Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Interview with historical romance novelist Violetta Rand

Today’s blog guest is historical romance novelist Violetta Rand. She’s touring her novel Blind Allegiance.

Violetta will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentor during her tour. To be entered to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave comments there.

Violetta Rand holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Policy and a master's degree in Environmental Management. Serving as an environmental scientist in the state of Alaska for over seven years, she enjoys the privilege of traveling to remote places few people have the opportunity to see.

Violetta has been "in love" with writing since childhood. Struck with an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, at five, she wrote short stories illustrated by her best friend and sold them in her neighborhood. The only thing she loves more than writing is her wonderful relationship with her husband, Jeff. She enjoys outdoor activities, reading whatever she can get her hands on, music, and losing herself in the ancient worlds she enjoys bringing to life in the pages of her stories.

Welcome Violetta. Please tell us about your current release, Blind Allegiance.
Eleventh century Vikings, very near the end of the Viking Age when Christianity spread across Scandinavia.

It’s a risk of a lifetime loving a man you’re supposed to hate…

Betrayed by a brother she hardly trusted before the bloodthirsty Viking, Jarl Randvior Sigurdsson, attacks her home, Noelle Sinclair is conveniently bartered as a means to save her cowardly sibling’s skin. Forced to leave her homeland and accompany the petulant Viking to the untamed wilderness of central Norway, Noelle is ever-aware of the burgeoning dangers around her—including her weakening resolve to resist Randvior.

Should Noelle surrender to his resplendent charms and seduction, or fight with every ounce of strength she possesses to get home?

What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve been writing poetry and stories since I was very young. Somehow, the universe decided I was going to be a writer. For years I ignored it, focusing on my education and career as a scientist. Cancer hit my family a few years ago and I guess that’s what woke me up. I needed a release. The words just started flowing and haven’t stopped.

Cringing from his brutal words, Noelle finally burst. Through the blur of tears, she saw a warrior of tremendous proportion storm across the hall. He seized Brian’s arm and pried his fingers loose from her hair. She heard a loud snap as he curled Brian’s arm behind his back. Her brother stumbled and hollered, then dropped to his knees.

“Say it,” the colossal warrior demanded, visibly applying more pressure to his hand.

Brain tried to wrestle him down, but the stranger was larger and stronger—controlled him with little effort.

Although she detested her brother, her first instinct was to protect her own flesh and blood. Yet, it seemed a fitting punishment. Let Brian suffer the same mortification she felt whenever he embarrassed her, which happened too often.

Brain quit struggling. “Mercy,” he begged.

The Viking released him, and Brian staggered to his feet as gracelessly as a drunk.

“Is this how you treat your own kinswoman?” her rescuer asked.

“She’s faithless—no blood of mine. We’ve made our bargain Norseman, take her.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Blind Allegiance is the first book in a series. The second book, Blind Mercy, was just accepted by my publisher in June. Book 3 of the series is nearly done. I’m also working on a 1980s contemporary romance with strong environmental connections. I’m pretty excited about it; an awkward biologist finally receives a federal grant to conduct research in central Mexico to study the fall/winter migration of monarch butterflies and their habitat. He doesn’t know what he’s getting into—conflict with a drug cartel, unexpected love, and the admiration of a young boy who changes his perspective on everything.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I sold my first story (with illustrations) at age five … the theme of the day was cats. My best friend wanted to be an artist/illustrator and I wanted to be a writer. We were quite entrepreneurial and enjoyed sharing our stories and making some cash. I never grew out of it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?
Right now I do. I write five to six hours a day (usually start in the morning). Between pages I’m a domestic goddess, caring for my husband and pets.

If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Typically, I write part time. I’m an environmental scientist by trade specializing in environmental risk assessments, contaminated soil and water investigations, and remediation projects. If I’m in the field (usually remote Alaska) I take my writing with me. I dedicate 2 to 3 hours a day to writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Religious conflict is part of all my stories. It’s such an integral part of human history—it shaped the world. My characters thrive off it, debate, and usually learn to accept/respect each other’s faiths.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer and a jockey. The horse thing never worked out, but I was a disc jockey (if that counts) for many years.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Hurry up and write! Through my writing/publishing experience I found so many wonderful people offering well-intentioned advice. Classes, marketing options, support groups, and so much more. Although these resources/tools are very important, it can swallow you. Write. The rest will follow.

Thanks, Violetta! Readers, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!


ViolettaRand said...

Hello Lisa, thanks for hosting today. My husband is from New Hampshire. I lived there for a year before we moved to Alaska. Lovely country and people.

Mary Preston said...

"Take her" - just like that. I'm going to love this series.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds very intriguing. Thank you for the excerpt.


Andra Lyn said...

Wow! You have a really fascinating background. Does your degrees help at all with writing your stories, or are they a separate part of your life?

andralynn7 @ gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

Thank you for the great excerpt. It sounds like something I'd like to read more of

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

violettarand said...

Thanks Mary! I hope you enjoy reading it.

ViolettaRand said...

There's that wonderful name again, Ingeborg. Thanks for stopping in.

ViolettaRand said...

Hello Andra. I find my degrees have helped in the long run. All that term paper writing paid off. Enjoy the story.

ViolettaRand said...

I hope you enjoy the story Shannon.

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing your post and the giveaway! So who was your favorite character to write?

hense1kk (at) cmich (dot) edu

ViolettaRand said...

My favorite character to develop was my hero, Randvior Sigurdsson. Such a delicate balance of brawn and brains. Thanks Kate.

MomJane said...

This really sounds like an awesome story. I loved this hero from word one of the excerpt.

ViolettaRand said...

Thanks Mama Jane. Randvior (my hero) is my favorite character. He's alpha, but despises cowards like Brian. I hope you enjoy the story.

Karen H said...

Thanks for an informative interview.

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Beautiful Disaster said...

Great interview!
Thanks :-)

lorih824 at yahoo dot com

Cecile said...

This is cool!