Hello Regan—thank you so much for joining us on Embracing Romance today.
Regan Walker is a #1 bestselling, multi-published author of Regency, Georgian, and Medieval romance. She has been a featured author on USA TODAY’s HEA blog three times and twice nominated for the prestigious RONE award (her novel, The Red Wolf’s Prize won the 2015 Rone award). Regan Walker writes historically authentic novels with real history and real historic figures. She wants her readers to experience history, adventure, and love.
Her work as a lawyer in private practice and then serving at high levels of government have given her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown”. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for “special assignments.”
Regan lives in San Diego with her golden retriever, Link, who she says inspires her every day to relax and smell the roses.
Author website: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/
Pinterest storyboard for Rogue Knight: https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/rogue-knight-by-regan-walker/
For new fans, give us a little history about your writing career. When did the writing bug bite? What did you do with your first story, stash or publish?
I wrote a few stories as a young girl but they never made it anywhere. It never occurred to me to be a writer or I would have taken a very different career path. As it was, I had a long career in law and, when it seemed like a good time to take a break, I discovered historical romance, just for reading pleasure. This was in 2009, can you believe it? A year later, I was having tea with my best friend, telling her how I would have ended the story I was reading, when she told me I should write one. I thought about it for a day or two and decided she was right. The result, published in 2012, was Racing With The Wind, book 1 in the Agents of the Crown trilogy of Regency romances.
Share the couple you admire most in your stories, how did they meet and fall in love? Can you provide a short excerpt, something that shows that sizzling chemistry between them?
It’s hard to pick one couple. And the couples in my stories are not always instantly attracted, or perhaps only one of them is. In my newest novel, Rogue Knight, the first meeting of Sir Geoffroi and Emma of York was ominous to say the least. Here’s the short excerpt:
She crossed herself and covered her mouth, fighting the urge to spew at the sight of so much blood and so many bodies strewn about the clearing, blood congealed on their clothing, their vacant eyes staring into space. Some of the blood had pooled on the ground to catch the rays of the sun. The metallic scent of it, carried by the wind, rose in her nostrils.
At her side, the hound whimpered.
Until the Normans had come, Yorkshire had been a place of gentle hills, forests and thatched cottages circling a glistening jewel of a city set between two winding rivers. A place of children’s voices at play, some of those voices now silenced forever, for among the bodies lying on the cold ground were mere boys, their corpses cast aside like broken playthings.
At the sound of heavy footfalls on the snow-crusted ground, she jerked her head around, her heart pounding in her chest.
A figure emerged from the trees, so close she could have touched him.
She cringed. A Norman.
A tall giant of a knight, his blood-splattered mail a dull gray in the weak winter sun, ripped off his silvered helm and expelled an oath as he surveyed the dozens of dead. The sword in his hand still dripped the blood of those he had slain. He was no youth this one, at least thirty. His fair appearance made her think of Lucifer, the fallen angel of light. A seasoned warrior of death who has taken many lives.
Had he killed people she knew? Her heart raced as fear rose in her chest.
Would she be next?
Your tales are as much about the history as they are about relationships and love. What is your favorite part of writing a book, research, character development, love scenes, action sequences, or everything? Why?
I love the research, but it’s like climbing a mountain… I must work hard to gain the perspective at the top. This is the part of writing a book where I use my lawyer skills, diving into the past to ferret out every little detail to accurately create the world in which I will set my story. It’s where I always start as the history dictates how the story develops. The character development for me is also very important. It becomes a process of setting down layer upon layer to bring them to life—to make them real.
I am very comfortable with action scenes and each of my novels has them. I want to bring my readers adventure as well history and love. One of my readers said of Wind Raven: “…had me feeling the spray of the ocean in my face, my hair and clothing plastered to my body, the chill of my blood when you know, just know that you’re time is up and you’re done for.”
Love scenes are hard. I only have a few and those must be tailored to the couple and the historical period. I ask myself, how would this couple approach a physical relationship? Are they married? Is she an innocent? All that comes into play. I don’t like books that seem to include sex scenes just to have them, ones that go one for pages. Sheesh.
Favorite moment in history?
Oh my. I like periods in which monumental events occurred… one nation conquering another (my Medieval Warriors series), rising revolutions (a theme in Against the Wind), America fighting to be free (a theme in To Tame the Wind and Wind Raven). And I still love the Regency because it was such an interesting time. Racing With The Wind brought to the reader the time in France just after Louis XVIII re-took the throne. And The Twelfth Night Wager shows the concern of the English for who would be England’s next monarch since George, the Prince Regent had no heir.
Do you have a playlist?
I do. I often write to music. I have a 3-hour playlist, mostly soundtracks from period movies. But for each book I also find a song or a soundtrack that helps me set the scene. For To Tame the Wind, I wrote the main sea battle to “The Courier” from The Last of the Mohicans. I bet I listened to that track 50 times. If you listen to that music you can see in your mind the hero’s ship moving into the English Channel, confronting the heroine’s pirate father’s brig-sloop. You can hear the exploding guns as Simon Powell turns his schooner in front of the pirate’s ship and yells, “Fire!” It’s all there. Each book of mine is like a movie unfolding in my mind.
If you could be a contestant on any game show, what would it be? Why?
Gosh. I haven’t watched a game show in decades. But Jeopardy appeals. I’m told I’m a maven… one who digs for knowledge and seeks to pass it on to others.
What’s on your bucket list?
Travel. I’d like to live on the Isle of Skye for six months for a new series I hope to write based on the life of the Nordic warrior Somerled and his progeny that became Clan Donald… that is, after I finish the books in my current series.
What projects are you working on right now?
I decided that it is too hard to move between 11th century medieval England and the Georgian or other period. My head gets confused. So, I’m going to finish my Medieval Warriors series before moving back to do any others. Up next is Rebel Warrior and then King’s Knight. All the books in the series will be related but hopefully can be read as “stand alones”. Then I will go to Echo in the Wind, a Georgian romance. Remember that French pirate who was my heroine’s father in To Tame the Wind? Yep, it’s his story.
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Actor/Actress: There are many but let’s go with Daniel Day Lewis and Keira Knightley
Favorite Movie: The Last of the Mohicans (history, adventure and love, don’t you know…)
Favorite Food: French
Favorite Place: Scotland
Describe yourself in 5 words: courageous, determined, loyal, creative, and (usually) organized.
“Mesmerizing medieval romance! A vivid portrayal of love flourishing amidst the turbulence of the years after the Norman Conquest.”
— Kathryn Le Veque, USA Today Bestselling Author
York, England 1069… three years after the Norman Conquest
The North of England seethes with discontent under the heavy hand of William the Conqueror, who unleashes his fury on the rebels who dare to defy him. Amid the ensuing devastation, love blooms in the heart of a gallant Norman knight for a Yorkshire widow.
A LOVE NEITHER CAN DENY, A PASSION NEITHER CAN RESIST
Angry at the cruelty she has witnessed at the Normans’ hands, Emma of York is torn between her loyalty to her noble Danish father, a leader of the rebels, and her growing passion for an honorable French knight.
Loyal to King William, Sir Geoffroi de Tournai has no idea Emma hides a secret that could mean death for him and his fellow knights.
WAR DREW THEM TOGETHER, WAR WOULD TEAR THEM APART
War erupts, tearing asunder the tentative love growing between them, leaving each the enemy of the other. Will Sir Geoffroi, convinced Emma has betrayed him, defy his king to save her?