Interview & Giveaway: Carrie Lofty

Today we have Carrie Lofty here with us to discuss her newest release, Flawless. Carrie has written beautiful historical romances for Pocket books as well as Carina Press and Kensington. As Ellen Connor, Lofty teamed up with Ann Aguirre to write dark and gritty post-apocalyptic paranormal romance books. Carrie, welcome to The Book Pushers!

The Book Pushers: Can you tell us a little bit about Flawless.

Carrie: Flawless is the story of a debauched viscount and his estranged wife as they rise to the challenge presented in her robber baron father’s will. I’ve always wanted to do a story about a practical marriage that turns to one based on love, so this was the result.

The Book Pushers: Is this the start of a new series, or a stand alone book?

Carrie: It stands alone, but it also kicks off a new Victorian series from Pocket, which follows all four of the Christie siblings as they tackle the challenges presented by Sir William Christie, their late father. Starlight will follow in July 2012, as well as a tie-in digital novella, “A Little More Scandal,” that will chronicle Sir William’s greatest romance.

The Book Pushers:ย Did you uncover any interesting or ย surprising fact did when you were writing Flawless?

Carrie: Oh, so much! Because it’s set in Cape Colony (modern day South Africa), I started with certain assumptions about the history, most of which were wrong. I had to dig and search for a moment in time where their romance might viably take place, preferably before the worst diamond mining practices were put into action. The amount of wealth in tiny, rustic Kimberley was astonishing. At one point it was home to the highest concentration of millionaires in the world. While in retrospect we can see the consequences of the diamond trade, at the time it was a chance for ordinary men to become legends–a time of tremendous social upheaval. I always find stories to be told in such a setting. So many possibilities!

The Book Pushers:ย Will the other books in the Flawless series have an unusual settings?

Carrie: It’s looking that way. Starlight is set in industrial Glasgow–think “North & South” with a straight-laced astronomer hero (big brother Alex) and a union leader heroine. The third book will follow younger sister Gwen to an Australian vineyard, while younger brother Gareth heads to the Caribbean. “A Little More Scandal,” featuring Sir William, takes place in London.

The Book Pushers: What project are you currently working on?

Carrie: I just finished “A Little More Scandal,” and will start on Gwen’s book next. I also sold a WWII historical romance to Pocket as well, set for a late 2012 release. It features a female civilian pilot and a US paratrooper medic who fall in love in England on the verge of D-Day. Otherwise, my alter ego Ellen Connor–the pen name I share with Ann Aguirre–will wrap up our “Dark Age Dawning” trilogy of hot-n-dirty paranormal apocalyptic romances in December with the release of Daybreak, available from Berkley Sensation.

The Book Pushers: Your cover is beautiful and so eye catching — what was your initial reaction to it?

Carrie: Drool. Shock. Happy jumping. Multiple quick forwards to friends. Squeeing. Astonishment.

The Book Pushers: Besides your partnership with Ann Aguirre, have you ever thought about writing outside of the historical romance genre?Carrie: I have, actually. I’m working on two projects that I can’t really talk about just yet. One is another co-writing partnership where our genre is contemporary erotica, and the other is a young adult. That’s all I’ll tease about right now!

The Book Pushers: What is it about the historical romance genre that you love writing most?Carrie: History has never been about facts and dates for me. It’s always been about the potential for real living breathing people to have existed. When I see something like Abraham Lincoln’s actual top hat, I get goosebumps. He really wore that! A real man! With all the foibles and dreams and fears of real men. So writing romance set in the past is a means of making those time periods live and breathe. People have fallen in love since the beginning of humankind. I have no doubt of that. It may have looked a little different than what we consider love today, but it’s what go us here as a species! I want to see those sparks, those moments when lives changed and they found solace in an unpredictable era. If I can explore new places and times while telling those stories, all the better!

The Book Pushers: How much research about the time period do you put into for each book?

Carrie: I start with a general grounding that takes a couple weeks–just to see what’s possible. Then I write the draft. Sometimes what I want to do alters drastically with the research and I have to revamp. But mostly I save the truly detailed historical layering for later drafts. I have a master’s in history, so my tendency would be to over-research if I let myself. I don’t want these to come across as history texts! The romance has to be there first.

The Book Pushers: Out of your hero and heroines, who have been favourites of yours?

Carrie: Heh, no way! I’m not going to pick! Although I have a serious weakness for Miles in Flawless. He’s such a damn scamp! And I can’t wait for everyone to meet Polly in Starlight. She’s a gorgeous blend of smart, innocent, strong, and self-deprecating. I find her utterly charming.

The Book Pushers: All of your titles can be read as stand alones. Have you ever considered writing a series?

Carrie: I have such respect for people who write series. It’s not something I could do easily right now. I think in arcs that have finite ends, if that makes sense. To have to look four, five, six books out…? I’d go crazy!

The Book Pushers: What challenges did you face when you transitioned from writing your historicals to writing a gritty post-apocalyptic series with another author?

Carrie: Sharing ideas is obviously the most challenging part of co-writing. Most authors are used to being masters of their own realms. But Ann and I learned very quickly that we needed to do what was best for the story. Sometimes we would go back and forth about an idea until “ta-dah!!” A moment of synergy. Everything came together. We came to trust that such moments would appear if we kept working at a thorny spot.

But the genre was challenging too. While history presents certain fixed boundaries, which can become roadblocks or at least headaches, I was a little adrift at the idea of simply…making everything up! Ann was great at guiding me through the complexities of worldbuilding without a history book to refer to!

The Book Pushers: Do you have a particular historical time period that is your favorite to write about?

Carrie: The Victorian era is my home. I did my master’s thesis on gunfighters in the American West, was obsessed with the Lincoln assassination, and other 19th century events. The world opened up to so many new places and adventures. But I also have a huge soft spot for the danger, heartache and romance of the WWII era. Hopefully my sale to Pocket will mean more of that in the future!

The Book Pushers: If you could live in any historical time period which would you choose and why?

Carrie: I really wouldn’t change! The more I learn about history, the more I like 2011 just fine. Hot showers, antibiotics, my iPod. I mean, I might be tempted for the clothing of the 1870s-80s, but that’s about it *g*


MinnChica has a copy of Flawless to giveaway!! Just leave a question or comment for Carrie to be entered. Open to US entries only, ends October 14th. Good Luck!!

25 thoughts on “Interview & Giveaway: Carrie Lofty”

  1. Great interview! Thank you for the giveaway! As I stated in another post, I’m very interested in reading this book. The sample I read was SO good. And the cover? Probably one of the most provocative ones I’ve seen so far in HR.

  2. Great interview and thanks for the giveaway! I am looking forward to finding out more about the new books in contemporary erotic and YA. No question today just excitement!

  3. I”m looking forward to reading Flawless. I love the premise of the book, and I always enjoy books set in the Victorian era, so I can’t wait to read it.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  4. Carrie –
    I love that your blending history and romance in your books and can’t wait to read all the Christie daughter’s stories. My older son has a friend that spent time in the Peace Corps in Africa and I think some of the history she shared with me will help me to see some of the conflicts in Flawless in a differnet light than some of your other readers.

    My husband is a history buff while I love to read romance and he is amazed sometimes when I share the knowedge I’ve learned will reading historical romance. We made a trip to Scotland and made a point of visiting Glascow since that where my ancestors departed from when coming to America. It was such fun to visit and walk the same streets that they had walked in the past.

    You must have had a wonderful time researching for your masterโ€™s thesis on gunfighters in the American West and I was curious if you did any research into the “wild west” and the history of Wyoming as well. My husband’s sister lives in Wyoming and her husband’s father was featured in a PBS special about the “last cowboys”. My brother-in-law grew up on a ranch that encompassed parts of Wyoming and Colorado and they now live in Baggs, Wyoming. That’s one of the places that Butch Cassidy used to “hang out” and it hasn’t chnaged much in the intervening years. I love to visit places that are much the same as they were a century or two ago where you can still visualize how it must have looked during the time period of the events that happened there.

    Is there anywhere that you have visited that once you saw it you knew you’d have to write a story that had that location included in the story?

    The Christie books sound wonderful and I’m definately going to read all three books!

  5. That cover continues to mesmerize me. I was wondering, what inspired the unusual setting? I’m so glad to see a romance that is not set in England, especially a historical!

  6. thanks for a fanastic post! This just made me more determined to read flawless ๐Ÿ™‚

    The premise sounds fantastic! I have a soft spot for HR but sometimes it all reads the same since they all have the same settings. I’m super excited for this book b/c it explores a different continent! I love history too and I lose myself in historical fiction/romance because I feel transported back. I’ve read her book as Ellen Connor and it blew me away!

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’ve got my fingers crossed ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. I can’t wait to read this book, and the resulting series!! Beautiful cover, too!! Thanks for the awesome interview and giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  8. Great interview. Flawless sounds wonderful. What a beautiful cover.


  9. Thanks for the interesting interview. I’m struck with how different all the settings are in Carrie’s books and I’m wondering if she starts with the setting when writing a book.

  10. Wonderful interview! Your book sounds awesome! I love the cover. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cant wait to read it. Thank you so much for sharing and for the giveaway!

  11. I love the Victorian era and I’m always interested to read books set in locations other than England. Like one of the previous posters, I’ve learned a lot about history from reading romances. I totally agree though, that I’d much rather live in the current day, rather than in a previous time. Just imagine a world without antibiotics, or even germ theory.

    jen at delux dot com

  12. Thanks for the great interview ladies, gives us reader a little insight as to how you go about writing your boosk, we appreciate you sharing that. I really like the fact that you are going to be using unusal settings in the series. My first love is historicals, been reading them since I was in high school and let just say there have been quite a number of years since then ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for the giveaway!

  13. @LethalLovely: I adore the cover SO MUCH. Clearly I must continue to make sacrifices of chocolate to the cover gods.

    @Jen B., Barbara & Yadira: Thanks so much for stopping by today!

    @Jeanne: My thesis was primarily about Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, and how their legends changes in the years following the Civil War. I touched on all of the major gunfighters, such as Butch & Sundance, but James and Hickok were my obsessions. And generally my interest goes the other way around: I research a place, then NEED TO go visit it. That I haven’t been to Salzburg yet, the setting for my two Napoleonic Seduction romances from Carina Press, remains a great disappointment. Someday!

    @Julie: Initially I wanted to do a quartet based on different mines around the world, such as diamonds, gold, silver, etc. But I thought that might be too repetitive. South Africa and the diamonds mines remained the lead idea for the series, so that’s where I went first. The other Christie siblings will be equally far-flung, but with new industries to try and conquer!

    @erinf1: Ooh, so glad you’ve enjoyed the Ellen Connor books too! Can’t wait to have Daybreak in my hands ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Julie and Crystal GB: Thanks so much! I appreciate your support.

    @Maureen: Maybe it’s stubbornness, but I’m just having too much fun bending the rules ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Mara, Victoria and Shadow: Glad to see you here!

    @JenM: That’s one of the question history folks are often posed, about when else we’d like to live. Nowhere else! I have my computer, antibiotics, microwavable dinners, and hot showers. Happy!

    @Chelsea: Thanks! The cover continues to amaze me too.

    If anyone else has questions, I’ll be here ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. The cover of this book is absolutely stunning! I love Carrie’s work! ๐Ÿ™‚ What an awesome giveaway! Thanks!

  15. I’m a huge fan of your historical and paranormal books. I can’t wait to read the first book in your new Victorian series. Even if I didn’t adore your writing, I’d buy FLAWLESS just for the gorgeous cover. =)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. @Eva and Rosie: I love the unusual settings, and I’m trying my hardest to keep them active in historical romance! It’s not easy, but I’m loving the challenge. Thanks for your support!

    @Sara and Jennifer: I’ve said about the cover that I’d gladly be her dowdy older sister and comfort her many, many fine male cast-offs! And Jennifer, I’m glad you know me from my co-written Ellen Connor paranormals too. That was such a fun, different trilogy. I hope to continue them soon!

  17. Love the cover- beautiful. Congrats on your book Carrie. I can’t wait to read it. I adore historical romances.

    your1chef at aol dot com

  18. I absolutely love your cover and I love the unique setting! It is always nice to read something a bit different! ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on the new release, really looking forward to reading it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.