We'd like to welcome to UTC once again, Carrie Lofty. With the release of STARLIGHT just a few days away, this is actually the first time we got to ask her some questions and here's what we got out of her!
Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies' man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for half-siblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire...and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives. FLAWLESS, the story of an estranged husband and wife learning to love each other for the first time, was released in September 2011. A tie-in novella called A Little More Scandal came out just last month, where I take a look even father back in time to see tough, gruff William Christie fall in love. It's available now from Pocket in all digital formats.
STARLIGHT is about the eldest Christie, Alex. What can we expect from his book?
First off is a new setting for me: Scotland. I finally made it north of the border! Readers can expect a passionate affair that catches both lovers by surprise, and a conflict between them that seems to have no resolution. Alex is determined to save his son at any cost, while Polly, the head of a weavers union, works tirelessly for an entire community. I loved working with that dynamic, as to which holds greater value. Compromise, trust, being able to see the other side of an issue--these are themes that weave through their romance and define who they are, both as people and as loving partners.
You write post-apocalyptic stories under a different pen name with Ann Aguirre. How do you get in the right mood to write each genre?
Sometimes it was simply a matter of deadlines! For example, I co-wrote MIDNIGHT, the second of our Ellen Connor "Dark Age Dawning" books, at the same time I was writing my Napoleonic historical, PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION. I would literally finish a chapter on one, take a break, then finish a chapter on the other. The brain...it spins! To get in the mood, however, I always use music. I have a playlist for each of my books. Some I choose ahead of time, but most spring up organically from music I'm listening to at the time. For example, with MIDNIGHT the playlist consisted of dark, atmospheric music by performers such as Abney Park, St. Vincent, Jon Crosby, and the Cocteau Twins. PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION was much more adult contemporary, with OneRepublic, David Cook, Bat for Lashes, and Dido as key artists. Switching from one to the other was vital!
If you could travel back in time, what would be your ideal time to visit and why?
I grew up fascinated by the Old West and eventually wrote my master's thesis on gunfighter legends, so that's the first to jump out of my head. Recently, though, I've become much more interested in the Georgian period. I haven't set a book there yet, but I have an image in my head of the movie Amadeus. Decadence. Wealth. Few rules. It seems like Rome before the fall, with cataclysmic events such as the French Revolution right around the corner. So...I'd visit and play for a while, but scamper back home before the peasants dragged out the guillotines!
Were there any particular writers that influenced your craft or your desire to be a writer?
I grew up reading literary fiction as well as romance, which gave me an appreciation for poetic language. We derogatorily call it purple prose when too much of it is used in romance, yet I love playing with words. Romance authors such as Penelope Williamson, Megan Chance, Patricia Gaffney, and especially Candice Proctor are among my favorites because of their rich characters, immersive settings, and gorgeous use of language.
Can you give us a peek into the day of a writer? Do you write every day? If so, for how long?
I can give you an idea of the variety of tasks I accomplish, but again, what I do always depends on putting out fires. Promotion, contracts, proofing, answering emails, website updates, conducting workshops, social networking--they're all essential to an author's career. That said, I feel cheated if a day passes where I haven't written new words! One a solid writing day, I average 18-20 pages, and I'll managed three to four such days each week. The writing is the reward!
Out of your own characters, do you have a favorite hero/heroine?
I once heard Nora Roberts reply that the favorite of her books is always the most recent one. I love that, and it's completely true for me. When I think back to what compelled me to write previous romances, sometimes I'm not able to remember that spark, that obsession. As such, the characters don't resonate as well for me as more recent ones do. That said, Polly will remain one of my favorite heroines for many years. She's the least pretentious, happiest, most resilient young woman, despite growing up under tough circumstances. And I'll always have a soft spot for Miles, the lovable bad boy rogue in FLAWLESS. Who can resist an aristocrat wielding a whip?
What's next for Carrie Lofty?
After STARLIGHT hits the shelves, I'll be looking forward to the release of HIS VERY OWN GIRL, a historical romance set in World War II. It's not women's fiction. It's not literary fiction. It's a genuine romance, complete with sexy times and a happy ending. Look for it September 4th as a Pocket Star digital original novel. I cannot wait to see how readers respond!
I'll also be launching a new co-written pseudonym, Katie Porter, with my long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown. Our "Vegas Top Guns" series of contemporary erotic romances will launch from Samhain on July 31 with the release of DOUBLE DOWN. Two more from the series, INSIDE BET and HOLD 'EM, will follow in August and September. You can learn more about these and future books at our website [http://katieporterbooks.com].
Thanks again for having me!
Where to find me:
An esteemed astronomer, Alex Christie, the eldest and most steadfast of the Christie siblings, has never possessed his late father's ruthless business drive. But to protect his frail infant son from his cruel father-in-law's bid for custody, the young widower must undertake Sir William Christie's posthumous million-dollar challenge: to make a Glasgow cotton mill profitable. At sea in an industrial world of sabotage and union agitation, Alex meets Polly Gowan, daughter of a famed union leader, who hopes to seize a mysterious saboteur without involving the police. Because a sympathetic mill master would aid her cause, Polly becomes Alex's guide to urban Scotland. From soccer games to pub brawls, Alex sees another side of life, and feels free for the first time to reveal the man--vital and strong--behind his intellectual exterior. Polly is utterly seduced. Their ambitions, however, remain at odds: Alex vows to earn the mill bonus to save his child, while Polly fights for the needs of her people. Is there strength enough in their sparkling passion to bind them together in their quests-- and in a lasting love that conquers all?