Risky Regencies

Interview with Kalen Hughes, author of LORD SIN!

Kalen Hughes is a debut historical author and former Golden Heart finalist. Always a voracious reader, Kalen didn’t discover the world of romance until her godmother handed her a Georgette Heyer novel during her freshman year of college. While she studied philosophy and creative writing (yes, she’s one of those dreadful MFA people *grin*), she continued to read romance . . . and eventually her inner poet was drowned out by voices demanding that their stories be told. Growing up in the lively reenactor community on the West Coast, and working as her godmother’s research assistant during college, pretty much guaranteed that those self-same voices would be historical.

When she’s not writing, Kalen spends enormous amounts of time researching and recreating historical clothing, often going so far as to use period sewing techniques (yes, that means lots and lots of hand sewing). She also gives workshops to her fellow romance writers on topics ranging from the History of Underclothes, to How Clothes Worked During the Regency, to the Origins of the Kilt.

For more information about Kalen, LORD SIN, and the History of Underclothes, please visit her website www.kalenhughes.com.

Enter a comment or question for Kalen by the end of the day, Monday April 23, for a chance to win an autographed copy of LORD SIN (winner to be chosen by the Riskies).

“Lusty and dramatic, with a great touch of suspense, this deliciously erotic debut will keep readers enthralled. Heavily character-driven, Lord Sin features a tremendously appealing hero and a splendid heroine, full of honesty and courage. Fans will be eagerly awaiting the next sexy Georgian romance from Kalen Hughes.”

– Julia Ross, RITA Award winning author

K.I.S.S. Award!

“What do May flowers bring? Heroes like Kalen Hughes’s Lord Sin, Ivo Dauntry, who learns that revenge is a double-edged sword.”

4-Stars (RT Book Reviews)
“Hughes debuts with a novel that’s part erotic romance and party country house party romp—a unique combination that will keep readers intrigued. Part of the appeal is Hughes’s ability to create likable characters as well as spicy love scenes tinged with rough sex and tenderness. She’s definitely on her way to enticing readers who adore Lisa Kleypas, Pamela Britton and Katherine O’Neal.”

Tell us about LORD SIN. What inspired you to write this particular book? Did it start with a character, a setting, or some other element?

Honestly? Ack. LORD SIN started out as my response to some book or other that hadn’t pleased me (so many of us get started that way, LOL!). I knew what I wanted to be reading (Georgette Heyer, but HOT) so I began to write that book . . . the story really started with the heroine, and the idea of writing a role reversal book. She’d be the alpha, he’d be the silently strong man who loves her just the way she is. I wanted a kick-ass historical heroine, something you don’t see a lot of in historicals. Fast-forward a year or so, I have a finished manuscript and no bloody idea what to do with it. My godmother, who’s also a novelist, tells me to email the first 100 pages to her editor at Avon. Knowing nothing about the business, I did. *blush* All I can say is Lucia Macro is an angel and was extremely gracious about the whole thing. She wrote me a detailed rejection letter and suggested I check out RWA.

Someday I’ll meet her face to face and buy her the dozens of drinks I clearly owe her. If I’m brave enough to introduce myself, that is.

Tell me more about your characters. What or who inspired them?

Georginna, the heroine, is a tomboy. A girl raised with a pack of boys (her parents’ friends). Her theme song is Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better. She simply is one of the boys. I’d say she was very much inspired by my own childhood (only girl on a commune) and strongly influenced by some of Heyer’s more lively heroines (Sophy, Babs, Serena, Prudence). I wanted her to have edge. To be strong. Too strong for most men to handle. And I wanted to explore the challenges that strong-minded independent women face (then and now, as I think this issue is timeless). She’s got a little bit of Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire in her, mixed up with some Hester Stanhope, and maybe just a little bit of Moll Flanders.

Ivo (yes I stole the name from Bath Tangle) has gone through a lot. Literally. He started out as the strong, silent type. The guy who could let George’s outrageous behavior just wash over him like water off a duck’s back. The guy who would never compete with her, because he’s not at all threatened by her. His only growth arc was to learn to love her just the way she was . . . He’s ended up a little more emotional, and a lot louder. LOL! Somewhere in the middle of the book he suddenly had an agenda. And he started getting angry about what had happened when they’d met years before. They had back-story. Who knew? So I rewrote the opening to play up that back-story and bring what was clearly their real conflict into focus. I can tell he had a much better time when he got to be as bad as she is. *grin* He’s so ready for that duet. I feel really honored that Romantic Times gave Ivo a K.I.S.S. I sure think he deserved one!

What draws you to write about the Georgian period?

Oooooo, I can give you a couple of different answers here. There’s the “real” reason my book is Georgian, and then there’s all the reasons I’m glad it is.

The “real” reason is that my (now) editor said she was full up on books with Regency settings and could I please send her something else. Anything else.

The reason my “anything else” is Georgian is that I just love the period. The late 1780s is a period which fascinates me. It’s tumultuous on multiple fronts, multiple continents, in ways both micro and macro. 1787 marks a major milestone for the still fledgling United States: The signing of the Constitution. Uranus, Oberon and Titan are discovered by Herschel. Mozart’s Don Giovanni is performed for the first time. In 1788, England’s George III experiences his first bout of madness, ushering in the Regency crisis which will last for the next twenty-plus years. London’s Daily Universal Register becomes the Times. The first convicts are transported from Britain to Australia, and Sydney is founded. 1789 marks the beginning of the Revolution in France, and the world will never be the same. The guillotine is invented. Mrs. Radcliffe’s first horrid novel, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, is published. The Duke of Devonshire is openly living with both his wife and his mistress (the duchess’s best friend). The young Price of Wales is illegally married to the Catholic Mrs. Fitzherbert, and has likely already sired an illegitimate son. The Whigs and Tories are locked in combat in Parliament, each marshaled behind their leaders Charles James Fox, and his former protégé, William Pitt. There’s just so much going on. And then there are the clothes . . . I know lots of people love love love Regency fashion, but I vastly prefer the clothing of the late 18th century. There’s just something sensual about the silks, the embroidery, and the fabulous hair that I think gets lost by the Regency. And the general mores of the people are a little wilder, a little looser, a little more fun. I felt I had more scope, a wider vista, a more distant horizon. LOL! And it seemed fresh. Only Heyer, Beverley and Ross to contend with really (and none of them were currently putting out Georgian-set books). Since then, a certain NY Times Best Selling Author has set her new series there (yes, I’m looking at you, Eloisa!). I’m hoping that she’s so addicted her legions of fans to all things Georgian that I’ll get to bask in a few reflected sales. *grin*

You mention on your website that you’ve been involved in a great variety of living history events since you were three years old. How do you think this has influenced the way you write historical romance? Do you think it’s given you an advantage in getting “inside” a historical period?

I think having grown up doing living history events really does give me something of an insider’s view of history (with a small “h”, the kind of day to day stuff that informs our writing). I’ve made and worn the clothes. I’ve “lived” as they did (pretended, that is). Eaten the same foods. Done the same chores. I’ve researched the minutiae of their daily lives not just to write a book, but to try an recreate that life. I know what happens when you fall down wearing an Elizabethan court gown. I know how it feels to wear petticoats and hoops in a high wind on the deck of a ship. I know exactly what kind of range of motion you have in a Regency gown (hint: you ain’t climbing no tree). I know that a corset doesn’t poke or pinch. I know that starting a fire with a flint and tinder is hard work (and that it sucks to do it in the rain, shivering and desperate to be warm). I know how to load and fire a black powder gun, and what the smoke smells like. I hope that all this adds up to a rich narrative that readers will enjoy, but not be actively aware of. Growing up around horses didn’t hurt either. I’ve ridden to hounds. I’ve driven a carriage. I’ve jumped in a side saddle. I’m not just imaging doing these things, I’m remembering them.

What do you think is the greatest creative risk you’ve taken in this book? How do you feel about it?

That’s a hard one. I’d say it’s following where my voice leads me. Stephen King has this whole thing about the purity of spare writing, of being succinct. My personal motto is Why use one word when I can use eight?, and I clearly never saw an adjective I didn’t like. I write deep POV, filled with sentence fragments. I’m sure it’s going to drive some people crazy, but I love it. Voice is clearly my strongest asset, IMO anyway. If we’re not talking about something like voice, than I would say that my heroine is big creative risk. She’s brash, a little masculine, and she’s not shy about sex. I wouldn’t call her a slut, but some people might . . .

Is there anything you wanted to include in the book that you (or your CPs or editor) felt was too controversial and left out?

Too controversial? No. I kept waiting to get told I’d gone too far (esp. with the sex scenes, this is Zebra after all, not Aphrodesia), but I never got reined in. I had really expected to have some of my language cleaned up (let’s just say I don’t like euphemisms for men’s genitalia, I use the “c” word that also means a male chicken a lot) but no one ever said a word about it. LOL! The only thing I had to consciously work on was softening George up a bit. My editor felt she was a little too “magnificently competent” (aka hard). So I worked on layering in some softer moments in her internal monologue.

I have ideas for future books that have been deemed “too controversial”, though. I really really really want to write a romance about free blacks in England and Paris around the time of the French Revolution, but it’s a hard sell on all fronts. *sigh* But as the hero is already fully formed and running around inside my head harassing all comers, I’m going to have to write him eventually. And I’d better get on it before he and that damned balloonist join forces and stage a coup.

What are you working on now?

I’ve turned in my second book, tentatively titled LORD SCANDAL (due out sometime in 2008). In LORD SIN you meet George’s two best (male) friends, Gabriel Angelstone and Marcus Thane. LORD SCANDAL is about Gabriel. He’s the half-Turkish son of a diplomat who ends up falling in love with a very scandalous divorcee (what can I say, I’m just not interested in ingénues). Her already humiliated family is by no means pleased with the idea of being in any way connected with the living, breathing scandal that is Gabriel. It was loads of fun to write, and it happens to be the book I finaled in the Golden Heart with so I’m thrilled to get to share it with everyone.

I just sent off my proposal for Marcus’s book. He’s going to fall—hard and messy!—for a retired courtesan who’s been supporting herself by publishing her memoirs (a la Harriette Wilson). Unfortunately, someone appears to be trying to silence her pen . . . Keep your fingers crossed for me and Marcus. It took me a long time to find the right woman for him, I kept trotting them out and he kept yawning after a chapter or two. He finally got intrigued when I let the naughty girl out to play (who knew he had “knight in shining armor” complex and a thing for bad girls?).

Thanks for talking to us, Kalen!

Comment on this interview for the chance to win a copy of LORD SIN! The winner will be announced Tuesday, April 24. If you haven’t already done so, please check out Bertie the Beau’s Official Risky Regencies Contest Rules.

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Megan Frampton
15 years ago

Thanks for joining us, Kalen!

What is the one thing you’ve done as part of your living history that you wish people still did now?

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Kalen, what a fabulous interview. I’m really fascinated by your life where you recreated most of the events that you include in your book. What is the one thing you would like to try (other than ballooning) that Georgian men or women do that you haven’t done before?

Diane Perkins
15 years ago

Kalen, how exciting to have you here! How could we not be anticipating Lord Sin? You’ve given us a great heroine and a KISS-worthy hero. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

jennybrat
15 years ago

Hi Kalen, what a unique childhood you’ve had! I too find the Georgian a fascinating period of changes and upheavals. I admire many paintings from that period because the silhouette, fabrics and embroidery are simply exquisite. I much prefer natural hair to wigs though.

I hope we hear good news soon about Marcus’s book. The naughty girl story sounds very appealing.

KimW
15 years ago

Loved reading all your answers! Fingers crossed for you on Marcus’s book.

What are some of the most shocking, amazing or unusual things you found while doing research for this time period and your book?

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Hey Riskies!!! It’s so good to be here. This is my first interview anywhere. *GRIN* I’ve been getting emails from readers who’ve gotten their hands on the book already (so far nothing but happy results), but I’ve yet to see a copy of it myself. LOL! My author copies are still MIA. 

What is the one thing you’ve done as part of your living history that you wish people still did now?

Oooo, that’s a hard one. I could be snooty and say “have a respect for and awareness of history”, or I could be flippant and say “eat rabbit more often”. LOL! Really, I wish more modern people had a real sense of connection to the past. These were real people. They were just like us. They hated, loved, lusted, worried, plotted, celebrated, etc. just the way we do today.

What is the one thing you would like to try (other than ballooning) that Georgian men or women do that you haven’t done before?

I’d like to take a trip on a tall ship! I’ve toured San Francisco Bay aboard the Hawaiian Chieftain, but that was just a four-hour tour (going out through the Golden Gate and swinging around to come back in is a pretty impressive feat). One of my friends (he’s an actor who managed to get a hiatus from his series) spent a year traveling the world on a tall ship, and I’m SOOOOOOOOOO jealous. I’d love to do that . . .

What are some of the most shocking, amazing or unusual things you found while doing research for this time period and your book?

I’ve discovered a few things that surprised me, or opened up a new horizon for my characters: Many members of the upper class took lovers of their own class, and many families raised the results of these liaisons right along side their legitimate children with nary a blink (the heroine of Lord Sin was partially inspired by one of these women, Lady Harley, who had a nursery full of bastards from all her various lovers [known collectively as “the Harleian Miscellany” LOL!]); Many a nobleman did in fact marry his mistress (or even his housekeeper!); London (an most of the sea port cities) had a significant population of free blacks, and these (mostly) men intermarried with whites with little or no stigma (class, not race was the big barrier).

I’m always filing away some bit of information for future use in a story . . .

Dannyfiredragon
15 years ago

Hi Kalen,

great interview. I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy of Lord Sin.

Have you already celebrated your first release or will that happen when you have your book for the first time in your hands?

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

I’m having a big party the first Sat after the “on sale” date. *grin* Of course there have been lots of smaller celebrations along the way (“the call”, “the arrival of the check”, “the cover”, etc.).

Cross your fingers that my copies show up so I have something to sign. LOL!

Kimberly L
15 years ago

Hi Kalen, what a great interview. I cannot wait to read this book. Will you be writing only about the georgian era or will you write about other eras?

Lois
15 years ago

Hi there! 🙂 Great seeing you on the interviewing area this time, since we usually see you in the comments area! LOL 🙂 Lord Sin and the upcoming ones sound *grrreat*! 🙂 And Marcus’s too. . . hope they take that one! 🙂

Lois

RevMelinda
15 years ago

Kalen–greetings, congratulations, admiration! I can’t wait to read Lord Sin and encounter your hero and heroine for myself. I do enjoy reading about “naughty” girls (having been such a “good girl” myself, sigh–well, I guess there’s always time. . .).

You have enormous insight and creativity and I am always eager to read your posts and comments here, at History Hoydens, and elsewhere in the e-universe.

Here’s a question for you–is there a particularly good clothing history museum or exhibit here in the US that you would recommend? (I’ve been to the V&A in London and the Costume museum in Bath and LOVED them.) And have you ever been to see the First Ladies gowns at the Smithsonian?–I was transfixed by it as a child.

Melinda

Jami Alden
15 years ago

Even though I’ve been fortunate to read early versions (or at least portions of) of both Lord Sin and Lord Scandal, I can’t wait to read them in real book form! Both are absolutely fabulous, and readers are in for a treat.

Oh, and I love the “Magnificently Competent” comment from HS!

Michelle
Michelle
15 years ago

Very nice interview. It is exciting to have capable, smart heroines who aren’t the TSTL twits. Your future books sound exciting also.

What most interests you about the period clothing-male or female attire?

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Is there a particularly good clothing history museum or exhibit here in the US that you would recommend?

We have several places here in the States with really marvelous collections (it just depends on what’s on display, but this is the case with the V&A and Bath, too). The MET in NY (!!!), The Kent State University Museum in Ohio, The Smithsonian, Historic Deerfield in MA (!!!!). I’m not sure what’s on display at Colonial Williamsburg, but the gowns the seamstresses wear in their shop are spot-on.

Sadly for me, Left-coaster that I am, all the good stuff is on (or near) the East Coast.

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Both are absolutely fabulous, and readers are in for a treat . . . and I love the “Magnificently Competent” comment from HS!”

Thanks, Jami. *blush* Jami was the first person to ever read a full of Lord Scandal after she judged the first chapter in a contest and loved it (and then I found out she was in my local chapter!).

What most interests you about the period clothing-male or female attire?

Am I allowed to say both? LOL! Obviously female clothing is more pertinent to my reenacting, since I make and wear women’s clothes, but I love men’s stuff too. I’m gearing up to make a frock coat for my little brother (EMO boys rule, LOL!), and I think it will be a fun learning experience (I practiced a few weeks ago at a workshop with costume historian JP Ryan, helping my friend John with the fitting for his coat while his wife worked on a 1770s gown for herself).

Elena Greene
15 years ago

Thanks for the great interview, Kalen!

And my apologies for the confusion. I left asterisks in for the date for entering comments, which I’ve now replaced with end of day Monday.

My weekends are insane, though usually in a good way. 🙂

Amanda McCabe
15 years ago

Thanks so much for visiting us at RR, Kalen! I’ve often wondered why there are not more books set in the Georgian period, it’s ripe for great stories and colorful characters. 🙂 Can’t wait to read about your divorcee and courtesan!

Any really fabulous research sources you came across for these stories? (I’m always looking for books to add to my TBB list…)

robynl
15 years ago

Driven a carriage, ridden horses, fired a gun: a great life you’ve lead and things you’ve tried. It must be so enjoyable.
I look forward to Marcus’s story and wishing you the best with it.

Tracy Grant
15 years ago

Great interview–love hearing about the hands on period research, and the book sounds fabulous! I’ve always loved heroines who break rules (Sophy and Barbara are two of my favorite Heyer heroines). Any favorite research books to mention?

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Will you be writing only about the georgian era or will you write about other eras?

For now I’m firmly in the late-Georgian/EARLY Regency period (1788-1795). I’m sure I’ll end up in the Regency-proper, though (at some point). I’ve got a lovely little romance lined up for some of the children you meet in Lord Sin and to bring them up to “romance age” will push me into the early 1800s.

Any really fabulous research sources you came across for these stories?

Ok, I think this will cover Tracy’s question, too . . .

Tons, OMG don’t get me started on books. LOL! Candice Hern makes fun of me cause she knows I pretty much buy every book that gets mentioned on a loop or blog. *grin*

A few books, without which I could never have written Lord Sin:

My Lady Scandalous by Jo Manning. Amazing book full of sidebars and such containing invaluable info for those of us who like to write about the naughty girls and boys. *grin*

The Rise of the Egalitarian Family by Randolph Trumbach. Borrow it from a library if you have to!!! This book is the most amazing thing you’ll ever read when it comes to understanding just how the rise of marriage for love comes about.

The British Aristocracy by Mark Benece-Jones and Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd. Great insight into the culture and lives of this group.

Amazing Grace by E.S. Turner and The Grand Century of the Lady by A. Calder-Marshall. Wonderful anecdotes about real people.

Simon Schama’s History of Britain series. These are just the best thing out there.

Ok, I’ll stop now, before I start listing every biography I’ve ever read. LOL!

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Ok, so I wasn’t really done. I forgot to mention primary sources. I love books and magazines from the period. There are some amazing online sources for scans of these works (like Google Books!). I have copies of Angelo’s book on fencing, the Gentleman’s Magazine, period guides for the turf and horses, the art of dress . . . just so many wonderful books.

Tracy Grant
15 years ago

So great to hear you mention Trumbach’s “Rise of the Egalitarian Family”. I discovered this book in college and keep going back to it. Wonderful for the rise of romantic marriage and also for sorting out the intricacies of marriage settlemetns, entails, prohibited degrees of kinship, and all sort of other things.

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Exactly, Tracy!!! I feel bad telling people that they really can’t live without a $400 book (it’s way out of print), but IMO no one writing in the 18th or early 19th centuries really can. It’s a MUST HAVE.

I lucked out and borrowed it from a local college library (UC Berkeley) and photocopied the whole thing (and I feel not a whit of guilt about having done so!).

tetewa
15 years ago

Congrats on the release and hope you get your copies soon. Enjoyed your interview today and the book sounds great. The heroine in the book sounds like great fun. Hope this is the beginning to a long career for you and hope you get good news on Marcus’s story.

Alyssa
15 years ago

Wow. This book does sound risky, which means I really want to read it.

Kalen, are you attending RWA so I can buy a copy at the literacy signing?

🙂

janegeorge
15 years ago

Ivo, Gabriel and Marcus sound like very hot multi-dimensional heroes.
What fun!

Don’t give up on the black swordmaster. His day will come.

In the meantime, a very big, heartfelt, congrats!!!

Theresa N.
15 years ago

Lord Sin sounds great and I’m looking forward to reading it.
Sounds like you have lots of wonderful interest and hope you’ll be sharing all of your knowledge in future books.

Maggie Robinson
15 years ago

I’ve been intrigued by this book ever since I read the excerpt on your website. How long have you been writing? How much influence did you have with your cover choice? Are you happy with it?

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Kalen, are you attending RWA so I can buy a copy at the literacy signing?

Yep. I’ll be there. I’m really looking forward to Dallas! My first conference as a (real) published author.

I’ve been intrigued by this book ever since I read the excerpt on your website. How long have you been writing?

Good. That was the point of the excerpt. LOL! Learning where/how to open a book was hard for me (I still write my own lazy opening and then chop it off to get to the “hook”).

I’ve been writing most of my life, and was a serious poet up through grad school (hence the MFA), but I only started writing romance a few years ago. I finished my first book in 2004 (this is the manuscript that is now Lord Sin), finished my second just in time to enter the 2005 Golden Heart contest.

How much influence did you have with your cover choice? Are you happy with it?

Zero. Zip. Nadda. I think I have a fantastic cover (for which I have my wonderful editor, Hilary Sares, to thank!), and I’m hoping for something along the same lines for Lord Scandal. If it had been left up to me to design, I’d have something far more understated and “literary”, which I think would have been a misstep, marketing wise.

Pam Rosenthal
15 years ago

Wow, Kalen, do you give great interview. Congrats and mazel tov. I’m thrilled finally to be able to read the whole thing.

(ps — before Kalen sent the mss off to Kensington, she showed me part of it and asked if I could think of a way to make it hotter or better written. And I couldn’t.)

Michelle
Michelle
15 years ago

Is it hard to strike a balance on the period detail between too much versus not enough? It must be difficult with some fans “skipping” the details while others fans wanting more (I am usually in the want more club).

Francesca
15 years ago

Kalen, Thanks for the interview. It was fun and informative! Everything I read about Lord Sin makes me more interested to read it. I even went looking for it at B&N yesterday not realizing it hadn’t yet been released! 😉 Great choice with the hero’s name. Ivo was my favorite Heyer hero so it will be fun to read your take on an Ivo kind of guy – especially a KISSable one! Congrats!

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Is it hard to strike a balance on the period detail between too much versus not enough?

That’s what my agent and editor are for. LOL! If either of them thinks I’ve gotten carried away they mark the spot and recommend that I dial it back.

Honestly? I think this is a very personal choice. I really love books that have lots of period detail layered in, but I recognize that some people just want the story to MOVE! I certainly don’t want to have an eight page aside on how to milk a cow or anything, nor do I want to bore my readers by explaining every little detail. I just assume that many of them know at least as much as I do, hope that things make sense in context for those that don’t, and that nobody gets distracted by some random detail.

Great choice with the hero’s name. Ivo was my favorite Heyer hero so it will be fun to read your take on an Ivo kind of guy – especially a KISSable one! Congrats!

He’s one of my favorites, too (beautiful hands shoved into this pockets!). When I showed the coverflats to some fellow RWA members they didn’t like the name so much, but I didn’t like the names they thought were more attractive/exciting, so I guess it takes all types, LOL! They specifically said they liked names like “Jack” and “Jake” which cracked me up, cause when I joined my first critique group the other three writers had two Jacks and a Jake. Personally, I don’t find that either of those names have the right period “feel” to them. They just don’t appeal to me (though I’m willing to make an exception for Julia Ross’s Wild Lord Jack *grin*).

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Kalen said, “I’d like to take a trip on a tall ship!”

Are these like the Viking ships? Or am I a few centuries off, and this is a colonial ship?

Gosh, Kalen. You’ve certainly led a very adventurous life!

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

By a tall ship I mean one of the great masted ones like you see the film Pirates of the Caribbean. We used to have the Hawaiian Chieftain here in San Francisco Bay (it has since moved to the East Coast). Up towards Seattle there is the Lady Washington (which actually appears in Pirates as the Interceptor).

I guess my life experiences have been a little “outside the box”. LOL! But they seem perfectly normal to me. *grin*

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

WHAT?! There’s a PotC ship here, and I haven’t seen it? I do like to hide under huge rocks sometimes. must be remedied…

Speaking of your debut party, do tell us how you plan to decorate and celebrate. 🙂

Lindsey
15 years ago

Wow, fabulous interview! I can’t wait to read the book. As someone who has a really hands-on experience with history, are you really picky about historical accuracy when you read? Are there any common misconceptions you’d want to correct?

Cara King
15 years ago

Thanks for the interview, Kalen! You certainly have led a fascinating life. Can’t wait to see how that’s reflected in your book!

BTW, I think your heroine sounds fabulous. I do like heroines who are strong — truly strong, not the kind who runs off into the cellar in her nightgown and stamps her foot and all that… 🙂 But one with a real brain, and sense, and determination…

Cara

Susan Wilbanks
15 years ago

Hope I’m not too late to comment–I’ve spent the entire weekend unpacking boxes at the new house, cleaning our old place, etc., and this is the first time I’ve been near my blogs all day.

I’d love to read your story about free blacks during the French Revolution. And maybe if you get a chance to sell that, there will be room in the market for me to write a multi-volume saga on the Peninsular War through the eyes of a Spanish camp follower!

Do you have any advice for someone who’d like to take up reenacting?

jennybrat
15 years ago

What’s your writing routine? Do you like to write in silence or with music in the background?

KimW
15 years ago

What fun reading all your answers!

Michelle
Michelle
15 years ago

Are you also interested in the period food? There was a special on a while ago on PBS where a family had to live as Victorians (I know different time period) and it was interesting in what they had to deal with on a day to day basis-especially keeping clean and preparing meals.

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Man, I posted a long response last night and now it’s gone AWOL . . .

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

WHAT?! There’s a PotC ship here, and I haven’t seen it?

Yep. The Lady Washington. If google the name of the ship the .org site will come up with her schedule. She tours around the West Coast, but her berth is up your way.

Speaking of your debut party, do tell us how you plan to decorate and celebrate.

Food, booze, books, and lots and lots of friends. LOL! My friends are throwing me a bash at their live/work space in Emeryville, CA. One of them, who is an amazing cook, is catering it, and the hosts have already designed a special “Lord Sin” cocktail (let’s just say it involves a lot of peach vodka).

As someone who has a really hands-on experience with history, are you really picky about historical accuracy when you read? Are there any common misconceptions you’d want to correct?

I am, and the details that throw me out a book the most are likely the ones that most readers never even notice: When the heroine shows her “independence” by refusing to wear a corset (say hello to looking dumpy in your gown!), when there’s a line of tiny buttons down the back of her gown (you don’t see this until the Victorian era, and even then the buttons are usually decorate only; the gown closes with hidden hook and eyes), and don’t get me started about all the issues of horsemanship . . .

Do you have any advice for someone who’d like to take up reenacting?

If you’re open to a multitude of periods, search for a local group. If you’re open to travel, search for a larger organization that reenacts your period. Or, if you have friends who want to do it with you, start your own group!

Also, be clear about your budget, and focus on one thing for a few years. It’s easy to spend a small fortune on gear now that so much is readily available on the internet. I knew my 16th century buddies and I had gone round the bend when we were trying to figure out how to borrow a goat to pull a cart we’d seen for sale . . .

What’s your writing routine? Do you like to write in silence or with music in the background?

I don’t really have one. I work full time, so I try to write at lunch (a plan which is easily derailed by invitations to lunch with friends, LOL!), I also try to write on the weekends, but life often gets in the way of that too. Simply put, I work best with a deadline. I was that girl everyone hated in college because I turned my term papers in early, LOL! Once I have a deadline I buckle down easily and just WORK, but without one I’m a meandering stream . . .

I tend to write best when surrounded by ambient noise (cars, pets, people, etc.), but I edit best with music on (I really like Baroque Garden for Concentration or Sarah Gerard/Dead Can Dance).

Are you also interested in the period food? There was a special on a while ago on PBS where a family had to live as Victorians (I know different time period) and it was interesting in what they had to deal with on a day to day basis-especially keeping clean and preparing meals.

I am! Part of reenacting is creating the period correct meals, plus I think it’s fun. I’m a big fan of sites like Gode Cokery, or The Historic American Cookbook Project (and books like Lobscouse and Spotted Dog).

Manda
15 years ago

I am incredibly late to this party, but had to drop in and say how much I can’t wait to read this book. We don’t know each other Kalen, but I’ve seen you around the web and was really glad to see your book on the list of upcoming releases. Then when I saw the cover blurb from Julia Ross and the endorsement from Diane, well–the deal was sealed:) Great interview and thanks for adding to the new Georgian boom! I adore that period!

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Late or not, you’re very welcome, Manda. I hope you enjoy “my” vision of Georgian England.

flip
15 years ago

I loved, loved, loved this novel. Your writing made the reader see, smell, and taste the period. Your novel did remind me of Heyer in its historical detail. The Georgian period is one of my favorites, it is so much more lusty than he regency period. I always loved Heyer’s Georgian novels the best. I can’t wait to read the next two books in this series.

Maureen
15 years ago

Hi Kalen!

Congratulations on the new book. It sounds wonderful. I’m wondering if you’ve been to colonial Williamsburg where reenacters are all through the village. If you have, what did you think of it and would you ever set a book in that time?

Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Oh, flip. *blush* I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed my book (hopefully my author copies will show up soon so I can send one to our winner, LOL!).

Your writing made the reader see, smell, and taste the period. Your novel did remind me of Heyer in its historical detail.

This is getting posted on my wall! I couldn’t ask for a comment that would make me any happier!!!

Delle Jacobs
15 years ago

Hey Kalen! Great interview! I can’t wait to get my copy. And if I win it, I’ll go buy another anyway so I’ll still have a copy when my daughter steals it.

I’ve been on Hawaiian Chieftain too. And Lady Washington and Lynx, a War of 1812 privateer. In fact me tall ships article is up on http://www.wetnoodleposse.com/travel.html
right now!

Delle Jacobs

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