Author name(s): Vonnie Hughes
Website and/or blog links:
Genre/genres you write in:
Regency with a twist and contemporary suspense
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
Umm…I was about seven.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I was actually published when I was very young – poetry and short stories etc. in rather highbrow magazines. But I didn’t start writing full-length novels till I was in my fifties and it took about three years to get one published.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Traditionally with Robert Hale UK (a very old established publishing house), with The Wild Rose Press for paperbacks and with Musa Publishing for my e-books.
Where do you write?
I’m spoiled. I have a study which is almost all mine. I say almost because I kindly allow my d.h. to use the computer for a measly hour or so each day.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Silence! Silence! Truly, I get irritable with background music, even though I’m a musician.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Not so much the plots (although some of Lethal Refuge happened to me), but I draw on characters I’ve met and they run off with the plots.
Describe your process for naming your character?
Good question. The name must fit the genre and the character type. I’m not a fan of obscure made-up names because the authors looks as if they’re either trying too hard or they’re off with the fairies. There are loads of baby name books available.
Real settings or fictional towns?
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Well, in The Second Son (a Regency), I have the hero with a fear of sudden loud noises. This is a hangover of his months on the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic wars. He has a difficult job overcoming what we would now call post-traumatic stress disorder, but which in those days could have been called cowardice or at best, not understood.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Can’t think of anything particularly outstanding. I’m ordinary. I really, really hate it when people I love are treated badly and I’ll jump in with both feet in their defense.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
Hard question. There are some great books out there. I think Steeled for Murder by Kathleen Rockwood. Her hero is Jesse Damon and he is in a three-book series that she’s just completed. Her vivid experiences in steel plants and prisons stand out as research not just undertaken but LIVED. It’s full of angst but it’s also practical. If you buck the system, the system bucks you.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who won’t try. I don’t care if you don’t succeed, but if you don’t try, I get impatient.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I worked for nine months at an iron furniture foundry. I was lucky enough to be up in the office, but the boss treated his workers on the factory floor like dirt beneath his feet. I kept waiting for one of them to deck him. He had them on minimum wages. This prat totally forgot that he’d been one of them till he married into money.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Impossible to answer. There are so many good books out there. Some are good because of their careful construction, some are good because of their lyrical wording and some are good because they are packed with emotion but not overly so – I mean they are economic with emotion but spot-on.
Ocean or mountains?
Lived by the ocean all my life. I guess that’s the answer.
City girl or country girl?
Actually, a bit of both. Mainly lived in cities, just occasionally in the country, so I’ve had the best of both worlds.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Lots more books, I hope. Got a couple more in the pipeline, and I want to concentrate more on suspense and less on Regencies. I enjoy the challenge of the research for suspense writing. After years of Regencies, I have quite a library of references for Regency stuff, but for contemporary suspense, when it comes to police procedure in a particular jurisdiction, or the practicalities of getting rid of a body, I have to do lots of research and I love it.
Who can you trust if you can’t trust your own mother? Through the clammy fog, Celie Francis hears the chilling message. “I know who you are, Celie. I know where you live.” And in the terrifying aftermath she reconnects with her dysfunctional family in ways she had never imagined.