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.

Medieval 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 ( 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!


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.

1 comment:

  1. I love it when I find a book with an unusual setting! I have had your first book on my TBR list for ages, and definitely will be putting the second book on my list as well.

    Thanks for guest posting for us Carrie!