That's a good place to start: classical music as a portal into the most comforting of childhood memories.
In later years I expanded my repertoire not through learning to play an instrument, but out of a snobbish inclination that I should. Not the most honest of motives, I admit. The effect, however, was profound. What started with dabbling in the soundtrack to AMADEUS turned into an all-out classical music adventure when my daughters were just born.
Have you had children? Did you experience a brain void in those months after they were born? I found that I couldn't concentrate very well. Even the most formulaic books were beyond my limited ability to focus. I started listening to a lot of classical music once again, not out of a snobbish curiosity but because I enjoyed its soothing powers.
As my brain thawed, I took in more and more. I discovered that Beethoven's Fifth was more than just its famous opening four notes. I discovered that I am deeply fond of the cello, but that the right violin vibrato can make me cry. I also discovered a marvelous teaching series about classical music, which opened up the theory and history in ways I'd been unable to study before.
That interest coincided with my decision to actively pursue publication. Where else would I set a romance other than Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Mozart? And who else would it feature other than musicians? The decision was a natural extension of my fascination.
What I didn't know much about at the time was how romance publishing worked. The manuscript that became my June release, SONG OF SEDUCTION, received almost identical rejections wherever I submitted: a great book, but the setting is a deal-breaker.
I went on to indulge in other research obsessions, including Robin Hood (for WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS) and Spanish warrior monks (for SCOUNDREL'S KISS), but I never gave up on my sensuous Salzburg-set baby. Now we're mere days from its launch and I couldn't be happier. I think this happy occasion calls for a little Tchaikovsky.
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.
In June 2010, SONG OF SEDUCTION, Carrie’s sensual tale of two lovelorn musicians in Napoleonic Austria will help launch Carina Press, Harlequin’s new digital-first venture. Its sequel, PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION, will follow in early 2011. You can learn more about the author at her site: http://www.carrielofty.com/ and read her interesting guest post Why I Love unusual settings posted here at Historical Tapestry a few months ago.