December 19, 2012

Regency: Some Like it Haute @JillianLeigh003 #rlfblog

Some Like it Haute.

Jillian Leigh, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Some Like It Haute. What a great title! Tell us more about it.
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Cover artist: Boroughs Publishing Group
Length: 10,000 words
Heat rating: Sweet
Tagline: Too haute for comfort? A stylish gentleman meets his match when he wagers he can make a dowdy spinster the talk of the ton in Regency England.
Blurb: Stylish leader of the beau monde Sir Richard Sheridan has managed to avoid most forms of vulgarity for almost thirty years, but one evening, when he is goaded by a drunken young pup in the middle of a ballroom, Sherry finds himself embroiled in the most vulgar of wagers: to turn a dowdy young woman into the talk of the ton. Jane Smith, in town as chaperone to her niece, isn’t interested in a dandy such as Sir Richard, even if he is the most handsome man she’s ever encountered. But when he offers to help make her niece’s season a success, how can she refuse his company? Soon, they discover that they are--despite appearances to the contrary-- more evenly matched than either could have imagined.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Sir Richard Sheridan, known to the world as Sherry, is almost 30. He’s a Regency gentleman, so naturally he does as little as possible.
Jane Smith is about the same age, though it’s impolite to speculate about a lady's age. Suffice to say she’s old enough to play chaperone to her young niece in London society.


Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Some Like It Haute is an historical Romance, set during the period of English history known as the Regency. It’s my take on traditional Regency. I hope I’ve captured some of the elegance and wit that this kind of historical is noted for.
How do you come up with ideas?
Ideas come from all sorts of places. Sometimes I’ll see a scene in my head. I don’t know exactly who these people are or what they’re doing there, precisely, but it’s fun to find out. Or I might start with a premise: a what if? Movies and books often start little ‘fires’ in my brain. Not all my ideas are suitable for turning into stories, though, or they may need to be tweaked and refined a bit first. Occasionally I’ll get a kernel of an idea that ends up sounding almost unrecognizable by the time I’ve finished with it. But that’s writing for you.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
As Dorothy Parker famously said, “I hate writing. I love having written.” While I don’t hate writing--or I probably wouldn’t do it--it’s hard work. Once the draft is written, though, it’s fun to edit, revise, shudder at what’s on the page, then come back and realize it’s not so awful after all. Even though reading your own work can be a humbling experience, occasionally you come across a bit of dialogue or a scene that you almost forgot you wrote--and it’s not bad!
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
A great deal depends upon what sort of idea has possessed my mind. I do try not to do a lot of research before I start, because it can become a distraction. So I either look up something as I need to, or make a note to come back later (as long as an important plot point doesn’t hinge on knowing the answer). Generally, I try to start with a vague but almost coherent outline. I used to think I was a plotter, someone who needed to dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s before starting to write. Somewhere along the way, I came to the conclusion that I was either too lazy or too impatient to be a dedicated plotter. So then I decided I must be a pantser, who wanted to launch into things and work out the finer points later. Now I realize that I’m somewhere in between. I do need some sort of plot to work with, but writing outlines and character sheets just makes me grumpy. Does that mean I’m a plantser?
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I would tell young me to ‘go for it’--not worry so much about what I should be doing and do all the things I want to do, no matter how wild or improbable they may seem at the time. I’d tell myself that your regrets tend to be about what you wished you’d done, rather than the things you did do. I would also tell young me to start writing sooner.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I would love to think that readers are transported to another world for a little while, so much so that they forget their everyday existence and go along for an entertaining and amusing ride.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
If I had to choose two only, I suppose I’d have to include Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. But if I could mention more than two--which I’m going to do blatantly and unapologetically now--I would want to include writers such as Dickens and Trollope. In the genre of historical Romance I enjoy, amongst others, the fabulous Julia Quinn and Tessa Dare.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
She was a good girl, but...
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
I’ve often thought, being an Anglophile and a history buff, that I’d love to live in the UK. In some picturesque English hamlet, no doubt. I’d grow a cottage garden and visit all the places I’ve mostly read about. But then I think of how cold it would get and suddenly I’m thankful I live in Australia, where it’s warm (no, make that hot). Actually, I’d love to have residences all over the world, like Summer and Winter Palaces, that I could drop in on from time to time as the mood took me. A girl can dream!
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
My store is a cross between an elegant department store and something out of a Dickens novel. You’d find an eclectic mix of old and new. In one corner, you can try on the latest fashions, gorgeous shoes, sample makeup and perfume. In another, you’ll wade through old collectibles and antiques. In a third corner of the store, you’ll find books and DVDs. People will be dancing, performing live theater and having debates. Of course there would be a cafĂ© where you can enjoy a cup of something and a great pastry. I don’t know whether my store would make any money, but it would be a fun place to browse.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Keep Her Fed and Watered Properly

Please Fill in the Blanks

Jillian Leigh
I love pizza with almost anything except olives.
I'm always ready for a good laugh or a great conversation.
When I'm alone, I daydream.
You'd never be able to tell, but I can swear with the best of them.
If I had a halo it would be chipped, dented and slightly crooked, but basically intact.
If I could go back in time I'd visit the 19th century (of course).
I can never read a map properly because I’m spatially challenged.

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  1. Welcome Jillian. I love your title. How did you come up with it?

  2. Hi Kayelle. Thanks for interviewing me!

    Being a lover of old comedies, naturally I had seen the Tony Curtis/Marilyn Monroe classic 'Some Like It Hot' and loved the title. Then, when I wrote a story about the haute ton, the upper echelon of Regency society, I had to use the title--even though the word 'haute' should be pronounced (if my high school French serves me well) 'oh-t'. I think it still works!

    1. Our anglicized brains see it as hot even tho we know better. It sounds like a great story as well. You should totally do a character interview with your hero or heroine. ;)


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