When I saw a new Regency era romance series was coming out this year, I was so excited. I read The Earl Not Taken… and I was elated. I found a new author to love and a series that has me early awaiting each new book. I have now read three other A.S. Fenichel books. Her writing is refreshing and fun and beautifully tackles some difficult women’s issues. Thank you, A.S. Fenichel, so much for allowing me to interview you for the release of your new book!
1. When did you first feel the need to become a writer?
In my early 20’s I started reading a lot when my husband took a night shift. I read before that, but not as ravenously. Then when I was 23 I went back to college and had to write a short story for an English class. That was the moment. In retrospect, I always had stories in my head, these were the life moments that made me think I could put them on paper. It took me many years to hone my craft and be good enough to be published. In fact, I still feel as though I’m growing with each book.
2. What authors do you feel inspired you to become the writer you are today?
Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, Mary Jo Putney, Steven King, Jane Austen, Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas. The list goes on and on.
3. What does a typical day of writing look like for you?
I usually catch up on emails and social media in the first hour or so. I try to write for about an hour and a half, then work on edits, blogs or interviews depending on what is most pressing. In the afternoon I’ll usually write for a few more hours. It really depends on what edits I have, deadlines and promotions.
4. How do your stories come to life? Do you have a clear idea before you start or do you start writing and let inspiration guide you?
It usually starts with a nugget of an idea. Nothing rock solid. I jot it down and let it marinate into something tasty. Once I have a solid plot, I start putting together an outline from beginning to end. Sometimes my characters stick with my plotting and sometimes I have to adjust to accommodate them.
5. Why did you pick this particular era to write about?
I love Regency with all it’s rules of conduct and demands on women. I really love breaking those rules. There’s something very romantic about the Georgian Era with balls and picnics, letter writing and poetry.
6. What do you find is the hardest part of writing in this genre?
Writing is hard. All writing. It seems quite glamorous from the outside looking in, but mostly it’s me, with a cat or two, trying to slog out some words on my laptop. Then revising those words until they make a story. I don’t think writing historical is harder than contemporary. I’ve done both and paranormal. It’s all hard work and all very satisfying.
7. What does your research process look like?
I have a ton of books and use the internet a lot. I belong to a few organizations I can rely on in a pinch. Mostly I write the story and go back to fact check unless it’s a key point that my being wrong will change the course of the book, then I stop and fact check. Often in the process of research I go down a rabbit hole and find some wonderful nugget that works its way into a future book.
8. You have such a unique approach in your books regarding important issues women face. Why did you feel it was important to weave these topics into your stories?
You know, I don’t think it started out as intentional. It just happened and I realized it’s my niche. I think the things happening in today’s world are not much different from things happening two hundred years ago. I see the news, it gets in my head, I write the story and those influences find their way to the page. Maybe one day humanity will evolve and I’ll have to write something else.
9. What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Oh man, I love it all! My favorite is the blank page. I love that moment when I sit down at my computer and write the first moments of a book. It’s daunting, exciting, excruciating, wonderful, impossible, beautiful, horrifying….. A buffet of emotional states and then, there they are… Two people who previously didn’t exist, on the page, waiting for their story to be told. What can possibly be better than that?
10. How do you come up with character names?
For main characters, I usually go with what I think their character will be: bold, fearless, shy, etc and I look up names that mean or imply those traits. I find that the characters generally live up to their name.
11.What do you feel makes The Earl Not Taken special?
The Earl Not Taken and the entire Wallflowers of West Lane series focuses on the friendship between four women. Often in Regency novels, you have men who went to school together and they have a bond. In The Wallflowers of West Lane these women were sent away to finishing school and they have become inseparable. They protect each other and support each other in ways that seem unlikely for women in society of the time.
12.What book/books are you currently reading?
I just finished a sexy romp by Karla Doyle called Worth The Wait. I’m reading Mary Jo Putney’s Once A Spy.
13.If you were not a writer, what would you be?
I used to be an IT Specialist and before that a Logistics Manager. I was pretty good at both of those. I guess if you want to know dream job, I’d have been an actress. That’s what I went to school for. Or I might like to be an archaeologist. That would be so much fun and the stories I could tell.
14.Favorite type of pen? Ballpoint, uniball or fountain pen
Now you’ve gone and done it. I’m a pen freak. Actually I’m a planner freak and pens are a side obsession. My favorite pens are the Paper Mate InkJoy pens. They come in so many fantastic colors. They’re a gel and dry super quick. Also, they never bleed through. I have about thirty of them on my desk right now.
15.Favorite time of day to read?
I read while the TV is on at night. As long as it’s sports or news, I can read right through. If it’s a story, then I get distracted. Thanks so much for having me. xoxo Andie.
A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful IT career in New York City to pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in Missouri with her real-life hero, her wonderful husband and two temperamental cats.
Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate . . .
Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches of dangerous, disreputable men. So when one of them is about to be married off to a duke sight unseen, Poppy makes it her mission to divine the prospective husband’s true character. If only she didn’t require the aid of London’s most unsuitable rake.
Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, has known the headstrong Poppy since she was a young girl, naïve to the ways of men. To her eternal chagrin—and to his vague amusement—they have been at odds over the memory of their embarrassing first encounter all these years. Now, with his services in need, Rhys sees a chance to finally clear the air between them. Instead, he is surprised by the heat of their feelings. If the two do not tread carefully, they may end up in a most agreeably compromising position . . .
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Thank you to Pump It Up Books and A.S. Fenichel for letting me have the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. I would love for you to subscribe so you don’t miss any new posts.