Greetings friends! Today we’re talking with the one and only, brilliant, talented, and delightful, Erica Vetsch. So, grab a chair and join us as we talk about writing, research, and regency romance.
Erica’s sharing information about her brand-new release, The Lost Lieutenant, Book One in the Serendipity and Secrets series.
SHAREE: When you’re researching a new book, are there tried and true methods you use?
ERICA: I am a big believer in researching using BOOKS. I like to own the books I use for research, too. I start with broad subjects. Example, for my new Regency novels, I acquired some history books about the entire era. Then, I got more specific, buying books about carriages, architecture, clothing, etc.
SHAREE: I’m a firm believer, one can never have too many books. What’s the most interesting research you’ve encountered (regardless if it ended up in a book).
ERICA: There’s just so much I had to learn, that it was all interesting. I loved finding the motive for my fictional crime through reading about the Stock Exchange Hoax of 1814. The cool thing was, I wrote the crime before I knew the motive behind it, so finding an actual historical event to attribute it to was a great day for me!
SHAREE: I love starting with the crime! What enticed you to write a regency series?
ERICA: Mostly because I was bored and without a contract at the time. I had written about 35 stories, mostly set in the American West/Pioneer era, and I wanted a new challenge. I had been reading some Regency stories (thanks to Mary Connealy!) and thought I might give it a try.
SHAREE: 35 stories is an amazing feat! I must agree, if Mary Connealy recommends it, it’s good. Is there a character in your new release who stole your heart, or is there one you love to hate? Please tell us why.
ERICA: Definitely Evan Eldridge. He’s so wounded and afraid, but keeping it all bottled up. He’s thrown into several situations for which he feels himself unsuited, and yet, he doesn’t quit.
SHAREE: Now I’m even more intrigued to read The Lost Lieutenant. Would you share a little about your writing journey and if possible, some of your most memorable mountaintop or valley experiences?
ERICA: I think I was always a writer, creating worlds and characters and imaginings in my head long before I ever put anything on paper. In high school, I wrote my first novel (and I still have it, in case Random House comes calling!) But then life intervened, college, marriage, kids. In 2006 maybe? I quit my job as a history teacher and brought my kids home to home-school. And I started writing again, just for my own pleasure. It was as if a part of my brain that had been sleeping woke up. The world was sharper, shinier, and way more interesting when I was writing! I acquired an agent in 2006, a contract in 2008, and in January of 2021, my 40th Valleys have come along. Not finaling in a contest, finaling but not winning. Waiting, waiting, waiting to hear back from editors. Rejections. A two-year drought in contracts that had me wondering if I would ever be published again. But the mountaintop experiences far outweigh those things. The euphoria of getting an agent. Receiving my first contract during a general session of the ACFW Conference in front of 500 writers and industry professionals. A starred review in Publisher’s Weekly, hitting the New York Times Best-seller list. Winning a Genesis Contest Award. Winning a Carol Award. But mostly, the best things about being an author are all the great people you meet as a result. Writers and readers. Being able to help aspiring writers, because you’ve been there and done that. Meeting people who love your books. Making lifelong friendships with fellow authors who understand the kaleidoscope of story worlds in your head.
SHAREE: Wow!! You have definitely journeyed this writing road. What advice would you give to fellow authors?
ERICA: Two things. A) You only fail if you quit. Disappointments, delays, and detours are a part of the writing life. Do the work, keep doing the work, and don’t quit. B) Don’t stop learning. Never assume you’ve arrived and that you don’t need to learn to perfect your craft. There is always something new to try, and you always have a weakness in your writing that you can shore up. Take classes, read great books, talk to other writers.
SHAREE: Great advice! When you’re struggling for inspiration/motivation, what’s your go to?
ERICA: Reading. Reading history books set in the era I’m trying to portray. Reading novels that I love. Deadlines motivate me, too! There’s nothing like a ticking clock to get the fingers on the old keyboard.
SHAREE: Yes to both! What’s your biggest challenge as an author?
ERICA: Staying off the internet during my writing time?
SHAREE: Ugh. I hear that. Who is your favorite character (television, movie, book) and why?
ERICA: This is going to be so random and obscure, but I love Elspeth Cameron from Essie Summers’ Sweet Are The Ways. She’s big-hearted, funny, generous, accident-prone, loving, and brave. Also, bonus points, because she’s a writer.
SHAREE: I’ve never heard of her so now I’m intrigued to find out more. Is there any place you’d love to go? Why?
ERICA: England. To do research and fill up my history-loving heart. Once I’ve ticked England off my bucket list, I want to go to New Zealand, because it is beautiful, it has the best rugby union in the world, and it’s where my favorite author, Essie Summers, is from.
SHAREE: Erica, thank you so much for being here!
And friends, it gets even better! Erica is offering one copy of The Lost Lieutenant (Print for US / eBook for International). To be entered, answer the following question in the comments below. Be sure to include your email address so that if you’re the winner, we can contact you. Then mark your calendar! The Lost Lieutenant releases 4/21/2020.
What historical era is your favorite to read/learn about?
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/ where she spends way too much time!
“As a history teacher and museum junkie, I am enthralled by the past, by the customs, bravery, and ingenuity shown by those who came before us. As a born romantic, I fall in love with fictional characters, living their triumphs and tragedies through the wonder of story. I want to be able to share my love of history and romance and hopefully bring some light and life to the world around me.”
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The giveaway fine print. Qualifying giveaway comments will be open until April 21, 2020 at midnight (central time). One winner will be randomly chosen for the prize listed above using a random number generator on April 22, 2020. The giveaway is open to commenters 18 years and older only. One (1) winner will be chosen from the comments posted by April 21, 2020 at midnight (central time). Winners will be notified via email with instructions on how to claim the book. If the winner does not meet the above criteria or does not follow the instructions within 24 hours to claim the prize, a new winner will be selected via random number generator. Void where prohibited by law.