Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Interview - David W. Wilkin.

Today I have the inimitable D. W. Wilkin, talking about his latest novel:
"Caution's Heir".


Award winning author, Mr. Wilkin is a graduate in history. He has been writing in various genres for thirty years. Extensive study of premodern civilizations, including years as a re-enactor of medieval, renaissance and regency times has given Mr. Wilkin an insight into such antiquated cultures.
Trained in fighting forms as well as his background in history lends his fantasy work to encompass mores beyond simple hero quests to add the depth of the world and political forms to his tales.
Throughout his involvement with various periods of long ago days, he has also learned the dances of those times. Not only becoming proficient at them but also teaching thousands how to do them as well.
Mr. Wilkin regularly posts about Regency history at his blog, and as a member of English Historical Fiction Authors. You can read that blog at English History Authors. His very first article was published while in college, and though that magazine is defunct, he still waits patiently for the few dollars the publisher owes him for the piece.
Mr. Wilkin is also the author of several regency romances, and including a sequel to the epic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. His recent work, Beggars Can't Be Choosier has won the prestigious Outstanding Historical Romance award from Romance Reviews Magazine.
The Interview:

(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel(s)?

I started the first draft over four years ago and I am now not sure how I came to this story. The character of Mrs Bottomworth was clear from the first moment. A guide for my heroine that was provocative and evocative. But the basic plot and story points are now lost to my memory. I believe I thought that Heyer might have used such a device and perhaps I thought that I could tell the same idea in my own style. A man wagers all and loses his home and all his belongings on the play of the cards. Including his daughter…

(2) Alpha or beta hero –profession/title/rank?– brief description!

I think of Lord Arthur, the Earl (courtesy) of Daventry, as an Alpha. The father of a friend who seeks a polishing influence has a discussion with Arthur, and we see that our hero is one who is a sober example of what one should be in the Ton. His father spent the family fortunes in his youth and so when Arhtur went off to school he had very little. He has used what skills he has with cards to add to his small allowance and with good investment and guardianship, he has done well.

(3) Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description!

Lady Louisa. For all but the last few months, she was the Honourable, for her grandfather and uncle were a Marquess. Then recently her father became the Marquess, and yet he is the worse one imagines with such a title. For he does rather quickly gamble away all his wealth, and then absconds for the new world. Leaving her behind and with nothing. She however had only the good traits she has learned form her other relations. The late Marquess, and that family which allowed her profligate father and she to live on the manor grounds.

(4) Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?

There are many secondary characters for Daventry leads a set. This includes a young man whose mama wants him married, and who needs some more maturity. Lady Louisa has a boon companion thrice her age in Mrs Bottomworth whom I am told is a favorite from amongst the first readers.

(5) Where is the novel (s) set? – time-frame – country etc.

It is Town and Country. Post war. Our heroes are only just thinking of what they need to accomplish in life and so have yet to take up any serious profession. Nor are they old enough to have served functionally in the war. Near the end of the reign of George and near the beginning of William, though nothing of worldly events intrudes on the tale.

(6) What is it about your chosen era/periods that you most enjoy?

This is my sixth regency (and I have a modern book with Jane Austen, so perhaps this is #7) and so I feel comfortable here. I have the tropes down, and I explore different themes. Two Peas, for instance covers a lot of ground of men just back from the war, and carrying the burdens of what they have seen, while the regular Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, regency motif plays along. I find the regency a place I can have fun as a writer, with he said/she said, misunderstanding, love.

(7) Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?

I don’t dislike any of my characters. Even the ones I have my heroes plant facers on! They serve a purpose and I use them for that. Some of my characters I really like, and there are some tales where I wish I could jump right in and live the life I have made for that character (In regency and fantasy though I need to create indoor plumbing to make me truly wish I could jump in, and a parrallel for Tums…) Sometime I do have pure evil, but usually those who we see as bad, live to their own code and see what they are doing for the expedient reasons that they need to. One countries bad seed, is another countries hero. (Or sometimes just plain crazy and in power.)

(8) Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?

I do avoid most of that. My Regencies tend to end at the last page with the first kiss between our hero and heroine. In Beggar’s I had to have the couple be married so sex was off camera! There was one scene of nudity that was needed for the story line, but otherwise, (and our heroine there was married and had two children as the story progressed) there was the thoughts of what lovemaking had entailed, but not the action of it. In a few stories (I just finished a first draft in a fantasy) short quick euphemisms serve to take us in a sentence through the beginning, middle and end of foreplay, the act itself, climax and le-petit-mal. There are plenty of places I find that one can read that, and to me it detracts from the telling of a story.
Or let me put it this way, if I had my faithful fans sitting around a campfire wanting me to read my story to them, what could I read aloud and none of us be embarrassed.

(9) How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or...?

I think Caution’s Heir is Romantic fiction. I do not take a great deal of time in putting in a time point in history in this particular tale. It happens in the later part of the regency, but we don’t see much of the world beyond what our characters encounter as they go through their lives.


Back cover blurb:
Teaching a boor a lesson is one thing.
Winning all that the man owns is more than Lord Arthur Herrington expects. Especially when he finds that his winnings include the boor’s daughter!
The Duke of Northampshire spent fortunes in his youth. The reality of which his son, Arthur the Earl of Daventry, learns all too well when sent off to school with nothing in his pocket. Learning to fill that pocket leads him on a road to frugality and his becoming a sober man of Town. A sober but very much respected member of the Ton.
Lady Louisa Booth did not have much hope for her father, known in the country for his profligate ways. Yet when the man inherited her gallant uncle’s title and wealth, she hoped he would reform. Alas, that was not to be the case.
When she learned everything was lost, including her beloved home, she made it her purpose to ensure that Lord Arthur was not indifferent to her plight. An unmarried young woman cast adrift in society without a protector. A role that Arthur never thought to be cast as. A role he had little idea if he could rise to such occasion. Yet would Louisa find Arthur to be that one true benefactor? Would Arthur make this obligation something more? Would a game of chance lead to love?

Author web site.



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