Guest: Ally Broadfield - Just a Kiss
Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, and several reptiles. Oh, and her husband. She likes to curse in Russian and spends most of her time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She writes historical romance set in Regency England and Imperial Russia.
Just a Kiss: Charlotte Lightwood has one season to find a husband or she'll be forced to marry her guardian's loathsome cousin. With no title or dowry, she doesn't have much hope of making a good match. Sebastian Wilkinson, the Earl of Marley, has been the most eligible bachelor on the marriage mart for more years than he cares to count and is very aware of his duty to marry a woman who will add to the wealth and stature of his title. Sebastian makes Charlotte an offer she can't refuse: he will pretend to court her to help her attract more suitors in exchange for her advice about which ladies he should pursue. As they work together, their mutual attraction grows. When they realize they just might be perfect for one another, they must decide whether to bow to the dictates of society or follow their hearts.
Q: Welcome, Ally! Your book sounds wonderful! Please tell us more. Do you have a review you could share with us?
A: Just a Kiss is a Regency novella that kicks off a three book single title series. It is the story of Sebastian Wilkinson, the Earl of Marley, who has promised his grandmother that he'll find a wife and give her great-grandchildren, and Charlotte Lightwood, who has one season to find a husband or she will be forced to marry her guardian’s cousin. This review from Talking Books Blog is one of my favorites:
Just a Kiss by Ally Broadfield was an entertaining, beautiful read with so many shocking, laughable and romantic moments! Sebastian's character is completely dreamy and Charlotte’s character is absolutely beautifully written that you cannot help but be caught up in their story!
5 Charming Stars!
Q: Congratulations on the wonderful review! What is the story behind the story?
A: It was a sad day when I had finally learned enough to know that my first book, a young adult paranormal, was riddled with beginner mistakes. I knew I needed to put it aside and start a new project. I floundered for a bit, then saw an advertisement for a Jane Austen inspired short story contest. Though I had never tried to write historical fiction, I had been an avid historical romance reader from the age of twelve and it seemed like a good fit. I penned a short story that was a continuation of Sense and Sensibility featuring Margaret, the youngest sister. I didn’t win the contest, but I received more votes than I expected and a few bloggers even said they thought I should have been a finalist. It was enough to inspire me to keep writing historical romance, and that short story eventually became Just a Kiss.
Q: How inspiring! Why do you write romance?
A: I write romance because I believe in happily ever after. I read primarily to escape from the chaos that is my life, and there is no better place to escape to than into a great historical world full of romance and adventure.
Q: I agree. Did you choose the title of your book and if so how did you do it?
A: Sebastian, the hero of the story, gave me the title. He was angry with himself for being so attracted to the heroine, Charlotte, and he decided that he needed to kiss her to prove to himself that she wasn’t so different from other women. Just a kiss was all he thought he needed to rid himself of his infatuation with her.
Q: Where is your favorite place in the world?
A: The cottage that used to belong to my grandparents in Honor, Michigan. It’s situated on the Platte River, which flows down to Lake Michigan. The cottage is no longer in the family and it has been many years since I was there, but I have so many fond childhood memories of spending time there with family and friends.
Q: Please tell us about your favorite character in the book.
A: The Dowager Countess of Marley, Sebastian’s grandmother, is my favorite character. Despite her gruff manner, she’s very perceptive, and she’s reached that point in life where she’s willing to say whatever she wants and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about it.
Q: I love characters like that. Which element of this story was the hardest for you?
A: Keeping Charlotte and Sebastian in line. They love to exchange witty banter and it was difficult to keep them from going off on tangents that had nothing to do with the story.
Q: What is your writing process or method?
A: I started out as a total pantser, but once I sold my first book and was able to submit on proposal, I had to start plotting so I could write faster. I use a modified beat sheet based on Blake Snyder’s book, Save the Cat. It helps me map out the conflict and turning points of the story, and makes it easy to create a synopsis for the submission package. I’ve also found that I write a lot faster with those elements in place, but still have the freedom to make changes as I go.
Q: Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
A: Don’t give up! You will run into contest judges, critique partners, and maybe even family members who aren’t very supportive, but don’t let them get to you (if you happen to have a copy of Just a Kiss, be sure to read the Acknowledgements page at the back). Also try to keep educating yourself by taking online workshops, attending conferences, reading blogs, craft books, etc. Whether you’re multi-published or just starting out, there’s always something new to learn.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I have the first book of a new Regency mystery series releasing in the fall, and I’m also going through edits on a Regency set romantic suspense that is the second book of a multi-author continuity series that is due out in early 2015. Last but not least, I’m writing the second book in the It’s in His Kiss series, a single title Regency featuring characters from Just a Kiss, which will also release in early 2015.
Ally is giving away this awesome swag pack to one commenter! Please be sure to leave your email address in some form so we can contact you. Thanks!!
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Thank you, Ally, for being our guest today!!