I 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.
Regina 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.
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 latest release, A Touch of Honor ~
For 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
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.
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.
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.