Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Today's Special - - Joanne Lockyer and Kandy Shepherd

Kandy Shepherd & Joanne Lockyer

What's better than welcoming an awesome Aussie author (say that three times) to The Romance Dish? Welcoming two! That's right, readers. Today we have two of my favorite people from Down Under visiting us. I've been reading Kandy Shepherd's books since discovering her at the Romance Bandits blog in 2009 and have enjoyed getting to know the woman behind the books since our first "in person" meeting at the 2010 RWA national conference in Florida.  She's upbeat, friendly, a fellow animal lover and a talented author, currently writing for Harlequin Romance.  Her new book, The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner is the second entry in her wonderfully emotional Dolphin Bay series.

I can't remember where I first met Joanne online but I have a vivid memory of our first face-to-face meet at the 2009 RWA national conference in Washington, DC.  She was photographing people at the post-RITA® reception which created an immediate common bond between us but it was her infectiously friendly personality and ability to put people at ease and make them feel as if you'd been friends with her forever that convinced me this was someone I'd like to know. For the next several years, I followed her writing journey through Golden Heart® finals and world-wide travels, catching up at conferences, exploring new horizons vicariously through the lens of her camera and waiting patiently for the debut that I knew in my heart would be amazing. (It is.)

When I met Kandy for lunch at this year's RWA conference in Texas, I had just finished reading Joanne's debut, The Last Light of Dusk and couldn't stop talking about it. Turns out Kandy had been following Joanne's journey as well and planned to read the book as soon as she got home.  The idea light blub flared and voilá!  I'm delighted to welcome Kandy Shepherd and Joanne Lockyer for an author-on-author interview - Australian style!




Kandy: I first met Joanne Lockyer when she was an aspiring writer at a Romance Writers of Australia conference way back in 2006. It was her first writer’s conference, though I was to catch up with her at several Romance Writers of America conferences in the years to come—the most recent being in San Antonio, Texas in July 2014.
 
At that 2006 Australian conference, this beautiful, smart young woman sat next to me in a workshop. She was bubbling with enthusiasm and passion, determined to soak up as much knowledge as she could about the craft of writing romance.
 
After the workshop, we chatted and I asked her what she wrote. As she drew me into an enthralling tale of romance set in the time of the Napoleonic Peninsular War, I knew I was listening to a natural born storyteller.
 
I followed Jo’s career with interest, confident such talent would be recognized. When she finaled in the Romance Writer’s of America prestigious Golden Heart contest for an unpublished manuscript in both 2012 and 2013, I knew she was on her way.
 
Joanne’s debut novel The Last Light of Dusk was released on July 8. It’s a passionate, Regency-set historical romance between an unconventional hero and heroine: the rugged sea captain and adventurer, Jonathon Lecky, and the spirited shipping heiress Rachel Cavanagh, granddaughter of an infamous privateer. The story is beautifully written, rich in historical detail and lush with romance and intrigue. It was well worth waiting for!
 
I spoke to Jo about her journey as a writer.
 
Kandy: Jo, you have an interesting background. You have a Masters of Applied Law specializing in environmental law. Your “day job” has involved donning a hard hat and working on major resource and energy projects.
 
Joanne: Hi Kandy, yes! For many years I’ve worked in environmental and social impact assessment for major projects in Australia; from mines to power stations, gas fields and liquefied natural gas plants. In the midst of it all, when I finished my Masters—wow, yes, back in 2006!—I knew it was time to write.

Kandy: So why write historical romance? The historical detail in The Last

Light of Dusk, which opens in 1816, seems very authentic, yet you weave it through the story so it doesn’t overwhelm.
 
Joanne: Thank you, Kandy! Growing up, the very first romances I ever read were historical. Next (by a roundabout route) I completed an undergraduate degree in history, which had a strong emphasis on 19th century social history. I love that “the past is a foreign land” and feel that events of the past add such incredible texture and depth to characters’ experiences. I love using historical events to add depth and authenticity to both the plot and the characters’ emotional experiences.
 
Kandy: You live in Australia but you’ve travelled a lot, has that influenced your writing?
 
Joanne: Oh, absolutely! In obvious ways—my imagination triggers when I visit historic places and I start asking myself that writer’s question: “What if?” But my love of roaming creeps into my characters too. They’re adventurers; people who have sailed from England’s shores either out of duty, such as going to war, or to explore. Their worlds and awareness stretch far beyond English shores.

Kandy: If a movie was to be made of The Last Light of Dusk, who would you cast as Lecky and Rachel?

Joanne: As Jonathon Lecky I’d cast Jake Gyllenhaal, as he played Prince Dastan in Prince of Persia. (PJ here, jumping in to say I think this is perfect casting! Click to see Joanne's vision of Jonathon Lecky.) As Rachel Cavanagh I’d cast a grown-up Emma Watson.

Kandy: I could definitely see those actors in the roles! There are some interesting secondary characters in your novel including the Marquess of Rossum. The memoir extracts of Rachel’s grandfather, the infamous privateer Rhys Cavanagh, also bring him to life. Will be seeing these characters in future books? What’s next for Joanne Lockyer?
 
Joanne: Haha! I already have requests for Rossum’s story, so that is definitely on the cards. (And will be an interesting challenge, as readers of the Last Light of Dusk will understand.) First however, I’m intending to release Before Come Light of Dawn in early 2015, which will introduce some new characters into the world of The Last Light of Dusk. In other words, it’s linked, but readers haven’t met the hero and heroine yet!

Kandy: Joanne, thank you for chatting with me. I’ll look forward to reading more of your books—keep writing!


PJ: Joanne and Kandy, thank you so much for that wonderful interview! Joanne, would you like to ask our readers a question?


What Hollywood coupling would you like to imagine as hero and heroine of a novel?

The past is a foreign land: what aspect of the Regency era would you most like to experience and why?

PJ, again. I'm giving away two books today: a Kindle e-book copy of The Last Light of Dusk (open to everyone) and a signed print copy of The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner (U.S. addresses only).  




She’s the brilliant granddaughter of England’s most infamous privateer 

When Rachel Cavanagh is rescued from drowning by English seafarer Jonathon Lecky, her life is irreparably changed. Despite the briefness of their meeting amidst the chaos of the wreck, a bond of trust is formed between her and the rugged, unconventional boat captain. Lauded for her survival, her family and indeed all of England would have her marry Britain's most eligible bachelor. Still, her dreams of exploring far away places and the storm-gray eyes of a handsome seafarer call to her soul…. 

He’s the adventure she’s been longing for 

Returning to England’s shores with wrongs to redress after eight years in North Africa, the shadows that have chased Jonathon Lecky across continents allow no place in his life for romance. Yet when he again meets the woman he rescued but can’t forget, he knows someone has to show the captivating shipping heiress that it’s right to want something different….






Joanne's website is under construction. Readers can connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter

The Last Light of Dusk is currently available at:

Amazon
Kobobooks














Readers can find more information about Kandy and her books at her website and connect with her online at Facebook and Twitter.

Kandy's current book, The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner (Harlequin Romance) is available at most book-buying locations.

Amazon
Barnes and Noble 
Kobobooks







53 comments:

  1. Welcome, Joanne and Kandy! It's such a pleasure to host both of you today.

    Kandy, thanks so much for your enthusiastic acceptance of this Q&A "assignment." One more example of the wonderful support and celebration of fellow authors that exists within the romance community!

    Joanne, I waited a long time to be able to read The Last Light of Dusk but it sure was worth the wait. From beginning to end, this story refused to let me walk away. Loved it! Also, count me among those who are thrilled to hear you're planning something for Rossum! :)

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    1. Thanks so much PJ for having me and Joanne at the Dish. It was such a pleasure to interview lovely Joanne about The Last Light of Dusk. I knew when I first met Joanne I would one day be reading her book! It's so beautifully written and the characters so memorable. There's something so exciting about a debut, isn't there!

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  2. Can't wait to read your books. I am always looking for a new author to read. Thought I would check in real quick busy chasing kittens around and getting read to sub this afternoon in kindergarten

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    1. Thanks for popping in, regencygirl. You're going to need a good book to relax with after a day of chasing kittens and kids! :)

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    2. What joy to be chasing kittens around, regency girl!

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    3. Thanks so much for stopping by regencygirl! Hope you had a fun afternoon!

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  3. the food and a house party (USA)

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    1. An English holiday house party with a French chef. Now that would be my idea of a good time! :)

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    2. Haha! Can you imagine what it must have been like to be a chef back then with their facilities?! Hats off. Amazing what they created! :)

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    3. Wouldn't it have been amazing to go to one of those house parties jcp? In a beautiful country house!

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  4. I love being introduced to "new to me" authors.. So this book will be joining my TBR pile.. and you come from one of the top places on my bucket list of places I really, really want to visit...

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    1. I love being introduced to "new to me" authors

      Me too, Kathleen! I'm always excited when I "discover" a new author. :)

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    2. Thanks so much Kathleen! Would be delighted for you to see how you like it! And also hope that you tick that Australia box! We love having visitors. An American friend of mine came out earlier this year and we had so much fun doing all the "Australia" things! :)

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    3. Do hope you get to visit Australia Kathleen O!

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    1. I thoroughly enjoyed it, Peggy. It's a little out of the ordinary for a regency romance which, of course, I find very appealing.

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    2. Awww! Thank you Peggy and PJ :) I really do tend to get caught up in everything that was historically happening during the period, and want to bring it all in!

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    3. It brings the history alive, peggy!

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  6. I would like to put Castle and Beckett into a regency. They have the romance, humor and feistyness together. I would love to dress for one of their balls and attend a dinner party. Thanks for the interview!

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    1. I would like to put Castle and Beckett into a regency.

      Now that would be a fun story!

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  7. Okay, more authors to love!!! I am checking out The Last Light of Dusk right now and will be getting to Kandy's right after! Thanks again for more romance to love...thanks Ladies for a wonderful Q and A and fun blog!!!

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    1. Hope, just to let you know, Kandy's book is second in her new series. You know, just in case you want to buy two. ;-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Brad and Angelina
    a ball- sounds fun

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    1. I can see them in merry old England.

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    2. I would love to see what Angelina would wear to the ball, bn100! They would make a magnificent Regency couple.

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  9. Fabulous interview, Kandy and Joanne!

    Congratulations to you on the release of the Last Light of Dusk, Joanne! You're a hugely talented gal, and I'm so happy to see your work is finally out there for all to enjoy!

    Loved your introduction to my awesome Australian authors friends. I already have their books, so no need to enter me in the draw. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa. Congratulations on your third Golden Heart final this year and your upcoming debut release - THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE - on October 21st!

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    2. Thanks so much Vanessa!! Am just so happy to have it 'out in the world' Sooo good to see you in San Antonio this year :) So funny that we are usually on the other side of the world when we see each other!

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    3. Thanks for the kind words Vanessa. I'm so looking forward to your debut This Is Your Afterlife next month. Not long now!

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  10. Hi Kandy and Joanne

    Great interview congrats on the release Joanne this one sounds right up my ally I need to get it can't wait to read it and Kandy I have read all of yours and loved everyone of them and as for a Hollywood couple I don't watch many movies or TV so not sure who I would pick :) But I would love to attend one of the house parties in the Regency era I do think that would be fantastic with all the things they get up too :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Hi Helen!

      I have the feeling we could get up to all kinds of shenanigans at a Regency house party! *grin* I think you're going to really like Joanne's debut!

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    2. Helen! Thank you so much for popping by. Would be delighted for you to check it out! As to the house party, I was lucky enough to visit a couple of big houses in England last month - the imagination goes wild!

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    3. Hi Helen, so lovely to see you here. Thanks for your nice words about my stories! Wouldn't it be great to be at one of those Regency house parties in a magnificent stately home. I think PJs right, there would be lots of shenanigans going on--lots of flirtations in the shrubberies and bedroom doors quietly closing in the corridors at night!

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    4. Oh it would be a party and a half with all of us there :)

      Have Fun
      Helen

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  11. I'd have to say Ziva and Tony from NCIS. She's so kick butt and he's suave... I think that would be a fun twist to a regency :) Thanks for sharing ladies!!! These books look and sound awesome! Congrats on the new releases!

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    1. Now that is a awesome couple! They would really bring the fun to a regency romance. (I miss Ziva so much on NCIS!)

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    2. Thanks so much Erin! Thank you for popping by! :)

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    3. I love Ziva and Tony, erin. She's one of my favourite characters, I wish they'd bring her back!

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  12. First, I would love to see Leonardo DiCaprio meet up with Amy Adams - they acted together in Catch Me If You can and he gave her the best hugs - I know, it's a wierd thing to notice. But seriously, he was a very romantic hugger in that movie. In my dream world, I've always wanted to go to a regency era ball, and I'd love to go to be invited to a country house for a week or so, and play charades and put on amateur plays and maybe meet some rakish guy with a heart of gold... hey a girl can dream. Great interview!! Thanks, Thea

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    1. Hi Thea, "a rakish guy with a heart of gold" - isn't that just why I like to read historical romance! Leonardo DiCaprio and Amy Adams would look wonderful together in period costume, great suggestion.

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  13. Great interview! Congrats on your debut release Joanne! I would love to attend a ball and meet a handsome rake who would be willing to change his ways for me.

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    1. Those handsome rakes would definitely need to change their ways before they settled down with me, that's for sure, Cathy P!

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  14. Kandy, good interview. Your questions led to interesting answer. Your THE TYCOON AND THE WEDDING PLANNER sounds like an enjoyable read. Small coastal towns make good settings for romance stories.
    Joanne, congratulations on your book. Historical fiction is a favorite. I like and appreciate when an author takes the time and effort to research the time period of the story. The inclusion of everyday details and special events and historical figures makes the story come alive. An ordinary relationship story can be set anywhere and not changed much. A relationship influenced by time and place has a character all its own and would not be the same elsewhere. I like the sound of the story and look forward to reading it and the future books you write.
    The casting suggestions are interesting. I can see Castle and Beckett in a regency set piece. I am still trying to picture Ziva and Tony. Tony would definitely fit as an arrogant aristocrat. I am still trying to put Ziva there. She could certainly handle anything thrown at her. Yes, I miss her, too. At least they didn't kill her off, so maybe she might come back.

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    1. Thank you, librarypat, I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview with lJoanne. If you get the chance to read THE TYCOON AND THE WEDDING PLANNER, I hope you like the setting of Dolphin Bay. One of the reviews said: "You can almost feel the sand between your toes."

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  15. I'm terrible at remembering actors. Loving the suggestions though.

    I'd love to attend a Regency ball. Even just one night of flirting & gowns & dashing Regency bucks.

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  16. Hi PJ, Kandy and Joanne! Great interview and it was so interesting reading about your background, Joanne. Swashbuckling romances are a long, looong step from environmental law! Perhaps that's part of the reason you've enjoyed writing your stories. A chance to really escape for an interlude from a very serious and important job! Congratulations on your publishing venture - it sounds like you're going great guns!

    As for a possible romantic pairing in a regency romance... Hugh Jackman dresses up well in historical clothes. I thought he was extremely dashing in Kate and Leopold. And Keira Knightley was just fabulous in The Duchess.

    Kandy, congratulations on THE TYCOON AND THE WEDDING PLANNER! It's the most gorgeous read! (happy sigh)

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    1. Hi Sharon, wasn't Hugh Jackman just divine in Kate and Leopold? Loved him! Keira Knightly was beautiful in The Duchess, she wore those gowns so well. Thank you for your kinds words about THE TYCOON AND THE WEDDING PLANNER - I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

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  17. I have not read your books before but your work sounds really good and would love to read this book.

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