Please Welcome Historical Romance Author Renee Vincent!

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I’m excited to have a guest visiting today and tomorrow, one of the nicest authors you’ll meet: RENEE VINCENT.

RENEE: Thank you, Anya for allowing me to be here today.

ANYA: Tell us about yourself — also a little about your career, your family, your pets.

RENEE: I am a mother of two beautiful girls and married to the most wonderfully supportive husband in the world – for nearly 17 years. And out of those years, I have been working on my writing career for the majority of the time, while being a Radiologic Technologist at Children’s Hospital for three years, and eventually a pre-school teacher for nine years. All of this included living on a 100-acre farm with horses and dogs, and the time to write was not as often as I’d have liked.

But I did write.

My work involved the same story with the same premise—a “Viking” warrior in love with an Irish princess— though character names and plot conflicts would often change.

In 2005, I had just the right amount of encouragement from my sister, Lindsey, to finish the love story, though it took her voice from heaven for me to hear it – literally. After her passing, I worked on it day and night for months—solely for her—and finally after eight grueling months, I wrote the last line of the manuscript.

But my joy soon faded as I researched publishers’ guidelines. I had written twice the amount of words needed for a romance. I needed to cut out half the story before any publisher would look at it. That, in itself, took another year or so to accomplish. I struggled terribly with removing unnecessary scenes without damaging the natural flow of character development, story pace, and plot twists—not to mention my ‘voice’. But eventually, I was able to do it, creating a better version of the story.

In 2008, with the help of my sister’s words, my dreams came true. My first historical romance, Ræliksen, went into print, and, of course the book was dedicated to her. I hope that I have made her proud as I can boast that my book has traveled to seven other countries.

ANYA: What made you decide to write a book?

RENEE: I guess you could say it all started at the age of five, when my parents had given me a personalized children’s book where I was featured as the hero of the story. I can still recall how excited I was to see my full name in print and know that no one else had a book like this. From that day forth, I dreamed of seeing my name on the cover of a book. And by the way, I still have that children’s book.

ANYA: What are the most important things in your life?

RENEE: My family. Period. With losing my 20 year old sister, I was quickly brought to my knees and yet, awakened. Though we all know that life is short, I don’t think anyone truly understands what that means until they have to say an unexpected good-bye to a loved one.

I have always loved and needed my family, but now, I treasure them. And I try not to take for granted the time I am allotted here on earth.

ANYA: Tell us about your sister.

RENEE: Gosh, where do I even begin when it comes to my sister, Lindsey? Well, she and I are thirteen years apart and as a teenager, I was just the older sister who babysat her and someone she could look up to.

As we got older, and as she got into college, we started to connect. She was going to be a doctor, and was even scheduled to take her MCATs in the spring of 2006, taking some prep courses at NKU while getting her degree in Biology. I even remember her taking me into NKU’s library to help me do research for the book and logging into their computers for added help.

She was a wonderful aunt to my two girls and knew just how to make people smile.

What I’m trying to say is that Lindsey was always willing to help—always willing to give of herself—and even though her time on earth was very short, she touched so many people. Her layout alone was a tribute to that fact as people waited for three hours minimum just to see her and pay their last respects. It was held in the gym of her high school and lasted for nearly eleven hours.

Lindsey was a big advocate of organ donation, and was able to donate her corneas after the accident. A thirty-five year old woman’s sight was restored because of my sister. Even after her death, she was still helping people—still giving of herself, literally. And that is how I remember my sister.

It was a very difficult time in my life when she passed, not to mention having to deal with the fact that she died on my daughter’s birthday. But I don’t dwell anymore on those things. I know she is at peace.

As Lindsey used to always look up to me for being the elder sister, I now look up to her. (Which is why the dedication in the book reads in both Irish and English: I look up to you now.)

ANYA: Would you tell us about the Ræliksen soundtrack?

RENEE: I have met so many wonderful people through the research of this book. I have remained in contact with many of them living both here in the US and abroad. My relationship with these select few has grown tremendously and they are among my dearest friends.

One of them, in particular, is Irish musician, Mícheál Ó Caoinleain. He has arranged and orchestrated the music for my book trailer. After that, he came to me with aspirations of doing an entire soundtrack for Ræliksen. I was ecstatic with the offer, and of course, I accepted. The soundtrack is available in both the US and Europe.

ANYA: Tell us something about your work for Susan G. Komen research.

RENEE: Well for starters, I am a member of the Buffalo Girls Association of Northern Kentucky and for four years they have hosted the TRAIL RIDE FOR THE CURE benefiting the SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE (a horse trail ride event).

In the years past, I have raised money for the cause by getting people to sponsor me and my family in the ride. But in 2009, I was a published author and I thought that I could do more to help the cause. So I decided to donate all the proceeds of every Ræliksen book bought between August and October. With the help of my dedicated fans, friends, and family, I was able to write a check in the amount of $600 to KOMEN.

I was very glad to be able to give back to the community when so many had supported me. I am hoping to have another book published in time to do the very same thing for KOMEN in 2010.

ANYA: Where do you live now, and where else have you lived?

Renee: Born and raised in Kentucky—never lived anywhere else. Though, if I had my choice, I would live on the west coast of Ireland.

ANYA: What are some of your favorite books/authors?

RENEE: My favorite author of all time would have to be Emily Brontë with Wuthering Heights. But the authors that I just can’t get enough of are Nora Roberts, Johanna Lindsey, Amanda Quick, Elizabeth Lowell, and Catherine Coulter. Since I’ve been published, I’ve found there are some local authors that have squeezed into my favorites too, like Lori Foster, Shiloh Walker, Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough and Teresa Reasor, just to name a few.

ANYA: Where’s your favorite place to read?

RENEE: In my writing office (which was previously my living room) surrounded by my castle pictures and my Limited Edition Phantom of the Opera painting by Jon Paul Ferrara, lounging back in the reclining couch, with a soft heavy blanket over my legs and a cup of coffee—lots of cream—within reach.

ANYA: What are the books you remember best from your childhood?

RENEE: Oh my goodness. Let’s see…Pokey Little Puppy for when I was a little one, Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls in my elementary years, and Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews in my early teenage life. Those are the ones that I will never forget in my youth.


ANYA: Are there any books that have made a strong impact on you?

RENEE: Well, just to be clear, I have always been intrigued by the Norse and read many research books on the matter for enjoyment. But one book that moved me so much as to want to write a love story about them was the first “romance novel” I borrowed from my mother-in-law. I loved it, and it was very well written from a historical stand point. However, I cannot recall the author’s name, nor the title as it was so many years ago. I only remember the cover. (And many times, I have gone to used book stores to search for it, only to come up short.) But because of that book, I knew what I wanted to write about, and that passion never faltered.

ANYA: What is your favorite genre, time period, setting to read and write about?

RENEE: My favorite genre would have to be historical romance although I have found out lately that I like contemporary as well. I never used to, as I’d rather be taken to a whole different time and place (hence, my tag line…). But I’ve read a few contemporary romances and have found them to be refreshingly different, in a very good way. But as a rule of thumb, I seem to choose historicals for my reading pleasure.

Since Ræliksen is the first book I’ve written in its entirety, and Mac Liam is still a work-in-progress, the time period I write in is 10th Century, though I’m thinking about writing a combination of a historical/contemporary in my next project. No, not a time travel, but something deeper—more intricate. I have visions of a woman with a love so deep in her heart, so close to her soul, it seems it’s almost instinct for her to love him—though he is a complete stranger. That’s all I’m going to say on that.

Renee, thanks so much for sharing so much with us today! Renee will be here to respond to any questions today and tomorrow.

Check back here on Friday, when Dægan, the hero of RAELIKSEN will be present to answer your questions! Be sure to read the excerpt of RAELIKSEN, which can be viewed in a separate post.

You can follow Renee at these links:

http://www.reneevincent.com
http://www.myspace.com/reneevincent
http://www.twitter.com/ReneeVincent
http://www.facebook.com/reneevincent
http://indiereaders.ning.com/profile/ReneeVincent
http://www.pasttheprint.blogspot.com

Ræliksen is available in hardback and paperback at Barnes & Noble.com,
Amazon.com, Borders.com, and The Country Heart in Alexandria, KY
* eBook available at iUniverse.com

Order Raeliksen from Barnes & Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=Raeliksen&bnit=H&bnrefer=ROMANCEGENERAL

Amazon for purchase of Ræliksen http://www.amazon.com/R%C3%A6liksen-Renee-Vincent/dp/0595523269/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1229570107&sr=8-1

Buffalo Girls Association of NKY

55 responses »

  1. Wow, Renee, I had no idea that you’re a neighbor (I live in the Walton, KY area). I always assume that the Way Cool authors (besides Toni and Lori and Dianne and Gia and and and) are in NYC. AND we have another thing in common–I rode a horse once.

    Vikings are just plain hawt and I’m really looking forward reading Raeliksen. Any chance you’re at the Reader Appreciation Day in January?

  2. Hello Keri! Thank you for stopping by.

    Yes I, too, love Vikings…there is just a sense of nobility and strength about them that I cannot resist.

    I WILL be at the RAD in West Chester B&N in February…is that the one you are speaking of?

    Look me up if you are there! I’d love to meet you.

  3. Wow, Renee, what a fabulous tribute to your sister. A book you have truly put your heart and soul in to.

    Now, me, I ride horse frequently and have competed at the Northern Kentucky Saddle Club – are you familiar with that arena? I’m not a member, but have gone to a few shows there.

    Like Keri and Anya, I’ll be at RAD and look forward to meeting you.

    What did you find to be the most difficult part about getting published?

  4. Hi Renee! It’s such a pleasure reading about you here. I often wonder what makes authors write about what they do or how certain era’s or people triggered their stories.

    I love Raeliksen’s time period. It brings to mind Tristan and Isolde, a story that sticks to my soul. It, of course, doesn’t hurt that James Franco played Tristan in a recent movie–but you know…

    Also, another critique partner, writes of the Picts and Scotti races not so far away from Raeliksen’s time.
    I’ve seen a few histroicals set in the period, but it’s surprising to me that more aren’t. The era is full of mysterious customs and a passionate history that just begs for good romances.

  5. Christina,
    I am VERY familiar with the KY Saddle Club. We actually bought our first horse there at an auction – a full-blood Tennessee Walker named Tramps Pride and Joy.

    Thank you for coming by and for the kind comments about my sister. It makes me very happy to talk about her and include her in my road to success.

    I am so happy that you are going to be at RAD. I look so forward to meeting you!

  6. Rosie,
    Tristan and Isolde is one of favorite movies – no lie. If you look on my FB page you will see it listed in with my favorite movies.

    That is the kind of story I wanted to write with Ræliksen. A love story set in a brutal yet romantic era.

    When I see previews for new movies that involve a historical of some sort – especially anything that involves a man on horseback and with a sword, I am already planning my weekend to get tickets for it. I love epic movies!

    Thank you so much for stopping by. Happy Reading!

  7. Oh, definitely! Can we say Russell Crowe in Robin Hood? I am so there!

    Btw, GERARD BUTLER!!! Grrrrowl! Anya, it took me too long to figure that out! Renee, Anya suggested Raeliksen presonifies GB!

    Oooh, I’ll call him now to ask if he can free up some time to portray Raeliksen in the movie adaptation. The only change would be me as your heroine–I don’t think that’ll be such a stretch, really. I mean, a short, round Italian could pull off Irish; don’t you think?

  8. Sorry Christina, I forgot to answer your question…

    The hardest part of getting published was (and I know this may sound crazy) but writing the summary for the back of the book. I had such a difficult time summarizing a 100,000 word novel into three short paragraphs when my story contains several shocking revelations and an intricately webbed twist at the end. I wrote and rewrote that summary at least thirty different times, and that is NOT an exaggeration. I’d either say way too much or not enough. For me, it’s far easier to write a entire novel than to summarize.

    However, I think I got it right in the end 🙂

    Thanks for the question.

  9. Rosie,
    Thank you so much for getting a hold of Gerard! I know he is so busy and I hate to bother him, but if you could do that, I would be so grateful! haha

    I remember when Beowulf and Grendel first came out and I rented it. I was sitting on my couch waiting for it to begin, excited that I was going to watch something that I was made to read in High School. Honestly, I was only doing it for my teacher who got me hooked on Beowulf, The Oddyssey and The Illiad…cause I knew he’d be proud. And then Gerard came on and my jaw dropped open. Right then and there I knew HE was my perfect viking warrior. (And still is….)

  10. Renee, we share the love of horses. 🙂 And I think I still have a copy of The Poky Little Puppy in the basement! Hey! I had forgotten I bought one of those personalized books too–for my daughter. She decided to be a vet, not a writer. 🙂

  11. Rosie,

    By Hunnic ruler…does that mean you have seen Gerard Butler in Attila?

    Did you know he did his own stunts in that movie when it came to the scene where he and this other guy had to duel it out, to the death, with a bow and arrow on sprinting horseback? I thought that was impressive.

    Gotta love a man on horseback!

  12. Jan,

    Horse are amazing animals, aren’t they? There is nothing like being on the back of such a powerful animal. And the faster they run, the better the thrill! I cannot imagine my life without horses.

    What is it about the Pokey Little Puppy that just doesn’t get old?!

    And I recall a time soon after I got out of high school that personalized books took a leap. They were everywhere you looked…but now, I haven’t seen them anywhere.

    And hey! My daughter wants to be a vet too. She loves animals and is so kind hearted.

    Thank you, Jan, for stopping by. It was nice to hear from you.
    And don’t forget to come by tomorrow so you can meet my hero, Dægan Ræliksen. 🙂

  13. I can’t wait for the release of MacLiam. I know this sequel will probably be a love story between Mara and Breandán but I just don’t see how Mara will be able to truly love someone as deeply as she loved her Dægan. I know life does go on and I want Mara to be happy. I’m sure that Dægan would want her to be happy too. It’s gonna be very hard for me to think of Mara with anyone else other than Dægan. I’ll try to keep and open mind and heart when I read MacLiam.

  14. Wonderful, wonderful, post. Thank you so much for sharing your story about your sister ~~ and your inspiration!! I’m a Ky girl, too ~~ awesome that you’re from here!! I love that you’re such a supporter for a cause so near and dear to my heart ~~ and can’t believe I’ve never heard of the “Trail Ride for The Cure”. Saving this to share w/ my daughter! We’re from the Louisville are, and we always do the Walk for the Cure ~~ we love doing that! Ræliksen sounds great ~~ I love Vikings!! And I’m all about supporting KY authors, so I’ll be getting him soon!! Good luck!!

  15. Daegan Lover,

    I am in the same boat as you…I am madly in love with my hero, Daegan. But once you read more about Breandan, I think you will find the differences in their characters refreshing.

    My intention with bringing Breandan back into the mix is not to pull you, the reader, or Mara away from Daegan. In fact, my hope is that you as the reader will be hard pressed to not love them both.

    Thanks for the well wishes on the sequel. That means a lot to me as an author that my readers are anxiously)awaiting its release.

  16. Melissa,

    Small world isn’t it? And the internet just makes it that much smaller. It’s very nice to meet you 🙂

    The Trail Ride for the Cure takes place in Bethel Ohio at East Fork State Park. Here is the website in case you want more infor on the 2010 event. (They have not updated the website yet as the 2009 details are still up on it but it is always the first Sat of October. Once it gets closer to the date they will update the site) http://www.trailrideforthecure.org/Experience.aspx

    I will certainly be there.

    Thank you so much for sharing this interview with your daughter and I truly hope you enjoy Raeliksen (when you “get him”) 😉

  17. I’ve been trying to remember when/where Renee and I first met in the virtual world. It might have been Facebook, or maybe MySpace.

    Renee’s book intrigued me but I was also very impressed by her charitable work. And when I went to her website and learned more about Renee, I knew she was someone I wanted to know in ‘real life’!

  18. Hi Renee,
    Great interview. Thanks for letting me know about it.
    I truly enjoyed it. And I’m still enjoying my cd. Thanks again.
    Hope to hear from you soon,
    Heidi S..

    • Well hello Heidi! Glad to see you here!

      I am so pleased that you are enjoying the CD. Sometimes it still gives me chills to listen to it, but then again, I have a very vivid imagination and those songs just bring about certain images from the book that I cannot help but rehash in my mind.

      I am so honored to have my very own Soundtrack CD to my book.

  19. Anya,
    I believe we met on the B&N forum in late 2008 or early 2009 (if my memory serves me correctly). And then on Myspace…but I could be wrong.

    And just so you know, I am completely humbled by your words. I appreciate you taking the time to get to know me on the cyber-world and for wanting to actually know me in the real-world.

    RAD cannot come soon enough!

    • It’s ok….I know you have a lot going on, on your end right now. Do not be bothered by that at all. I am just excited that our “relationship” – though virtual at this point – has lasted this long. It would please me immensely to one day be able to say that “you and I go way back”.

    • Mac Liam’s cover is nothing like Ræliksen! It is sooo much better. The Irish musician who did the soundtrack is also doing the cover for Mac Liam and I must say I was thoroughly impressed and greatly pleased with what he has come up with. It looks so much more like a romance cover, only better. There is so much sensuality in the cover, and I cannot wait til I am able to release what it looks like.

      It is nearly finished, but its “unveiling” will have to wait, I’m afraid, until later when the book is copywritten.

      Great question, though Daegan Lover! Thank you.

  20. Hello, in your interview with Anya Davis you said that you had to cut out half the story before a publisher would look at Raeliksen. I’m also a big fan of the author Stephenie Meyer and if you visit her website she says that she suffered the same problem as you. On her website Stephenie has posted “Outtakes” from her book Twilight. Have you ever considered doing the same thing with your outtakes?

    • Hmmm….what a great idea…hough I must admit, I have never given that thought until now.

      My husband joked with me that I could publish a book on “deleted scenes” of Ræliksen. I didn’t take him seriously, but now you have put an interesting thought into my head.

      Wow, is my head spinning with ideas……

      Another great question, indeed!

  21. You are most kind and I will certainly give it some thought.

    And not to get your hopes up….but I’ll let you in on a little secret…

    ……..there is a little bit of Dægan in the sequel. Shhh….

  22. “Daegan Lover
    Are there any certain songs on the CD that you relate to a particular part in your book?”

    Yes! Every single song! Here are the names of the songs which are written on the inside cover of the CD. (I wish I could tell you exactly which song went with which scene in the book, but then I’d be giving away the entire book for those who have not read it. Some are self explanatory.)

    Call of the Valkyrie
    A Chieftain’s Feast
    Return tí Árainn Mhór
    Dægan’s Ode (Music that is on the Book Trailer)
    Dægan’s Flight
    Forever
    Mara’s Theme
    Dægan’s Wrath
    Return to Luimneach
    Saga’s End

    And then there is an additonal song at the end, a guitar solo by Mícheál Ó Caoinleain himself.

  23. I have just read Renee’s interview and I must say that she continues to impress me each and every day. You would be amazed at the hours and effort she has put into both Raeliksen and Mac Liam, not just the writing but the “advertising”. She has learned how to create a website which I think is unbelievable, as well as a blog, etc, etc, etc. She has a very strong but tender heart and that is why I love her so much. She is currently doing homework with my daughter in the other room, so I thought I would surprise her with a note.

    Renee, I love you so much and I am so proud of you!

    Guess who?!

    • Oh my goodness!!! I am crying right now!

      See? I told you he is the most supportive husband in the world and he is the most sensitive man you will ever meet!

      I am in tears right now at his post…he did not tell me he was doing this.

      As I said in my book, he is my rock, my shield, m’lord.

      Thank you Gregory for taking the time out of your schedule (which is so crazy right now) to read this interview. I love you.

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