On the first Friday of December 2015, we are having breakfast with romance author Alina K. Field. Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she found her true passion in reading and writing romance. Though her roots are in the Midwest, after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband and a blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.
She is the author of the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner in the novella category, Rosalyn’s Ring, a Regency novella; and the novel-length sequel, a 2015 RONE Award finalist, Bella’s Band, both Soul Mate Publishing releases.
For this warm December breakfast, I’m having a red D’Anjou pear, half banana drizzled with blackberry balsamic and sprinkled with chia seeds, and a slice of stollen since it’s nearing Christmas. Alina, what are you having?
My virtual breakfast is my usual weekday fare, a protein shake, something my son has got me hooked on. Here’s my recipe: 3 ice cubes, a scoop of vanilla protein powder (my first 30 grams of protein for the day!), a handful of berries, or whatever fruit I have, and a splash of C20 coconut water (my son happens to be their marketing manager).
Good for you! So tell us about your writing process from concept to draft to revision.
Overthinking a plot ties my muse up in knots, so I don’t plot, but I do undertake some planning along with a lot of “pantsing”. Let’s say I’m a “plantser”!
Since I’m writing romance, I know I’ll have a hero and a heroine who must have a solid conflict. I figure out the conflict first, and think about the major turning points, the “tent poles” of the story, and then I start writing.
The first draft is always excruciating and painful. I start each day reviewing the last part of what I wrote the day before, make whatever edits come to me, and then move on in the story. When I’m done, I let the story rest for a few days and then do a read through of a printed out copy. And then I revise and rewrite as necessary. When I’m satisfied with the plot, I make at least three passes through the manuscript, looking for clichés, overused words, grammatical problems, and, since this is historical, anachronisms and historical errors. And then I send it off to an editor, and after that, rewrite some more.
Tell us about your Regency Romances. Why this series, why now?
From a purely pragmatic point of view, I’m writing Regency romances because these are the books that sold first. I actually have several contemporary romance manuscripts tucked away for a later date, one a Fab Five Contest winner, another a Golden Claddagh Contest finalist.
I stepped away from writing contemporary romance to try my hand at a call for submissions for an historical Christmas novella, and the result was Rosalyn’s Ring. Regency is such fun to read, and even more fun to write! I love exploring the roles and relationships of men and women in an era without divorce, birth control, and employment opportunities for women. The stakes in pursuing romance were very high, the consequences inescapable. Plus England was at war with that arch-villain, Napoleon—so many opportunities for conflict and drama!
Wonderful insight. I’ve loved Regency novels since my first Jane Austen novel (Emma) and every one that Georgette Heyer wrote. Now that you’ve downed your protein shake, how about a coffee, Alina? What did you find fun/intriguing about writing Rosalyn’s Ring, and what was difficult?
The historical research for Rosalyn’s Ring was both fun and challenging. Just because I was a reader of Regency romances didn’t mean I really knew the period, and Regency fans can be utterly ruthless about historical errors! So there I was, hunting around checking proper use of titles, looking for what kind of luggage the heroine would carry, and trying to figure out if “night rail” was one or two words. With all that, I still missed a huge error that I fortunately caught in the second round of edits: I changed out my heroine’s not yet invented matchsticks for a tinderbox. Still laughing about that one!
Tell us about your next project and when it may be published.
When I came to the end of my second Regency story, Bella’s Band, I realized that one of my secondary characters was the bastard son of an earl, and not just any earl, but a former spymaster. That set me off on a four book series with the earl matchmaking for each of his four children and hunting down traitors from the war years. There’s an overarching murder plot also. I’ve just finished the first draft of book four, and lots and lots of rewriting will be required. Each book stands alone, but I didn’t want to submit or try to bring out book one until all four were finished. I’m shooting for a book one release in late 2016, but stay tuned!
This is, frankly, a fun but crazy project. I’ve stepped away a few times to write other stories, a contemporary novella and my Regency novella, Liliana’s Letter, which came out in October, as well as a Regency Halloween story I have up free on my website.
Thank you for visiting with us, Alina. I hope you all check out Regency Halloween story at her website! Let me pour us all another virtual cup of coffee before you rush off to Amazon for Rosalyn’s Ring or another book in her Regency series.
Learn more about Alina K. Field at:
You can order her books at your local bookstore or on Amazon at: