SheBrisbane’s own Kelly Lyonns is about to release her debut novel ‘The Soldier’s Woman’, published by local publisher Atlas Productions Books.
It is a regency romance with a paranormal twist.
Kelly is excitedly planning her launch which will be this Friday at The Gap’s Café Tara.
Here is just a taste of what you can expect in the novel: “His air was hers, deeper than her skin, deeper than her bones , beyond touch, beyond taste. He claimed her.”
Who is Kelly Lyonns
After being an environmental scientist for more than two decades, Kelly joined a writing group and decided to try her hand at writing a romance novel. She loved reading regency romance so this was the genre she chose.
Her early efforts were encouraged by coming seventh in the Valerie Parv writing competition where she received positive feedback and some constructive suggestions.
Being a wife, mother of two, proud moggie owner and still freelance editing she wrote when she could – late at night, waiting in the pick-up zone or when housesitting for friends with none of her usual daily distractions.
The story began as a straight out romance and then something magical happened. Paranormal elements started to appear giving the story more action and depth.
“My characters were dull, although my plot was good. Once the paranormal elements popped in, the characters came alive and were much more authentic.The story wrote itself after that,” says Kelly.
She adds people often asked her why would a scientist write romance.
“Writing a romance is just like any good writing and in fiction you need believable characters with a good plot and setting,” she says.
“I was inspired by people like Jane Ann Krentz (who also writes as Amanda Quick), Stephanie Laurens, Anna Campbell and Mary Jo Putney.
“Regency romance readers know their stuff so I knew I had to research this novel thoroughly and make sure the historical information I presented was accurate.”
About ‘The Soldier’s Woman’
‘The Soldier’s Woman’ is set in Napoleonic Portugal and follows the adventures of Miss Charlotte Everslea, a petite artefact hunter who accidentally meets our hero Colonel Maximillian Bladewood during a skirmish in a small Portugese town.
Together they must retrieve a dangerously powerful book, rescue some children, fight off wild dogs and keep themselves out of the clutches of the mysterious Mr Black.
The only problem is that Maximillian doesn’t know about Charlotte’s mission to retrieve the book. What happens when two equally determined people are passionately opposed to one another? Romance, of course.
The Writing Process
Kelly confesses she had no routine or discipline when writing ‘The Soldier’s Woman’.
“However, as I am an experienced freelance writer I always carry notebooks and pens for when an idea strikes,” she says.
“I had several writing partners and readers who would help edit and who gave feedback and encouragement along the way. It was a surreal moment when I first held a copy of my book. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Kelly hasn’t had much time to celebrate as she is now hard at work writing the second instalment in ‘The Bladewood Legacy’ series.
It is called ‘The Sailor’s Lass’ and will be set primarily in France.
Kelly’s advice to aspiring writers is to join a writing group that you feel comfortable in, enter competitions , attend workshops and become a part of writing support networks like the Queensland Writer’s Centre or Romance Writer’s Australia.
“Above all, don’t give up after the first rejection and just keep writing,” says Kelly.
Lovers of regency romance will be able to obtain copies of ‘The Soldier’s Woman’ from Amazon on pre-order now or from The Book Depository and other good booksellers from February 10. It is available in e-book and print format. Kelly’s writing can also be found here on She Brisbane or visit her blog, Romance, Heroics and High Tea.