RWA – A Day in the Writing Life of…Lavinia Kent

Welcome everyone to another Day in the Writing Life post.  Today we have a special overseas guest, Lavinia Kent.

In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling. I write hot Regency romance.  I’ve always been drawn to historicals because of what they allow you to do that you can’t do as easily in a modern time frame.  I enjoy creating situations where my heroine is truly desperate – and this is much harder to do when she can call the police, get a job, or a divorce.


Available in February 2013

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer? I write whenever I can find the time.  I am not good early in the morning, and I’m much less of a night owl than I used to be.  My favorite thing (which almost never happens) is to write as soon as I’ve had my first cup of coffee, before I read the paper or even talk to another person.  My brain is wonderfully fresh then.  Of course, in real life there are always kids to get to school, laundry to do, groceries to buy. . .


What’s the first thing you do before you begin to write? This goes well with the last question.  Ideally, I just sit and write, fresh from a good night’s sleep.  In reality, I play a few hands of solitaire, check my email, and browse Amazon – although mostly in the opposite order.  A hand of solitaire keys my mind to the fact that it’s time to get busy. 

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms? I am a pantser who struggles to be more of a plotter.  I normally start a book knowing my characters and the difficult situation they’ve found themselves in.  I then just let things flow for about five chapters (15,000 to 25,000 words).  At that point I sit down and force myself to plot the middle of the book.  And to ignore my husband’s comment that beheading the hero on the last page would certainly surprise everybody. 

I’ve always wished I was more of a plotter.  The problem with knowing your characters before your story is that they don’t always think the story I want is the one that they want to tell.   Sometimes that’s wonderful and sometimes it’s not.  In What a Duke Wants I had planned to have my hero abandon the heroine on the ballroom floor when a nasty secret was revealed.  He refused, letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that he was a very honorable man who would never act in such a manner.  On the other hand, I’ve been working on a novella for ages in which my hero and heroine just want to be in love.  That would be great if it weren’t page five.What a duke wants

 I’ve plotted out my next book (a Harlequin Presents-inspired Regency) without getting to know my characters first.  We’ll see how that goes.  I’m almost done with the endless novella and am more than ready to move on after reaching some degree of compromise with my characters. I edit a little as I go along and also before I send pieces off to my critique group.  I also do a big edit at the end.

 Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals? I give myself rewards (and penalties) for everything, weight loss, cleaning, exercise – and yes, writing.  Frequently it’s something simple – getting to watch a junky TV program with no guilt if I finish a day’s goal.  But it can be more elaborate for a bigger goal – a spa day, a new pair of impractical heels, or a great new lipstick.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions? Yes and no.  I tend to write in several 500 word sessions during the day, so I don’t often take a break during them.  I actually work hard to keep my butt in the chair for that period.  I do take a three-mile hike almost every day and it definitely helps free my mind for writing.  

One of my current dreams is to go on an English hiking tour along the coast – maybe when I finish my next (unstarted) trilogy.

Thank you for being our guest Lavinia. All the best for your February release ‘Hint of Desire.’  Thank you for having me.  I’ve really enjoyed the questions. 

For further information on Lavinia’s wonderful regency romances visit her website:




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  1. Cath Evans

     /  February 1, 2013

    Hi Lavinia,
    Isn’t it a shame real life intrudes all the time. I’d also like to wake up and write over my first cuppa then I might capture more of those amazing words in my dreams!

    Good luck with your new trilogy and your hiking holiday reward 🙂


  2. Cath,

    That’s exactly the feeling I have!! Always trying to capture those dreams on the page.



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