Welcome, Christie Kelley!
Every Night I'm Yours
by Christie Kelley
A WOMAN YEARNING FOR A TASTE OF THE FORBIDDEN… At twenty-six, aspiring novelist Avis Copley intends to wear spinsterhood as a badge of honor. But when she discovers a volume of erotica that ignites a searing fire within her, Avis realizes just how much she doesn’t know about the actual pleasures of the flesh. Determined to learn more, she devises a daring plan…
A MAN READY TO TEACH HER MUCH, MUCH MORE… Avis chooses Emory Billingsworth, a fellow novelist-not to mention a beautiful specimen of manhood-to instruct her in carnal pleasure. But when the brash earl of Selby, Banning Talbot, a man she has known for years, unearths Avis’ true intentions, he claims she’s made a dangerously bad choice. Volunteering his services for one wicked night of reckless, abandoned passion, Banning promises he will satisfy all of her deepest longings. Yet Banning cannot begin to imagine the effect his willful, voluptuous, and very eager student will have on him-or how far an innocent lesson in desire can go…
Every Night I'm Yours is set in 1816. How did you become interested in this time period? What you love about it?
I love this year in particular because of the usual weather. This was the year without a summer due to the Mt. Tambora eruption in 1815. Being a weather nut, I found this year interesting.
But I love the Regency period in general. It was that last period in history before the industrial revolution changed the world for good. The dresses were beautiful, the manners and mores of the period make writing a book that challenges those social conditions exciting.
What do you like least about this period? Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around?
I can’t think of anything that I dislike about the period. The Regency period is a bit tougher to write then other because so many people know it so well. After all, who hasn’t read Jane Austin book or at least seen one of the movies.
Writing about a spinster who makes a logical decision to take a lover wasn’t easy. Many readers wouldn’t expect a lady to do such a thing. It’s one thing when a lady makes an emotional decision based on love to let a man into her bed, but Avis’ decision is not emotional. She is determined to find out exactly what happens between a man and a woman. But after seeing her parents’ marriage, she is certain marriage is not for her.
What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your head?
I was writing another story that had my current hero, Banning and my heroine Avis as secondary characters. I had intended on writing that story as a stand alone book, but the minute Avis and Banning came to me it was obvious that they would end up together. The sexual tension between them they almost took over the other book. That first book never did get published, but it led to Every Night I’m Yours and a hero and heroine I fell in love with. The idea for their story came to me as a dream. When I was writing the other book, I awoke one night with Avis saying to a group of friends that she was going to take a lover. Well, I sat up and thought: No, spinsters from good families didn’t do that. Needless to say Avis wouldn’t let it go. After a few revisions (way too many to count) Avis’ dialogue ended up as the start of Chapter 2.
Did you have to do any major research for this book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn’t already know?
Honestly, I started writing this story in 2003. Three years later, it finaled in the Golden Heart as Her Scandalous Proposal and I sold it a little over a year later. It’s hard to remember the research I had to do for the book. My notebook has little tidbits that while interesting usually didn’t make it into the book.
I think the most interesting thing for me was reading some non-fictional accounts of married women who took lovers and even had their lover’s children. It’s fascinating to me to think that they just didn’t care about each other. Once the heir was born, their husbands left them alone. Now, I know that wasn’t the case in all marriages but it happened so it amazed me.
What/Who do you like to read?
Unfortunately, I just don’t have as much time to read as I used to. But some of my favorite historical writers and instant buys are Christina Dodd and Victoria Alexander. New authors I’ve recently discovered Anna Campbell, Christine Well and Donna MacMeans. When I’m writing, I don’t read historicals. It’s too distracting for me. So when I’m writing, I search out contemporaries or paranormals. Some of my favorite authors from those genres are: Dixie Cash, Kathy Love, Julie Cohen and Tawny Weber.
Care to share a bit about your writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?
My writing process has changed drastically in the past couple of months. We are in the middle of a major remodel/addition to our house so my office has disappeared. When the job is all finished, I’ll finally have an office with a door all to myself. So for the book I’m currently writing, I’ve been hitting the coffee shops in my area. I plug in my iPod with classical music, sip my coffee and write.
I guess I consider myself a plotser, someone who uses a little of both the pantser and the plotter. I must have an idea of where the story is going, especially the beginning. The opening scene is so important to me for setting the tone of the story that I agonize over it. Then I need one big turning point and most importantly, the black moment. Once I have those things in my head, I can start writing and see where things go. I tend to write a first draft, then put it away for a week or two before cleaning it up. Luckily, I have a great critique group who will read the entire story and tell me the good, the bad and the ugly.
What are you planning to work on next?
I am currently finishing up on Banning’s sister’s story. She is one of Avis’ best friends and a member of the Spinster Club as Banning called them. The Spinster Club is a group of five women who are all determined to remain unmarried, or so they tell each other. Only one of the spinsters is doing her best to make matches for each of her friends and expose their secrets.
Thank you for letting me blog here today. I’d love to give one commenter an autographed copy of my book, Every Night I’m Yours.