2 June 2014

#5Questions


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Author Bio 

Two time RITA-nominated and multiple RT Reviewers' Choice-winning author Carrie Lofty has over twenty books to her name--or four names, to be precise. Her paranormal (as Lindsey Piper ) and historical romances from Pocket have been described as "nuanced and superbly realized" (The Chicago Tribune) and "sexy, brutal and somehow innocent" (All About Romance). Now Carrie is celebrating her first New Adult romance, Blue Notes , featuring a shy piano prodigy and a New Orleans playboy shouldering his family’s crumbling empire. 

In college, Carrie lured an unsuspecting Englishman to the Midwest, where she's kept him a happy ex-pat. With two pre-teen daughters, she's a movie buff, a former bellydancer, and in desperate need of a maid service.




Title:
 Blue Notes
Author: Carrie Lofty
Publishing Date: May 6th 2014 
Publisher: Gallery Books
ISBN: 1476706891  

Summary 

A piano prodigy on scholarship to a prestigious New Orleans university, Keeley Chambers is finally striking out on her own after a roving life dictated by her criminal parents. Her soulful, brilliant, fiery improvisations tear through her like a storm but are played for an audience of one: herself. However, sinfully handsome Jude Villars refuses to abandon Keeley to her private world and calls her out on her fear of performing in public. The irreverent, seductive billionaire playboy awakens Keeley to the blissful pleasures of letting go as he tempts her into the spotlight of the city's hottest clubs. Yet Jude has secrets of his own and pain that no one but Keeley recognizes. Will revealing themselves as they really are be too great a risk? Or will the truth make their tumultuous connection hotter and more irresistible than ever?

CLICK HERE for my review of Blue Notes!




1. How did you get into writing?


Like most writers, I'll say "I've been writing as long as I can remember." My first attempts to get published were during college, but I knew very little about the craft or how the industry worked. I consider that my serious push toward publication began in summer 2006. My husband was away in Virginia on an internship for his MBA, while I stayed behind in Madison, Wisconsin without our two toddler girls. Writing was my refuge! Every night when they were in bed (ideally) by 7, I started to work on what would become Song of Seduction, which helped launch Carina Press in June 2010. 


I was also motivated by the goal of getting out of the house. That summer, I was 99% Mommy. I wanted time to be my own person and be recognized for something that was totally my own. I got involved with RWA and wrote what would become my debut, What a Scoundrel Wants, before leaving for the 2007 RWA National Conference in 2007. It seemed like a huge waste of time and money--terribly indulgent, tilting at windmills--but I loved it. I pitched to an agent and editor, and got requests from both. I got The Call shortly after sending off my manuscript. The Call came in a mere three days after my daughters entered pre-school. I had free time and the start of my career. 


2. When starting a book how much of it comes straight from your imagination and how much is research?


Research is huge as far as setting the tone of a book. I have a master's degree in history, so the problem can become procrastination. I want to research until I know everything. It's a way of putting off the "roll up my sleeves" part of actually telling my story. Now, I do research for a set period of time, say three weeks, before diving in. Any longer than that, and it winds up reading more like an academic text!


3. Who is your favourite character you have written and why?


Miles, Viscount Bancroft, from my Victorian historical romance Flawless. He's a scamp, a scoundrel, a wastrel, an entitled spoiled baby, a sexy-as-hell mooch... Until he's challenged by circumstance to take on two devastatingly difficult projects: earning his inheritance and winning back his estranged wife. At one point he winds up carrying a bullwhip and saving people from fiery stagecoaches. His humour was so much fun to write, because he was so very cheeky, but his character arc was also one of the most dramatic I've ever attempted. He's a man worth loving. It just takes him some seriously difficult situations to make him realize what's important and what a noble soul he has. Oh, and speaking of noble, he's the only aristocrat I've ever written as a hero! 


4. Do you go into a book knowing how you want it to end?


I generally have an idea of where I want the characters to wind up. I know their arcs. Where the story will take them in order to get there is another matter. I'm halfway between someone who plots and someone who flies by the seat of my pants. I'll have ideas of what scenes I want to include, too. For example, in the next New Adult I'm writing--a sequel to Blue Note, also set in New Orleans--I have Mardi Gras on my list of scenes. I don't know when or where it'll fit in, but it will be in there!


5. What 5 books would you recommend for your readers?


Fire & Rain by Elizabeth Lowell -- My favourite category-length romance. It's set on a ranch and has one of my favourite tropes: "I'm in love with my older brother's best friend!"


Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase -- Rupert Carsington is the sexiest hero in romance. It takes place in early 19th century Egypt, of all places, which convinced me long ago that books could be set anywhere if they were good enough.

The Mistress by Susan Wiggs -- Set during the Great Chicago Fire, it's a case of "impoverished scamp hero posing as a man of means" meets "impoverished innocent heroine who was dragged to a fancy party by her rich friends." When they survive the fire and discover they're both broke, sparks fly--especially because the fire already forced them into *ahem* interesting situations. 

The Outsider by Penelope Williams -- Think Witness starring Harrison Ford, set among a Pennsylvania Amish community, but then shift it to the Montana frontier and make the hero a gunslinger. The tension between the Plain heroine and the outlaw hero is intense. An absolutely gorgeous book. 


Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl -- This was Dahl's first contemporary romance, and it really skirts a fine edge between hilarious, sexy and suspenseful. It'll make you laugh, singe your eyebrows and have you checking out little bumps in the night.

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