The Risky Regencies ran an interview with Loretta Chase awhile back, but Loretta wasn’t able to pop in and answer questions in comments. She did, however, send replies to all the questions you posted.
Welcome back, Loretta!
Thank you Risky ladies, for the kind welcome. I’m sorry I wasn’t around to visit with you on the day of the interview–and yet I’m not completely sorry, because I was having a wonderful time in Vancouver–my first trip to the West Coast.
I’ve saved all your compliments and sweet words to savor, especially on those days when the WIP better resembles what Nora Roberts so aptly refers to as a POS. So I’ll simply say a very warm Thank You!–again–and go on with the Answers To Questions part of the program.
Michelle said… “I wonder how well someone modern would do going back to that time period. Would you ever participate in a re-enactment similar to the PBS special about The Victorian House?”
I watched Regency House Party, and found it so fascinating that I bought the DVD (which I rarely do–too many movies, too little time). The women seemed to have a pretty miserable time of it…then I remembered that at my age, I’d be one of the chaperons, not one of the marriageable misses. I’d have a good deal more freedom–plus the advantage of being familiar with the period. Frankly, I thought one of the main causes of the friction on that show was the fact that most of the participants were smokers, and the women were not allowed to smoke. Nicotine withdrawal can make people…testy. But the other problem was, as it so often is on these re-enactments, that people have no clue about the time period. Since I do have a clue, I’m not sure I would do it: After all, I’m an American, and, unless they decided to make me verrry, verrry, rich, I’d be very low on the social scale.
Robin F said… “I live in the UK and your Carsington books here are being published with very different cameo-like covers. I was curious to know what do you think of them? I can’t wait for NQAL to come out here!”
I love the covers! I especially like the hieroglyphic wallpaper for MR IMPOSSIBLE. Those who’d like to evaluate the Piatkus covers–and others–may check out the Contact Loretta page of my website, where the foreign covers are displayed in the Newsletter. I just noticed that some of the UK covers got mixed in with the Russian ones, but you can easily sort them out.
“Also is there anything you can say about your WIP, particularly why you think it might be more controversial?”
I can tell you it’s set in Venice, at least for the first half, and the gondolas of 1820 were very different from the gondolas of today. Other than that, it’s foolish for me to say more because a WIP goes through so many changes before it’s finished.
Maggie Robinson said… “When’s the next one? JK. Are there any Carsingtons left? What’s next?”
Janga said… “Do you have plans to write Olivia and Peregrine’s story/stories?“
The next book is scheduled for June 2008. However, I’m happy to report that between then and now, in December 2007, Avon is releasing LORD OF SCOUNDRELS in a beautiful new cover.
I had originally planned only three Carsington books, dealing with the three youngest sons, but LORD PERFECT destroyed that cunning plan. And now it seems that Olivia and Peregrine will need a book. But that one’s in the future. They need to grow up and I need time to think about what they’ll grow up into and what sort of story will result. So it may be a few books down the road.
Cherie J said… “Wonderful interview! I have to admit I have never read one of your books but I am intrigued and have got to look for one next time I go to the bookstore. Which one would you recommend I start with?”
Thanks, Cherie. My favorite of my books is always either the one I just finished or the one I’m working on. NOT QUITE A LADY may be the easiest to find in a bricks and mortar bookstore–but I’m going to invite the other readers to make suggestions.
seton said… “I’ll always think of you as an Avon author because of your early historicals. How does it feel to be back at Avon again?”
It feels great! They have given me a very warm welcome back–and they’ve done a terrific job on so many counts. May I say again how happy I am with my new covers?
Kimberly L said… “Do you visit historical places to help with your books?”
I’ve visited England several times–though not recently, alas. A long, long time ago, I went to Albania. But I’ve never been to Egypt, and am not sure if Venice is in my future. But there are other ways to travel and time travel. Living museums and museums offer an added dimension to what one reads in research books. The impetus for MR. IMPOSSIBLE, for instance, came partly from a visit to an exhibition of Egyptian art and artifacts at the Boston Museum of Science some years ago.
Keira Soleore said… “Could your readers tempt you with new shoes, too, in addition to new clothes?”
Oh, yes, shoes. And pocketbooks. Accessories of all kinds. And then…books. These are all powerful forms of motivation.
“Oh, and what about RWA? You absolutely need new togs for that.”
I won’t make it to Dallas this year, but hope to get to San Francisco. Meanwhile, the search for the perfect raincoat continues.
Anne McAllister said…
“somehow I’ve missed the Mad Earl. Must go track him down!”
You’ll find him in the anthology, THREE WEDDINGS AND A KISS. It’s one of my two novellas, and is part of the series that starts with THE LION’S DAUGHTER.
yanna said… “(1) Do you plan to write a prequel on the Carsington parents? They sound interesting!”
They do interest me, but I’m not sure about a prequel. For one, it would take me into a different era, and for another, I do love them as they are, at middle age.
“(2)I like Percival from TLD too – I know its a nuisance to the writer sometimes when readers wish a story could go on and on.. but will you consider writing a story for Percival?”
I’ve considered it, and if the right story for him comes along, I’ll do it. The precocious kids do make me wonder what they’ll be like as adults. But at this moment, I have no plans for him.
“(3) Do you re-read the stories that you wrote after they are printed? if so, what are some of your thoughts?”
I wait a while, usually, then sit back and try to read it as though I were a reader. I tend to be less judgmental then than I am when writing the book. I’ll notice things I’d like to fix–but I am somewhat compulsive, so nothing’s ever going to pass muster completely.. Mainly, though it’s an opportunity to sit back and have fun with what I’ve created.
“(4) When you just start out as a writer, who were some of the authors that you read and enjoyed and like, perhaps enough to emulate?”
Charles Dickens. Oscar Wilde. Jane Austen. P.G. Wodehouse.
“I’d love to know which of your other characters are reworkings. “
Daphne Pembroke in MR. IMPOSSIBLE was a response to Dorothea in MIDDLEMARCH. What happens is, I look at these characters and play the What If game. Like, What if Dorothea had had a real education instead of her “toybox” one? What if she’d had a brother who believed in her? What could she have accomplished, in spite of her horrible marriage? And what if she’d met a man who accepted and appreciated her exactly as she was?
Lady Dedlock of BLEAK HOUSE was a Victorian character, viewed through middle-class eyes. But in fact, she would have been a young woman about the time of my heroine. So I asked, What if we looked at her through Regency eyes? What if she came from a family much higher on the social scale? What if that family was completely different? What if she met a man who truly was a soulmate?
These are the two characters who were clearly re-workings for me: I consciously examined the fictional character, decided what aggravated me the most about her, and created my alternate universe. The original characters are, basically, the spark to get that What If creative machine going. In other cases, it’s more a matter of coming across a historic personage and using him/her as the spark. And then there are the characters who simply come from regions of the imagination. If they are a response to something I’ve read or seen, that source is buried somewhere in my subconscious.
Thank you, Loretta!
You can see more with Loretta at the Word Wenches blog.
Wow — fascinating, Loretta! Thanks for answering all those questions.
Now I just have to go read Middlemarch. 🙂
Loretta, thanks so much for returning here to reply to our questions.
I just read on the Wenches blog that you might possibly be going to Venice this fall. How lovely! Do write and tell us whether you were able to spot any gondola with that small black cabin.
Cara, it took me years to get to MIDDLEMARCH because of having to read SILAS MARNER in middle school or high school–and having it all go over my adolescent head. So I was bored, and thought George Eliot was a boring writer. But she’s wonderful–sharp and witty and a keen observer of human nature. But I have to confess, I might never have got back to Eliot if not for the wonderful BBC dramatization of MIDDLEMARCh with Rufus Sewell, who made my little heart go pitty-pat.
Keira, I’ve read that one Venetian gentleman has had a reproduction made of those early gondolas. But the water level has risen so much that it doesn’t fit under all the bridges! Still, if I get there (and it is iffy), I’m hoping to see one somewhere–maybe a museum?
Thanks for answering my questions. I love reading about the history along with the hero and heroine. I think it’s fabulous that you get to go to some of these places. I love to go.
Thanks for directing me to the “Mad Earl,” Loretta. I’ll go find a copy of the anthology.
Also, yes, Rufus Sewell made my heart go pitty-pat in Middlemarch, too. Though it hasn’t yet inspired me to read the book! Have slogged through Silas, though, at far too young an age (thank you, school curriculum).
Looking forward to more wonderful books, and will certainly re-read Lord of Scoundrels in its new cover come December. Marvelous book!
Anne – “The Mad Earl” is well worth seeking out. Instead of the usual short story it seems like a complete book shrunk to fit. So you get all the best bits!