I had the privilege of meeting Wanda Luce in person when I was invited to a multi-author signing at The Book Table in Logan, Utah. Wanda is with the same publisher I'm with, and she's such a sweet woman! Not only that...if you love reading Regency Romance and your favorite stories are Jane Austen's stories...you will definitely LOVE Wanda Luce! When I read her book, "Lydia" I felt like I was reading one of Jane Austen stories. I had to keep checking the front cover to make sure! Really!! Wanda's writing is that good!!
Okay, so now let me introduce you to this wonderful author.
Wanda, please tell us a little about yourself.
Wow, a little about myself… The “in a nutshell version?” Definitely synonymous with Hitchcock’s formula for good fiction: “A good story is life with the dull parts taken out.” So, even though my non-fiction life has hardly had a dull moment, my “short” account may have your readers yawning.
I was born in Burlingame, California but lived in San Mateo until I was four when our family moved to Carson City, Nevada. When I was thirteen, we moved to Reno. At 18 I left home for BYU. After three years as an undergraduate student, I interrupted my studies to serve an LDS mission in Germany. Afterward, I returned to BYU and graduated with a B.A. in German Literature. If you think Goethe is tough in English, you ought to try understanding it in old German—scary. While at BYU, I taught two years of German at the MTC and one year of German 101 on campus. I also played in the BYU Symphony, danced on the Ballroom Dance Team, and …fell in love with my husband. The first time I met my husband he was still dating a former roommate. My first thought upon seeing him? Wow, that is the most gosh darn drop dead gorgeous man I’ve ever seen! A year later we were married, and we spent our first eight years of marriage honeymooning in the luxury of San Diego until my husband’s job change brought us back to Utah. We have raised two beautiful young men. Once our boys were in school, I began my teaching career and am currently teaching German at two Salt Lake City high schools. But…that is just my side job. Writing has now become my passion, and one I pray I can hone successfully. So, you made it through my long-winded “a little about yourself.” Thanks, though for taking the time. If I had another ten thousand pages to fill I could tell you the really “good story with the dull parts taken out!”
Wanda, you've been all over it seems. And I bet you have many stories to tell! But right now, we want you to tell us about your new release "Lydia", and what inspired you to write this.
During a particularly challenging few years of my life, I decided to reread all of Jane Austen’s books. When I was done, I read all of the books in the library pamphlet with a list of Jane Austen spin-offs. Next, I turned to the internet for titles of other Regencies but quickly discovered that I had to be careful which ones I picked (Yikes! too much information in some of those). So, I found the Clean Romances group on Goodreads and started choosing my reads from there. One day, however, before I found that resource for clean Regencies, I was complaining of the dilemma to my husband and his response? “Well, then write one.” Yeah, I thought. Why not? So I sat down and after a period of toying with a possible opening line, I typed: Condolences were felt though no longer expressed that the lovely Lydia still stood in want of a husband.
Wow, that was fun! I said to myself. Let’s see if I can come up with a few more lines. Well, a few became a page, two pages became ten, then ten a hundred, and so on until I had written a whole manuscript! The original manuscript had 142,000 words and was simply titled Lydia. I had only written that monster for fun. And what fun it was, too, but after a while, the bug to revise hit. So, I revised, revised, revised, r e v i s e d, and r e v i s e d. I felt destitute when I came to the end of the last revision (ha, ha, NOT) or so I thought. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my characters. Then, I decided it couldn’t hurt to submit that heavy tome to a few agents and publishers to get some feedback (after doing a little research, I had a box all ready for a pile of rejection notices), and to the shock of the entire natural world, I actually got two (almost three) offers! When Walnut Springs Press sent me an email saying they wanted to publish Lydia, I jumped up and started screaming with excitement. Everyone in the house ran to be sure I wasn’t dying. And yes, I was dying, dying of joy…and shock. Don’t you just love happy endings? Well, that wasn’t one of them, it was a HAPPY BEGINNING to a new life for one entirely obscure little person just quietly going about her life.
Wanda, I could definitely see that Jane Austen was your favorite when I started reading your book. So how did you become a writer? What or who inspired you?
Oops, I guess I already answered this one above. But just let me add this one little footnote that says more than all the lengthy wordiness above. If credit could go to anyone or anything, it would have to be my mother, the greatest mother ever born, whose love, support, example, encouragement, and teachings made me who I am.
How wonderful!! I owe credit to my mother in a lot of things as well! So what stories are in your future?
My husband asks me that a lot. Specifically, I don’t know yet. Right now I am revising my second Regency that I hope to have ready for submission before Christmas (fingers, toes, and hairs crossed). I love the Regency Era and can’t see myself writing in any other genre. English literature has me heart and soul, I am afraid. Learning to write great Regency is a goal I don’t imagine I’ll abandon. Would you like to read the blurb for the Regency I hope to submit soon? I hate to impose upon you all, (no, actually I love it), but here it is:
Lord Rupert is the rakish son of the Marquess of Lansdowne. His covert escapades to ferret out a ring of aristocratic criminals requires that he disappear into the British countryside for a short time under a false identity. Here he meets Alexandra Dancy, a country miss whose family hides its aristocratic origins because they must guard a dark secret. How can the two overcome the prejudices and hidden identities that divide them?
Sorry, you will just have to wait and read it to learn the answer.
Wanda, I have had the privilege of reading through the beginning of this new story, and I think it's going to be another WINNER! So...how can your fans get a hold of you? Do you have a blog, website, or a newsletter?
I love to hear from my fans and hope they will visit my blog/website at www.wandaluce.blogspot.com or send me and email at firstname.lastname@example.org Every Wednesday I post snippets from my WIP and hope all who are interested will hop over to my website to learn more about Lydia and to read the exerpts from my WIP that I have posted there. Any who are interested can purchase Lydia on Amazon.com, at Deseret Book, at Brigham Distributing, and at many LDS bookstores, including BYU. Lydia contains no references to the LDS Church or its beliefs, rather it is written in harmony with the moral standards taught by the Church, so it is a good fit for Regency lovers who want clean romance.
Thanks so much, Marie, for interviewing me.
You are welcome, Wanda, and thanks for taking time to be my special guest today!