Hello Viveka Portman, and welcome to Author’s Limelight!
What was the first story you ever wrote? The first story I truly wrote was an epic medieval fantasy, I was about fifteen at the time. It was about a girl who wanted to be a mercenary. I still like the premise!
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character? I love all my characters in their own way. I really do have a soft spot however for Lord William Stanton, a character who you see in “The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley”, and who is a major player in the second book “The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton” (release date TBA). Lord Stanton is a loveable rogue. He’s a philanderer, gambler but utter charmer. Quick to laugh, and tends to see the best in everyone.
Has being published changed you at all? If so, how? It hasn’t changed me, but it has changed my writing habits. I was a very lackadaisical writer prior to being published, I’d write when I wanted, and only what I what I wanted. Being published motivates me to be a bit more pro-active, and makes me try different things in my writing.
What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader? A lot of unread books! I have a To Be Read pile that threatens to dwarf me, I love Julie Garwood, Fiona Walker, I also love George RR Martin, and good paranormal romance, the more unusual the better.
What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten? Oh I don’t know, I’ve eaten frogs legs but they were actually quite nice! Generally speaking if I find something unappealing I don’t put it in my mouth…
If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?
a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.
b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.
c) Princess Leia from Starwars.
d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.
I’d probably be Scarlett O’Hara, because I love Gone with the Wind, mostly because of Rhett Butler – awesome hero! If I could re-write the ending, I’d make sure Bonnie Blue didn’t die, and that Scarlett came to her damn senses and realised what a sexy man she had before it was too late!
Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why? The Song of Ice and Fire, by George RR Martin – it’s so incredibly epic and engaging. I love it. I admire that man for creating such an amazing world – I’d also like my books to become that popular!
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? Is speaking to animals a super-power? If it is I’d want that, then I could ask my cat why he vomits on my carpet so much.
If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you? If you want the expected answer, I’d say regency England to see all the clothes and manners… If you want the true answer, it’s a bit random – and possibly shows that I’ve never grown up, but here goes… I’d really like to go back in time to see the dinosaurs, I find extinct animals fascinating and would love to see them alive. I’d also take an invisibility cloak from Harry Potter – just to be on the safe side.
Can you tell us about your works in progress? I am currently writing the third in my Erotic Regency Diary series. It’s tentatively titled “The Private Affairs of Lord and Lady Fielding”. All the characters in the series stem from characters mentioned in “The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley”. It follows Lady and Lord Fielding in their pursuit to have a son, (they have two daughters). A situation made unfairly complicated by Lord Fielding’s nasty horse kick injury and the arrival of Lord Fieldings fortune grabbing younger brother. This one has got even me flustered!
Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from “The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley” please?
Dear diary, it is a relief to know that my husband will not stray to the arms of another woman — I merely wish he’d stray into my own arms a little more frequently — and perhaps stay there a little longer than he is known to. ‘I am grateful,’ I whispered, and nestled closer towards him. I could feel the heat from his thigh burn through the layers of cloth between us. Did he feel it too? My hands had been at rest in my lap, but I let one rise and fall to land on the leg that stretched beside mine. I felt my husband’s body tense beneath it. I turned to face him; I would be bold. ‘Would you kiss me?’ I whispered, knowing my cheeks burned at the words. He stared at me as if I’d spoken Gaelic, and hesitated. ‘Please?’ I asked. It took him another moment to decide, but he swiftly dipped his head and kissed me lightly on the cheek. It was not the kiss I’d wanted or envisioned. I’d seen other people kiss — and kiss passionately at that. Lovers would hide, secreted away behind hedges and dark doorways at parties and balls, kissing each other with longing and desire. In my opinion, kisses on the cheek should be reserved for grandmothers and babies — not wives. ‘I meant …’ I felt the blush. ‘Perhaps you may wish to kiss me on the lips.’ I stared at his mouth then and focussed on his lips; they were full and well-shaped. He pulled away from me and stood. ‘Kissing on the lips, Catherine, is for the French — you are a well bred Englishwoman. A kiss on the cheek is proper.’ He looked angry. ‘Of course, I apologise,’ I said . As I stood, he offered me a stiff arm — which I took lamely, and we returned to the hall.
Portman, Viveka The Secret Diary Of Lady Catherine Bexley, Escape Publishing – Harlequin Enterprises Pty Ltd, Australia.