Vonnie Hughes Interview

Hello and welcome, Vonnie, to Fallen Angel Reviews. It is a thrill to have you with us today. Everyone is looking forward to hearing more about author of Regency Historicals and Contemporary Suspense, Vonnie Hughes.
Thank you for inviting me to your site, Linda

First, let me congratulate you on your new release, Lethal Refuge, set in New Zealand. I want to say the cover is quite intriguing. Would you enlighten the audience on this story, please?
Yes, The Wild Rose Press pulled out all stops for the cover of Lethal Refuge, didn't they? I love it. It depicts the opening scene where a killer watches the protagonist as she runs through fog.

Lethal Refuge is about Célie Francis who witnesses the aftermath of a vicious murder. Abandoned and abused as a child, she trusts nobody. But after tangling with the serial killer, she's thrust into the New Zealand witness protection program. There she must learn to trust people with her life. Most of all, she has to work with Brand Turner, the police psychologist who eases people into their new lives. Célie and Brand are polar opposites, but after some initial head butting, they discover they make a great team. Then the killer comes a little too close for comfort and they go on the run.

How long did it take to write this story?
It didn't take me as long to write as many of my other books have. Somehow I was much more invested in this book than with my historicals, and it kept me pushing on. I also had a great critiquer who kept me up to the mark. I guess it took a total of two years from opening the file and typing Chapter One on the first page to being published. That might sound like a lot, but it's a full length novel and two years is not bad for paper published books since they have to wait in a queue to get printed.

When you write, do you go with the flow or form an outline?
I'm going to give you the same answer that a lot of writers give when asked this question. Both! I begin by rolling an idea around in my mind. Sort of daydreaming. This can take weeks. Then I nut out a cast of characters and their motivations and development. From that the plot develops.

Is your head always spinning with ideas?
In a word, no. I have to work on my characterisations and plots quite hard. I don't think I'm a natural story teller.

Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Everywhere. Something someone says sends me off at a tangent with a whole lot of what ifs? Sometimes a TV plot seems to need development and I take it in the opposite direction.

Can you recall the first story you ever wrote?
No. I was a great scribbler as a child so I just can't recall where it all started.

Is there anything special you use to get you in the mood for writing - music, candles, sitting by a lake etc?
Just silence. I love silence.

Is it hard for you to decide what names to give your characters?
I don't know about hard, exactly, but I do a fair amount of research. Remember I write Regencies too, so you have to get the period names just right. An avid Regency reader or another Regency writer would soon put me in my place if I used names from another era.

When it comes to contemporary suspense, I try to find something to fit the characters. It's not always easy. Sometimes I just use a temporary name until I've got further into the book and something the hero says or does makes it click.

Do you find it difficult to come up with a title for your book?
It's certainly not easy. Some titles have been used many times over. Coming up with something original is virtually impossible. It depends on your publisher, too, and what they suggest or the sort of titles that appeal to their readers. Lethal Refuge started out as Trust in Time, since it involves strong issues of trust, but my editor at The Wild Rose Press wanted something stronger, bless her heart (she was right - think how strong Lethal Refuge sounds) so we juggled around a few titles in similar vein and finally settled on this one.

Is there anything special you do to relax?
Heh. Read. The dog and I also jog/walk together in the early mornings to watch the flowers grow-we are very slow.

What is your all-time favorite late night snack?
Sorry to sound boring but I don't really eat late at night. Being short I've always struggled to keep my weight under control, so I daren't eat after about 7.30 p.m. Now if you were to ask me what my late afternoon snack is… crackers and cheese or a nectarine or...well, anything

Do you have a household chore you really hate doing?
Oh boy, take your pick. Dusting and cleaning windows are the worst for me.

Okay, we're sending you on a date with the hero character from a book. Who would you want to go on the date with and what would you do?
It's a no-brainer. Roarke from the In Death series by J D Robb. Now I wouldn't want to do much, but I'd love to listen to the Irish undertones in his voice and have an intelligent conversation with him while I gazed…and gazed. The man has so many facets to his personality that I doubt I'd do more than scratch the surface. And I wouldn't be scratching anything else with Eve Dallas around.

Thank you so much for sharing time with us, Vonnie. It has been a delight.
Thank you, Linda!

Anyone interested in reading more about Vonnie and her exciting books, please visit her website, blog, Goodreads page and Amazon author page.

Interviewed by: Linda L.

Linda L.