Monday, March 1, 2010

Interview with Erica Ridley

Today I welcome Erica Ridley to answer some questions.

How long have you been writing?

I truly have been writing for as long as I can remember, but the moment when I decided to seriously pursue publication was in January, 2006. That year, I became a member of both RWA and my local writing chapter, joined various critique groups, and wrote two complete novels. It’s been full steam ahead ever since!

What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?

My first novel was a Regency-set historical called UNMASKED. An ex-war spy goes to London to (figuratively) unmask a thief, but finds himself enchanted by a (literally) masked young lady… who happens to be the thief’s daughter. I did send requested chapters to a few agents (who very intelligently passed on the project) but in the end, I shelved the story in favor of working on something new.

What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

Never give up. The difference between those who make it and those who do not, is that successful people keep trying, no matter what.

Describe your book.

TOO WICKED TO KISS is a Gothic historical love story. On the run from a man who wants to enslave her—or worse—Evangeline Pemberton takes refuge at Blackberry Manor, only to discover that its owner, Gavin Lioncroft, is a suspected murderer himself. . . who doesn’t bother to deny the accusations. Just as she begins to think him worthy of trust, one of the guests is killed—and Lioncroft readily admits he was angry enough to have done the deed himself. This is a story about trust, guilt, and redemption, about taking responsibility for one’s actions, and about learning to love oneself in order to find true love with another person. Too Wicked To Kiss is sensual, suspenseful, and atmospheric… and I hope you enjoy it very much!

What’s your writing schedule?

When it comes to creativity, I’m a morning person. My routine is as follows: crawl out of bed, brush my teeth, brew strong coffee, plant myself in front of the laptop. When I’m in the zone, three or four or five hours can disappear before I realize my coffee is cold and my stomach is growling. And if I’m lucky, by then I’ll have a completed scene!

What other time period besides your own would you like to experience?

First and foremost, I would love to experience the Regency era and the Victorian period firsthand. I also wouldn’t mind visiting the Medieval period, when all that amazing Gothic architecture began to flourish. And although it is much less romantic, I am very intrigued by the ancient Egyptians and would absolutely love to witness their culture, as well.

What’s your favorite food?

For me, this is an impossible question! I love, love, love food. All food. From Mexican to Japanese to Indian to Thai to Italian, from native Latin American fruit to Eastern European vegetables to the deep fried apple-cinnamon “elephant ears” at the local county fair. In fact, among my friends I’m infamous for never turning down an invitation to go out to eat… even if it means I have two lunch dates back-to-back! LOL.

What do you do when you are not writing?Traveling, or scrapbooking the photo evidence of my travels. I adore visiting other cities and countries and cultures, and am extremely lucky that being able to work from my laptop enables me to do so without having to coordinate specific vacation time. (Although, the days when I’m stuck in a hotel working instead of out sightseeing can be hard, too!) I love arts and crafts, so scrapbooking has been an excellent hobby and stress-reliever for me. Plus I enjoy sharing the finished albums with family and friends!

Who is your greatest cheerleader?

My grandmother. Although long since retired, she was once a librarian and loves books just as much as I do. When I first decided to seriously pursue a career in writing, I met plenty of opposition from well-meaning friends and family who thought it was a frivolous idea, and that I’d be better off pursuing a “real” job. My grandmother’s faith in me, however, has never once flagged, and her quiet encouragement gave me strength throughout the journey to publication.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Writing in a Gothic voice. I absolutely loved rethinking the characters’ world view from a darker, spookier perspective. Particularly the heroine, who (for very good reason) finds the mansion grounds to be creepy, the party guests to be suspect, and the master of the house to be quite dangerous on several different levels.

What would you like to learn to do that you haven’t?

Believe it or not… swim. When I was about three or four, my family went to visit some relatives in Florida (where I now live) and we thought it would be a great idea to walk down a wooden pier to get a better view of the alligator-infested waters. That is, until I toddled too close and fell overboard. My parents (understandably) freaked, and for years I had nightmares about being eaten by alligators. Although I do realize that they don’t usually hunt in, say, hotel pools or the YMCA, I’ve never been able to submerge my face underwater or learn to swim. Some day…

Author Bio: Erica Ridley learned to read when she was three, which was about the same time she decided to be a writer when she grew up. Over the course of her school years, she graduated from self-illustrated stories written in crayon to dramatic sagas filling reams of spiral notebooks. Now, Erica writes Gothic historical romances, often with a touch of paranormal.

When not reading or writing romances, Erica can be found riding camels in Africa, zip-lining through rainforests in Costa Rica, or getting hopelessly lost in the middle of Budapest.

Book Blurb: HIS TOUCH HOLDS HER CAPTIVE...From the ravens circling its spires to the gargoyles adorning its roof, Blackberry Manor looms ominously over its rambling grounds. And behind its doors, amid the flickering shadows and secret passageways, danger lies in wait.

TO HIS EVERY DARK DESIRE...Evangeline Pemberton has been invited to a party at the sprawling estate of reclusive Gavin Lioncroft, who is rumored to have murdered his parents. Initially, Gavin's towering presence and brusque manner instill fear in Evangeline...until his rakish features and seductive attentions profoundly arouse her. But when a guest is murdered, Evangeline is torn. Could the man to whom she is so powerfully drawn, also be a ruthless killer?

Where to find Erica:

Book Bonus Features:


Stephanie J said...

Can't wait! This sounds like such a good read. It already has me planning for several hours under a warm blanket with a hot tea for maximum enjoyment!

Great interview, I love the little insights into who you are and how you write. Erica, you might also be the only person I know who doesn't know how to swim!

Erica Ridley said...

LOL, I know! I'm ashamed to admit it! And the irony is, if I *don't* know how to swim, then of course water will be scary. I'm going to have to learn if I ever want to get over the phobia!