the households.

I was responsible and trustworthy, but a bit of a bookworm. I was reading upper elementary books at age two. Another early love was dancing. I wore my hair long, permitting it to slap my dance partner in the face if he spun me too fast in a high-stepping jive. At the time, I would have preferred to dance rather than to eat.

I am a product of the Sputnik generation. We dropped art and music classes in the name of advanced math, foreign languages, and science so America could “beat the Russians.” I own a bracelet I won for being the smartest girl in my sixth grade class. I skipped two grades and was in college at sixteen.

Q – Do you have a “day job” other than writing? If not currently employed, what “day jobs” have you held in the past?
A – As I am nearing 67 years of age, I am theoretically retired from teaching. I taught public school for 39 years, but I held a variety of positions, even while teaching, especially while I was working on my advanced degrees. I have been a waitress, a personal assistant to a media corporation president, a programmer for a public television station, and a dancer for theatrical productions.

Q – Do you have any favorite TV shows?
A – I regularly watch Criminal Minds, Castle, Once Upon a Time, When Calls the Heart, Call the Midwife, Doc Martin, Ripper Street, Graham Norton, Reign, Project Runway, Downtown Abbey, and Mr. Selfridge.

Q – What kind of movies do you like to watch?
A – Like my favorite TV shows, I prefer romantic comedies, dramas with multiple story lines, and mysteries (minus all the violence). I prefer films, which challenge my intelligence with either witty double entendres or twists and turns that keep me guessing. Some of my favorites are: The Quiet Man, Love Actually, Von Ryan’s Express, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and An Affair to Remember.

Regina, Off the Cuff!

Tea or Coffee
Chick Flick or Mystery
Beach or Mountains
Dog or Cat
Paperback or Kindle
Facebook or Twitter
Salad or French fries
Apartment or House
Beer or Wine
Forgive or Get Even
Cake or Pie
Optimist or Pessimist
Wallflower or Life of the Party
Christmas or Halloween
Trivial Pursuit or Charades
Daisy or Rose
Listener or Talker
Edward or Jacob
Leather or Lace
High Maintenance or Easy Breezy
green heart flowers

Q – Do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying?
A – “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Q – Do you possess any phobias?
A – There is truth to the Jim Stafford song, “I don’t like spiders and snakes.” In addition, I am hesitant to fly, as I have witnessed first hand the destruction left behind after a plane crash.

Q – Do you have any particular talents? Any other artistic talents?
A – There was a time (before my bones reminded me I was no longer young) that I choreographed for dance teams, as well as for professional dancers. I also spent many years with community and professional theatre groups, playing roles, directing, and set design.

Q – If you could bring one of your characters to life to hang out with and be your BFF, which one would it be and why?
A – I am certain many of you would assume I would choose Fitzwilliam Darcy because, after all, there is never enough Darcy in this world; however, the gentleman is not one of “my” characters. I have simply borrowed him upon occasion from our dearest Jane.

That being said, a character I enjoyed more than many of my heroines is Grace Nelson from A Touch of Grace. Miss Nelson is a former governess and very intelligent: we are kindred spirits. She is a woman of strong opinions and a survivor in a world not always kind to women. What I loved most about her is, although not excessively beautiful, Miss Nelson brings the god-like Gabriel Crowden, the Marquis of Godown, to his knees.

Q – Give us five words that best describe who you are.
A – Perfectionist, Insightful, Empathetic, Passionate, and Responsible

Q – Tell us about the genre in which you have chosen to write and why you are drawn to it.
A – I fear I am a bit of a history geek. We as a society could learn much from the past if we were willing to pay attention. After spending years choosing every classic possible to wet my insatiable appetite for reading, my mother influenced me to read historical epics, such as Gone with the Wind, Shogun, and The Thorn Birds. I followed her reading of trilogies set in the Old West, but eventually I found my own niche: Regency England. On the surface England’s history leads us to believe it was a simpler time, when, in reality, England in the early 1800s was the center of a world in transition–class structure, wars, industrial shifts, etc., all of which changed the face of Europe.

Jeffers austenesque
Austen-inspired novels by Regina Jeffers

Q – When did you begin writing?
A – In late 2007 (early 2008), I wrote my first book, Darcy’s Passions: Pride and Prejudice Retold Through His Eyes, to answer a challenge from one of my AP students. I originally self published the piece. It rose quickly on the Amazon sales list and Ulysses Press offered me a contract. Darcy’s Passions was released in February 2009. Since then, I have released nine Austen-inspired titles, nine Regency romance novels, one contemporary romance, and one short story.

Q – Are you traditionally published, independent, or a hybrid? Why have you made these publishing decisions?
A – My Austen titles are all traditionally published, as are a few of my Regency romances. Ulysses Press has been very generous to me in that aspect; however, they are not a romance publisher. In fact, the majority of the books released by Ulysses are NON-fiction. When I began my Realm series, Ulysses published the first title, The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, but they were not certain whether to continue what I had designed as an 8-book series. Such long-term commitments are rare in the publishing world, and I was not willing to seek another traditional publisher for the remaining books in the series for such negotiations typically take 2-3 years. To sell one Regency romance to another publisher appeared reasonable, but to procure a contract for a lengthy series did not appear likely; therefore, I sought the self-published route. Moreover, the characters in the series were driving me a bit “bonkers,” as they each demanded their stories be told immediately.

Jeffers regency
Regency romances by Regina Jeffers

Q – Do you plot your stories carefully or permit the story flow organically as the characters speak to you or something in between?
A – I am a true “pantser” – I write by the seat of my pants. I do develop an overall idea for the story (what I call the umbrella effect), with key points in mind, but how I move the story from point A to point B to point C comes on its own. Often the story takes a divergent twist, which changes one of the key points in a positive manner.

Q – Do you feel your novels have a “message” or particular point within them? Or do you write more for entertaining fun?
A – In truth, I have attempted upon more than one occasion to write a simple “fru-fru” story; yet, I have learned to accept doing so is not my style. I have reluctantly acknowledged my role as the “Queen of Angst.” Although set in the Regency period, my stories address many universal issues: sibling rivalry, claiming one’s place in his/her family, a lack of trust within a relationship, class structure, the extremes to which some families/individuals will go to claim their moments of fame, etc. To these I add more modern issues, such as drug dependence, familial abuse, anorexia, religious fanaticism, etc. I mix the old with the new, giving my stories their “ah-ha” moments, the ones the reader never expected.

Q – Give us several words/phrases that best describe your author brand.
A – Emotionally charged, Unexpected, Romantic, Forthright, Twisted reality, and Suspenseful.

Q – Tell us what is next on your writer’s agenda.
A – I am writing two novels at the same time. The first is another Austen-inspired Pride and Prejudice mystery, tentatively entitled The Prosecution of Mr. Darcy’s Cousin. The second is a Regency romance with a suspenseful twist entitled Angel and the Devil Duke. I also hold plans to finish the conclusion to my highly popular Realm series, which I have avoided doing of late because I possess no desire to say my farewells to these particular characters. In addition, I am working on an outline of books 2 and 3 of my “First Wives’ Club” trilogy, as well as planning sequels to several of my Austen-related titles.

 

Thank you for being my guest today, Regina! With so many fabulous novels of yours to choose from, I know my readers will be pleased. And in line with the Armchair BEA theme today of “expanding blog horizons” I must encourage everyone to visit Regina’s blog – Every Woman Dreams – which is chock-full of fascinating historical posts.

Regina banner

38 Comments for Regina Jeffers Tells All!

  1. I taught English for 40 years. At most American high schools, the sophomore year is World Literature, the junior year is American Lit., and the senior year is Brit Lit.

  2. Really interesting interview. The films mentioned are all ones I love too! History was always my favourite subject at school – helped by the fact that our teacher used to talk as if he was actually there at the time, and would tell us things like how he advised Wellington what to do at the battle of Waterloo! He certainly knew how to keep our interest.

    • Having a teacher like that makes all the difference in the world, doesn’t it? In my time I have had boring history teachers and great ones. Thanks to the great ones I gradually developed a love of history. Still, in my grammar school days it was books, like Gone With the Wind, Michener, and John Jakes’ series, that taught me the most about history. Make it fascinating and kids will love it!

      • Yes, it was. He brought things to life, and I’m sure added inspiration to the interest I already had in history. Teachers make such a difference, don’t they. The good, and the bad. As for the UK curriculum, I really have no idea if what you say is true. Austen is unquestionable in, but I hadn’t heard that American writers were out, and I don’t see why they should be. My children have long left school, and now, so have my two grandchildren!!! I must ask the kids I coach at table tennis, and see what they say. If I can remember until September, as we don’t meet in the summer.

        • Dawn, I recalled you were in Yorkshire. Here’s a snippet from the article:
          Classics of American literature, including Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, have been dropped from the English literature GCSE syllabus following demands reportedly made by Michael Gove.
          The Education Secretary said students ought to focus on works by British writers such as Jane Austen and Shakespeare, The Sunday Times reported.
          OCR, one the UK’s biggest exam boards, told the newspaper: “Of Mice and Men, which Michael Gove really dislikes, will not be included. It was studied by 90 per cent of teenagers taking English literature GCSE in the past.
          “Michael Gove said that was a really disappointing statistic. In the new syllabus 70-80 per cent of the books are from the English canon.”
          But the reform has been criticised by academics, who have said it will deter students from pursuing the subject.

          Here is the link from The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/michael-gove-axes-to-kill-a-mockingbird-and-other-american-classics-from-english-literature-gcse-syllabus-9432818.html

          • Regina, I just heard about this today from a work colleague and have since read the article from your link above. Aaargh! I’m pretty much lost for words about this decision. I don’t have any time for Michael Gove at the best of times so this lowers him even more in my estimation.

            What I will say is that when I studied English Literature in the late 60s and very early 70s, it was just that “English” literature ( I’m from the UK, as you may know). All our studies were about English writers. No chance to study Steinbeck, Harper Lee or Ernest Hemingway. There’s so much else of value out there in the world. Yes, by all means have maybe 50%, or just a bit more, of literature from your own country in your schools syllabuses but not to the exclusion of all else, surely? How do literature studies in the US work out?

          • Ah, yes, I do recall it now. The education minister doesn’t seem to be popular with teachers, which is not a good thing. He is always saying things that they don’t agree with. I certainly think he is wrong in this. In my opinion, kids should study the best books, no matter where they originated, although obviously there should be a reasonable percentage of books by British writers. What happens in America? Is there any particular policy on this?

  3. Oh Ladies! What fun. I followed AuAu from day one. Only 2010? I feel like it has been forever. I learned so much of this info over the years, but love seeing it all in one place to review. I must say, however, that I never got the ‘high maintenance’ impression from you, Regina. Lol. We have similar taste in tv and movies and you have given me a couple I have not seen yet. I am excited to get a rundown of your books to come. You know I devour everything you send our way. I am sad the realm series is coming to an end, but as long as you keep writing, I will be satisfied. Spiders and snakes? You just wait until your beloved grandson brings you the snake he caught in the garden. Boys will be boys.I would know. Lol.

    • I raised 3 boys, Becky. I know what to expect. I killed a copperhead in my front yard when they cut down part of the wooden area on the other side of the community fence to add a sports field for a private high school in the area.
      It does seem longer than 2010 since the beginning of AuAu. It was so much a part of my life that I grieved when it came to an end. However, all things are for the best and will work out. Change is frightening, but it is often exhilarating at the same time.
      I think you’ll like both of the current WIPs. I am on chapter 16 of the Austen title and chapter 10 of the Regency title.
      You have always been a great supporter, Becky. I am humbled by your kindness.

  4. What a wonderful interview! You certainly lead an amazing life Regina. It was a lot fun learning all of these new facts about you 🙂 I love your books and am proud to say I own most of them. I can see a few that I have to get a hold of. I will admit that some are still on my TBR list. So I have much to look forward too 🙂 Some of my favorites include ‘The Mysterious Death of Mr Darcy’ and ‘Vampyre Darcy’s Desire’
    I know you love being a Grandma as much as I do. Enjoy your retirement! And I look forward to reading your newest books soon too!

    • Vee, I miss hearing of your grandkids on Twitter. I had my little one with me today. We had lunch at McAllister’s Deli, where he chose to eat a salad and a bowl of fruit. (Remember he is only 29 months old.) Then we bought a “Stormfly” from “How to Tame Your Dragon” moive to go along with “Toothless.” A video, a nap, a romp through the sprinkler (89 degrees today in NC). That’s my free time. Since then, I have typed another ten pages of a WIP, written the last one third of another chapter, caught up on emails, edited a manuscript, etc., etc., etc. It is all a part of my days. Crazy as they may be.
      I am very proud of The Mysterious Death of Mr Darcy. It turned so much better than I had expected.
      As always, I appreciate your continued support.

      • Haha what a sensible young man to chose the healthy options! Wonder how long that will last?
        My grandsons bring me so much joy. Everything they do or say is just precious. And they can do no wrong! I spend half of each Friday with my older grandson Roman who is two and a half, so I get time to spoil him 😉 he is just beginning to string together sentences, so it’s only a matter of time before he is able to tell on me to Mum and Dad 😉
        It’s wonderful that you can spend more time with your little ones and enjoy each moment, as well as pursue your passion with writing. I look forward to hearing of your next release 🙂

  5. Very interesting interview. Thanks to you both, Sharon and Regina. I remain in awe of all of you who are writers.

    My attempts at fiction have long since been burned or are buried deep in a very dark place on the hard drive of my computer! Those few attempts were very much “pants” in their construction. Maybe, for me, that wasn’t the way to go and I needed to outline an awful lot more but that’s history and as I don’t have the talent, or the time right now, it will remain so.

    How do you remain so prolific, Regina, and keep up your interactions with folk like me, with everything else going on in your life? (bows down in homage here).

    Bless you both for taking the time.

  6. Forgive or Get Even
    High Maintenance or Easy Breezy

    Heh-heh! I wouldn’t have guessed….

    I admire “pantsers” for being able to tie together all loose threads in the end. And I admire you for your prolific output. How do you stay on such a high-production schedule?

    • I am from West Virginia, June. If one has ever heard of the Hatfields and the McCoys, one would recognize the Appalachian stubbornness in my nature. LOL!
      My ex and his present lady spent the Memorial Day weekend at a campsite with an outhouse, well water, and lots of bugs. (Remember above I said “I don’t like spiders and snakes.”) I like my comforts, and I am a bit high maintenance. Nothing in my life is easy breezy except my relationship with my grandson, who I have watched since he was 7 weeks of age. He makes me laugh.
      As to the high-production, my type A personality kicks in, and I become a bit obsessive with the task.

  7. Beth, I believe there are lots of pantsers out there. Some are successful because they have carry with them a sense of “story.” Others are just dabbling and have no means to come to a complete story. It is not as if I do not organize my story before writing. I just do not outline and outline and outline first.

    • Regina, I agree with you. I can outline what I know, if I wish. I do have a beginning and an end (although the beginning, and its point of view changed many times before I made up my mind). The middle keeps changing. At this point I am enjoying the process and just letting it happen (I have a modern stream and an historical stream, so it’s fairly complicated). I think the current ending has only been with me about three weeks!

        • Sharon, one of my pivotal scenes came from a dream I had one night about my characters. In the dream the modern male “lead” had a brother, and he has since become a very minor character. I’m willing to take ideas from many different sources, and I would never have come up with this scene without the dream, but it is actually now quite crucial for the novel.

      • I am at a point in my new Regency romance WIP where I am waiting for inspiration. The characters took the story in a different direction than I anticipated, and I must wait to discover the unspoken connections for which my hero searches. I have come up with several scenarios, but none I find satisfying. That is the hardest part of being a pantser.

        • And I’m waiting for my male characters to truly reveal their identities. It’s driving me crazy. But at least the historical male, who is training to be a doctor, turns out to have quite an aptitude as a therapist, something I never would have imagined.

  8. This was great! I’ve been feeling guilty lately for being a “pantser,” but this makes me feel better to know that I’m emulating Regina. Thanks to both. It’s so helpful to read about authors’ paths.

  9. Love your books Regina. I too will be sad to say goodbye to the Realm folk, butI know I will reread them regularly. Lovely intervuew. Thank you Sharon.

  10. Good morning, Joy. Thanks for joining us today. It was great finally to put a face to the person. Like Sharon said, one would have thought we were old friends from childhood days.

  11. How wonderful to get to know you better, Regina. Your list of works-in-progress wore me out. Truly a great interview.

I love to hear from you!