Once Upon a Duke’s Wish is out tomorrow! It’s book one in The Duke’s Lost Treasure series. Lana was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
You can get your copy of this delightful historical romance HERE!
Did you always know you wanted to be an author? What is the first story you remember writing? How did you get from there to where you are today?
Like many authors, I was a voracious reader from an early age. My mom and sisters also enjoyed reading, and we often shared recommendations. However, a few books I read ended poorly in my opinion, and that gave me the idea of trying my hand at storytelling. I dabbled off and on in my spare time and learned all I could. When I placed in a contest the first time, I was beyond thrilled. That motivated me to learn even more.
The challenge of this job is that there is always more to learn, whether it’s better character arcs, different plotting methods, or new marketing techniques. That certainly keeps it interesting.
One of the first stories I wrote, which I never finished, was a contemporary suspense with a former Russian KGB agent. LOL. I don’t think I made it past writing a few scenes.
The first book I finished was a medieval (A Vow To Keep). Publishing that book myself in 2012 was a huge milestone, and I’ve been busy writing ever since. After completing several medieval romances, I moved to Victorian times as well as Regency. Historical romance is my favorite to read and write. Now, with over 35 books written, the ideas are still coming fast and furious!
What drew you to the era you write in? Is there something about the time period you think most people don’t know about? What do you think would be the most difficult part about living in that period?
I read a wide variety of books, but I am most drawn to historical romance. The genre provides a wonderful escape and takes me to places I haven’t yet been. My latest series with Dragonblade Publishing, The Duke’s Lost Treasures, is set in the Victorian era. That period fascinates me because there are so many things changing, both good and bad.
There were numerous inventions that improved people’s daily lives, including the sewing machine, lighting, bathrooms, transportation, and more. People often had more free time to do things. In fact, the self-help movement started then. And I love characters who dabble in science of one sort or another.
Exploration was a popular pastime as well. In my latest release, Once Upon A Duke’s Wish, three sisters arrive in London after their treasure-hunting father died in an accident on Oak Island. Learning more about what they might encounter when first visiting London as well as what their lives had been like while living with a treasure hunter was fun to explore.
While I find the Victorian era fascinating, I’m not sure I would want to live in that time period. Life was still harsh for many people, especially the poor. Sanitation was a major issue and disease was still widely misunderstood. Then there were those corsets! LOL
What are your favorite kind of characters to write? Do you have a specific trope that you’re drawn too?
My favorite characters are wounded, gruff heroes and strong heroines in peril. I adore Beauty and the Beast. I’m also a big fan of friends to lovers stories where one moment changes the way the character sees the other one forever.
Where is your favorite place to write? Does it change depending on where you are in the process?
While I have a home office, I tend to move around my house when writing. I have a laptop and love to sit outside on our patio when the weather permits. I also have a comfy chair in our bedroom. Any time I’m stuck on a story, it often helps to change my scenery. My best production comes mid-day, but it depends on where I’m at with the story and how clear it is.
Working from home is a challenge at times, because there are always other things pulling at my attention, from laundry to dusty surfaces. My husband is retired and home as well, but luckily for me, he’s busy with projects from woodworking to gardening. Some days, we only see each other at mealtimes, whereas other days, there are a lot of interruptions throughout the day.
Which comes first for you: the plot or the characters?
The characters are always first for me. I usually flesh out their details first. I love diving into what makes them tick, and why they are the person they are. What happened in their past that caused them pain and what do they do now to avoid ever experiencing that pain again? From there, I work on their goals and why they want what they do. The conflict between the characters–what’s keeping them apart–is also important.
Next, I plot the basics of the story and come up with possible scenes. However, I am not apparently capable of doing a detailed outline. I guess my brain doesn’t work that way. LOL. Some scenes I know ahead of time. Other times, I am pushing to get my word count in for the day and a scene unfolds before my eyes, and I’m just as surprised as a reader would be by what happens.