Hi Beverley! Welcome to my little online space in the world - I'm looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Absolutely gorgeous author pic! What is your dog's name? He or she is beautiful. Look at the love in those eyes...bless!
Okay, on with the questions...
1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?
Thanks so much for having me here today.
I was pretty adamant throughout school that I was going to be a writer. At 13 and 14, my best friend and I used to spend every day in the library writing our novels. The careers counselor didn’t think too much about my career choice and wasn’t even particularly impressed by the fact I’d just written my first novel (a romance in which I drowned the heroine on the final pageJ). So I became a journalist, then wound up managing a safari lodge in Botswana where I met my husband, a handsome Norwegian bush pilot who took me to live in 12 countries in 18 years. It was a great apprenticeship for a romance author.
Twenty three years after writing my first novel I got my first publishing contract for a series of three Regency historical romantic intrigues published in hardcover by Robert Hale which I’ve just republished in e-book and paperback, now that rights have reverted to me. The latest is A Little Deception. (This was written under my Beverley Eikli name, as I also write erotic historical romances as Beverley Oakley).
2) What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?
My first editor at Hale was Mr John Hale who’d been an editor for many decades, working in the heart of London. I’d just sent in Lady Sarah’s Redemption and received a one and a half page letter detailing where I’d gone wrong. He said the story was a page-turner as I was good at achieving the rising tension that overlaid a compelling romance but that I’d gone overboard with too many villains. I remember, my husband was away, flying, and I taped my first ‘nice’ rejection onto the back of the front door so he’d see it when he returned at 1am. Well, I rewrote that book, resubmitted, and the rest is history.
3) Favourite author/s?
I love Karleen Koen’s and also Bernard Cornwall’s rich historicals. I also love Janet Woods’ devious villains and Vonnie Hughes’ gorgeous Regencies. Also Alison Stuart’s wonderful, compelling Gather the Bones. Loved it!
4) What is your typical day?
I’m an early bird so I like to have an hour (if not two) before the household rises. I like to clear my email (the most important of them) and then write. Usually I’ll have ‘potboiled’ the story in bed so will know the scenes I’m going to write. I try to get 1000 words done in a day, but sometimes manage 10,000. With two kids aged 7 and 11 and a husband who’s a long-haul pilot, everything’s a juggling act and I have two schedules: one when he’s away and I’ll write late into the night, and the other when he comes back and I’ll make nice dinners, watch movies with him, and basically be a good wife and motherJ
Lately, everything’s been a bit hectic as I’ve just won Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition and they wanted the first draft completed by January 7 of Lammergeier Rock, my 1960s illegal diamond buying romantic suspense set in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho where I was born and where my father prosecuted a number of medicine murder and illegal diamond buying cases in the 1950s and 60s.
I’m also on final edits for an erotic Regency Romance for Ellora’s Cave called Her Gilded Prison written under my Beverley Oakley name.
5) Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?
Perhaps Keira Knightly as Grace, my tragic Victorian prostitute heroine. I’d have to have a very handsome and innocent blonde young movie actor to play David who’s a twenty-one year old virgin with a very noble outlook on life.
6) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?
This one just flowed. It has all my favourite themes: revenge and redemption with a deeply sensual love story at its core.
7) What surprised you the most when you became a published author?
That I then had to work so hard to keep my head above water to get noticed. I got published in 2009 and even in the few short years since, a lot has changed. I’ve had to get my head around FB, Twitter, do all sorts of networking. This year, though, all my income comes from my writing or teaching writing at the local university or to community groups so I’ve been able to give up my other work that was not related to fiction writing.
8) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?
I live in the beautiful Macedon Ranges an hour north of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia. My writing space is in the kitchen in a special writing nook we designed when we renovated the kitchen. I look out over the swimming pool and the hedge at the bottom of the garden to Mt Macedon in the distance.
9) What’s next for you?
I’m anticipating a big year after winning the Choc-Lit competition and having three releases (very different ones) scheduled over the next 18 months with them. This is under my Beverley Eikli name.
Under my Beverley Oakley name I’m well into writing the third book for Ellora’s Cave, of which Her Gilded Prison is the first. It follows the family of Viscount Partington who has two legitimate daughters and three illegitimate children, who all have very different experiences in life. I suppose it’s a bit of an erotic ‘Upstairs, downstairs’ set in Regency England and the first book features the lovely, unloved wife of Viscount Partington who takes matters into her own hands when it comes to providing her husband with an heir to prevent the doltish nephew, Edgar, from inheriting.
In the meantime A Little Deception (under my Beverley Eikli name) has just joined my other books and is up now on both Amazon and at B&N and Apple iBooks. It was wonderful to get the chance to rewrite this Regency romance, full of intrigue, diamond thefts and mistaken identity which was nominated Favourite Historical Romance in 2011 by Australian Romance Readers Association.
I hope everybody’s year shapes up to be a wonderful one and that – as has been the case for me - all their efforts over the last year bears fruit in 2013. Thank you, Rachel, it’s been lovely chatting with you todayJ
A Little Deception
By Beverley Eikli
A one-night charade to save the family sugar plantation wins loyal and determined Rose Chesterfield more than she bargained for – marriage to the deliciously notorious rake, Viscount Rampton.
"A love match!" proclaims London's catch of the season who happily admits he has been hoist on his own petard.
But when his new wife is implicated in the theft of several diamond necklaces he wonders if her deception goes beyond trapping him into marriage. Is she the innocent she claims, or a scheming fortune hunter with a penchant for money, mischief and men?
‘THE ONLY WAY we can honour Helena’s debt is by giving Lord Rampton the deeds to the plantation, Charles.’ Reining in her frustration, Rose cast a withering look at the comatose young woman upon the bed before transferring her contempt to her brother. She couldn't remember when she’d last been so angry. ‘Clearly, Helena is in no state to petition his lordship for clemency.’
Charles stroked the limp, elegant hand that rested upon his wife’s chest as he knelt at her bedside, his mulish stare focused on the dome of St Paul’s through the dirty windowpane rather than at his sister’s flushed and angry face. A sheen of sweat bathed his pallid brow, hinting at the pressure he was under but still he came up with the usual excuses. ‘Helena’s been unwell but she will soon recover her strength. We can delay tonight’s dinner … play for time,’ he muttered. ‘More time will allow us to explore other options.’ Though still a young man, the lines around his mouth and the furrows across his brow were deeply etched.
He’d been handsome and carefree when he’d married Helena five years before, Rose reflected as she knelt on the threadbare rug to reach beneath the bed for the blue glass vial, now empty, which had rolled there. Sighing, she held it out as she straightened. ‘Helena promised to wean herself off this’ ⎯ she tapped the bottle with fingers noticeably more workworn than those of the West Indies beauty whose gambling and laudanum addictions threatened their futures ⎯ ‘if you promised to take her to England. You fulfilled your part of the bargain. ’ She studied the label, adding with a sigh, ‘Perhaps it’s just as well Helena can’t attend Lord Rampton’s dinner tonight. Who knows how she might conduct herself given the delicacy of the situation.’ She moved to the door, her voice mocking as she dropped the laudanum bottle into her apron pocket. ‘At least I can be relied upon to be decorous and obedient. Perhaps I should accompany you.’
Charles jerked his head up. ‘You can’t possibly go, Rose…though I appreciate your offer.’ He looked more horrified than he had when he’d set eyes on his unconscious wife minutes before, and Rose almost laughed at the black humour of their predicament. Charles had status, Helena had beauty but Rose had wit and brains. Had she been the one orchestrating their precarious lives, she had no doubt they’d be in a vastly better situation. They’d certainly not be in danger of losing their only home.
Still jesting, she tilted her head and challenged with an arch smile, ‘Surely, Charles, you don’t subscribe to the notion that marriage confers some kind of magical status which I do not have, simply as your unmarried sister?’
He did not reply as he tenderly contoured the face of the unconscious woman who’d held him in thrall since the moment she’d fluttered her eyelashes at him so many years before. Meanwhile as Rose prepared to quit the room, her suggestion, preposterous a moment ago, took root and flourished.
She paused, her hand on the door knob. Charles would allow Helena to ruin them all if Rose did not act in their defence. Watching her brother, she said carefully, ‘Lord Rampton is due to set sail for the Continent before the week is up and our visit here is for less than three months. We’ll have returned to the plantation before he’s back in England. He’ll never know I’m not Helena.’ His opposition cemented her determination. Charles was weak and indecisive. Lord Rampton would almost certainly dictate terms that would be to their detriment and Charles would buckle. Suddenly her idea seemed their only salvation.
She moved back into the room and stroked her brother’s arm, her tone wheedling. ‘As you’ve said, I can perform no useful role as your unmarried sister, Charles, but why should you dine with Lord Rampton, alone, when at least I can get the measure of him? It’s what we must do if we’re to get the extension we need to repay Helena’s debt.’
Bending, she whispered in his ear. ‘Time, Charles, is what we need. I’m certain poor Mama and Papa have a few relatives mouldering in the wings who could help. But Lord Rampton is quite within his rights to demand an immediate settlement’ ⎯ she caressed his cheek ⎯ ‘and surely I’d be far more successful at playing on Lord Rampton’s heartstrings than you.’
Rose could see Charles was wavering. His stubborn streak was always the final hurdle to overcome. To give in without a fight compromised the feeling that he was in charge, the young baronet, head of his household: his wife and two sisters.
‘If I went as Helena⎯’
‘No! Good God, Rose, are you out of your mind?’
Rose drew herself up proudly, more determined than ever. Striving to remain calm, she said, ‘Lord Rampton has met none of us and Helena was in masquerade when she lost to this other man who’s transferred the debt to his lordship. How’s Lord Rampton to know the difference when it’s just for one evening? I’m sure I could persuade him to alter the terms—’
‘No, Rose.’ Shrugging off her hand, Charles shook his head emphatically. ‘As Helena’s husband I’m responsible for her debts and as your brother I’m responsible for your welfare. It would not be right to expose you to this … well, we don’t know what kind of man Lord Rampton is. Ruthless. Calculating. Those are just some of the descriptions I’ve heard bandied about my club. I admit it’s because of Helena we’re in danger of losing the plantation but you had nothing to do with’ ⎯ he looked pained ⎯ ‘the sordid business that night.’
‘With due respect, Charles,’ Rose cut in sharply, ‘I’ve had to contend with Helena’s dangerous vices for the past five years and I think I can claim some credit for the fact that we still have a plantation!’ She’d allowed her anger to get the better of her. Charles did not react well to anger. Changing tack, she added softly, ‘I shan’t disgrace you, I promise. I’ll simply be there as Lady Chesterfield instead of Miss Chesterfield. It’s not such a terribly wicked lie.’
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Beverley Oakley wrote her first romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page (p550!) was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.
After throwing in her secure job on South Australia’s metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.
Eighteen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland's ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne. She writes Regency Historical Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.
Buy A Little Deception - http://www.amazon.com/A-Little-Deception-ebook/dp/B009HKKCKM/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
Beverley will be awarding an e-copy of her backlist - Lady Sarah's Redemption or Lady Farquhar's Butterfly at each stop plus one randomly drawn commenter during the tour will be awarded a $25 Amazon Gift card.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: