Mary Jo Putney!!!

Today our guest author is none other than MARY JO PUTNEY!! I’ve already gushed about Mary Jo in my Monday blog, but today Mary Jo is here to discuss her newest book, Loving a Lost Lord. Mary Jo will be giving away a signed copy of Loving a Lost Lord to one lucky commenter, so join the party and ask the incomparable Mary Jo Putney what you’ve always wanted to know.

STARRED REVIEW “The enchanting first Lost Lords novel confirms bestseller Putney as a major force in historical romance. . . . Entrancing characters and a superb plot line catapult this tale into stand-alone status.”– Publisher’s Weekly

RR: Welcome, Mary Jo!

MJP: Let’s hear it for historicals!

RR. Tell us about Loving a Lost Lord.

MJP: LALL is the first of my new Regency historical series. The “lost lords” of the series are men who met at the Westerfield Academy, a school for boys of “good birth and bad behavior.” The school was founded by an eccentric duke’s daughter, and her students are boys who didn’t fit into the rigid expectations of their class. The very first student who sparked the school’s founding was Adam Darshan Lawford, the half-Hindu boy who was wrenched away from his mother after he became the Duke of Ashford.

LALL begins when three of Ashton’s friends report to Lady Agnes Westerfield that Adam has been killed in the explosion of an experimental steam yacht in Scotland. When she learns that his body hasn’t been found, she sends them north to see if they can bring him home for proper burial.

Meanwhile, far in the north, newly orphaned Mariah Clarke could really used a husband as protection against an unwanted suitor, and when a battered man washes up on her beach with no memory, it seems too good an opportunity to pass up….

And it goes on from there. It’s one of my more over-the-top stories!

STARRED REVIEW “Compelling, flawless prose, gentle humor, exotic elements (courtesy of Adam’s half-Hindi heritage), and irresistible characters caught in a sweet, sensual dilemma will leave readers smiling, breathless, and anxiously awaiting the next adventure in Putney’s new “Lost Lords” series. Readers who loved Putney’s “Fallen Angels” series are in for a rare treat; fortunately, there are more delicacies to come! Putney (A Distant Magic) writes some of the most sensitive, exquisite historicals in the field.”–Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal

RR: Loving a Lost Lord marks your return to the Regency era. Can you tell us something about your writer’s journey that brought you back to the Regency?

MJP: The vast majority of my thirty plus books have been set in the Regency, but several years back, I felt that I was on the verge of burnout, so I wrote several contemporaries and then paranormal historicals. Now that I’ve recharged my batteries, I’ve come home.

But the issue of burnout hasn’t gone away, even if it’s temporarily in abeyance. I’ve had people ask me if editorial pressure made me do the fantasy historicals, and the answer is no. I love writing history, fantasy, and romance together. But the combination isn’t as commercially viable as straight historicals, so that’s what I’m doing.

However—I’m delighted to report that recently sold a young adult fantasy historical series to St. Martin’s Press. That will give the chance to get my fantasy fix. I just have to learn to write faster!

RR: What is risky about this book?

MJP: It’s far from my riskiest book, actually. I mean, it starts with the hero presumed dead and he’s a half-Hindu duke, but that’s pretty conservative for me. No alcoholics, epileptics, or abused characters in sight. Definitely middle of the road. I hope long time readers aren’t disappointed.

TOP PICK “If you loved the Fallen Angels, you’ll adore the Lost Lords: men who formed unbreakable bonds while at a school for boys of “good birth and bad behavior.” Only the incomparable Putney could bring them to life and have readers yearning to be close to such dynamic heroes and the women who tame them”–Kathe Robin, RT Book Reviews

RR: Did you come across any interesting research in writing this book?

MJP: This isn’t one of my highest research books. The previous book, A Distant Magic, was hugely research intensive since it was built around the 18th century British abolition movement. I’ve found that after a book like that, I need something simpler on the next book so I can recover.

So LALL is a fairly standard Regency setting—1812, England and Scotland. But I did find some very cool material on diving bells when Ashton’s friends take a salvage ship out to try to recover the wreckage of the sunken steam yacht. Did you know that diving bells were first described by Aristotle, and Alexander the Great went down in one? A bell is heavy and water tight, and it’s lowered directly into the water. The pressure of the air trapped inside keeps water from rising in the bell unless it goes fairly deep.

To quote Wikipedia: “A diving bell was used to salvage more than 50 cannons from the Swedish warship Vasa in the period immediately following its sinking in 1628.” That’s some serious salvage! By the time of the Regency, fresh air could be maintained in the bell with a hose and a pump, so divers could stay under water for quite some time.

Sorry to run on, but you really shouldn’t ask a Regency writer about research!

RR: Precisely why we asked! What is next for you?

MJP: I’ve finished the second Lost Lords book. The hero is Randall, who shows up in LALL, and the book is scheduled for May 2010. Kensington has also bought rights to one of my Fallen Angels books, and it’s scheduled for early 2010. I have at least four other potential heroes I’d like to write about, so this is a pretty open ended series.

In January 2010, I’m part of a paranormal Grail anthology called Chalice of Roses with Jo Beverley, Barbara Samuel, and Karen Harbaugh. (This is the third paranormal anthology the four of us have done together.)

And in Very Cool news, I found this week that Loving A Lost Lord made the extended New York Times list as well as the USAToday list. It’s great that readers still enjoy Regency historicals after all these years!

RR: Wow!! That’s terrific! But not surprising.

Thanks so much for having me here—

Mary Jo Putney

Okay Risky Readers, now’s your chance to ask Mary Jo a question, or make a comment. You might be the one chosen to win a signed copy of Loving a Lost Lord.

Visit Mary Jo often on her website or on her blog, Word Wenches.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

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

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
13 years ago

No questions, just a “very happy” that you are writing Regencies again- I’ve always enjoyed your books! Oh, and I’d love to win, lol!

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Who wouldn’t love to win a “Lost Lord”, LadyDoc!

Welcome, Mary Jo! We are delighted to have you with us today.

andrea pickens
andrea pickens
13 years ago

Fancy meeting you here! LOL

LALL is sitting atop my suitcase, to be read as I journey down to RWA. It’s so exciting to have you back in “straight” Regencies (though I loved the fantasy ones too!) The diving bell sounds fascinating . . . can’t wait to submerge myself in your wonderful story!

Mary Jo Putney
13 years ago

It’s mid-Sunday morning and a quiet time for most of us, so I’m impressed to see three comments up already.

So lovely to be here! Some years ago I gave the keynote speech for the Beau Monde conference held in conjunction with the national RWA, and I coined the phrase that “Regency isn’t a genre, it’s a cult.” And still so true! We are cultists. In a very genteel manner, of course.

I jst read through the answers to Diane’s questions–and realized that the first time I gave my hero’s title, I called him the Duke of Ashford, not Ashton. Sigh. This is why authors need keepers, not to mention spell check and copyeditors.

I’ll be back later today, but I have to pack for RWA this afternoon. Before every national convention, there is much panicked talk about clothes on the authors’ loops. I knew women who do spread sheets of what they’re going to wear each day, for each event.

One even takes pictures of herself in the different outfits. If you’ve ever doubted the fact of authorial insecurity, here’s proof that it’s real!

13 years ago

I’ve never read a book by Mary Jo Putney — this looks like a great one with which to get started. Hope I win! Thanks for the giveaway.

13 years ago

Mary Jo Putney was my gateway to romance-I picked up one of her books featured at my library, a romance that took place in China, and was hooked by the fabulous writing and story! I promptly sucked down almost every other book she wrote, and if my husband wandered by while I was sprawled on the sofa reading her, he’d say, “Oh no, not Putney!”, knowing I wouldn’t be putting the book down for hours. Thanks, Mary Jo, for many hours of reading pleasure!

13 years ago

I hope I win! I have always loved Mary Jo Putney and this story sounds amazing. She is the reason I started reading romances and her characters, storylines, locations, are wonderful.

13 years ago

Hi Mary Jo, I am very glad you are back to writing Regencies. I love historicals myself and it does seem they a making a come back. It seems for a while everyone was going paranormal and I do read a few paranormal for a change but I will always go back to my historicals. They are my favorite. I also enjoy a good romantic suspense. Why did you switch to paranormals?

Janet Mullany
13 years ago

Hi Mary Jo, great to have you here and hope to bump into you next week!

13 years ago

Hi Mary Jo. Great interview. I love your writing. Loving a Lost Lord sounds good.

13 years ago

I am so glad that you are writing regencies again. Can’t wait to read this one.

13 years ago

Great post!

Elena Greene
13 years ago

Welcome, Mary Jo. I’m happy to see you back to Regencies. You were my first love in historical romance. Though I’ve since discovered many other favorites, I’m always moved by the emotion in your stories.

Mary Jo Putney
13 years ago

Hi to all! Virginia, I switched to paranormals because I was perilously close to burnout with the straight historicals, and didn’t want to risk putting out second rate books. Plus, I love fantasy.

As I’ve come to realize, saleswise paranormal blends better with contemporaries. Historical readers tend to get their fantasy fix from the setting and don’t need magic. While with contemporaries, paranormal gives a good excuse for uber-Alpha heroes. *g*

Anonymous, it’s nice to know that my books alarmed your husband. *g* Janet–see you next week, and I owe you some questsions!

13 years ago

Hi Mary Jo,
Congrats on the new release. I love amnesia stories and look forward to reading “Loving A Lost Lord.”

13 years ago

Congratulatons on the new book Mary Jo! Did you have to do a lot of research about amnesia for your hero?

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

“One even takes pictures of herself in the different outfits.”

LOL! That IS dedication. I always just throw stuff in the suitcase in a panic and hope I don’t end up with 10 pairs of shoes, an evening gown, and nothing for anything else. 🙂

It’s great to see you here, Mary Jo! Your books were some of the first romances I ever read, and I still think they are some of the best. Can’t wait to read this one (though I do like historical/paranormal hybrids, too! I can empathize with the burnout feeling…)

Mary Jo Putney
13 years ago


I’ve researched amnesia before–this is my third amnesia book, I do about one a decade *g*–so I didn’t do a lot of extra research. The topic has always interested me, so when I come across references, I read more.

I spent more time researching the Hindu material (the excellent Indian American writer Shobhan Bantwal very kindly read through manuscript for me.) And then there was a the diving bell….

Amanda–my packing style is rather like yours. And since I’m driving to his conference, it feels like I don’t have to think about it as much, which is an illusion that I may pay for at the conference. So far, my suitcase contains about five jackets, a lot of black basics, and one cat who doesn’t want to get out. *g*

Maribeth Curry
13 years ago

Love all the MJP’s I’ve ever read so am looking forward to the Lost Lords!

Gerri Bowen
13 years ago

I’m hapy to know they’ll be more Regencies coming from you, Mary Jo! As for over the top, I never considered any to be too much, simply interesting, well written stories with romance. Yes, I hope I win, too!

Linda Banche
13 years ago

I’m glad you’re back to straight historicals. I love your books, but I never read your contemporaries because I don’t care for contemporaries.

As for Regencies with some fantasy and paranormal, it depends on how much you have of them. I like ones that are mainly historical. A little fantasy/paranormal is OK, but I think a lot of people have been overdoing that angle of late.

Susan Wilbanks
13 years ago

I’m glad you’re back in straight historicals, but I’m also looking forward to the YA series! (I’ve never felt that being grown up was any barrier to reading the occasional kid/teen book.)

Mary Jo Putney
13 years ago

Susan, I quite agree about reading YA. *g* A good story is a good story–and I love a good story.

I agree that one can overdo the paranormal aspects. For me, the characters always matter most, and the plot close behind that. Other elements woven in as appropiate.

13 years ago

Hello Mary Jo, I just wanted to pipe in that I love your historicals, my fave is Dearly Beloved.

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

“and one cat who doesn’t want to get out.”

LOL–mine is doing that right now. A black cat that just happened to sit on my white dress…

Julia Justiss
Julia Justiss
13 years ago

Mary Jo, I’m thrilled that you are returning to Regency historicals! Though I loved your contemps too, historicals will always be dearest to my heart, and LALL sounds wonderful. Will you be signing it at the RWA Literacy event? If so, I must pop around and grab a copy!

Mary Jo Putney
13 years ago

Julia– Yes, I’ll be signing at the literacy signing. See you there?

Mari, Dearly Beloved was a pretty out there book when I wrote it, so I’m glad to hear it’s your favorite.

Amanda–cats have immaculate color sense. They ALWAYS know where their fur will show up the best. *g*

13 years ago

wow, LALL sounds intriquing. Imagine your answer to life has just washed up on the beach; what a concept.

I will look into your contemps as they are my favorite.

Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x