Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Welcome Guest Emily Bryan

Today at the Manor, we have author and former opera singer, Emily Bryan (aka Diana Groe.) (You'll have to share with us a bit how opera factored into the path that lead to your writing! )

Her latest release, VEXING THE VISCOUNT(Leisure, February 2009)is a delightful historical romance that drew me in with its quiet humor, its spunky, heroine and a hero to die for! I was up late last night reading VtV, much to Lord CM's dismay;)
But I simply could not put the book down until I saw how the card game came out! I snagged Emily in the parlor before she could run off to her next guest blog appearence!

Amanda: A juicy little story of a cat & mouse, I am riveted to see how "Vexing the Viscount" is going to play out in the end! I can see why you receive the stellar praise that you do about your characterization. Obviously, you take great care (and joy I imagine) in creating your characters. Can you tell us a bit about this story, what inspired it, and maybe introduce us to Daisy and Lucian? They are simply a delicious combo!!

Emily: First, thanks so much for having me here at Lust In Time. (Love that name!)

I do love discovering my characters. I say discovering because it’s almost as if I find them and we become acquainted before the story begins. (Writing is the only job where it’s ok to hear voices!) They start whispering their secrets to me and once I know who they are and what they desperately want, I can begin devising diabolical ways for them NOT to get it right away.

I already knew Daisy, since she was a one of my pirate hero’s orphaned nieces (PLEASURING THE PIRATE, Leisure Books, July 2008). She was such fun as a child, I knew she’d need her own story once she grew up.

Lucian is her exceedingly worthy counterpart. He’s a rarity—a nobleman who is not a rake. Lucian’s a real man with healthy desires, but he didn’t think it fair to take advantage of willing servant girls, isn’t ready to wed and hasn’t the ready cash to establish a relationship with a woman of pleasure.

Just because Lucian doesn’t want Daisy’s help finding the lost Roman treasure he’s seeking, doesn’t mean Daisy will take no for an answer. She embarks on an impersonation of a French courtesan with the help of a real courtesan’s very explicit memoirs. They may both be virgins at the start of the story, but they’re quick studies!

Amanda: You also received a special honor recently for another book! Congrats! Can you tell us a bit about the book and it's ("RT Reviewers Choice Best K.I.S.S.") hero, Trevelyn Deveridge (I love that name) and what makes him so "distracting" to the duchess?

Emily: My widowed duchess, Artemisia is an artist who’s expecting a new figure model for her next nude painting. Trev is Her Majesty’s spy, following the trail of the elusive Mr. Beddington to the Duchess of Southwycke’s door. When she mistakes him for her model, Trev decides to play the hand dealt him and plays along.

And let’s just say he is . . . highly inspirational in the nude.

Amanda: Where do you find your inspiration for your historicals? And what part of the creation process do you enjoy the most? (IE; the research, the characterization, the plotting,the writing, )

Emily: Often an object triggers the initial premise for my stories. For DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS, it was a little statue of a horse one of my daughters sculpted. For VEXING THE VISCOUNT, it was a museum with a whole room full of Roman lamps shaped like erect phalli. (Check out the excerpt from VEXING THE VISCOUNT at http://www.emilybryan.com/Vexing%20the%20Viscount.htm . Daisy finds Roman “artifacts” fascinating too!)

I love every part of the writing process. It’s a craft with so many layers, there’s always something new to learn.

Amanda: Do you use pictures, trips, or music in helping to create the setting or maintain your focus in the story?

Emily: Travel is my decadent indulgence. My DH and I have been to Europe many times for his job and while he worked, I played! Give me a museum, a castle, a cathedral or cobbled lane and I’m in heaven.

To help me with mood, I choose a soundtrack for my stories. The nice thing about using a movie soundtrack is that there are seldom lyrics to distract me, but I can count on a wide swing of emotions from the music. One of the first things I do when I start a new story is pick the music I’ll be listening to as I write. I have to love it, because I’ll be living with it for several months!

Amanda: Tell me, what’s next for Emily Bryan?

I just turned in the manuscript for my Christmas novella. It’ll be in A CHRISTMAS BALL, an anthology with USA Today BestSeller Jennifer Ashley, Alissa Johnson and me! All our characters are attending the same Christmas Ball and YOU are invited too. Look for it September 29th!

My next project is a story I’ll write to Rachmaninoff’s 3rd concerto (if you saw SHINE, you’ll remember this music as the “Rach 3”!). The story is still too amorphous to share the details, but I’m very excited about my new hero.

Thanks for having me here, Lust in Time. I’d love to offer a free copy of VEXING THE VISCOUNT to someone who leaves a comment or question here on your blog today!

Thank you Emily! Its been wonderful to meet you and we wish you all the best of success! I heartily endorse vying for your chance at receiving this wonderful romance! If you love fabulous characters, witty dialogue and sumptuous description wrapped up in a colorful historical era, you won't want to miss VEXING THE VISCOUNT!


Inky Productions said...

This book sounds delicious! I love virgin heroes! :D

email: siggykag@gmail.com

Nynke said...

Hi again, Emily!

I understand you literally have that music on all the time while writing! I can't imagine that would work for me; even if you don't get bored by it after a day or two, don't you ever feel like listening to something else while writing?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Emily, the ladies of the manor and of course CM ;)

Great interview! I've heard such wonderful things about your stories already. It was nice getting to know a bit more about them and how they come to be. I have yet to read one, but I'll be picking one up on my next trip to the bookstore!

Desserts said...

Hi Emily!

It is fun following you around to all these sites. Hope I win this time!! :) Loved the insight this time into the novels!

Have a great day!

Judy said...

HI! I enjoyed your interview and answers. I love your books. I was introduced to them under Diane Groe at the RT convention in Houston. I read it when I got home and have been reading ever since. I would love to win, but if I don't I already have it on my to buy list.

Daz said...

I can't wait to read the book. Thanks for sharing some snippets to whet our appetite.

EmilyBryan said...

Hi Inky--I liked the idea of a virgin hero too! That way my heroine Daisy can train him to suit her!

Nynke--No, I don't get bored with my book "soundtracks." Maybe it's the music major in me, but I hear something different each time. I'm constantly at a new stage in my book so the music suggests fresh scenes as I go. That's why choosing the right music is so essential to my process.

Barbara--Thanks so much! Especially in these economic times, I appreciate every reader who plunks down their hard-earned cash for my stories! If you'd like to try an excerpt, please visit www.emilybryan.com !

Amanda McIntyre said...

HI Emily
You mentioned your music background ;) Can you tell us a bit more about how that plays into your writing?
As a person who believes that music can inpsire on many levels, I find the transition a most natural one.


EmilyBryan said...

Desserts! Hi again! It's good to see you and my other blog "touristas" popping in! Lust in Time is a great blog, isn't it?

Judy--Glad you enjoyed my Diana Groe stories. Ollie the bookseller won't even speak to me about my Emily books. I enjoy writing both styles.

Will you be in Orlando for RT this year? I'll be there, teaching with Bobbi Smith for the Aspiring Writers workshops and during the regular convention. Hope to catch up with you there!

Daz--Hey! Thanks for stopping by. Sorry if I'm teasing you with my snippets. ;)

EmilyBryan said...

Sure Amanda.

As an opera singer, I used to devise backstories for the characters I portrayed in order to give my performance a more emotional context. Now as a writer, I don't use all I know about where a character's been, but it does help me shape them and motivate their behavior.

Ever since I was a child, listening to instrumental music has caused stories to begin scrolling across my mind. When MTV came out with music videos, I recoiled in horror because they'd never measure up to the cinematics in my head. (I think it's sort of like the difference between reading the book and seeing the movie--the book is ALWAYS better.)

Now I write with music in the background to give me emotional context, to suggest characters and plot points. There is a structure inherent in fine music that will work its way into your psyche, through your fingers and onto the page.

If that sounds a little metaphysical, sorry. It's "how I roll."

Amanda McIntyre said...

Not at all Emily! as a former journalist who spent seven years writing weekly articles educating about the importance of the Fine Arts in schools, specifically music and its effect on the brain--it makes absolute poerfect sense!

I do love that you now use that experience to develop your characters on page. You dont hear that from many authors!


EmilyBryan said...

Amanda--I think it depends on what moves you. Music has always touched a deep place in me.

Some are more stirred by visual arts and I confess, I love a trip to the museum more than most.

Charlotte Hubbard, one of my writing friends, makes a collage using pics from magazines before she starts a story. As she places the pictures, she begins to see relationships forming between the characters.

NYTimes Best Seller Hanna Howell keeps a scrapbook of faces so she'll have fresh inspiration for describing expressions.

My friend Jana Deleon needs the busyness of life around her as she writes in a coffeeshop.

We all draw creativity from our own wells. How we feed those wells is just as diverse. What works for me may bore someone else to stupefaction!

Genella deGrey said...

Hi LIT ladies! Hi Emily! It looks like I'm Blog-stalking - hehe! In fact, I think I have a copy of VTV coming from a win on another blog!

What a GREAT interview, girls!

I do both the music (although I don't have specific songs each time, I draw music from the era in which I am writing) and create collages. The collages sit on the desktop of my computer and I glance at them every once in a while for inspiration.

Emily - Do you still sing once in a while . . . Just for fun?


I so can't wait for RT!!

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Hi, Emily, and welcome to the LIT manor!! Our third resident LIT lady, Charlotte, can't post at present--she's at work all day today and can't access anything but email from there, but she asked me to send her regards and say she'll pop in as soon as she can!

Anyway, it's always fascinating to read about another author's "process"--I really enjoyed this insight into yours!

An opera singer?! Very cool! I listen to music a lot when I write, too--sometimes the same piece of music on a loop, over and over again. Other times a series of pieces. For some reason, Debussy's Clair de Lune has played a big part in my recent WIP. For To Love a Scoundrel, it was Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 14 in C-sharp (aka "Moonlight Sonata"). One novella I wrote almost entirely to the Atonement Soundtrack (Dario Marianelli). I think as a former ballet dancer, somehow music is tied to my creative well.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to VEXING THE VISCOUNT! And thanks again for joining us here today!

Cindy W said...

Hi Emily! No need to enter me in the contest, I've already read the book and LOVED it!!! In fact, I am definitely getting your back list. Hope you are doing well! Cindy W

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Emily!

I can't listen to music with words while working. I love music but am easily distracted. I do agree that music stimulates the brain though, because music and intelligence are related.

I started my son on music by teaching him the piano when he was little. Though he didn't stick with the piano, he has played the sax in the h.s. band for 4 years and was even adventurous enough to try the oboe this year.

But it's funny how when he was in elementary, he got picked at for playing music---like it was a girl thing. I pointed out that many famous musicians classical, pop, rock, etc. are men. Today, most of his friends are 'band nerds' and he loves it.

You have been very lucky to be able to travel with your hubby, though, in a way, your travels are shared with us, your readers. And meanwhile I'll keep traveling with you as a tourista!


EmilyBryan said...

Genella--Yes, you were one of my blog tour winners and the Vexing the Viscounts went out on Saturday. You should have seen the PO employees when my DH came lugging all those packages! Fortunately they were romance readers, so I left them each a bookmark.

I do still sing. My church choir is working on Bach's B minor Mass and talk about a challenge! I'm woodshedding every chance I get. I also play piano--strictly for my own amusement.

Kristina--thanks so much for having me here at LustInTime! A fabulous site. I can only imagine what a wonderful atmosphere you created with Clair de Lune and the Moonlight Sonata. Hmmm . . . an elegant werewolf story perhaps?

Cindy--I'm so glad you loved my VISCOUNT! I appreciate the kind words. My backlist is all still available at Amazon or B & N.com both my Emily Bryan romps and my Diana Groe dramatic epics.

Julie--I agree. Lyrics would be too distracting. Even though I was a voice major, my writing music always has to be instrumental.

Cool that you gave your son the gift of music!

Edie said...

Hi, Emily! So fun seeing into a writer's mind. Great interview! Love the idea of a virgin hero.

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Edie! I enjoyed my peek into your writer's mind too! Edie is one of the Final Four from the AMERICAN TITLE V Contest and I had the opportunity to host her on my blog to learn more about her entry DEAD PEOPLE. This grueling contest is rather like taking your bath in public. And at this point, all the entrants are publish-worthy!

How are you holding up knowing it will be March 16th before you know how you fared in this last elimination?

Julie Robinson said...

Emily, it will be interesting to see how you handle a virgin hero. I hadn't read too many of those, the only one I remember, I think, being Laura Kinsale's The Shadow and the Star. Juile

Genella deGrey said...

Yay! Thanks, Emily!

I saw a piano in the lobby bar at RT last year - I wonder if there will be one at RT this year . . .

Meet me at the piano at midnight for a few ditties from the fingers of Emily Bryan!

LOL!! JK!!!

EmilyBryan said...

Julie--I decided to write a virgin hero because I was frankly tired of all the (dare I say it?) "man-whores" in historicals. Remember this was a time when STDs raged without antibiotics, where condoms were made of sheep's bladders and designed to be washed and re-used. I really wanted Lucian to be a sexual "tabula rasa" that Daisy could write whatever she wished upon without fear! I'm getting lots of positive feedback on my virgin hero.

Genella--Ok, now you're embarrassing me. I'll be glad to meet you at the bar, but the only piano I torture is my own! However if there's karaoke, I might be persuaded to croon SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME :)

Jane L said...

Hi Emily!
I see we are back to stalking you once again on the blog tour! LOL! I LOVE the picture of your new Hero , is is totally hunk and a ghost you say?? Hmmm now I am so intrigued!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Oh well now, you've set yourself up, woman. If you can croon "Someone to Watch Over Me" ( I adore the old 40's tunes)--I'll BRING the karaoke machine to the lobby! The guests will love it! You'll see!

Btw, Im over 3/4 through VtV and loving the interplay between these two--what a hoot! and yes, it has succeeded in keeping me from writing today!

Tortured (Aug. '09)

Tam G. said...

I can hardly wait to get a copy. This sounds really good!


EmilyBryan said...

Jane L--You're not stalking me. I'm the Pied Piper of Romance, beguiling you away to all these cool blogsites! LOL! Yes, my newest hero is a ghost, but I have to warn you that I don't have a contract for him yet. This project is just in the proposal stage. (If you want to see the aforementioned hunky ghost, please pop over to www.emilybryan.blogspot.com)

Amanda--So happy you're loving my VISCOUNT. You'll be back writing tomorrow! :)

Tam G--Thanks! VEXING THE VISCOUNT is in stores now!

BethRe said...

Your book sounds great

EmilyBryan said...

BethRe--Thanks for stopping by!

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Emily, your little hints about your books are very intriguing. I'm thinkin' I'll be adding them to my "To Buy" list. Great interview. :)

sarabelle said...

Hello Emily and LIT ladies. I loved the post and wanted to let you know that I got my copy of Vexing the Viscount in the mail today and cant wait to dive in.

Amanda McIntyre said...

Promise you're going to love it, Sarabelle!!

I love this duo, truly;) It's like a witty, sensual tango that they dance around each other! LOL

Tortured Aug.'09

EmilyBryan said...

Stacey--Thanks so much! Hope you love them. I had a ball writing every single title!

Sarabelle!--Hope you enjoy Daisy and Lucian. Thanks for being one of my blog "touristas!" We really need a T-Shirt, something on the order of "I SURVIVED THE 50DAY/50BLOG VEXING THE VISCOUNT TOUR AND I'M STILL SANE!"

Amanda--Good analogy, but it would have been a minuet during Daisy and Lucian's era! But the minuet was a sexy dance for its time. There was even a kiss as part of the prescribed steps.

Amanda McIntyre said...

Och! A blitering idiot when it comes to Regencies with stature I am afraid!

Yes, I do recall "the kiss," but was paying more attention to the kiss itself I fear, than to the dance *sigh.

Tis a grand love story just the same.

creeping back to my medieval tale

Amanda McIntyre said...

My coherts on theis blog will be thrilled to know Ive just ordered North & South! There is hope for me yet!LOL

But you know I cannot find My Fair Lady on DVD! anyone have a clue?

Tortured, Aug. '09

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hi Emily, welcome to LIT!
sorry I wasn't around yesterday to welcome you,but I was at the 'day job' and I can't access the site from their computers. Those 12hr shifts are hell, and I confess I crashed last night when I got home, and didn't check the blog...bad girl!!!!

I picked up VTV, but haven't read yet...too many deadlines. But I will, I have no doubt that I'll adore it.
And an opera singer, too...geesh, some people get all the talent! lol!
Best of luck to you and come visit us again. Maybe Lord CM will be persuaded to get out of his bed and 'entertain' you while you're here!

EmilyBryan said...

Amanda & Charlotte! Thanks so much for having me here. What a totally fun blog you have. (I really need to learn more about this mysterious Lord CM!) Please come guest on mine next time you have a release!

And thanks to everyone else for popping by! Lovely to see you. I will be doing some more blogging later this week at Michelle Buonfiglio's Buy the Book and MuchCheaperThanTherapy. Please stop by www.emilybryan.blogspot.com to hop on the blog tour train!