Play our new release contest game, the first post:

To celebrate Madeline’s Protector, we’re running a special week-long contest. Starting today through next Friday, May 3, we’ll feature thought-provoking questions at the end of each post. To enter the contest, you’ll need to supply a thoughtful answer to the question. The grand prize winner at the end of the week will receive a brand new Nook.

But the contest doesn’t stop there. Each day a new post goes up (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) we’ll be giving away mini-prizes for that day only. Here’s a list of the prizes:

Fri, April 26—$10 starbuck’s gift card
Mon, April 29–iTune card
Wed, May 1–$10 Amazon Gift certificate
Fri, May 3—A paperback of Madeline’s Protector.

And that’s not all. If you want to be eligible for a second chance to win the Nook tablet, you need to refer someone else to Regency Reflections. (Note: if you bring someone on over, make sure the other person’s comment mentions that you referred them).

If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment to enter the giveaway, or if you want yet a third chance to enter, you can follow this link and enter the contest once on this site:

As part of the launch for Madeline’s Protector, Laurie Alice Eakes interviews the author, Vanessa Riley, for Regency Reflections. At the end, please answer a question to participate in the drawing.

Vanessa Riley photo
Vanessa Riley

RR: What other question to ask a Regency author, but: Why the Regency and not some other time period?

VR: I am a certifiable Regency nut. I’m not sure whether it began from reading Heyer or Austen, or buying tons of Kensingtons. I can’t remember a month going by without reading of a ball or the Ton, or some wonderfully hilarious scandal. For me, no other time period has as much conflict and romance as the Regency: the battle between the classes, the rigor and duty of birthright, the role of honor versus personal choice. All set in the background of war, an industrial revolution, and changes in the role of religion. The Regency is a canvas of bright colors.

RR: What inspired Madeleine’s Protector?

VR: Madeline’s Protector was a dream I had in high school.  I remember having Regency overload. I had just watched Lawrence Olivier’s and Greer Garson’s black and white movie version of Pride and Prejudice, wrote a paper on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and read some new marriage of convenience novel. The dream was vivid, and I wrote it as a short story. Years and years later, I picked up one of my old writing diaries, found the story, and started rewriting it.

RR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

VR: Writing has always been an escape. I used to love putting pen to paper. Now it’s keys to bang.  I won a few writing awards in high school, and served as an editor to my high school paper. I also served as editor-in-chief to my college magazine.

RR: Is Madeleine’s Protector your first publication including articles, short stories, academic work?

VR: I have a few technical publications about martensitic transformations of metals and rapid prototyping for metallic die-casting. (Laurie Alice, are you still awake? I think I dozed off on that one.)  I won writing awards (poems and essays) in high school, but Madeline’s Protector is my first widely-available public fiction work.

RR: You have a rather impressive curriculum vitae. Tell us about your career outside of writing, and what led you in that direction.

VR: My day job is all about software. My company designs portal software, the kind of software you use when you login in to a member-oriented site or e-Learning. In college, I wrote a number of programs to analyze data or to my organize files. It seems a natural fit to keep writing programs that help make people’s lives better or more organized.

Photo of office for day job
Vanessa’s Day Job Office

RR: Does your more logical career and your more heart-felt writing career mesh or do they conflict?

photo of Vanessa's writing office porch
Vanessa’s Fav Writing Office

VR: I think they mesh well. It’s left brain, right brain activity. The right side is the technical side, structuring code, building programming modules. I also think the technical side helps structure the plot, scene orientation, and writing about mechanical actions like working a flintlock. The left side is meant for escapism. It is the softer side that loves poetry, gourmet cooking, and lots of chocolate. Maybe chocolate goes to both sides. The anti-oxidants in the candy must benefit the technical side

RR: What does your family feel about your writing?

Vanessa Rile and hubby
Vanessa Riley and hubby

VR: My mother is very supportive. She’s always been my first editor. I was a little nervous about letting her read the romantic scenes in Madeline’s Protector. Let’s just say, she didn’t put her red pen on those sections.  My husband has given me the freedom to do the things that bring me joy. He’s very supportive but still doesn’t understand why Lord Devonshire has two names. My daughter sits at a little computer next to me trying to write a book like ‘Mommy’.

Vanessa Riley and Ellen
Vanessa Riley and Ellen

RR: What’s your favorite part of the writer’s journey?

VR: Other than typing ‘the end’ or getting the acceptance letters in the mail, my favorite part is interacting with readers. It’s very humbling listening to how someone is moved by what you wrote or even as she/he asks questions like ‘why did Madeline….’  It shows they are getting into the story, and it lets me know in a small way I’ve advance His story.

RR: As a final note, I wish to add that Vanessa, in her other life, has a Ph.D. from one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

RR Question for the audience: Since you’re visiting here, we will presume that you are interested in the Regency; therefore, please share with us:  What got you interested in the Regency time period?

Originally posted 2013-05-01 05:00:00.

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