Born in California, raised in the Midwest, Carrie Lofty met her husband in England--the best souvenir! Since earning her master's in history, she's been devoted to raising two precocious daughters and writing romance, including her Robin Hood-themed debut, WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS. This June, Carrie's sensual tale of two lovelorn musicians in Napoleonic Austria will launch Carina Press, Harlequin's new all-digital venture. With Ann Aguirre, she also co-writes hot'n'dirty apocalyptic romances as Ellen Connor.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Why I Love Unusual Settings by Carrie Lofty
I've always been just a little bit stubborn. Call me principled or hard-headed, but I tend to do things my own way. For example, medieval romances are much scarcer than they once were--maybe all those vampire brotherhoods horned in on the knight-hero's territory? But when I sat down to write the follow-up to my Robin Hood-themed debut, WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS, I somehow got it in my brain to set SCOUNDREL'S KISS in Spain.
The Kingdom of Castile, to be exact.
Why? Once the idea fired up inside my imagination, I couldn't let it go. Maybe writing a warrior monk hero just sounded intriguing and sexy to me at the time. Imagine all the training and hard-earned experience of a warrior, but all the humility and, ahem, self-control of a monk. Talk about conflict!
But you see, I started out my career as an historian. More specifically, I studied nothing other than gunfighters and outlaws for roughly ten years. (Blame that fantastically melodramatic TV show from the early 90s, "The Young Riders.") Then I wondered what other places had history. Turns out...well, every place! *grin*
I became very curious, and the more exotic the better. But it turns out that historical romance is not as adventurous as I am. Regency settings, the Scottish Highlands--that wasn't enough for me. I wanted the thrill of new times and places to go along with the thrill of love's first blush.
Even since then, I've made it my mission to bring a little bit of the exotic to historical romance. I've set works in 1950s Italy, medieval England, and Napoleonic Austria, and my current work-in-progress takes place in Victorian South Africa! I even founded a multi-author blog in November of 2006, called Unusual Historicals (http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com/) to serve as a meeting place for like-minded fans and authors.
But more than exotic settings, I love a great romance. I love that zing that the hero and heroine feel when they realize they're with their one-and-only. I sigh happy sighs and clutch really great books to my heart. As a writer, that's always been my first and foremost goal. Otherwise, all my fascination with history and exotic locales blends into a boring textbook--that's not sensual or sexy at all!
Oh, speaking of stubborn, did I mention that the heroine of SCOUNDREL'S KISS is addiction to opium? I just can't seem to help myself!