Hello Readers!

We’re positively elated to have the absolutely delightful Anabelle Bryant with us on the blog today! She’s here to talk about her novel Love on the Line, a Historical Romance set around Vauxhall Gardens during its heyday, the first in her Vauxhall Voices series. Don’t forget to stop by the comments at the end to say hi!

So, Anabelle, tell the readers a little bit about yourself. How long have you been writing?

I’ve always been a reader and writer. As a child, I kept multiple journals, where I created all kinds of stories and never-ending poems. I often had my nose in a book whether it was my own notebook or a library book – and I remember many instances of when I was late, got in trouble, or missed out on something because of my habit.

Once I set my mind to writing novels, it took me years to become published but now I’m proud to say I’ve had eighteen historical romance novels published and I’m a USA Today bestselling author.

And what got you into writing in the first place? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do? Was there a moment that you can remember realizing you wanted to take a stab at it?

Early on, it was a way to express myself, but when I became a teenager and regularly devoured romance novels, I began to dream of writing my own.

Back then, many of the heroines were depicted as helpless, needy, and dependent. That aspect of the story was such a disconnect for me. I decided I wanted to write a romance and portray the heroine as intelligent and decisive. I’d still include all the expected passion and conflict, but I wanted the hero and heroine to be equals – where she saves him as much as the reverse. Since I chose the Regency era, I knew it would be more difficult for my characters to wield equal power and authority in society, but it wasn’t impossible, especially if I focused on the personal interplay within their relationship.

What would you say to readers out there who are aspiring authors themselves? Do you have any good advice for how to tackle that initial blank page?

If they are aspiring authors, I’m not sure they need help tackling a blank page. Write anything. Write what you read. Write what you like. Allow yourself the freedom to write and then delete it all later. Get in the habit of opening up your imagination and putting thoughts on paper. Tattoo “What if?” on your brain. Asking that question creates a world of possibility. Some of my best ideas have come from a what if moment.

As far as the business of publishing, unlike my experience many years ago, authors have more options than ever before. I feel the choicest piece of wisdom I can offer is only two words.

Don’t quit.

Because if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll want to quit. Often. Maybe weekly. Possibly more than that. Yes, I’m joking, but there’s truth in my words. I have a very thick pile of rejections and, in the beginning, it was difficult to look at each page and not see it as a failure. But eventually, the same love of writing that caused me to submit my work, also brought me back to the craft.

And a benefit of all those returned submissions was that I was honing my writing with each one. Learning and growing. Getting better. Even if it felt otherwise in the moment.

What drew you into writing about the world of Vauxhall Gardens? Can you sort of set the stage for any readers who may not be in the know as to what it was like at the time of Love on the Line?

I love the Regency era. It’s such a short time in England’s history and yet the impact of the aristocracy and all the handsome noblemen and lovely ladies is still popular today – over 200 years later.

Vauxhall Gardens was a one-of-a-kind outdoor entertainment location best known for its Pleasure Gardens, where lovers could meet secretly and pursue an illicit romance. But Vauxhall offered so much more. There were interesting acts, from opera singers to acrobats, along with dinner boxes and musical entertainment. I’m fascinated with it and felt it would be an interesting place to set a new series – especially if I focused on forbidden love. What happens when a member of the aristocracy falls in love with an outlier of society – a performer who comes from a different background and social class?

In Love on the Line, Lola is a tightrope walker. Theodore is the Earl of Essex. A murder brings them together in an unusual twist – however you’ll have to read the book to find out more.

How did research go for everything? Did you fall down any particularly alluring or strange rabbit holes?

I love rabbit holes. Falling down one is delightfully easy. I see a painting or interesting historical tidbit and I’m intrigued. It’s a good quality because I like to share a few breadcrumbs of unexpected history in each story. Readers say it adds context and makes for a richer experience.

Tell us a little bit about writing Lola and Theodore. Are they based on anyone in real life? Did the story come first? Or did they?

All my characters are fictional, but I do have a strong sense of my hero and heroine’s personality, what they believe in, and how they speak, act, and love, before I begin writing.

I’m a pantser, which means I don’t plot out my story. I write straight from my imagination and need a clear idea of each of my character’s traits, since I literally have no idea what is going to happen in the story until I start writing.

Without spoiling anything, do you have plans for us to see them again in the next Vauxhall Voices?

Oh yes! It’s fun to incorporate past characters into a new story. I write standalone novels, so no one needs previous books to enjoy the one they’re holding. But sometimes, that glimpse of another character inspires the reader to seek out the romance where the character was first featured. I think it also creates a more immersive reading experience and realistic story world – especially at Vauxhall Gardens, where the performers are a tight-knit family.

And lastly, if you had a Hollywood executive with you alone in an elevator and you wanted to quickly pitch this to him as a movie or a show, what would you say?

Have you ever wanted something you knew was forbidden?

When the Earl of Essex meets Lola York, a Vauxhall Gardens performer, he knows she can never become his wife. Her world is as different to his as day is to night. But what if one’s heart won’t listen to reason? What if you can’t resist temptation? Is there any chance for a happily-ever-after?

Thank you so much for taking the time for us, Anabelle! And where can readers reach you to follow you and see what you’ve got going on?

I enjoy talking to readers. Please find me at the links below.

Website: http://www.anabellebryant.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnabelleBryantAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnabelleBryant

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anabellebryantauthor/

Newsletter: http://www.anabellebryant.com/contact-anabelle-1.html

USA Today Bestselling author Anabelle Bryant began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab her suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel; especially imaginary jaunts into romantic Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn’t want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?

Anabelle’s books have been translated into several languages including Japanese and Russian, but writing isn’t all that keeps her busy. Building miniatures, baking and photography are other favorite pastimes. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle is just as happy in a room full of people. She enjoys meeting readers, attending conferences and book signings. She has earned her Master’s Degree and is ABD for her Doctorate Degree in education. A firm believer in romance, Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn’t provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do.


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