I am a very southern girl who loves to stay busy. I have an active eight-year old artist and wonderful active duty husband. We live in Georgia and from my porch, I get the best views of trees and pollen.
Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
That's a good one. I don't want to shock the viewers but here goes. I have a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. I use to know how to knit, crotchet, and embroider. Oh, I am a big time foodie. From new and trendy to old fashion or quaint, if it has a great appetizers menu, I'll be there to graze.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
Yes, I was. I loved Bible stories and reading new takes on them. I also loved romance and tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Oedipus, etc.
As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
I loved writing poetry, even winning a few awards. I have always had stories running through my head. Now I love them finding their way to paper.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
The quirkiest thing I ever did was become engaged to a man after dating him for a month. All my friends thought I was nut. We celebrate our 22thanniversary this August.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I love historical romances. I particularly love Regencies. The wit of the dialogue, the color of the settings, and the strict code of honor and behavior, all delight me and get the creative juices flowing.
Share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader to feel as though they know you a little better.
On an ideal day, from 8:00 am to noon, I home school my daughter. From noon to 7:00 pm, I run my software business. From 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm, I unwind or do chores, then put my girl to bed. Then from 11:00 pm to 2:30 am, I write. Nonetheless, I don't have ideal days. Typically, everything gets mashed together and things happen all at once. Luckily, I don't get too mixed up. I haven't tried to put my daughter in the washing machine, yet.
How did you come up with ideas for your books?
Sometimes it's a dream or a nugget of research that starts the wheels turning. Soon a story starts churning and I think about a hero or heroine's journey. What is it that they must learn or share and why should his or her's story be told.
I understand that each of my stories will not only judged on its entertainment merit but their is aslo a subtle judgement that happens because I am showcasing a diverse cast of characters in situations that no one has ever seen.
I understand and accept the challenge.
Did you have to do quite a bit of research for your books?
Lots and lots of research. My website displays a portion of my notes. I've researched fashions, etiquette, and prevalent beliefs of the time. One fatal flaw for a historical writer is to assume present day motivations existed back then. For the most part, they did not. It would be wrong to dress ladies up in corsets and walking gowns and expect them to grouse about not having the right to vote or not having a career. You have to immerse yourself in the period and its conventions. For me learning about the Regency, is a labor of love.
What do you hope readers will learn/discover from readingyour books?
I hope readers will see themselves in my hero's or heroine's journey, that despite the circumstances God has a plan for their lives and above everything--all challenges and obstacles, love survives.
What is quick bio?
I Vanessa Riley writes Regency and Historical Romances of dazzling multi-culture communities with powerful persons of color. Vanessa writes for historical romance readers who admire and acquire books that showcase women who find joy in sweeping kisses and strong sisterhoods. Even in the darkness, she promises to give you laughs and to show you how light always prevails and how love always, always wins.
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