Author Interview: Vanda Vadas Historical Romance



JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Vanda. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

VV- Greetings from Australia, Jeanie, and thank you for inviting me to be your guest on The Books Delight. I live in Queensland, often referred to as the Sunshine State on the east coast of Australia. I’m lucky to live within minutes of the ocean so I often enjoy a stroll along the beach or having a swim in the water. Another go-to getaway is to the lush hills of the Hinterland where I can admire spectacular views of the Great Dividing Range, go on bushwalks and visit one of the many eateries or vineyards. Reading, cooking and catching up with family and friends are also fun favourites.

At this point in time, the perfect day for me would be to reunite with, and embrace my children and grandchildren who live interstate. I haven’t seen them since early December last year.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

VV- I visited relatives in the UK with my mother when I was eleven years old. Holiday sightseeing included Warwick Castle, Windsor Castle and Caernarfon Castle (in north-west Wales). I remember being absolutely fascinated with these stone structures and the rich history of medieval times. It sparked my interest in events and people of the past. Later in life I visited Scotland and was particularly drawn to Inverness where the Battle of Culloden took place on Drumossie Moor in 1746. I found Jacobite Scotland intriguing and I began researching the origins, decline and transformation of the Scottish Highland clans.

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

VV- I’m currently delving into the life of Robert Roy MacGregor (1671-1734), known as a Scottish Folk hero, a Highland Robin Hood. My research reveals him to be a Trossachs-based cattle thief, an outlaw, a blackmailer, and a protection racketeer. There’s always two sides to every story, if not three. If I were to sit down with Rob Roy over a dram of whisky, I doubt I could stop at asking him just one question, but I’d be curious to know what he would have thought of his romanticized character in Sir Walter Scott’s historical fiction novel, ‘Rob Roy’, published in 1817.

JMR- How did you come to be a writer of historical romance?

VV- Aside from having read Jane Austen's novels in high school, I didn't read my first romance until I was twenty-four. I read the book in one day and wondered why it had taken me so long to discover the world of Historical Romance.


It wasn't until years later, when my children were settled in school, that I reacquainted myself with the romance genre. I would read on the train while commuting to work and that, you might say, was the catalyst in my dream to become a published author of historical fiction.


JMR- Authors of historical romance walk a tight line between the romance and the history. What do you consider to be a well-balanced historical romance?

VV- For me, writing a well-balanced historical romance is all about creating fictitious characters and dramas set against authentic historical and geographical backdrops. It’s about blending matters of the heart with staying true to the traditions, customs, manners, dialogue and social norms of the time period. The trick is not to allow one aspect to overshadow the other.

I was fortunate to have travelled to the Caribbean Islands to do research for my book, THE PIRATE LORD, and to visit Scotland on two occasions when writing THE PRODIGAL LAIRD. These visits were invaluable in terms of engaging all the senses first-hand, like breathing in the air, sighting flora and fauna, and touching hewn stone on castles and visiting historical buildings. Translating those tactile experiences into the story and onto the page helps me to ground readers not only in time and place, but to immerse them in the hearts and minds of my characters.

JMR- I’ve recently read some backlash against the Alpha Male. What is your take on this popular trope?

VV- A very good question and one I’ll summarize by saying the ‘Alpha Male’ has long-existed in romance fiction. There are many different types of alpha heroes and the reasons for their reader appeal are as diverse as we are as individuals.

JMR- Vanda, tell us about your new book, The Prodigal Laird?

VV- The Prodigal Laird is set in Scotland in 1747, one year after the Battle of Culloden. It’s about Roderick MacLeod returning home to his native Scottish Highlands to pay brief respects to his recently deceased father─the man Roderick blames for the death of his English mother. But before he can return to England, he is saddled with two responsibilities he never asked for: the title of Laird of Clan MacLeod and an unwanted marriage, by proxy, to the daughter of a rival laird.

Annabel MacDonald thought she had the perfect marriage; her husband's continued absence allowed her independence and the freedom to secretly hide and abet the escape of her fugitive clansmen. When the husband she'd never met shows up, she must convince him to return to England before he uncovers her many secrets, and perhaps her heart.


JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

VV- I accompanied my husband on a business trip to the UK in March 2020 and we made time to visit Crieff in Scotland. I was able to do research for my current and future works in progress. Crieff has a rich and colourful history and was the main cattle trading centre in Scotland between the 16th and 18th centuries. In days of yore, the town was famous for hanging lawless Highlanders. I sighted the old gallows tree’s timber which is preserved in the Town Hall. Another landmark of note was the Drummond Arms Hotel where Bonnie Prince Charlie held his last war council. Crieff is also where the infamous Rob Roy MacGregor would often visit to sell cattle.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

VV- Please do visit my website or engage with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

                                                       Website   Facebook   Twitter


JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

VV- Actually, there isn’t any one particular question I’d hoped for you to ask. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed answering the questions above and I appreciate your interest in my books and my writing. Thank you once again, Jeanie, for inviting me to be your guest on The Books Delight.

JMR- Thanks, Vanda, for stopping by and sharing with our readers. I've included a link to Vanda's book below. Also, check out my bookshelf, full of great historical fiction and non-fiction.

Readers Don't miss a single interview, review or article. Subscribe Today.


Popular Posts