Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jennifer Echols Interviews Victoria Dahl

USA Today Bestselling Author Victoria Dahl writes both contemporary and historical romances. Her novels blend fast-paced plots with sizzling romance and laugh-out-loud humor to create some of the most memorable romances in recent years.

On November 5th, Victoria will be joining us in Birmingham Alabama for Southern Magic's annual Readers Luncheon.

 Recently, Southern Magic's own award-winning YA author and Dahl's long-time critique partner, Jennifer Echols, interviewed Victoria Dahl about her upcoming new releases and her excitement about her upcoming trip to Birmingham.

JE: Tell us about your four books coming out this year and the experience of writing them. Was that pretty easy? 

VD: Oh, boy, you sure are funny. Yes, writing four books was easy as pie! A pie made out of tears and broken souls.  But all you care about is the books, huh? All right.

My first new book this year is It’s Always Been You, the second book in the York Family historical series! It’s Aidan York’s story of lost love, and his stunning realization that, ten years later, he might have a second chance with the only woman he’s ever loved. It’s darker than most of my books. Maybe even more…mature. None of us are sure how that happened.

The other three books are the Donovan Brothers Brewery series!
 The first is Good Girls Don't, starring Tessa Donovan, the baby of the family. Detective Luke Asher isn’t about to get involved with an innocent girl with two protective older brothers. But Tessa isn’t as innocent as she seems, and she has some ideas about just what she’d like to do with a dark and dangerous police detective. She just needs to hide her personal life from her brothers, solve a burgeoning family crisis, and keep the brewery running while seducing a man who’s trying not to be seduced. No problem. Right?

Bad Boys Do is out in October, and this one’s about Jamie Donovan, the wild one of the family. But this bad boy has something to learn...and straight-laced Olivia Bishop is just the woman to teach him.

The last book is Real Men Will. Eric Donovan has always been upstanding, responsible and very well behaved...except for that one night with his fantasy woman. So what happens when a one-night fling can't be left behind? This story picks up where the “Just One Taste” novella left off in the Guy Next Door anthology.

JE: Out of all those books, do you have a favorite scene, and does it involve a mirror?

VD: The mirror scene, hm? Yes, in fact that just might be my favorite scene. It’s a love scene in the middle of BAD BOYS DO, and I believe I know what Jennifer is getting at here. I called her up one dark and stormy morning to complain that I was having a logistical problem with a sex scene I’d just started. I won’t go into graphic details here, but it went something like this. “I don’t know how to phrase this from her point of view, because she’s not facing him, so she can’t see what he’s doing, and I don’t want it to sound like he’s just BLANKING himself around her BLANK BLANK like some kind of BLANK.”

Jennifer: “Why don’t you just make it from his POV?”
Me: “No. That won’t work in this scene.”
Jennifer: “I don’t know, then. Maybe there’s a mirror.”
We both laugh. Then….*LAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!*
Me: “Did you just hear angels singing?”

So yes, Jennifer, the mirror scene was my favorite to write. And to read. Over and over.

JE: This is your first experience as a keynote speaker. You're not nervous, are you? Because you probably should be.

VD: I’m terrified. I have a horrible fear of public speaking, and if this weren’t for Southern Magic I wouldn’t have even considered it. I will be shaking in my heels. There may be a little bit of pee involved. But I will do it for Birmingham.

JE: What are you going to talk about during this fancy speech? Perhaps you will revisit a topic you enjoy discussing on your popular Twitter account @VictoriaDahl, such as sparkleballz or Beaver Cream?

VD: I think I might have to trot out something a little more unique. Anyone can get me to talk about sparkleballz. Anyone, anywhere. Beaver Cream? That’s been done to death. But for the luncheon, I think I’m actually going to talk about heroines. Specifically, trying to find contemporary heroines you love. According to the mail I get about the unsympathetic, selfish, frantically sexual heroines I tend to favor, some heroines are really hard to love. Or really easy. It all depends on who’s reading.

JE: Do you think Jennifer Echols is going to scrub her floors for you like you scrubbed your floors when she visited you? Because that probably ain't gonna happen.

VD: Sometimes when a girl loves another girl very, very much, she wants to express that love by inviting her friend to visit. And in preparation for this special first time, she will do all sorts of cleaning and meticulous grooming, because she wants to make a good first impression. So yes, I think you will scrub your floors. Or you will spray Windex on the obviously dirty spots and push paper towels around with your feet.

JE: You've never been to Alabama. What do you want to do while you're here? Hint: you are missing the Talladega 500 by two weeks. Sorry.

VD: It will be November, and probably snowing here, so I’d like to schedule one day for me to sit outside and murmur, “It’s really warm here,” for hours. Other than that, I need to see the naked butt of Vulcan. And…I heard there’s an abandoned steel mill that’s haunted! Is that true? I need to go there!

JE: What is the best thing that's happened to you as a writer, besides being asked to speak at this luncheon?

VD: Well, I met my best friend on an RWA loop. That’s been pretty awesome. Aside from that, I’d have to say winning the Golden Heart. I don’t think there will ever be anything like that moment, because it was the ultimate affirmation for an unpublished writer. I’d written five books. I’d never had an offer. But in that moment, I knew. I knew that this was going to happen. That I would be an author. And the fact that you were there, bawling your eyes out…that only made it better. Also, it was a strangely public moment for a writer. Everything else--getting the Call, seeing your book for the first time, hitting a bestseller list—those moments almost always happen in private. Heck, there’s usually not even another person in the house. Being surrounded by friends and peers and amazing writers made that Golden Heart moment very real.

JE: What are you writing now? Does the heroine present a keynote speech in beautiful downtown Birmingham, Alabama, and decide to stay?

VD: Well, I haven’t planned for that to happen, but you know how I like to fly by the seat of my pants! Right now I am just starting a new contemporary set in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There’s no title yet and not much of a plot. But suffice it to say that the hero is steely-eyed and quiet and the heroine is quirky and can’t stop talking. She drives him crazy, of course. Until the day he realizes he can’t stand the quiet anymore when she’s not around. Awww!

Don't forget that you can buy your tickets to the 2011 Readers' Luncheon online at http://southernmagic.org. Tickets are only $25 until September 1st and there are discounts for groups of 4 or more!


Callie James said...

Wonderful interview! Can't wait to hear you speak. I'm so glad you could visit us, Victoria.

Heather said...

Fantastic interview! I had been planning to give Lisa several mirrors to use with centerpieces for the luncheon tables, but after reading the interview, I may rethink that :)

Suzanne Johnson said...

Great interview! I can't wait for the luncheon and...not sure I'll feel the same about mirrors now :-)

Carla Swafford said...

Okay, between laughing my butt off, being titillated by the mirror scene and tearing up with the Golden Heart moment, I CAN'T WAIT for the luncheon!


Alicia Coleman said...

Great interview! Can't wait for the luncheon and hearing you speak.

Lexi said...

Victoria, you are a stone hoot! I am so looking forward to hearing you speak at the lunchceon. Beaver Cream? Really? Really?

Kerrigan Byrne said...

Sounds like fun! Wish I could be there.

Clancy said...

Oh, Victoria, I do adore you and your writing. Hope you are coming to the HOW conference in October so I can buy all your latest books and have them signed. You are one of my personal heroes... love the interview and have a safe trip to Alabama and back.

Lesli Muir Lytle said...

Sorry to let the cat out of the bag, but Victoria is a great speaker. She is funnier than she writes, if you can imagine that. Even if you have someone to bleep her.

(No pressure Victoria!)

Sandy L. Rowland said...

Love you and your writing.
It's always a great read. Can't wait to see you at HOW. We miss you, busy girl.

Have a safe trip to Alabama.
Terrific post.

J. Coleman said...

Jackson Hole? I'm already dreaming of pine trees, log cabins, and grizzly bears. Looking forward to your new books. Love your stuff, oh, and you too, Jennifer. Awesome you're friends as well as critique partners. Makes it fun. Thanks and good luck in Alabama. You'll do great.

Victoria Dahl said...

Thanks so much for all the lovely responses! I had a GREAT time with Southern Magic. I'm going to try to crash your party again. Jennifer can't say no because her cat loves me best.

Carla Swafford said...

We would LOVE for you to visit us! You did a great job at the luncheon last November. HUGS!