Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Interview with Author ANDREA DOWNING




Today I’m interviewing Andrea Downing .Her book, Loveland is a western historical romance and was released on August 10th.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book
It centers on the love between Lady Alexandra Calthorpe, who has returned to the Colorado ranch managed by her uncle and owned by her father, and top hand Jesse Makepeace. Alex had spent several years of her childhood on the ranch before being sent back to England; now she returns, determined to be independent and have a career as an artist, but life doesn't always work according to one's plans!



Describe the genre of this particular title, and is the only genre you write in?
It's a 'western historical romance' which means in must take place out west of the Mississippi, generally in the 1800s. For me, coming from living in England, it would have been quite difficult to get right because not only do you have to be historically correct, but your language must be absolutely correct as well. Luckily for me, I'm a cowgirl at heart and have spent loads of time on ranches out west so hopefully got at least some of the language down. Mind you, friends still correct me and I still have to check the Etymological Dictionary every so often so that I don't make linguistic anachronisms. While a western historical romance is not the only genre in which I'm working, the west is always evident somewhere in my work.
I returned from living in England in 2008 and, after settling back into life here which wasn't easy, I started to think again about my love for the west. When I learned how many cattle companies were actually owned and operated by British conglomerates, usually managed by the sons of peers of the realm looking for adventure, Remittance Men if you like, it seemed the perfect combination for a story: take one beautiful English Aristocratic Lady and one gorgeous cowpuncher and, volia! You get one hot story!



Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold?
If so, did you send them out yourself? I finished two novel manuscripts and one film script prior to writing Loveland. The very first I never sent out to anyone and the second I sent to about 3 agents before giving up! I have a huge problem with showing people my work which I've only just managed to overcome with a new outlook ;-) Loveland was the first book I put any effort into selling, though admittedly I gave up on agents fairly quickly and went straight on to The Wild Rose Press.



What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help? 
I haven't any help; I looked into one publicist who specialized in small e-authors but even she was too expensive in the long run. I put together my own press kit and it was pretty successful: I've had articles written about me in 2 UK papers and 1 CO paper, as well as being on Fox Radio out in CO. I've also had articles in 2 e-magazines. Add to that the usual tweeting, FB pages, Amazon author page, endless Facebook pages and it still doesn't seem to do a blind bit of good. I endlessly blog, endlessly, endlessly. In the end, I think you just have to write more novels and build up a good audience and hope for word of mouth.



Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
My daughter's reaction! She is very proud of me and very encouraging. That is just so great.



Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
Yes, I'm a member of both RWA and Women Writing the West. RWA, of course, is the premier organization for romance writers and they are very helpful on several levels. Most of all, I find the courses they run on line throughout the year a great help, as well as their info on publishers and agents. WWW, on the other hand, is truly supportive. I've made so many friends through that organization, I can't believe it, and that counts for a great deal when you've moved countries!

 



What's next for you?
I have a story on which I'm just waiting for contract with The Wild Rose Press and a contemporary double romance/women's fiction/commercial fiction book being considered hither and thither at the moment. Wish me luck!

BOOK BLURB

When Lady Alexandra Calthorpe returns to the Loveland, Colorado, ranch owned by her father, the Duke, she has little idea of how the experience will alter her future. Headstrong and willful, Alex tries to overcome a disastrous marriage in England and be free of the strictures of Victorian society --and become independent of men. That is, until Jesse Makepeace saunters back into her life...

Hot-tempered and hot-blooded cowpuncher Jesse Makepeace can’t seem to accept that the child he once knew is now the ravishing yet determined woman before him. Fighting rustlers proves a whole lot easier than fighting Alex when he’s got to keep more than his temper under control.

Arguments abound as Alex pursues her career as an artist and Jesse faces the prejudice of the English social order. The question is, will Loveland live up to its name?



A little bit about the author

Andrea Downing has spent most of her life in the UK where she received an M.A. from the University of Keele in Staffordshire. She married and raised a beautiful daughter and stayed on in England to teach and write, living in the Derbyshire Peak District, the English Lake District and the Chiltern Hills before finally moving into London. During this time, family vacations were often on guest ranches in the American West, where she and her daughter have clocked up some 17 ranches to date. In addition, she has traveled widely throughout Europe, South America, and Africa, living briefly in Nigeria. In 2008 she returned to the city of her birth, NYC, but frequently exchanges the canyons of city streets for the wide open spaces of the West. Her love of horses, ranches, rodeo and just about anything else western is reflected in her writing. Loveland, a western historical romance published by The Wild Rose Press, is her first book. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Women Writing the West.



EXCERPT

He watched as she sat on a stool and pulled first one boot, then the other off and kicked them aside, then she stood and put her leg on the stool to roll down her stockings one by one.

He marveled at her wantonness, her lack of propriety. “Alex, stop,” he said, laying his hand on hers. “Stop. You know…”

But he was lost; she took his face in her hands and pulled him to her, kissing him so any resistance he had had was now shattered. His heart was beating faster at the sweetness of her mouth, the softness of her tongue, the lack of air as they sought each other. His hands moved over her feeling the outline of her body, knowing its curves, its gentleness, its yielding. “Are you sure?” he asked at last.

“I want you so much, Jesse, I want you so much, I’m not waiting three years. And if…if anything happens, so what? We’ll get married, that’ll be it.”

“Yes, but Alex, you can’t…I mean it’d be a shotgun wedding, it’s not how—”

“Shh.” She put her finger to his mouth and then turned for him to unhook her gown. He ran his hands gently down her exposed back, feeling each scar, then kissed her neck.

“You have nothing on under...”

“It’s how the gown is made. Monsieur Worth builds the undergarments into the gown.” Her voice was at barely a whisper, a tremor showing her nerves. She turned and still held the gown up to her, then, looking at Jesse, let it drop to the floor.



How can my readers buy your book?

Readers can go to the publisher’s page at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.phpmain_page=index&manufacturers_id=991&zenid=0cfc21278842347ecc9c87cb07c5344c



You can find more information about Andrea Downing and her book, Loveland by visiting her website, www.andreadowning.com


Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.
1) What’s your favorite movie? Oh, dear, really? No real faves: anything soppy, probably Gone with the Wind takes the prize.

2) What is your favorite TV show? That's easier: Broken Trail I can watch endlessly.

3) What is your favorite thing to drink? I'm a sucker for champagne but also coke floats and Jim and Ginger. Depends where in the evening I am…

4) Who is your favorite author to read? Too many to mention, but let's start with Maggie Osborne.

5) What’s your favorite vacation spot? Anyplace out west just about, but bury me in Wyoming please.

6) What’s the best piece of advice you have been given? JUMP!!!!


Thank you for allowing me to interview you here at Heart of Romance. Good luck to you in your future!!!

 And thanks so much, Sarah, for having me here today. It's been great.

21 comments:

  1. Hi Sarah, thanks for taking the time to have me here today on your rather hectic day

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  2. Enjoyed the interview and loved your answer to the best piece of advice you'd been given. LOL

    Congrats on your book, sounds like a wonderful read!

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  3. Thanks Christine. I appreciate hearing from you!

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  4. Andrea, loved the interview. *Loveland* is on my Kindle and in my list of TBR. Loved your comment about being buried in Wyoming. I don't want to wait that long to spend eternity out there. My plan is to move there soon.

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  5. Oh, Lynda, how nice to know someone else that loves Wyoming. I was recently lucky enough to be able to buy a small place in Wilson, just outside of Jackson. It has to earn its keep so it's a vacation rental but I get out there a few weeks each year. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Great interview!!! And aaawww...how cute about your daughter being so proud of you :)

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  7. I love Wyoming! I have been to Wymoing, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota many times growing up! Jackson Hole is one of my favorite places!

    Thanks everyone who has stopped by and supported Andrea!

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  8. Sweet interview, ladies. Still snickering over Jump! I've never been to Wyoming, but I did drive past it once. ;-)

    Loveland is on my TBR pile for sure. Congrats and best of luck to you.

    Mac

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    1. Thanks, Mac...but how can you drive past Wyoming?!

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  9. With the snow quite deep here right now those endlessy hot wyoming summer days really appeal, Andrea. Happy blogging wishes to you!

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    1. Uh, Nancy--the temperature in Jackson last week was -27 F Be thankful for what ya got, darlin'. And thanks for stopping by!:-)

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  10. Great interview, ladies! Love the excerpt, Andrea.
    Sarah, when I clicked on comments, I popped down to the bottom and was sooooo distracted by some of your images...very nice!
    Keira

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  11. Enjoyed the interview. I loved your blurb and excerpt. Hope you have great sales. :o)

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    1. Thanks so much, Katherine; glad you enjoyed it and thanks for coming by.

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  12. Hi Andrea,
    Great post. I live in Australia, but I love westerns. I blame it on Bonanza, Little House On the Prairie etc. I used to devour them just about when I was young.
    I love the sounds of your story, the aristocratic girl and the cowboy, a winning combination.

    Regards

    Margaret

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  13. Hi Margaret, good to see you here. It's amazing how those old tv westerns got under our skin. My daughter's boyfriend's father (what a mouthful!) who is Colombian feels exactly the same way--loved Bonanza, High Chaparral, The Virginian etc.--and lord knows what they were like in Spanish translation! Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. Sarah I just want to thank you once more for having me. I'm off to do edits on the next one...What fun!

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