Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Featured Author: Emily Bryan

Howdy, Armchair Heroines! I'm thrilled to host historical romance author Emily Bryan today. She's had some interesting experiences, and I love her books!

So, how about a round of e-applause for Emily?!

Welcome, Emily! Vexing the Viscount is your latest release. Please, tell us about it.

VEXING THE VISCOUNT is a sexy, light-hearted romp (with a more serious story-within-a-story embedded inside it.) It’s the tale of Daisy Drake, a well-born miss who developed a childhood infatuation for Lucian Beaumont, now Viscount Rutland. Unfortunately, his father holds a terrible grudge against her uncle, but Daisy doesn’t let that daunt her. She masquerades as a French courtesan to convince Lucian to let her help him find the lost Roman treasure he seeks.

The secondary love story explains how the Roman payroll went missing in the first place. Readers can sample a little of both on my website http://www.emilybryan.com/ .

Sounds wonderful! Readers, you can purchase your very own copy of Vexing the Viscount here. You sang opera for awhile (in Colorado - my home state). Does that experience carry over to your writing? If so, how?

Yes, I confess, I was a schleppy soprano. I made my debut with the Denver Symphony and actually won the Metropolitan Opera auditions there in Colorado! My singing experience carries over to my writing because when I prepared an operatic role, I always devised a backstory for my character (you know what I mean, the whole “What’s my motivation?” dilemma actors go through!) I still love opera, though I always hate to see the soprano die just when the tenor finally figures out that he loves her! In my books, my heroines get to live AND keep the guy (who’s much smarter than the average operatic tenor!). It makes a nice change.

Getting to live and keeping the guy...now that's a happily ever after! :0) Did you always know you wanted to write historical romance?

I didn’t even know I wanted to write till 2001, but I was always a voracious reader and gravitated toward historicals. I love the whole “take me away” quality of a good historical. Sub-genres tend to go through cycles of popularity, but historicals are the “little black dress” of romance. They’re always in style.

I have to agree (although I love many different romance genres), there is something about historicals that really take me away from reality for awhile! Tell us a little about how you research your books.

Once I know when I’m placing my story, I start with TIMETABLES OF HISTORY by Grun. This is a quick overview of the political, cultural, religious and scientific events of any given year. I hit the internet for background material, of course, but I don’t take anything I find there as gospel unless I can confirm it with a 2nd citing.

I love to visit art museums and study portraiture to get a handle on how people presented themselves in different eras. You’d be surprised what you can glean about clothing, cosmetics, weaponry, even pets, from a study of the art of a period.

My old music history books even give me a peek into how people lived in other times. For instance, did you know that JS Bach walked 100 miles to hear his favorite organist, Buxtehude, play in recital? Now that’s a devoted fan!

Interesting approach, and I'd never heard that about Bach before! What can we expect to see from Emily Bryan next?

VEXING THE VISCOUNT is still available in bookstores now. My next release is A CHRISTMAS BALL, due out September 29th! For this holiday anthology, I’ve teamed up with USA Today Best Seller Jennifer Ashley and exciting new author Alissa Johnson. All our characters are attending Lord and Lady Hartwell’s grand Christmas Ball and YOU are invited too!

My current WIP, STROKE OF GENIUS is the story of a Bostonian heiress who takes courting advice from the brilliant artist who’s engaged to sculpt her hands. She attracts the attention of a duke, but finds herself yearning for the brooding, darkly dangerous genius who helped her transform from an ugly duckling into a social swan. Look for STROKE OF GENIUS in the summer of 2010!

Please sign up for my newsletter at http://www.emilybryan.com/ for reminders of what’s coming next!

Both sound intriguing, and I love the idea of seeing an event through the eyes of three different authors and their characters. Can you tell us about some of your favorite interactions with readers?

Hand’s down, it’s got to be my 50day/50blog VEXING THE VISCOUNT tour! I set off on a whirlwind trip through cyber-space at the first of the year and picked up a fun core group of “blog touristas” who came along for the ride. We had a great time and still do, at my personal blog http://www.emilybryan.blogspot.com/ .

The high point of my recent Romantic Times Convention was meeting two of my touristas, face to face!

How fun! If you could lead a secret double life, what or who would you moonlight as?

Don’t look now, but I’m already doing it. Mild-mannered house-wife by day and romantic wild-child by . . . day, too. Actually I squeeze the wild-child in between loads of laundry and walking Susie the Wonder Dog.

We should start a secret sorority...Sisterhood of the Romantic Laundresses/Writers! ;0) Which of your characters are you most like? Most unlike?

That’s a toughie. Actually, there’s a little of me in all of them since they all sprang from my subconscious. (Which sort of makes me go “hmmmm” when I think about the less-than-nice villains who abound in my stories.)

I’d like to be more like Daisy Drake, who knows what she wants and is willing to go after it no matter what that entails. Admit it! Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like to wear a courtesan’s shoes? Daisy knows first hand.

I can't wait to read more about Daisy! With Mother's Day just around the corner, what is something invaluable you learned from an important woman in your life?

I have many incredible women in my life, including my two daughters. But I have to say I learned about keeping love alive from my mother. My dad was a railroader and she always made it an occasion when he came home. We’d all run to hug and kiss him. (I have 3 sisters—like I said, lots of incredible women in my life!) Every single time, it was as if the conquering hero had returned. She didn’t greet him with news of the leaking hot water heater or the trouble one of us girls might have gotten into while he was gone (remember I said incredible women, not perfect!)—no, she welcomed him like a king. She and my dad have been married for over 50 years and he’s always treated her as his queen.

‘Scuse me, my DH is at the door. Time to run for a hug and a kiss!

Thank you so much for being here, Emily! Any parting words?
Thanks again for having me, Tiff. Readers can learn more about my books at http://www.emilybryan.com/ . I’ll be back to respond to comments or questions. As an added incentive, anyone who leaves a comment or question will be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of PLEASURING THE PIRATE.

You heard her, AH Readers. Let us know what's on your mind for your chance to pick up a copy of PLEASURING THE PIRATE. The winner be announced right here by Friday!

Happy Wednesday!
The winner of Pleasuring the Pirate, generated by Random.org is:
Congratulations, Mari! Email me at Tiffany@TiffanyJames.net with your snail mail address and Emily will get your book "sailing" your way! :0)
Thanks to everyone who joined us yesterday - what fun! Be sure to stop by Emily's blog on Monday to say "hi" and then get your patooties back here on May 20th to meet historical romance author Kris Kennedy.


housemouse88 said...

Hello Emily,

I've just started following your blog and decided to follow you here today. I'm glad I did. Learning about authors and their lives is always fascinating to me. My question is this, would you ever go back to opera? Have a great day.

Tiffany James said...


I'm glad you followed Emily here too! I enjoy learning more about authors as well - especially bits about their lives, not just about their writing.

Great question!


EmilyBryan said...

I still love to sing (my workshop class at RT asked for a sample and I pinned their ears back with a little Quando m'en vo from Puccini's La Boheme!), but I probably wouldn't. The reason I quit was because it was starting to involve a lot more travel away from my family than I wanted. My kids are older now, but I'm still not ready to sacrifice my fam on the altar of my career.

Theatre people are different. What happens on stage becomes their whole life. When you're in the green room, you're just waiting for the next shot of adrenaline from performing. It's a total rush, but it's not real.

Now that I'm writing full time, my real life is exciting enough.

Anna Destefano said...

A romantic "wildchild" who knows how to keep romance alive!!! That's my kind of lady ;o)

And Emily has all the goods--I've met her in person several times, and there's no doubt she's down-to-earth about living life but her head's in the stars about love.

Emily, tell us about the kind of love you hope will be in your children's lives one day. You really seem to have captured it in your own ;o)

EmilyBryan said...

Boy, Anna, you've touched a mother's heartstrings there. (Guess that's why your books always go for the emotions, girlfriend!)

I wish a love for my girls that's stonger than misfortune, steadier than success, deeper than sorrow, and giddier than the wildest joy!

Christie Craig said...


Darn, I miss you singing at RT?

That would have been great!!


Anna Destefano said...

Sniff... Sniff... What amazing sentiments, Em.

I'm going to hug my "little one" extra hard when he gets off the bus. Won't he be thrilled--since he's thirteen years old and soooo over the clinging mom thing ;o)

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Hey, Emily, I finished Vexing the Viscount the other day and REALLY enjoyed it. I'd love to win a copy of Pleasuring the Pirate since they're the book before VTV. Of course, if I don't win it, I may have to go search me out a copy!

Eva S said...

Hi Emily and Tiffany,
it was fun following you around on your blog tour, and although I didn't win I found so many new interesting blogs and books to look for on the way! I still have to pick up Vexing the Viscount...And I'd love to win Pleasuring the Pirate, who can resist a great pirate story!

Genella deGrey said...

Hi Em!
I was there - got my ears pinned back. WHAT A RUSH!
The girl has some pipes, I tell ya!

My order for PTP came in two days ago - so don't enter me into the drawing. I already snapped it up!

Fun post!

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks for those kind words, Stacey!

Eva, I remember you! You're from Sweden, aren't you?

So can you hear again yet, Genella?

Danielle Thorne said...

That was one of the most informative interviews I've read abt you Emily. Very enjoyable--and I appreciate the thought abt visiting museums for information and inspiration. I've never thought of that. Now I can add "And she sings, too" to things I know about Emily Bryan. You're a woman of many talents!

Joy Nash said...

Hi Emily!

I gotta say, I loved Vexing the Viscount. Books with an archeological hook are among my favorites. And VTV has the added attraction of having been written by one of my favorite authors ;-)

And I agree, museums are fantastic inspiration. I got the idea for my first Dorchester book, Celtic Fire, after visiting the British Museum in London.

And if the museum happens to be in a castle...so much the better! I based Kalen's Scottish castle in Immortals: The Awakening on a couple different castles I visited in Scotland.

CheekyGirl said...

I loved Vexing the Viscount so much! Dasiy rocks!

I would love to win a copy of Pleasuring the Pirate :)


robynl said...

I would love to 'pleasure the pirate'; oh sorry, LOL, I meant I'd love to receive a copy of PLEASURING THE PIRATE.

Tiffany James said...


Thank you for joining us today! Great question - I got a little teary-eyed thinking about my kiddos.


Beautiful answer!


Tiffany James said...


Thanks for joining us here at Armchair Heroines...

I read a wonderful story about a speech you gave with a suitcase full of rejection letters! At the Murderati blog, I think!


Tiffany James said...


I have a nine year old boy...

Today, I was subbing at his school and tried to hug him "goodbye" when the bell rang. He gave me the brush off! My own son gave me the brush off...sniff, sniff. Guess he's growing up?!


Tiffany James said...


I haven't had a chance to read VTV, but I loooved Distracting the Duchess!

Thanks for stopping by today!


Tiffany James said...


Howdy! How's life in Finland?

Thanks for joining us today! I totally agree - pirate stories are some of the best. There's just something about a swashbuckling man...


Tiffany James said...


Lucky duck! I love listening to stellar sopranos (and I'm sure Emily is one). Opera conveys such amazing emotion musically. It's great to listen to while writing.


Tiffany James said...


Thanks for joining us and glad to hear you enjoyed the interview. I love talking with other authors - probing their psyches. :0)


Tiffany James said...


I really liked the art museum suggestion also. I have got to get a hold of VTV - I haven't read a good archeological story in a long time!


Tiffany James said...


Love your picture!

Glad you enjoyed the interview! Good luck in the drawing.


Tiffany James said...


Good one! I laughed out loud when I read it and drew some "only crazy people laugh out loud when reading blogs" looks. ;0)

Thanks for joining us today.


Mari said...

Hi Emily, Veving the Viscount sounds like a lovely book. I have always loved archaeology, in fact it was my major. Celtic archaeology is my favorite, though!!
Please enter me in your contest!

Sandy said...


I think it's grand that your mother started such a tradition with your father, and that you're carrying it on with your own hubby.

Your stories sound wonderful. BTW, I like opera.

My niece sings with a choir group in Colorado Springs. I forget the name of the group, but they sing everything in Italian.

EmilyBryan said...

Danielle- Guess I'll have to blame Tiffany for posing the questions that made me reveal my vulnerable underbelly!

Joy- Thanks! I admire your work so much. Hey, everybody! Be sure to visit Joy's blog this month. She's hosting a COUNTDOWN TO SUMMER to celebrate the release of her A LITTLE LIGHT MAGIC. I can't wait!

Sabrina- I'm so glad you liked Daisy! I teach a workshop on characterization and I always ask my students to name their favorite heroes. The names fly out fast and furious. Then I ask them to name their favorite heroines. There's always several seconds of silence and then the names come popping out slowly, like the tail end of microwave popcorn. It makes me want to do better on my heroines.

Robyn--Want to pleasure the pirate huh? Get in line.

Mari--I haven't studied archaeology formally, but it fascinates me too.

Sandy--I always figure there are plenty of people out there ready to try to knock my DH down. It's my priviledge to build him up. He's sweet enough to return the favor.

Tiffany--This has been such fun! I'll check back tomorrow and we'll talk about who wins the Pirate!

RachieG said...

Emily Bryan!! Woo Hoo! :D Had no idea you sang for the opera...and love the picture! Very cute! :D

Lyoness2009 said...

Love the comments you made about your mom. I <3 my mom too...Made me smile. Women are pretty strong! :D

lyoness2009 @ hotmail.com

Tiffany James said...


Thanks for joining us today!


Tiffany James said...

Sandy & Rachie,

Thanks for joining us!


Just call me the Barbara Walters of romance author blog interviewing! :0)


I have to agree that women are amazing! I was just writing a newspaper article about the wonderful women (and a few men) I met at the Colorado Romance Writers' Romancing the Rockies Conference this weekend. They balance so many roles yet still make time to write. Inspiring!

Thanks for joining us today!


Tiffany James said...


This has been great fun for me too. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule and hanging out at Armchair Heroines! I love your books and it's such a pleasure to get to talk with you.

Tiffany ;0)

Teddyree said...

Great interview.

If you haven't read one of Emily's books yet, you are missing out.
I've devoured all 3 & loved them! Hot & steamy but with substance & did I mention a gigglefest too!

EmilyBryan said...

Teddy, stop. You're making me blush! ;)

EmilyBryan said...

Tiffany--This has been great fun. Please let me know who you choose for the winner of a PLEASURING THE PIRATE!

Everybody, please visit my blog on Monday the 11th. Tiffany is taking over for me there while I bum aroun Bermuda! Please make her feel as welcome as she's made me!

Tiffany James said...


I totally agree! I went out yesterday and got the ones I haven't read yet. Can't wait to steal some time away from reality and get lost in the wonderful world of Emily Bryan. :0)

Thanks for joining us!


Tiffany James said...


You're so sweet to plug my visit at your blog! I hope to see all of you there...this is my first foray into guest blogging.

Have a wondeful weekend and don't forget to look for the contest winner at the bottom of Emily's feature today (in fact, in just a few minutes)!


Mari said...

Thank you! Tiffani, I just sent you an email!!!