Q&A With Aviva Orr

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Q&A With Aviva Orr 

Alexa Aston, who I recently did a Q&A with, was kind enough to connect me with more authors for Q&A. One of these authors being Aviva Orr. Aviva is the author of the novels The Mist on Brontë Moore, Love and Liberty, Love and Vengeance, and Love and Literature. 

Q: Aviva, would you say your love of British literature drew you into writing historical romance novels?

A: Definitely! Like all writers, I’m passionate about books, so I pursued a master’s degree in literature, taking most of my courses in early British literature. My favorite authors inspired me to write my own novels. Amongst my favorites are the Brontë sisters, and most of my writing has a Brontë influence. I also draw inspiration for my characters from writers like Byron (I love a Byronic hero) and look to early women writers like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aphra Behn, and George Eliot (to name a few), who crafted feisty female characters during times when women had little power in society.

Q: Would you like to talk about each of your books, and what the research process is like for writing historical romance? 


A: My first book, The Mist on Brontë Moor, was inspired by a visit to the Brontë parsonage in Hayworth. That visit made me feel like I’d stepped back in time, and I thought how wonderful it would be to meet the Brontës. The best way for me to do that was to write about it. The book involved a lot of research into each member of the Brontë family. But it was a labor of love. Aside from revisiting their novels and poetry, I read several biographies about the family because I wanted to portray them accurately. Similarly, Love and Literature is also a Brontë-inspired novel. The book is an homage to Charlotte Brontë’s first novel, The Professor (published posthumously). The entire series deals with the beginnings of higher education for women in England. I researched and learned a lot about the pioneers of women’s education, who were responsible for the first women’s colleges in England. These women fought tirelessly for equal education and are an inspiration. 

Q: How long does it typically take for you to write a book?

A: My first book took a couple of years because I kept revising it, as I was too nervous to submit it to publishers. Nowadays, I need at least six months for a novel.

Q: Do you have any upcoming releases and are you currently writing anything new right now? If it’s not too early, can you reveal any details?

A: Yes, I have written a novella for Dragonblade Publishing’s Lyon’s Den Series, which will be released in May 2024. If you are not familiar, The Lyon’s Den is an exciting series written by multiple authors, which takes place in Regency England. 

Q: If you were to write in another genre that wasn’t historical romance, which genres would they be and why?

A: I’d write mystery or psychological thrillers because I enjoy reading those types of books.

Q: If Hollywood were to get the rights to your work, who would be the perfect cast to play the characters you created?

A: My novels are set in England, so I’d want a British cast. Tom Hardy is one of my favorite actors and would be perfect for my Byronic hero in Love and Vengeance. And I’d chose Benedict Cumberbatch for the male lead in Love and Literature. For the female leads, there are so many fantastic English actresses. I particularly like Jenna Coleman, who played young Queen Victoria, Rose Williams, and Olivia Cooke.

Q: In your opinion, what makes a perfect historical romance for those who wish to write historical romances?

A: I don’t think there’s such a thing as a perfect historical romance because readers have different preferences. Personally, I enjoy dark and gothic love stories like those written by the Brontë sisters. However, I also appreciate witty Regency romances. Either way, it’s important to me that the book is historically accurate and features a strong female protagonist.

Q: What helpful advice would you give to new & aspiring authors on how to deal with criticism whether it’s negative reviews, online trolls, & family and friends who aren’t supportive of their writing goals and talent? 

A: I’d suggest continuing to write because writing is a skill that requires practice. The more you write, the better your writing will become. Also, I strongly recommend that new writers (all writers) connect with other writers for support. Join a writing group, which meets online or in person, to get the support and critiques necessary to improve. Finally, writers need to develop a thick skin. Not everyone will like what you write, and that’s okay. It’s impossible to please all people, but it’s important to take constructive criticism and use it to keep improving, whether or not you are published.

Q: What was it like growing up in Cape Town, South Africa? I’ve seen pictures and it looks beautiful. 

A:  Cape Town is majestic. My childhood memories are of sunny days and adventure. The city is surrounded by stunning beaches and magnificent mountains that dominate the skyline, making it a truly breathtaking sight. Growing up in the time before iPhones, I was lucky to spend my childhood outdoors, exploring all the natural beauty Cape Town had to offer.