Please help me welcome Kerryn Reid to Author Interview Friday. How long did it take you to publish your first manuscript?
Oh, let’s just say… years! I’d get stuck and set it aside for months at a time. Once my computer died and I lost about a third of what I’d written. But those are just excuses. I’m taking it seriously now, but I’m afraid I’m not a fast writer.
I know you belong to SWFL Romance Writers. Do you always write in the same genre?
I do love romance. Even when I read mysteries, or fantasy, I prefer them to have a satisfying romance.
My first love is for historicals. But I do have a few contemporary stories begging to be told. One or two of them might properly qualify as women’s fiction, but they’ll still have a sizeable dose of romance.
Do you always write in the same POV or narrative or do you switch it up in different stories?
So far, I’ve written only in the third person. Most romances strive to bring readers inside the heads (and hearts!) of both heroine and hero; in Learning to Waltz I’ve added a couple of other points of view. I have at least one story idea that I expect to write in first person. Easier in some ways, harder in others.
When I began writing, I used quite a bit of “omniscient narration”, that outside observer who gets to see what everyone is doing and thinking. I’m quite diligent these days about avoiding that. You can’t get into someone’s heart that way.
What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?
Outline? What’s that? I’m working hard at becoming a more organized writer, but unfortunately that is not my natural inclination. The story-building is definitely a challenge, but the hardest part for me is after the book is finished, crystallizing the essence of it into successively smaller nuggets for the synopsis, the blurb, and finally the tag line. Ugh!
Tell us about the premise of your novel we are promoting today?
Deborah Moore has learned her lessons well—feel nothing, reveal less, and trust no one. Now widowed with a child of her own, she leads a lonely, cloistered existence, counting her farthings and thinking she is safe. When five-year-old Julian is lost one bitter December day, she discovers how tenuous that safety is.
Evan Haverfield has lived thirty carefree years, hunting, laughing, and dancing among London’s high society. His biggest problem has been finding excuses not to marry. But his life changes when he finds Julian Moore half-frozen under a hedge and carries him home to his mother. The young widow hides behind a mask, hard and reserved, but Evan sees glimpses of another woman, wistful, intelligent, and passionate. She’s vulnerable, desirable—and completely unsuitable for the heir to Northridge.
Alone in the earliest hours of a new year, Evan teaches Deborah to waltz. Can he teach her joy and laughter? Will love sweep away the shadows of her past and reveal the luminous woman she could be?
Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to whet our appetite?
I’d love to! Though we catch a glimpse of our hero in Chapter One, this is where we really meet Evan Walsingham, in Chapter Two. And before I go, Joanne, let me say how much I appreciate your invitation to join you here at Writing under Fire!
You are welcome. It has been a pleasure. Readers, you can buy Kerryn’s book by going to
What in bloody hell am I doing out here?
The December cold bit through Evan’s greatcoat and huddled round his ankles. He couldn’t feel his face, and his toes were just a memory. With each hoofbeat, he feared his teeth would crack. There were more pleasurable ways to cure the restlessness that ailed him—Latimer had the right of it, sitting home by his fireside.
Grady, who’d been Evan’s groom and companion for fifteen years and accompanied him through plenty of uncomfortable situations, didn’t look much happier. Each exhalation of man and horse added to the gray mist that surrounded them. They should have moved to Italy long ago—southern Italy. Or Greece. There, at least, if he took a chivalrous notion to go searching for some little boy who’d been mislaid, they would be in no danger of freezing to death.
As Evan’s discomfort increased, each field they traversed seemed a bit larger, and his sympathy for the boy’s mother receded a bit further. He hoped he would feel a similar compassion for any child in hazard, but no use denying it was the woman’s face that had spurred him to join the little troop of villagers scouring the countryside. If one of his own nieces or nephews went missing, there would be a battalion of servants and tenants to search every square inch of ground three times over. That face made a few hours of discomfort seem a paltry sacrifice. Or it had a few hours ago.
The squire had sent them out along the river lane into the partitioned farmlands that surrounded Whately. But searchers already roved up and down the lane, and Evan had decided to leave the roadway, cutting through the hedgerow into a series of fields that ran alongside. They kept the impatient horses to a walk, riding the perimeter of each enclosure as they worked their way out from town.
Several fields later, he doubted his wisdom.
“That’s quite a frown you’re wearing, Mr. Haverfield,” said Grady, glancing up to check the bare branches of a beech tree. “What’re you thinking?”
“A number of things, none of them pleasant.” Except, possibly, what her face might look like wearing a smile.