Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sunday Surprise is Caution's Heir

On my Sunday Surprise slot I'm welcoming a return guest, an author I met earlier this year via one of my Facebook Groups. David Wilkin writes in the Regency Romance and Fantasy genres. I read one of David's Regency novels earlier this year and really enjoyed his light-hearted style. Today, he's here to be interviewed and to tell us about his brand new Regency Romance - Caution's Heir - which has just been published. 

Here's what David has to say...
What moved you to become an author?
I like to tell stories. I had a great many inside my head, good dreams that just need to have more plot and a happy ending, and as I worked on them, they became good stories. Putting them down on paper was the natural next step.
Tell us about your current novel.
Caution’s Heir is a classic Regency Romance. It plays upon the idea that the men of the Ton did gamble and sometimes wagered so much that they became broke. In this case the father of our Heroine, who is a terrible gambler wagers everything, is against our hero who has been trying to rein him in, though also trying to teach him a lesson. The father loses all of his lands including all that ‘which is within.’ He then flees the country, forgetting that he leaves his daughter behind with few resources and no protection. She, Louisa decides the only thing for it is to go to London and make of our hero, Arthur, her protector.

How did the story begin to develop in your mind?
I was not sure if I had thought that Georgette Heyer might have had a similar idea for a story, or not, but the plot began to simmer until it boiled over.
David - I've read hundreds of Regency novels over the years, and although the plots rarely vary all that much,  it's the author's twist that makes their stories more memorable. 
What did you find most challenging about this book?
Ensuring that I could bring the character development to the fore. Arthur’s own father was much like Louisa’s. The Duke spent a fortune in his youth and then when he found himself with no money began to live a life of frugality, a recluse. He brought up his only son so as well, without a large allowance. And thus Arthur has only what money he saves each year from his own modest games at the tables. Until he wins the entire fortune of Lady Louisa’s father.

Tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I was 6 ft and almost 1 inch. Now I’m shrinking.

That was probably too little.

I’m a man writing Regency Romances. That has to be a little different.

So why? Why do I like the Regency?

I have written elsewhere about how Southern California at one time started a craze in Regency Reenactment. With that craze came the locals running a monthly dance practice so all would be ready for the two big events each year that are held. A Regency Ball held in Fall called the Autumn Ball, and then A Regency Assembly where the group would go to a hotel and take it over for a full weekend of activities, dancing, and another Ball.

A friend, thinking they had a woman to introduce me to, urged that I go to this dance practice, and though I did date the young lady once, I went back to the practice at various times because others knew of it. It was a good way for my friends and I to have fun doing these dances, and as time went on I became quite good and taught them, as I also did the dances I had mastered in my Medieval/Renaissance reenactment group.

I further became hooked on Regencies when one of my closest friends told me to read Georgette Heyer’s Frederica. Once into that and Heyer’s use of language I devoured a dozen more. (Well I didn’t eat them, but you understand.) Then I met Cheryl at the Autumn Ball. I had been writing in other forms, so as we maintained a long distance romance for a few months, I began to write her a Regency Story/Novel a few pages every few days until we were together.

My writing group thought that it was some of my best work and better than the Science Fiction I was sharing at the time, so I grew into Regency Romance.
That's a very interesting segue into romance writing! What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.
I have been toying with the preliminary write-up of a paranormal. My working title is B’ware and my hero is not a wimpy werewolf, but a fearsome werebear! And being a bear, though only once a month, he is drafted out of college by Da Bears, to play in the NFL. Clawlike fingernails help with control of the football, and the bear like muscles make for excellent speed. One remembers the old joke about the two hunters when they disturb a bear and start running away, ‘I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you…”
In the current work, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.
The entrance into Lord Arthur’s life of all that will forever change it is probably one of the most fun…
A week had passed since the eventful card game and much had returned to normal. Later that day the Earl was set to travel to his aunt’s to pay his weekly call upon her. Arthur had ventured to see a play with his friends and greeted many acquaintances there the previous night. This morning he dined on kippers and toast alone, whilst glancing at the paper. He recognised the sound of a carriage stopping in the street, and then a knock at his front door. Arthur knew he would finish the article before whoever called at so early an hour was announced to him. He used a cloth to wipe the jam from the right corner of his mouth as his butler, Dromes, knocked and entered.
“Yes Dromes?”
“My Lord, it is very irregular,” Dromes did not look happy and tugged on his gloves trying to make them as taut as possible.
“Irregular, how so?” Arthur liked things to be irregular. Novelty was always welcome in his house.
“My Lord it is a young lady.” The butler made that sound as if it conveyed the entirety of the matter.
The Earl was not entirely pleased for his cravat was not perfection, nor were his own hands as clean as they should be as he had newsprint now upon them. “Lady?”
“Yes, I have left her in the hall.”
That in itself was a social faux pas, certainly she should have been deposited in the drawing room. The Earl stood and did his best to wipe his hands, dabbing his nap cloth into his coffee to provide some moisture for the task. He then straightened his clothes as best he could, continuing the conversation. “And who is this lady, does she have a name, Dromes?”
“Oh yes, my lord. It is Lady Louisa Booth, she said to tell you, the daughter of the Marquess of Hroek.”
The Earl stopped his brushing for a moment, and then continued it more vigorously. “Return to the lady and show her into the drawing room. Then tell Mrs Hatch to prepare a full breakfast for it is early for such a woman to be out.”
“Yes my lord. At once. But my lord,” the butler paused having half turned to leave the room, “She has luggage.”
Once more the Earl paused and then dropped his nap cloth and rushed ahead of the butler. A quick twenty feet down the hallway to the landing and he could see the young girl gazing up at him. “Yes, I am Arthur Herrington and you are Lady Louisa…” He had slowed in his gait and slowly descended the stairs.
Another head from under the landing poked out, a much older woman with white hair creeping out from beneath a modest yellow cap. The young one said, “Yes, that is correct. Louisa Booth. I am yours.”
Arthur had stopped his progression. Then he realised he had done so and continued down the last five steps where he bowed to the two women as they curtsied. Neither was dressed fashionably. They had perhaps what was their best Sunday frocks. Louisa was dressed in white with a dark blue spencer.
“Please, let us go to the drawing room. It is much more comfortable then the hall, and Dromes. Dromes! Oh Steven, here take the ladies coats, this is…”
Lady Louisa supplied the name of her companion. “Mrs Bottomworth. She is my companion now more than anything else.”
“Indeed. Steven take Mrs Bottomworth’s and Lady Louisa’s coats. I believe Dromes must be seeing to refreshment. I have asked that cook prepare food as it is quite early…”

Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like?
Well Jane Austen of course. For Regencies I am also influenced by Georgette Heyer. I have a few modern day writers of Regency Mysteries. The Beau Brummel and Jane Austen Mysteries. The late Kate Ross. If you love Regencies, run, don’t walk to find these 4 gems. (Oh and now, Galen Beckett but this series is got Fantasy elements, the prose is dynamite though.)

After that, I think Robert Heinlein and Charles Dickens helped to form me as a writer.  The late Brian Daley, the Late Robert Asprin, the Late Robert Jordan (There really isn’t a theme. I am just younger than the writers I read and whom I like and return to reading. For those who take a look at my Fantasy work and other work, they may see how I am influenced.
Who do you read? What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in.
Aside from my influences, who I listed, this last year I have read Burt Golden who has a mystery dealing with the March Madness tournaments. Burt was a former College Basketball coach so knows that area pretty well. Nathan Lowell who has written a science fiction series reminiscent of playing the Traveller role-playing game, Patrick Rothfuss whose second book is not nearly as strong as his first book.

Dave Poyer who is a delight in Modern Naval fiction, ER Burroughs who I thought had written better when I read him as a teenager, and Michael J. Sullivan whose first two books were much better crafted than the third where he threw in traditional fantasy elements without regard to logic.
When writing, what is your routine?
I spend way too much time in front of my computer writing. Some days I will sit and come up with well over 30 pages. I have sprints where I want to work on 100 pages a week. And then I have distractions where I have to take breaks and work on the website, or the blog.

It takes a good hour to come up with 3 pages in first draft, an about an hour to edit ten pages. In a three hundred page work then, that is about 100 hours to write the first draft. Thirty more to go through my edit. Then I enter the edits. At least another thirty and about a week of prep. About 200 hours? That seems low. If I sat here and was not distracted and got paid for that time, could I do a book every five weeks? 10 a year? Well probably. But then how much should I get back for each book?

Is $8 worth your time to read for two to three hours what took me 200 to write and polish and work on? So far, I think that my take on providing story, my interpretation of Boy meet Girls, Boy loses Girl and Boy then gets Girl, will take you on a journey you’ll enjoy.
Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?
I had not been thinking of myself as an artist until recently. Then I realized that these stories and tales are art. And that while I have fun with them, they are as much art as some of those writers I read. Then there is craft to this as well. Knowing how to string words together. But to weave in plot points and subplots so the characters become more than one dimensional. That has taken time to learn and develop.

So to be successful at storytelling, I have become both. But it is a kick to be an artist.
Where should we look for your work?
I can be found at the iBookstore, and Amazon, Nook and other online places for eBooks as well as physical books. I have created one webpage that sums it all up which I humbly (proudly, arrogantly, annoyingly) titled David’s books:

and the Press website

Caution’s Heir is available at all these places, but direct links for it are:

Trade Paperback-

Direct from Regency Assembly Press-

From David's Amazon Bio:
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 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.

Thank you for coming, today, and for doing the interview, David. I wish you the very best success with Caution's Heir and all of your other writing.


  1. Well, what an interesting interview! As a reader and writer of Regencies, can I say how refreshing it is to find a male author in this genre. And were bears! Your imagination knows no bounds.

    1. Hello Vonnie. It's lovely to make contact again -thanks for visiting and commenting.


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