Wendy Vella, author of The Reluctant Countess, is in the virtual offices today to introduce herself and chat about her new book. Please give her a warm welcome!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about yourself?
[Wendy Vella] I was born in the beautiful North Island of New Zealand where I live with my husband of 28 years Blake. I have a daughter Sophie age 25 and son Nathan 22.
I’m a hoarder of books an avid cyclist and lover of food. I’m a romantic who can’t watch a movie unless it has a happy ending. I hate shopping and usually end up with another black item that matches the three others in my closet. Patience is not one of my crowning glories but I rarely lose my temper and when I do RUN! I like to talk and often, according to my husband, it takes me an average of 100 words to get to the point. My favourite time of the year is Christmas when according to my family I turn into a crazed Christmas Fairy with maniacal tendencies.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Reluctant Countess?
[Wendy Vella] It’s a story about two people who have never had a reason to trust before. Born into different worlds both have been betrayed by people close to them. Patrick the hero is arrogant, distinguished and hides his emotional scars behind a carefully erected façade. Circumstances place Sophie into a life she is not equipped to cope with yet must to protect the two people she loves most. It’s a journey with plenty of colourful characters, humor and passion that eventually finds Sophie and Patrick in each other’s arms where finally they can find the love they always believed would elude them.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Wendy Vella] I was looking for a competition to enter and found one that gave you the starting scene of a book. The scenario was a ballroom with a handsome Lord and a mysterious Countess and that was where The Reluctant Countess came from. I actually never entered the competition but it worked out well in the end.
The characters really just developed with the story. I had a Countess and an Earl so the main two were already given to me and the opening scene set up their personalities. Patrick was mistrusting of her from the start and Sophie hid her terror of the unfamiliar world she was thrust into by being cold and informal. I have some great secondary characters in this book too, which I hope everyone loves as much as I do.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Sophie?
[Wendy Vella] Protective, vulnerable, courageous.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Patrick had a theme song, what would it be?
[Wendy Vella] (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Sophie won’t leave the house without.
[Wendy Vella] Spare hair pins.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Patrick’s pockets?
[Wendy Vella] His hands, a crumpled handkerchief and any item of food.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Sophie’s greatest regret?
[Wendy Vella] That she has to live a lie to secure the happiness of the two people she loves most.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Wendy Vella] I love reading, and wonderful dialogue with creative characters and intriguing plots is very motivational. When I read something that really stirs me I want to write something that will have the same effect on readers.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Wendy Vella] I’m not big on rituals or needing peace and quiet to write. I simply need music, a chair and a laptop. I can pretty much write anywhere.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Wendy Vella] Angel Falls – Nora Roberts
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Wendy Vella] Georgette Heyer – These Old Shades
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Wendy Vella] Spend time with my family. Read or go for a long bike ride. We have some pretty neat scenery over here in NZ so I love getting out on my bike for a few hours.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
“THE RELUCTANT COUNTESS” can be purchased from Random House INC http://www.randomhouse.com/book/221633/the-reluctant-countess-by-wendy-vella
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can read an excerpt from The Reluctant Countess here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/112350111/Vella-ReluctantCountess-Final
Thanks to Random House, I have 1 print copy & 3 Net Galley Preview copies to give away! The digital copies are open Internationally, the print copy is US only. Fill out the widget for your chance to win. Earn extra entries by following.
Didn’t win? You can order The Reluctant Countess from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below.
About the book: