The Thwarted Desires of Lavinia Kent: Q&A with a Regency Author
Hey Campers! Madeline here with the lovely & amazing Lavinia Kent. You may know Lavinia from the several historical regencies she’s written for Avon. Lately she’s also expanded recently into writing a historical-reality TV show mash up for Avon Impulse and included her work in an anthology called ONCE AND FOREVER.
Soon Lavinia will be forging into new genre territory–but more about that in a minute. First—-
MADELINE IVA: Lavinia, Tell us the basis for the sexual tension in your latest novella Never & Forever.
LAVINIA KENT: Never & Forever was a strange story for me to write. I had a very clear idea of what was going to happen and how the story was going to proceed – and then it took a complete turnabout. I had just finished writing the novella that turned into the first third of my erotic July release, Mastering the Marquess, and thought I was going to get another very, very sexy story. Instead, my heroine, Molly, said, “I am just not that type of girl.”
“Well,” she answered. “I am an unmarried woman in the Regency and I am not risking pregnancy.”
“But . . .” I tried.
“No, buts,” she said firmly.
Instead I ended up with the sexual tension coming from thwarted desire. My couple desperately wants to be together – but both understand all the reasons that it can’t work between them and neither is willing to compromise. It’s much more reminiscent of the romances I read as teen, than of most of the books out now. There is a wonderful tension in waiting and I’ve never had the chance to explore it before. (PS. This novella will be continued later and Molly and I will have a firm talk before then.)
MADELINE IVA: Avon Impulse has released four of your stories called The Real Duchesses of London?How–why–what–inspired you to mash up the Housewives reality TV franchise with historical romance?
LAVINIA KENT: I have to confess that I adore reality TV. I try to hold myself down to only watching a few shows at a time, but it’s hard. I love watching the personal dynamics and trying to guess what is really happening behind the scenes.
I’ve watched most of the Real Housewives franchises, but my favorite has always been Beverly Hills, the clothes, the shoes, the hair, the parties . . . It’s a world so far away from the one I live in that it sends my imagination in giddy circles.
When I was watching it a few years ago, trying to decide if anybody really lived that way, I had the sudden realization that the heroines in Regency novels often did. Who else attends a ball every other night, has a closet the size of house and often arrives draped in yards of jewels? After that it was easy, I just started to create the ladies that I’d want in my own Housewives episode.
MADELINE IVA: Your website says you are a fan of Buffy. I too love all things Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What plot line did you savor the most from that series? Who was your favorite character?
LAVINIA KENT: My favorite season was definitely Season Two. Who could resist Angel? I still get tingly thinking about those sultry looks he’d send Buffy across the Bronze. And when he went bad, it was even better. Sigh. If I didn’t have a book to write I think I’d start marathoning a season right now.
MADELINE IVA: I thought her real problem was she wasn’t loved. The thing she had with the mayor — that Daddy and his little Princess thing? It was so much what she needed and so tragically twisted.
LAVINIA KENT: I kept hoping and hoping she’d figure out the right thing to do.
MADELINE IVA: I kept hoping somebody who really was quick on their feet and yet good would love her.
LAVINIA KENT: I also have to confess a deep and abiding love of Spike. I am not normally attracted to bad boys, but he had it all, from the great leather coat to sarcastic attitude and wit – all with that edge of vulnerability that would peek out when he hit one of his better moments.
MADELINE IVA: Oh yeah, definitely. He could hurt with the best of them. Another thing we share in common is our love of reality TV. What sucks you into the housewives franchise, and what other reality tv do you like? (I find I love competitions–Project Runway, ANTM, Master Chef, etc)
LAVINIA KENT: I’ve never watched Master Chef (not sure why not), but you’ve hit most of my favorites. I also love Top Chef and Chopped. I’ve watched Survivor since the second season (my husband insists I am the only person in the country still watching it).
MADELINE IVA: ; >
LAVINIA KENT: It’s definitely one of my favorite shows of all time. I enjoy watching how each season is different and how the contestants have learned from watching previous seasons – and yet, they can still fall for the same old traps.
I have to confess if I turn on the TV in the middle of almost any Bravo marathon I get caught up. I don’t care if they’re selling condos in Manhatten or matchmaking. I just can’t resist a sneak peek into other peoples lives.
MADELINE IVA: Yup. So you started out with historicals and now you’re moving into….erotic historicals. Lavinia, you bad girl you! What’s made you wander over into this new territory? Do you think you’ll carry your audience along — or are you thinking you’ll have to build a new audience from scratch? And what’s some great erotic historical stuff that you’ve read?
LAVINIA KENT: I am going to start with the last question. I loved Lisa Valdez’s first book, PASSION.
MADELINE IVA: OMG, me too! I’ve blogged about it on my own website here.
LAVINIA KENT: I was shocked at the things she managed to get a way with.
I didn’t actually originally intend to write an erotic historical. I started with the idea for simple novella for an anthology I was in – and then my fingers started to smoke as I typed. I’d read a lot of erotic romance in the months before, trying to keep up with the market (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). As I started to write, some of the flavor of what I’d been reading began to seep through and I began to wonder how historical characters would react given the same needs for domination and submission. I had an interesting time trying to decide what could and could not happen in the Regency and doing research as to what was historically possible.
MADELINE IVA: That’s one enticing cover — I noticed it says LS at the top. What does it stand for, Lady Smut? ;>
LAVINIA KENT: It stands for Loveswept, but from this moment on every time I see it Lady Smut is definitely what will come to mind.
MADELINE IVA: Finally, if someone has missed out on your historicals in the past, where would you recommend she start?
LAVINIA KENT: All of my Avon novels take place in the same world). Chronologically, HINT OF DESIRE comes first and many readers like to start there. (I have to read in order. I hate it if I buy a book and then find out it’s from the middle of a series.) A TALENT FOR SIN was the first one published and is a very solid place to start.
Thank you so much for having me, Madeline. Your questions were so much fun to answer. I am always happy to talk reality TV and smutty romance.
Meanwhile, my sassy readers, thanks for joining us today. You can find all of Lavinia’s books at Amazon here. But wait–there’s more! Leave a comment down below and you could win a free e-book by Lavinia. Your choice.
And please follow us at Lady Smut. Because, as HarperImpulse says, “We’ve got the love.”