Friday, May 4, 2012

Meet Vonnie Hughes

Hi everyone.

I'd like you to meet Vonnie Hughes, a dear friend and fellow TWRP author. She very kindly volunteered to tell us about her adventure for this first blog. I sent her a whole bunch of questions, of which she was asked to answer six.

Apologies to Vonnie. I had problems uploading her book cover.

So drum roll please, for Vonnie Hughes.

What book are you reading now?

I read a tremendous number of thrillers and romantic suspense novels. They are my favourites. At the moment I’m just finishing J.D. Robb’s Kindred in Death. It is, of course, as polished as all the others in the ‘In Death’ series. Like just about every other reader who has got hooked on these books, I love the back stories of Eve and Roarke because they are so individual and no-nonsense. It is refreshing to have gush replaced with gutsiness and to have a hero and heroine (particularly the hero) with borderline criminal tendencies that he’s not afraid to exploit. I’m not fond of prissy, perfect heroes.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I’ve had five full novels published, along with many novellas, short stories and poems. My favourite amongst my books is the one that came out first, Coming Home, a Regency novel published by Robert Hale Ltd. It is still available in both hardback and e-book formats. The reason I like it is that it was never intended to see the light of day. I was about two-thirds of the way through what eventually became its prequel when I undertook an online writing class. Somehow Coming Home spun off from the original book (now published and called The Second Son)Hom because the protagonists became real to me. As part of the emerging middle class in Britain in the early years of the 19th century, Colly and Juliana struggled to find their places in the world. I’m a sucker for heroes stuffed full of angst, so all of my heroes have big crosses to bear.

Do you see writing as a career?

I don’t think of writing in career terms. Writing is something I’ve done since I was about four, and I’m unlikely to stop now. Like many writers, I have to write. I couldn’t stop if I tried. And I have tried. I’ve got fed up with rejections or just plain bored with the process, and tried to give up. The longest I lasted was two weeks. I definitely get writer’s block and of course have to push through it, but I write something every day.

In which genre do I prefer to write and why?

Umm…this is difficult. I’m known for my Regencies, but I prefer to read and write romantic suspenses that verge on thrillers. (See the latest article on my blogsite where I discuss the blurring of the lines between the various mystery and crime genres). By that I mean novels by writers such as Gayle Wilson and Sharon Sala. I’ve noticed that whatever genre I write in, mysteries and crime-solving seem to creep in, so I guess the answer lies there. Ideally I’d like to write about a 19th century sleuth, but it’s been done and done, so I won’t revisit that scene.

Who are some of your favourite authors?

There are so many! Sandra Brown because she always delivers. Anything in any genre by Jayne Ann Krentz (a.k.a. Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle). Love her quirky characters and the way she sucks me in to wholly believe in her other-worlds. It’s those light brush-strokes of setting that sing to me. James McGee is another author who sets his novels in the 19th century. The raw authenticity appeals to me and he’s a master of research. I enjoy Beverly Barton’s romantic suspenses set in interesting, unhospitable places and I’m one of many thousands of readers who mourn Beverly’s passing. And I find that books by Karen Rose and Dean Koontz are consistently good reads. As with many others, I was brought up on Georgette Heyer Regencies and no matter how many times I read them, I still love them. They form the basis of my keepers bookcase.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?

Actually, I wanted to be a journalist/reporter. I’m ancient, and in the sixties, nice girls did not go junketing around, pencil and shorthand notebook in hand, like the male racing reporters did. Very few women were employed by newspapers in those days and even if my parents had allowed me to, I doubt I’d have got a job as a cub reporter. But you can’t keep a writer down. I wrote quite a few articles for papers and magazines during the sixties and seventies, even if I didn’t get the career I wanted. And woot! Here I am, writing for a living anyhow.

About The Second Son:  
‘Second.’ The word defines him. Now an accident has given him the right to be first. Be careful what you wish for.
Vonnie's books can all be obtained from her Amazon author page here:


  1. Lovely interview, Vonnie. While I love to read Regencies, I could never write one. I lack the extensive knowlege required. So I'll take the lazy route to my Regency fixx and read yours and those written by others.

    Jean, lovely blog. Wishing you both luck.
    The "other" Vonnie

  2. Nice interview, ladies. I love a good Regency, and I'm amazed at those who write them. Way to much thought and research for my short attention span. Thank God others don't have the same problem.

    I love the look and theme of the blog, Jean.

  3. Hi Jean and Vonnie,
    Great interview Vonnie, and you have done a great job on your blog Jean.



  4. Great blog, Jean! Loved the interview with Vonnie too!

    Vonnie, I wanted to be a journalist/reporter in high school too. Umm...that was when I didn't want to be an artist, fashion designer or illustrator. Didn't quite know what direction to go in then. lol

    Read and enjoyed many Regency romances too, but would never attempt to write one. I'll stick with Civil War and American Victorian, even though they don't seem to be popular right now.

  5. Hi Vonnie and Jean.

    Thanks for the insight into your work and your writing, Vonnie. I loved that you said you've always written - I think there's many of us around who are in that position.

    Good luck with the Blog, Jean.


  6. Thanks for all those kind thoughts, people. It's a hot, lazy autumn afternoon on the Gold Coast and I just can't quite bring myself to put bum on seat.

  7. Thanks for hosting, Jean! Vonnie, now I'm going to have to read Coming Home and Second are doing dangerous things to my book stacks! *timber--is happily buried under pile of books*

  8. Thanks for the opportunity, Jean. Always good to advertise New Zealand!

  9. Dean Koontz is one of my favourite authors Vonnie. I love how he can make the most mundane of circumstances creepy by twisting it a little. His writing is simple, but flawless to me. I don't think I've ever read a book by him I didn't like.

    Lovely getting to know you a little more - and your blog is looking great Jean! PS - Jean - I'd move the follower button up if I were you. I think I'm the only one to have seen it! :)