We’re delighted to have Carrie Lofty with us today as our debut author. Her first book “What a Scoundrel Wants” was released on Tuesday, December 2nd by Kensington Zebra. Congratulations! Carrie is also giving away a copy of What a Scoundrel Wants to one of our readers who posts a comment. A name will be drawn at the end of the day and Carrie will let us know who the lucky winner is.
Tell us your call story. How did it happen for you?
My second manuscript, the one that eventually became What a Scoundrel Wants, had finaled in two contests: Wisconsin RWA’s Fab Five and Hearts Through History’s Romance Through the Ages. Winners for the latter were going to be announced at the 2007 general meeting at Nationals, so a friend and I basically dared each other to go. I braved internet crashes to get a pitch appointment, eventually sitting down for my very first pitch with Hilary Sares of Kensington.
She arrived five minutes late—I’ve never been more conscious of time passing—and then picked up the business card I’d placed on her side of the table. On it was the elevator pitch for my book. She read it, loved it, and asked for the full. We spent the next few minutes talking about Russell Crowe. Two days after I mailed the full, she called and offered me a two-book contract. I’m only glad that was my daughters’ first day of pre-school, because I actually managed to conduct the conversation like an adult!
Did you have an agent when you first sold?
No. But as soon as I’d made all my friends-and-family calls, I got back down to business and reinvigorated my agent hunt. Two weeks later I signed with Caren Johnson.
We’d love to know all about the type of books you write.
I write lush historicals with angst-laden characters who appear, on the surface, to be beyond redemption. My heroes are flawed and generally haven’t learned what it is to be heroic yet. The heroines are strong to the point of stubbornness, where what they have to learn is less about standing up for themselves, and more about trust. I love beautiful imagery and spend a lot of time on crafting my prose, but I’ve also been told my forte is clear, concise action. Oh, and they’re fairly hot.
How long were you writing and how many books did you write before you sold?
I began writing toward a career in the summer of 2006 when my husband was away in Virginia for a three-month internship. I stayed behind with our young daughters and needed a creative and professional outlet. I wrote one other manuscript, Serenade, about a widowed violin prodigy in 1804 Salzburg and a famous conductor who stole the symphony he’s most famous for, before starting on What a Scoundrel Wants. I’ll be making Serenade available as a free serial on my website beginning in January.
Can you tell us about your debut book? What is it about and what genre is it?
It’s an historical romance that pays homage to the Robin Hood legends of old, all adventure and witty banter. In it, Robin Hood’s estranged nephew Will Scarlet rescues the alchemist who can clear him of murder, but she’s blind, obsessed with fire, and sister to the woman he helped kidnap.
What are your plans for the future? What more can we look forward to from you?
Aside from the serial of Sereande I mentioned above, the sequel to What a Scoundrel Wants will be released in late 2009. Set in Spain, Scoundrel’s Kiss tells the story of a warrior monk who falls for the opium addict he’s sworn to cure, while she tempts him to abandon his vows of obedience, non-violence and chastity.
Finally, do you have a website where readers can go to see what you have in the pipeline, or learn more about your upcoming debut release?
My website is www.carrielofty.com, and I also run Unusual Historicals (http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com), the multi-author blog I founded to celebrate historical romances set in unusual times and places.