Tag Archive | Regencies

Debut Author: V L Edwards

From Christina: Today, I’d like to introduce you to two of my favorite people — Vikki Vaught and her “alter ego”, V L Edwards.  Like Vikki, I fell in love with historical romances when I was young, and it’s become a lifelong love affair. For Vikki, her love of reading led to her love for writing. Here’s her story.

My Journey

by V L Edwards

I want to talk about my experience with self-publishing today and my journey that led me to publication with Secret Cravings Publishing. For most of my life, I never had a burning desire to write. Of course, in college I wrote school papers and in my thirties, I kept a journal, writing in it every day, but never thought about writing a novel until a story popped into my head and just would not leave. I kept saying to myself, “Someone needs to write that story,” for six months, but never really thought about doing it myself.

In June of 2010, I had an opportunity to take some time off from my day job. I made up my mind that I would spend at least two hours a day working on this idea that had so preyed upon my mind for so long. The story just poured out of me faster than I could type. Some days, I would be at my desk from early in the morning until late at night. Three weeks later, I had an 80,000 word manuscript and a complete story on “paper”. Of course, that’s when the real work started. I didn’t have a clue about writing, but I knew I had written an engaging story with great characters.

I found out that there was no easy way to get it published. I bought a Writer’s Market 2011. Using a suggested format from that book, I put together a query letter and started sending it out to agents listed in the book. I received lots of rejection letters. I did have one agent request the first 50 pages of my novel, but I received a “Liked it, but just didn’t love it” rejection letter. Of course, I was devastated, but refused to give up. I found some publishers on line that would take a look at three chapters of my manuscript and sent them to those publishers. Again, I received more rejection letters. While on this journey, I also stumbled across writing techniques that I knew nothing about.

I went through my manuscript and applied those techniques. Again I sent out more queries and received more rejection letters. By this time, I’d had a few friends read my manuscript and received a lot of encouragement from them. So I kept trying to find a publisher. Then one day my husband came in and told me about a company that published manuscripts for a fee. I went to the website and found out that for a fairly reasonable price, they would publish my manuscript. At last, here was a way to get my book out. I immediately signed up and went through a process to publish my novel. It was a great learning experience, but I found out later, there were less expensive ways to publish a book.

By this time, I had written two more books that were related to the first one. These books were also sensual historical romances set in Regency England and the continuation of some of the characters from my first novel. I wanted to publish them also. Even though, I hadn’t had a great deal of success with my first book, I was willing to try again. Since self-publishing that first book, I had joined Romance Writers of America and had also joined a local chapter. Through this group, I learned a lot more about writing and publishing. I found out about Amazon and Barnes & Noble publishing services. I stumbled across a free-lance editor, and for an excellent price, she would line-edit and format my additional books. Once my manuscripts were ready, I published them with Amazon first. I entered one of them with the KDP Select program and experienced some success. Using their free promotion days, I had thousands of downloads over the five days. These downloads created interest in my other books, and I actually made some money.


This has been an incredible journey and very rewarding. I’ve learned so much through this process, and I highly recommend this to other struggling authors. While I haven’t made a ton of money, I have gained confidence in my writing from the many wonderful comments I’ve received from my readers. Of course, there have been some who didn’t enjoy my books, but that’s okay. It’s all a learning process and with each comment, I’ve learned more about writing.

My first novel with Secret Cravings Publishing was released on January 3, 2014. Since it is an erotic historical romance, I chose the pen name V.L. Edwards for it.

I want to thank Christina Cole for asking me to participate on her blog today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse at my journey to publication. Good luck and happy reading and writing!


Vikki, here’s wishing you much success with To Live Again!


Vikki  lives in the beautiful foothills of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with her beloved husband, Jim, who is the most tolerant man in the world to put up with her when she’s in a writing frenzy. When she’s not writing or working her day job, you’ll find her curled up in a comfortable chair with her Kindle in hand, lost in a good book.

Her erotic historical, To Live Again, is now the #2 best-seller in the “Historical” category at Secret Cravings Publishing. It is available at the publisher’s website, as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other on-line book-sellers.

Readers can visit Vikki at her website: Vikki Vaught


Debut Author: Robin Leigh Morgan

From Christina: Robin stopped by my author page one day and left a comment. I replied, we chatted back and forth, and she told me about her debut YA novel, I Kissed a Ghost. I loved the title, and I invited Robin to share a few thoughts about her experiences as an author.  Enjoy!


By Robin Leigh Morgan

Some of us who have chosen to write fiction come from a variety of places. And by “a variety of places,” I’m not referring to a physical location; I’m referring to our writing experiences.

There are some of us who have enjoyed writing since we were children, and each year, by writing something in school, it improved. For some of us, it continued until we graduated college and began working. Some of us entered the work force taking jobs, which required us to write, whether it was procedures, handbooks/manuals, or news stories. But all of these are non-fiction, and each one has a set of “rules” that need to be followed to write something well enough to be acceptable.

As for myself, while my regular job did not require me to write, for eleven years I wrote articles [commentaries/viewpoints] of what was happening in my community and my feelings about it. When I started to write these items, my writing skills were not honed. I didn’t have my ideas organized in a tight manner, although my writing had been informative. By the time I’d written my last item, I’d become quite adept at it.

When I started to write fiction, I somehow drifted to writing a contemporary romance story with a paranormal element running through the storyline, but after almost 9 years I still hadn’t completed it. That is, until someone suggested I should write for a much younger audience, which is what I did, culminating in my first YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel entitled I Kissed a Ghost.

Anyway, making the transition from non-fiction to fiction, I’ve had to learn a new set of rules on how to write. Most of these involved dialogue, showing not telling, where before I just told. I now had to learn about the use of tags. I had to learn not to be overly descriptive of something, but allow my reader to create the image for themselves in their minds.

In the beginning I found it hard to break my old writing habits. Now I’m finding myself with these habits essentially gone. The biggest issue I still have and am trying to get a good handle on, is POV [Point of View]. Regardless of what’s happening or being said it has to be in one character’s perspective, and you can’t flip-flop between two characters within a scene. There needs to be a transition from one character to another.

All these things have helped me mold myself into the author I am today. I’ve also learned there are additional rules within a genre, depending on the sub-genre you’ve decided to write in. These rules apply to the dialogue spoken, which needs to be true to the time period you’re writing in, as well as how your characters are dressed, and their titles, if any, as is the case with the Regencies sub-genre of romance novels.

So as you can see, writing is not merely a string of words you put together. There are rules that need to be followed if you’re to be well received by your readers.

* * * *
Robin Leigh Morgan is a retired NYC civil servant who has been married for 19 years with no children. After finishing her YA novel, she’s now turned her writing talents to contemporary romance. You can find her at her blog, My Writing Journey,  on  Facebook , Twitter, and at Goodreads. She loves hearing from readers and sharing snippets of her writing. Her debut novel, I Kissed a Ghost, is available at Amazon.