Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome author Carrie Lofty to the Manor!

Lord Craven-Moore and the LIT Ladies are delighted to welcome author Carrie Lofty to the Manor! Carrie's debut book (WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS, Zebra Books) was simply fabulous, and I know she's got a quite a treat in store for readers with her newest release, SCOUNDREL'S KISS (and whoa, what a gorgeous cover)! So, without further adieu, here's Carrie....

A Secondary Character Speaks

Fernán Garza in SCOUNDREL'S KISS was a great surprise as I wrote this historical romance set in early 13th century Spain. With all of the attention paid to the Gavriel, a warrior monk, and to Ada, a recovering opium addict, Fernán became rather jealous. He insisted on having the opportunity to speak his mind. And good grief, can the boy talk...

Do not worry. I have not been offended. After all, I am a fourth son, used to lingering at the fringes rather than standing at the center of attention. Some would call me a buffoon, but how else was I to compete with three older brothers?

My brothers care little for me. In Castile, you see, estates are divided equally between all surviving children. To say I was an unwelcome addition to the roster of my siblings would understate the situation considerably.

So what could I do to but prove myself as idle, ridiculous and cowardly as everyone assumed? Only my father's determination to make something of me ruined my fine time. A man like me, one who loves wine, women and song...confined to a monastery? Death would be a lesser punishment. At least in death I might dance with womanly angels.

Now Gavriel...he was a man made for the austerity of monastic life. Too bad Ada spoiled his plans. I found it particularly amusing to watch him succumb to her rather mouthwatering charms. Love brings the (high and) mighty low.

What was that? Did I ever fancy Ada for myself? Well, that is an amusing tale. No matter her wide eyes and arousing vulnerability, I left her to Gavriel. Not even in dreams did I try my hand at winning hers. And my reluctance was not entirely born out of respect for Gavriel's rather intimidating command of armaments.

No, just because I am a buffoon and a fourth son and a very reluctant monk doesn't mean I cannot keep secrets. I have one that could get me killed, one that urged me to do something rather terrible...

Well, that's the first time he's been quiet all day. I hope you'll pick up a copy of SCOUNDREL'S KISS to learn more about Fernán, his secrets, and what he's willing to do to keep them!

How important are secondary characters to your enjoyment of historical romances? Leave a comment or question for your chance to win a copy of SCOUNDREL'S KISS. Best of luck, and thanks to Lust in Time for having me!

You can find out more about SCOUNDREL'S KISS here.

(Kristina says: Wow, set in Spain?! I cannot *wait* to read this book! Thanks so much for joining us here at LIT, Carrie!)

Edited to add: The winner of the book is MsHellion! See comments for details...


Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hi, Carrie! Welcome to LIT. What a GORGEOUS cover! I'll be picking this one up for sure!

Secondary characters are a very important part of the reading, and writing experience for me. Sometimes, though, they steal the show. For me, if there are other characters in the book who draw you in then it only enriches the overall reading experience!

I have a secondary character who's book comes out in May. When I wrote Lord Wallingford as the hero's friend in Addicted, I had no way of knowing how many people would be drawn to him. I certainly was when writing him, but when I started getting emails from readers asking about him, I realized the impact he had on Addicted and the reading experience as a whole.

The other fun thing about secondary characters is that you get to mentally play matchmatcher, and sometimes you get a glimpse into another book!!!

Thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

An almost monk....Hmmm, it does give one pause, does it not? I shall have to steal Charlotte's copy and read all the naughty parts! How I adore corruption in the church.....

By the by, Carrie, do you need a research assistant? I'm hiring myself out for those most delightful of scenes...sexual ergonomics I believe they call them. I'm rather skilled, if I may so. The LIT ladies will, of course, be more than happy to give a reference if needed!!

Hugs and Kisses
Lord Craven Moore

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Oooh, look who dragged himself from bed already, LOL!

Secondary characters--I'm with Charlotte! Very important to my overall reading/writing experience. Historical romance is a lot like fantasy romance to me, in that 'world building' is very important. Readers have to be firmly immersed into whatever historical era/setting you take them to, and I think a great way to do this is to populate a book with a 'community' of secondary characters who seem real and interesting (and like Charlotte, my secondary characters often fascinate me so much that they end up with books of their own!).

I especially enjoy secondary characters who sort of defy stereotypes--real, fully-rounded characters, rather than the "spunky best friend," or "beautiful, perfect older sister" stand-bys.

MsHellion said...

Secondary characters are extremely important. You should always have a sidekick to say something witty when you're busy fighting off the bad guys, and Fernan sounds VERY witty.

Best of all, secondaries usually get their own book and you feel like you know everyone. It's a comfort read.

Amanda McIntyre said...

HI Carrie! I look forward to meeting you for real at RT in Columbus!
And I'm going to be checking out these books , for certain! He sounds like an interesting complicated guy and I love watching those types unravel...heheheh. Ask Lord Craven Moore;)

I love secondary characters..period. In just about any genre. They add that little taste of unplanned surprise to a story. Sometimes becoming so charismatic in their shadowy role that its hard not to resist teh urge to tunr to them and say, "Fine!" I'll tell YOUR story, ok?" Requests for what happened to Torin, Sierra's brother in Tortured, and also the unexpected clamor that artist Thomas Rodin sirred up--created upcoming stories for both.

I am curious why you chose that particular time period and location for your story? When researching for your plots, do you check real events/people in history to bank off of, or create the story in your mind and add in the historical bits?

Its great to have comapny at the manor. It got a bit quiet around here over the holidays!

Happy New Year, Carrie!


Carrie Lofty said...

Hi everyone!

Thanks to Kristina for allowing me to stop by and introduce both Fernan and my new release. And I'm happy to be seeing some of you in RT for the Mad Hatter Tea Party. (I have my hat, ready to go!)

I am curious why you chose that particular time period and location for your story? When researching for your plots, do you check real events/people in history to bank off of, or create the story in your mind and add in the historical bits?

Amanda, I knew I wanted to write a sequel to my Robin Hood-themed debut, WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS, featuring that heroine's, ahem, bratty sister. So the time period was laid out for me already. I also knew that I wanted to feature two plot points: Ada, this heroine, would be addicted to opium, and the hero, Gavriel, would be a warrior monk. Spain became a natural choice because it offered both easy access to opium (through Arab/Silk Road trade routes) and had a very active religious culture in the Christian conflict with the southern Moors.

(Spain! OMG! I feel like whispering, "I got away with it!")

As for the research, my author's note provides some detail about which characters were based on real people and what slight liberties I took to make this (generally unfamiliar) history accessible. I draw plots almost exclusively from history, sort of getting an idea of what types of conflicts and people were even possible at that time, then taking off in my own direction from that initial inspiration.

Thanks again, ladies! And Lord Craven Moore! I'm so honored, god sir, that you roused yourself to offer a greeting.

Genella deGrey said...

Hi Kristi! Hi Carrie!

Carrie - I can't wait to meet you at RT! :)

The question: How important are secondary characters to your enjoyment of historical romances?

VERY important. If we as readers place ourselves in the shoes of the Heroine, the secondary characters are like our friends - or enemies. ;) So they need to be well-written and well-rounded. :)


Genella deGrey said...

Oh, yes. And a rousing HUZZAH to historicals from ALL periods and places!!

Barbara E. said...

Congrats on the release of Scoundrel's Kiss.
I love secondary characters, especially in a series where they go on to star in their own book. There are so many great secondary characters that add the comic relief to a story that is full of drama, I love that aspect as well.

Amanda McIntyre said...

I agree, Barb that secondary characters can provide that comic relief in a drama.

I particularly love the brother aspect or family aspect-- the banter between siblings is such good fodder for storytelling, dont you think?


gigi said...

I love secondary characters because that almost always mean their story calls for its on book.
Oh, by the way the cover is fantastic.

Carrie Lofty said...

I normally think that too, Gigi, but let's just say that Fernan's story is complete by the final page of SCOUNDREL'S KISS--for good or for ill. *mysterious*

And it took me a good couple of weeks to stop petting my cover. So pretty!

Maureen said...

Secondary characters can really add something good to a story. My favorites are the ones that are mysterious so you don't know whether they are a good guy (or girl) or a villian or maybe a little of both. Congratulations on the new book!

Moth said...

"How important are secondary characters to your enjoyment of historical romances?"

I love really well-drawn secondary characters so I'd say they're very important. One of my favorite things about Ms Lofty's first book were her secondary characters. I loved Robin and Marian, how well they were drawn and how compelling and believable their relationship was.

Rebekah E. said...

Congrats on A Scoundral's Kiss. It sounds like a great book

flchen1 said...

Hi, Carrie! Congrats on Scoundrel's Kiss! As for secondary characters, I love them. I've read good stories without them, certainly, but strong secondary characters really help anchor a story and give the main characters people some foils. And as others have said, they're a great way to meet more people you want to read about! :) Looking forward to reading your latest!

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Time to announce the winner of SCOUNDREL'S goes to....MsHellion. Congrats, and thanks for visiting with us.

Email your name and snail mail addy to KCHWriter at AOL dot com, and we'll get it taken care of!

Carrie Lofty said...

Congrats, Hellion! I'm glad you snagged one :)

And thanks again to all the ladies here at LIT for hosting me!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Congrats Ms. Hellion! Btw, love your website!!


Anonymous said...


MsHellion said...

Hooray! I won!!! (I forgot to check back; I blame the cold weather. Brain freeze.)

prashant said...

if there are other characters in the book who draw you in then it only enriches the overall reading experience!

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