Today I am delighted to welcome Virginia Taylor. Virginia Virginia Taylor is an Australian writer of contemporary romantic comedy, historical romance, short stories, and children’s stories.
So tell us about your story behind the story, please, Virginia!
In the writing stakes, I’m a late contender. In the reading stakes, I’m an early starter, but a persistent stayer. This means I have read every genre written but only enjoyed those with positive endings. I have read stories set in every country in the world but very few in my own, and I don’t recall reading any set in my state. Because the history of South Australia is not based on convict settlement, but free settlers, and because I love reading historical romances, I set my mind on writing a series of South Australian historical romances.
I started the first in 1995 after reading my first historical romance a year or two earlier. From the first one, Gentle Rogue, by Joanna Lindsay, I was hooked, but the historical accuracy was more romantic than authentic. Nevertheless, I read Ms Lindsay’s full series, preferring those she set in her own country whose history was more interesting to me than her British set stories. I had, of course, read Austen and Heyer who knew their own countries best, too.
Five generations of my family before me were born in South Australia, which has a rich and interesting history based on the free settlers who came out from England to the Utopia of the south. While they did so, they discovered copper, marble, slate, gold, silver, anything the world needed, in abundance. They grew crops and bred sheep to supply the world with good quality wool. They set up industries, processing plants, and small businesses. These are the people I wanted to write about.
Wenna is the fourth story of my South Lander series, which doesn’t need to be read in sequence. Her parents were immigrants, always had a plan, but she needs some way to finance herself. She works her way up as a servant and achieves her desired position of a lady’s maid. This job prepares her to start her own business, but her work ethic and her ambition makes her worthy of the best sort of hero, one who understands her, appreciates her, and knows he is lucky to have found her.
Although Devon is an aristocrat who doesn’t need to earn money, he is ambitious too, and wants to make his way in the world without the influence of his family. He is my sort of hero, tough, and smart enough to see beneath Wenna’s prickly exterior. He is loving enough to tame her: to teach her to trust him. I love these two, and the way they bounce off each other. Their journey together is tricky but survives all the stumbles along the way.
Before any of my books were sold, I had enough stumbles along the way to take me out of the race for almost twenty years. None of my original stories survived its original version because I had a lot to learn back then. I finally sold my first, a contemporary, whose heroine shares the name Alli Sinclair. How’s that for a coincidence?