Carrie Lofty is a major source of inspiration. She started out selling to the ebook market and worked her way up to a contract with Kensington Publishing. Her first novel with them, What a Scoundrel Wants, is due for release this month. This talented new author gets my vote for her imaginative version of Will Scarlet’s story—part of the
Robin Hood legend. Trust me, it’s unlike any version that’s crossed your path before.
Ms. Lofty was born in California, was raised in the Midwest, and found the love of her life in England. They now live in Kenosha, Wisconsin, just north of Chicago, where she collects vases—Chinese, Southwestern, Caribbean, and Russian styles. She also belly dances and has been a do-what-feels-good dancer since she was a toddler.
As a child, Ms. Lofty entertained herself by pretending to be Princess Leia, Cheetara from Thundercats, or Daphne from Scooby Doo. She would assign her little brother and her neighborhood friends their roles, depending on who she wanted to play that day.
She’s passionate about various movies and television shows. She says that she develops massive crushes on them, and they become the all-encompassing center of her world for a while. When the crush eases off, she’s thankful, because it becomes rather distracting when it happens. While writing What a Scoundrel Wants, it was anything starring Christian Slater—it all feeds back into writing and her over-active imagination.
Some of Ms. Lofty’s favorite things include her husband, her girls, their cat, how maintenance guys mow the grass and shovel the snow at their condo, Ghirardelli dark chocolate raspberry squares, Bono, Lake Michigan, her Skechers, men with accents, going to Chicago North RWA meetings, the London Underground, British comedy quiz shows, finishing a book, air travel, and naps.
On Writing, in Ms. Lofty’s Own Words
What or who inspires you to write?
As I mentioned, sometimes it’s a set of characters from a television show or a batch of new songs. But because I’m a romance writer, I’m always looking at the strange way couples fit together. What works for one pair does not work for another. People fill in each other’s gaps, so part of what I find fascinating is the process of identifying who
these fictional people are, what they need, and how their partners satisfy that need. So I suppose that means I’m inspired by love, which sounds incredibly obnoxious.
Why did you begin writing?
I always had stories to tell. How to explain that? They’re just in my
head and my heart, needing a voice. Writing it down is the end result.
Which author inspires you?
Ian McEwan. Oh my goodness, he’s amazing. I can’t even breathe when I think about Atonement. Some of his earlier works—very psychologically dark and intense—are enough to give me the creeps for weeks. His work is so intense that I haven’t read his entire back catalogue. It’s like gearing up for mental battle!
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Other than the pure accomplishment mechanic of it—look at how many pages I wrote!—I love it when I find a review or a reader’s comment and they just get it. Yes! That’s exactly what I meant! That’s exactly why I needed to write this down. They find it special, too. In the sharing, the story takes on added meaning and depth.
Have you experienced writer’s block? And, if so, how did you cure it?
I wrote sporadically for about fifteen years before finally taking my career seriously. I suppose you could say those fifteen years were made of writer’s block—lots of ideas, no follow-through, no completed manuscripts. Zero. And when I’d start a project knowing that, realistically, I wouldn’t finish it, the process became rather daunting. After I gave myself permission to behave like a professional and make this my career, I got serious. The discipline followed, then the words, then the stories. I’ve been on a roll ever since, but I know enough to knock on wood when I say that.
When is your next book due out, and what’s it about?
Scoundrel’s Kiss, the sequel to What a Scoundrel Wants, will be released in late 2009. In it, a Spanish warrior monk falls for the opium addict he’s sworn to cure, but she tempts him to abandon his vows of obedience, non-violence, and chastity.
In addition, Serenade, my first novel, will be released as a free serial on my web site beginning January 2009. Set in 1804 Salzburg, Serenade is the story of a widowed violin prodigy and a composer who stole the symphony he’s famous for.
First chapters for What a Scoundrel Wants and Serenade are available
on Carrie Lofty’s Web site at CarrieLofty.com. Readers can also sign up for her newsgroup.
It was an absolute pleasure interviewing such a fascinating author.
Please check out my review of What a Scoundrel Wants, and be sure
and pick up a copy.