Author Aubrey Wynne’s first publication, the contemporary romance “Merry Christmas, Henry” came out in November, and I have the great pleasure of asking her a few questions.
Hi Aubrey, thanks for stopping by. It’s so interesting to meet fellow authors and learn how they “work”. Where do your ideas come from?
Good grief-everywhere. Movies, songs, conversations. Several of my ‘twilight’ shorts came from my sister’s dreams. The Magnificent Valor (my musketeers) evolved from the final scene in Man In The Iron Mask (1998 version with Leonardo DiCaprio). Short story contests with prompts often turn into an idea for a novella or novel.
What kind of writer are you?
I do a bit of everything but my first love is historical romance. I hope to have the first in my series on the Musketeers completed this Spring. I also have a contemporary holiday romance out, Merry Christmas, Henry.
On the back burner, I am working on two short story collections: one humorous, the other fantasy/alternate reality. Too many ideas, not enough time.
I know all about that! So how do you balance life and writing?
Honestly, I don’t balance very well. I try to write something every day, even if it’s just edits, a review or commenting on a blog. But I tend to get hyper-focused when I really get into a character or scene. I am thankful for an understanding husband.
Support is tremendously important. What drives you to write?
Imagination. My sister brainstorm over a glass of wine and come up with divine characters and plot lines.
Ha ha, that’s nice. So you just had your first book released, ‘Merry Christmas, Henry”. Congratulations on that! Tell us about the experience of writing it.
This story evolved from a Christmas contest but the plot couldn’t be contained in 3000 words. I love holiday romances and this idea came while watching a documentary on a painter. I love my character Henry. He is the eternal optimist and is rewarded for this. That is my philosophy in life. Stay positive and good things will come your way. This story will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first published piece.
How sweet. Your first hero will always be like a first baby. What is your favorite thing about writing?
The finished product.
And what is your least favorite?
The rough draft: that process in between conception and completion. I am one of those geeks who look forward to the editing process.
Tell us about one of your own writing quirks.
A scene needs to play in my head like a movie before I know it’s right. Until then, that portion of the story is missing something.
As an author, what scares you the most?
The possibility of running out ideas. I think I have at least six ideas for historical romances waiting to be written and countless short stories. But what if that well runs dry? It terrifies me.
I don’t think that is possible. The ideas will keep popping into your head. All it takes is reading a book, for example. Which authors most influenced your writing?
Hmmm. The original historical romance queens: LaVyrle Spencer, Jude Devereaux, Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood. If HR fans haven’t read their work, they really should. Historical fiction: Philippa Gregory and Ken Follett.
Awesome. So what’s next for Aubrey Wynne?
I’m working on a historical romance series on the four Musketeers that closely historical fact. These men really did exist. My story conflicts with the Alexandre Dumas version due to the historical accuracy.
I also have a fantasy medieval novel that involves a descendant of the wizar Merlin. It is set in the court of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
How exciting! I look forward to reading those. So, last question: Who’s your biggest fan?
My family. Also, my mother is a retired editor and my sister is a wonderful mentor. They keep me grounded and motivated.
Thank you, Aubrey. Now on to “Merry Christmas, Henry”:
Henry, a shy and talented artist, moonlights as a security guard at a museum and loses his heart to a beautiful, melancholy woman in a painting. As his obsession grows, he finds a kindred soul who helps him in his search for happiness. On Christmas Eve, Henry dares to take a chance on love and fulfill his dream.
“Hey, Henry, you want a little overtime?” the supervisor had asked. “Charlie called in sick and I could use an extra hand. Another rich collector remembered us in his will. We’ve got a pricey piece arriving in about an hour and I’d feel better with some extra security.”
Henry tried to wipe the smile off his face. Five years in the city and he still felt like a country bumpkin. “Sure.”
“The paper says a Rubens. Flemish, wasn’t he? But it’s a small one.”
Henry gave a whistle. “Impressive.”
“There’s a companion painting with it, artist unknown. We’ll have to find a spot for it in appreciation for the collector’s piece.”
An hour later, Henry held a priceless painting in his hands. God, he loved this job.
“The family probably figured they wouldn’t get any money out of the other one. But this one sure is a beauty,” the supervisor said as he reached for the Rubens.
“Yes, indeed,” Henry replied, as his eyes landed on the second painting. “Striking.”
Henry’s boss laughed. “I’m talking about this one, Bud. The little one is worth the big bucks!” His boss headed toward the office to start the paperwork on the new museum pieces.
“Yes, of course,” he murmured, but his attention remained focused on the woman in the larger painting.
She sat on the edge of a rocky cliff, her face slightly turned as if looking over the edge. Her legs were out to the side, knees bent, a long, olive-colored skirt spread around her haphazardly as if blown by the wind. The stormy ocean breakers rushed between jagged rocks then turned into frothy waves that lapped at the sand. The details in the picture were crisp and stark, the color was minimal—just the woman on a cliff with the turbulent water below. But the overall effect created a hauntingly beautiful scene.
He felt her distress, her sorrow. His fingers itched to reach out and pull her from the painting and hold her, soothe her, give her comfort. Henry knew that if she could turn and face him, he would be looking at the most exquisite creature he’d ever seen. His hand shook as he reached out to touch the canvas.
“Are you okay, Henry?”
Henry drew his hand back quickly as if he’d been caught in the act of—of what? Touching a frame? Good lord, he must be tired.
“What? Oh, yeah, I just need some sleep. ” As Henry turned to leave, he took one last look at the woman who had just stolen his heart. Fate had given him a precious gift. He whistled “Angels We Have Heard on High” all the way home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. She is a proud member of the Coffee Talk Writers. Her novelette, Merry Christmas, Henry, was published in November 2013 by Melange Books, LLC.
HOOK UP WITH AUBREY: