This week an interview with historical romance author Christy Carlyle, author of
CW: Why do you write historical romance?
I’ve always loved history. My grandpa was a big history buff, and he’d let me take home his books whenever I found one I liked. When I went to college, it was really hard to decide between English and history, but I finally ended up with a history degree. I taught middle and high school for a bit, but now I’m glad I get to put my love of history to use when I write my stories.
CW: What is your favorite historical period and why?
The Victorian era, hands down. I do like other eras and have even spent a lot of time researching the Regency period, for instance, but when stories come to me, my characters invariably seem to live in a Victorian world. I think the Victorian era, especially the 1890’s, appeals to me because of the enormous changes that were taking place. Technological innovations like electricity were transforming society, and people were starting to break out of the strictures and rules they’d lived by for decades.
CW: Did you base your characters on real people?
I’ve never based a character entirely on a real person, but I think it’s impossible not to borrow characteristics from people we know or be inspired by historical figures. My hero, Rex Leighton, is an entrepreneur and wannabe hotelier. Historical figures like Andrew Carnegie and other men who built their fortunes through their own drive definitely served as inspiration for Rex.
May Sedgwick, my heroine, is an American heiress living in England and searching for an aristocratic husband. Historically, there were many young ladies who did just that. Newspapers dubbed them the Dollar Princesses, and women like Consuelo Vanderbilt, who married the Duke of Marlborough, definitely inspired me when I was creating May.
CW: What is your favorite scene in this book?
My hero and heroine knew each other before and were actually each other’s first loves, so they have quite a bit of emotion to work through when they meet again after many years apart. There is a scene in which my hero is shaken enough to let down his walls and allow the heroine in. I love those kinds of scenes, and that’s probably one of my favorites in this book. Let’s just say it involves wet clothes and a heroine who knows exactly what she wants.
CW: What was the hardest scene to write and why?
To be honest, I always struggle with the “dark night of the soul,” or the moment when everything seems lost for my characters. I tend to write linearly, from chapter one to the end, so by the time I get to that moment in the story, I sometimes find it hard to truly devastate my characters. Thankfully, I have a wonderful editor and critique partners who push me in the right direction.
CW: What, aside from writing, do you like to do best?
Ironically, now that I am writing full-time, I find that I really crave other creative outlets. So I’ve been drawing again, which I haven’t done for years, and I want to get back into watercolor painting. I also love spending time with my husband when I’m not writing, because I’m pretty non-communicative when I’m working toward a deadline. We’re big movie fans, so going to the cinema is always as a fun “date night” for us.
In a bet between two old flames . . .
Rex Leighton dominates the boardroom by day and prowls the ballroom at night. Searching for the perfect bride to usher him into the aristocracy, he abandoned the idea of love the last time he saw the delicious May Sedgwick. But when he’s roped into a bet, where the prize is the means to fund his greatest ambition and the stakes are a marriage he’s already planning for, Rex is willing to go all in. There’s just one problem—he’s competing against the only woman he’s ever loved.
Only love can take it all
May Sedgwick could be the belle of the season . . . if she cared. She is more interested in the art studio than the marriage market and her craving to pursue her passion far outweighs her wish for a titled husband. Winning this bet will finally allow May to follow her true artistic desires. Rex losing is just a side benefit, as are his breathtaking kisses that she just can’t resist.
When May is forced to choose between the dream she never knew she wanted and the man she’s never been able to forget, Rex must convince her desire is worth a bit of danger.
Buy Links are here:
Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.
Contact Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more at http://www.christycarlyle.com/