~ CARRIE LOFTY ~
Hi Carrie and welcome back to Under the Covers! For someone who is new to your books, how would you describe your style of writing?
Lush and sensual are the words I always use. I like sly humor, and I’m a sucker for a good grovel either from the hero or heroine. That makes the I Love You all the sweeter. I write historicals and now New Adult, but the same lush, sensual richness is in either genre.
How do you approach a new book? What is the one thing you always have to do before the writing actually begins?
I always work with music. That’s essential. So part of the opening prep for a book is gathering a playlist. I’ll actually hear a new song while wrapping up a different book and I’ll save it for a fresh playlist. The other thing has to do with craft. I do a character brainstorm (sometimes using Myers-Briggs testing on imaginary people!) and, anymore, a chapter by chapter outline. I never used to do chapter prep, but I’ve found it makes getting the flow of a book and character arcs much easier.
Can you tell us a bit about BLUE NOTES?
It’s set on the campus of Tulane University in New Orleans, where a piano prodigy from an abusive childhood is struggling to make her way. She’s been burdened with tremendous stage fright, which doesn’t help her dream of joining an orchestra. The man who pushes her toward stardom is an arrogant stranger who has his own tragic past. He’s a little bit Mr. Darcy–proud, unused to how cutting his words can be around new people, and grappling with responsibilities he came into way too soon, including taking care of his younger sister.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
I’ve never written in first person present, so I was constantly catching myself. “I’m going to the store” would be “She was going to the store.” It was frustrating at the beginning, but I got the hang of how fun it can be for applying deep point of view. It was also the only time I’ve written solely from the heroine’s perspective.
You’ve written historical romance, as Carrie Lofty, before as well as erotic romance, as Katie Porter, paranormal apocalyptic as Ellen Connor and paranormal romance as Lindsey Piper. BLUE NOTES is a new adult story. What made you switch gears and want to write in this genre?
I never run out of ideas! My historicals started out as my first love, and I will continue them. I’m no longer co-writing as Ellen Connor because my former partner, Ann Aguirre, and I started having too many schedule overcrowding conflicts! Obviously erotic romance needs a name of its own, and my Lindsey Piper paranormals were vastly different from my other work because they’re more gritty and brutal. So in the end, New Adult seemed like a nice foray into contemporary, and it works well as a complement to my historicals, sharing many of the same traits of voice, character and sensuality.
What is about the setting of New Orleans that you found drew your interest enough to set the book there?
I’ve always wanted to go, probably ever since Interview of a Vampire. It possesses this folklore of deep mysticism and tremendous history. I couldn’t think of another city that was as exotic in the US! Now I’m so stoked that I’ll get to visit New Orleans for the first time at the RT Book Lovers Convention in the middle of this month. If you’re there, stop by the giant book fair where I’ll be signing BLUE NOTES in New Adult Alley.
Having so many projects, under so many names and identities, how do you keep it all straight?
The White Board of Doom. That kinda says it all. Oh, and a marvelous agent!
Your other pen names Katie Porter and Ellen Connor are writing duos. What do you enjoy the most about the dynamics of writing with someone else?
There’s a creativity and momentum that comes from writing with another person that I haven’t felt replicated when writing solo. The slogging middle of the book when nothing feels right and I want to kill my characters–that doesn’t happen. All I have to do is keep writing, because my partner is waiting on my next chapter. We share ideas, brainstorming, publicity, and accolades in ways you can’t do with a fellow writer. I can feel happy when I friend wins an award, but it’s not the same as winning it equally in the company of a co-writing partner. It’s a blast all the time!
What other projects can we expect from you this year?
BLUE NOTES is my only solo project for 2014. Otherwise we’re launching a new Katie Porter series called “Command Force Alpha,” which is all special ops and La Femme Nikita badgirls and hot, occasionally kinky sex. The first is OWN on August 28. It’s available for pre-order now. It’ll be followed by SNAP in September and BIND in October. We’re so excited about this series!
For fans of Jamie McGuire and S.C. Stephens, a sizzling new adult novel featuring the tumultuous relationship between a young piano prodigy and a reluctant billionaire playboy—set against the vibrant backdrop of a New Orleans college campus.
After being bounced from foster family to foster family, Keeley, a talented pianist, is ready to start over as a junior at Tulane. But when she plays a small concert that attracts the attention of Jude, a brooding playboy and heir to an enormous fortune in the wake of his parents’ tragic death, suddenly Keeley’s life is thrown off balance once again.
Jude is the first person to confront her about the pain behind her music, and she struggles with whether or not to let him into her life, or to keep protecting herself from the hurt that relationships have caused her in the past. But Keeley’s about to learn that the melancholy young billionaire who appears to have everything he wants can open her eyes to exactly what she needs…
We are giving away an ecopy of BLUE NOTES!