Victoria Dahl could scribble a grocery list on a Post-It and I’d clear my schedule to read it. Her books are full of the same kind of sarcastic, witty people I like to surround myself with in real life. And her novels are emotionally gripping but still manage to be so hot I’ve found myself blushing and glancing furtively around when reading in public.
Her contemporary series this year is set around the Donovan Brothers Brewery in Colorado. The first, Good Girls Don’t, was released last month. The second, Bad Boys Do, comes out this month, and the last, Real Men Will, is released next month. I’ve had the privilege of reading them all, and it’s without a doubt one of my favorite series of the year.
I’m so glad you’re here, Victoria! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Thanks so much for having me! And thank you for the very kind words about my writing.
1. You first got published writing historical romance. What made you decide to write contemporaries as well, and how do you manage to be so prolific and still so awesome in both?
Well, at first, my historicals didn’t sell. I couldn’t get a contract. Then my paranormals didn’t sell. Finally, my wonderful agent suggested I try my hand at contemporary. I thought she was mad. I was terrified. But I tried it out, and that book was TALK ME DOWN, my first contemporary.
As for being prolific –I’m sure I can’t speak to awesomeness- going from contemporary to historical, and vice versa, is a bit like a palate cleanser. The change makes it easier to write faster. Just looking forward to the change makes it easier.
2. What would you say are the biggest differences between writing a successful contemporary and a successful historical romance (other than making sure you’ve set it in the right time period, of course!)?
For me, historicals are about lushness, and constraints, and the things left unsaid. The things that can’t be said. I have to take more care in the dialogue and in the unspoken communication. Looks and small touches between the characters. And the emotions are usually more fraught in my historicals.
With my contemporaries, dialogue is more like having a conversation with a friend. It’s casual and I don’t have to think about what is correct. There might be an underlying meaning to what someone is saying, but it’s not woven around societal rules and politeness. It’s only woven around their lust and secrets. 😉
3. You dedicate your books to your husband and sons. Your sons are probably still too young to read Mom’s books, but do you look forward to the day when one of them brings a girl home and she squees all over you in fan-girl adoration?
LOL! I don’t dedicate *all* my books to my family. Though I do always thank them for their patience. My kids, who seem to be embarrassed by everything else I do, have been surprisingly unembarrassed about this. Then again, they aren’t quite aware of what’s in the books.
I hadn’t really thought about the girlfriend question!!! Let’s put it this way… If my son is past eighteen and dating a girl who loves my books, I’ll be happy. If he’s underage, I’ll be planning a long sit-down discussion.
4. One thing I love about your contemporaries is that your characters often lead fairly normal lives…until they meet the love of their life and it all goes tits-up. They’re not jocks or billionaires. They own local businesses and are mechanics or office workers. What draws you to these characters?
Well, I don’t know any billionaires, and I got enough of jocks in high school. Ha! Seriously, I’m sure they’re all wonderful people. But I’ve got regular ol’ folk in my life, and they’re the people I’m interested in. They’re the people I know.
And that’s sort of the crux of it, I think. I write stories that are a little bit naughty. And isn’t it naughtier when it’s the next-door neighbor? Isn’t it more titillating when you’re reading about the first kiss between a hot, sexy guy and a girl whose life is a lot like yours?
Plus, I find secrets incredibly sexy. I like to watch the people around me and wonder what their secrets are. That’s one way I get my story ideas. Wait… Is that creepy?
5. One of the major themes in all of your books is the pain involved in hiding or suppressing who one truly is. Once characters come to terms with their past, or with aspects of their personality they’re not so comfortable with, they can finally be happy. Is there one thing about yourself you think people would find surprising?
Hmm. Is there a secret thing about myself that I wouldn’t mind people knowing, you mean? 😉 I’m actually not a very outgoing person. I love being out with my friends, and when I’m at conference, I’m socializing 24/7, but once I’m home, I like to be alone. I can go days without seeing other people, and that’s the way I like it. Just me and my naughty stories.
Time to pimp Bad Boys Do!
Jamie Donovan is the bad boy of the family, but he doesn’t mean to be bad. Sure, the wildness in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before, but now he’s ready to grow up. He has something to learn…and Olivia Bishop seems like the perfect woman to teach him.
Olivia Bishop is no fun. That’s what her ex-husband said. That’s what her smart bob and glasses imply. But Olivia is ready to remake her life. She’s going to spend time with her girlfriends, have a little fun, and avoid trouble with men. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble – in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan – may be too tempting to avoid.
Check out this sneak preview!
Victoria’s giving away a copy of Bad Boys Do to one very lucky commenter. Leave a comment by next Monday to enter!