Thursday, May 22, 2014

Words with an Author: Carrie Lofty

Hello Fantabulous Readers!

Today I will be interviewing the wonderful Carrie Lofty, author of Blue Notes. We will be giving away one copy to a lucky winner, so stay tuned!

1. How did you get into writing? When did you first start writing?

I've been writing since I was ten, but I didn't take it seriously until the summer of 2006 when my husband moved to another state for an internship position. I held down the fort with our two toddler daughters. I wrote to stay sane!

2. Where did you come up with the idea for Blue Notes? Who's your inspiration?

I love writing about music. The Carina Press ebook SONG OF SEDUCTION was my first, about a violinist and a pianist. Since then, I'd been itching to write about a female pianist. The passion of piano players cannot be matched! For the hero, I was partly inspired by Mr. Darcy from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. He was a man with a great deal of responsibility who had come into his fortune at a young age. What would that be like, and to have a sister depending on your judgment for her safety and happiness?

3. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, if so, which ones?

Not really. I generally have actors and actresses in mind to refer to physically, but I don't like to say which ones for fear of changing people's own mental impressions.

4. Have you written anything before Blue Notes? Published? Unpublished?

I've written a lot! As Carrie Lofty, I've published seven novels and one novella with Pocket, Carina and Kensington. As Lindsey Piper, I write paranormal romances, with CAGED WARRIOR and BLOOD WARRIOR available now, along with a companion novella. Co-writing with Ann Aguirre, we competed the three-part "Dark Age Dawning" series, written as Ellen Connor. Unfortunately, due to schedule conflicts, Ann and I no longer write together. And finally as Katie Porter, I've co-written eight erotic romances through Samhain. 

So yes, I've been very busy! That said, BLUE NOTES is my debut New Adult romance.

5. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be?

Perhaps not surprisingly considering my historical roots, my three favorite romances are all historical. They’re what I grew up reading, when you couldn’t turn around without seeing a Western-themed novel on the shelves. But along the way in the 90s, I found these gems I’ll never part with.

First up is Candice Proctor’s Whispers of Heaven, set in colonial Tasmania, where the heroine, Jesmond, falls in love with Lucas, a man serving time as an Australian convict. The tension in this novel is astonishing because if they get caught, he will be hanged. Period. There were times I was literally holding my breath, fearing for their safety. Proctor now writes the Sebastian St. Cyr series as CS Harris, and happens to be the sister of…  

Penelope Williamson, author of The Outsider, which is like Witness with a happy ending. Rachel is a widow among the Plain people (a fictional Amish community in Montana) and Johnny is a gunfighter on the rough road toward redemption. Told from multiple points of view from people throughout Rachel and Johnny’s lives, I’m convinced this gorgeous novel would not be published if shopped around today!

Finally there’s Patricia Gaffney’s entire Wickerley trilogy. To Love and to Cherish is my favorite of the three, featuring Christy Morrell, probably one of the most famous beta heroes in all of romance. He’s a vicar in a rural English village, where turning the other cheek has never been sexier. His lady love, the fallen woman named Anne, will break your heart. They are opposites in every sense except for the devoted friendship that grows between them.

6. If you could go back and change anything in Blue Notes, what would you change and why?

Nothing that I can think of. Some reviewers have made suggestions about what they'd like to see changed, but I'm content with the story I created.

7. Who is your favorite character from any book and why?

I love Rupert Carsington from Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase. He's the most perfect hero ever--this vexing combination of rogue, ruffian, and complete cad. He plays dumb when it suits him, and he brings out the big guns of brains and braun when he or his lady love are threatened. I adore him. 

8. How long did the writing process take for Blue Notes? From conception of the story to final publication.

Probably a year. I took my time because I'd never written New Adult before and wanted to get the tone just right.

9. Who are some of your favorite authors?

As I mentioned above, Candice Proctor, Penelope Williamson, Patricia Gaffney, and Loretta Chase from the classics, and now Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran, Victoria Dahl, Courtney Milan, and Lorelie Brown among current authors. 

10. What actors/ actresses could you see playing the characters of your book?

Argh! I still can't answer this one. It's too personal and could alter how people read the book! Let's just say that he's gorgeous and English, and she's gorgeous and blonde...most of the time. 

11. How did you come up with the title and cover of Blue Notes? Did you have any say in the final cover?

I was given the task of finding photos that would represent the spirit of the novel. I collected a couple dozen, and the cover was chosen from among those pictures! And yes, I had a lot of input in the cover and I came up with the title. That doesn't always happen, so I was very pleased.

12. Are you planning to write any more books besides Blue Notes? What are some ideas you have?

SPARKS is up next for my New Adult titles, and will feature Keeley's shy roommate, Janissa. Her hero will be a top draft pick football star who has no time in his busy life for a quiet chemistry major. But they make some serious sparks and he can't help but become infatuated. 

13. What would your advice be to someone who's aspiring to be a writer?

You have a story worth telling. Tell it to yourself first. Drafts are messy and can seem horrible, but as Nora Roberts once said, "You can't fix a blank page." Avoid perfectionism until you have something to shine up and make perfect!

14. Finally, just to wrap things up, what's your favorite color and why?

Purple. Don't know why. Its richness? Its vibrancy? Its variety of shades? Or maybe I was royality in a previous life....

Giveaway Time! 

Where to find Carrie Lofty: