An Interview with Wench Loretta Chase Part 1

Spring_nqal

Susan/Miranda interviews Loretta:

One of the questions most often asked of writers is “Whose books do you read?”  The name that always comes to my mind first is Loretta Chase.  Throughout a career that began with traditional Regencies and now has expanded to Regency historicals, Loretta has always pushed the boundaries of the genre with unexpected characters, exotic settings, and her own sparkling brand of humor.  Her books are not only frequent award winners (she has won RWA’s prestigious Rita award twice) and USAToday Bestsellers, but also reader favorites, with Lord of Scoundrels a regular on most lists of “Best Romances of All Time.” 

Just released this month, her latest book, Not Quite a Lady, is classic Loretta, with a delicious hero and heroine (not to mention a splendid pig named Hyacinth), and I’m happy to report that it’s already gone into its second printing –– yayy, Loretta! 

Because Loretta and I found so many things to chat about here, we decided to split this interview into two parts.  You’ll find Part One below; Part Two will be posted next Friday.

Susan/Miranda (and Friend of Loretta *g*)

1.   Your May book NOT QUITE A LADY returns to the Carsingtons, a family already dear to readers of your earlier books.   Can you tell us a bit about NOT QUITE A LADY?

Nqal_frontThis is the fourth–and the last (for now) in the series.  The youngest brother, Darius, is a rake and a scholar.  Determined to avoid matrimony, he accepts his father’s challenge to revive a tumbledown estate in Cheshire.  There Lady Charlotte Hayward, also determined to avoid matrimony, stumbles–quite literally–over him.  There’s a lot of falling down, and a pig, a bulldog, a dairy (please see my blog of 10/28/06, Beautiful Dairy), a laundry, and superstitious carpenters, among other things.

2.   The rural setting of this book is so vividly captured that it becomes
almost another character.   WordWenches visitors already know you often take
your research beyond libraries.   Can you tell us more specifically how you
researched the background for this book?   Is Lithby Hall based on a actual place? 
What kind of research did you do to capture Darius’s interests in farming
and husbandry?   And did a real pig inspire Hyacinth?
Pig_piglets_osv

It all started with the pig, actually.  Hyacinth was inspired by the Empress of Blandings, of P.G. Wodehouses’s Blandings Castle stories.

Imagining a pig is easy, even for a city girl, but getting Hyacinth’s world right was trickier. What did a sty look like, exactly?  What did it smell like?  To create a believable fictional environment, I needed, among other things, live pigs.  There being none in my neighborhood (dogs abound–not a pig for miles) my husband and I made a research trip to Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum in Sturbridge, Massachusetts that recreates New England village life in the early 1800s.  Piglets_osvIt turned out that they not only had plenty of farm animals, but these were historically accurate English farm animals.  I was so excited.  Not only was I able to get up close to pigs, and hang over the sty fence the way my characters do, but I could interrogate the interpreters at OSV, who offered all kinds of fascinating information about farm animals and farm life.

One of the many things I loved about writing this story was the chance to look at the great English country house from a different angle.  As I noted in LORD PERFECT, a great estate wasn’t simply a big house in a pretty, landscaped park.  It was a rural community, where a great many people worked, and it provided for itself to a great extent.  It could include a brew house for making beer, a dairy, a laundry, a home farm, a plantation–with logging as well as carpentry operations, a blacksmith, etc.

(L-R photo credits:  Uppark Dairy by Peter Glass, Uppark Park dairy scullery by James Stringer, blacksmiths by Loretta)

Dairy_uppark_int_by_peter_glass Dairyuppark_scullery_by_peter_glass

Blacksmiths_osv Not all of the research was hands-on, though.  I did read books that explained how country estates worked, as well as, in crumbling volumes of the Philosophical Magazine from the 1820s, the kinds of articles Darius might have written about agricultural experiments. 

Dunham_massey_hallwkia Near my desk hung a map of the area of Cheshire where the story is set, and yes, I did base it on a real place:  Lithby Hall is an adaptation of Dunham Massey (more here), with elements from a few other estates in the area.  For a sense of the place(s), here are some more pictures.

3.   While Darius was obviously the next Carsington brother to earn hero-status, NOT QUITE A LADY is every bit the heroine’s story –- maybe even more so.   Which one came first into your imagination: Darius, or Lady Charlotte Hayward?   What makes them so perfectly right for one another?

Charlotte came first, and I do agree that it’s her story to a great extent, because of the nature of her problem.  The spark for her was Lady Dedlock in Charles Dickens’s BLEAK HOUSE.  Lady Dedlock is a tragic character, and the view of her situation is not only Victorian but very middle-class.  However, in 1822–the time of my story–she would have been about Charlotte’s age and part of a world that wasn’t Victorian–yet.  So I thought What If?  What if she’d come from a family much higher on the social scale?  What if her family wasn’t dysfunctional?  What if she wasn’t so suppressed?  What if she was mischievous and clever and down-to-earth?  And, most important, What if she met an earthy, intelligent, sexy guy like Darius who’s the antithesis of the Victorian male?

Dragonfly My aim is to create believable soulmates, and that seems to require the right balance of similarities and differences.  She loves the country, and she cares about the same things Darius cares about.  They’re comfortable with the animals, the land, the ebb and flow of country life.  They’re both earthy, close to nature.  They’re earthy in the sexual sense, too–that’s how she got into trouble in the first place.  But each character also needs something, and the other provides a balance.  So she’s very emotional and he’s very cool and methodical.  She’s got a lot of shame, and he has none.  In the course of the story, he takes the shame away and she makes him feel deeply.  She learns that she can trust a man with her heart and he discovers the profound happiness of giving his heart to one woman, forever.

4.   Many of your heroines are older women who, one way or another, have
experienced something of life, and Lady Charlotte is no exception.   What makes
for an ideal heroine to you?

1819eveningdressackermannswiki When you set a story among the early 19th C British aristocracy, a young, inexperienced girl may seem almost childish by today’s standards (and I do have to walk that tightrope between historical accuracy and connecting with my 21st century audience).  She really is fresh from the schoolroom, where she’s probably not been very well educated, compared to men.  What do these girls have to say to the much more sophisticated and experienced male?  What do they have to offer the hero besides innocence and freshness–and how much can an author who isn’t Georgette Heyer do with that?  Maybe, too, I shy away from inexperienced heroines because of the kinds of heroes I create.  1816lordgranthamingreswk I want to give these guys partners who test their mettle.  And a woman like Charlotte, who’s had a Really Bad Experience with a man, is going to present a challenge.  How will the hero prove himself worthy of her?  How will he earn her trust?  Those are the questions I want to deal with.

To be continued next Friday — but please feel free to ask Loretta any questions you may have now!

140 thoughts on “An Interview with Wench Loretta Chase Part 1”

  1. Dear Lorettta,
    I was thrilled when I first found out about “Lady” and stayed thrilled after I finished it. I’m of course in love with your books–there hasn’t been one so far that I haven’t liked. So… What’s next for you? And, well, when will we be able to read it? 🙂
    Thanks,
    Keira

    Reply
  2. Dear Lorettta,
    I was thrilled when I first found out about “Lady” and stayed thrilled after I finished it. I’m of course in love with your books–there hasn’t been one so far that I haven’t liked. So… What’s next for you? And, well, when will we be able to read it? 🙂
    Thanks,
    Keira

    Reply
  3. Dear Lorettta,
    I was thrilled when I first found out about “Lady” and stayed thrilled after I finished it. I’m of course in love with your books–there hasn’t been one so far that I haven’t liked. So… What’s next for you? And, well, when will we be able to read it? 🙂
    Thanks,
    Keira

    Reply
  4. Dear Lorettta,
    I was thrilled when I first found out about “Lady” and stayed thrilled after I finished it. I’m of course in love with your books–there hasn’t been one so far that I haven’t liked. So… What’s next for you? And, well, when will we be able to read it? 🙂
    Thanks,
    Keira

    Reply
  5. I just finished Not Quite a Lady this morning. I expected to enjoy every syllable, and I did. I liked the fact that Darius was a different kind of scholar, but Charlotte’s story is what will make the book most memorable for me. She has joined Jessica and Bathsheba in my favorite heroines list.
    You say that you are through with the Carsingtons “for now.” Will we get Olivia and Peregrine’s story?

    Reply
  6. I just finished Not Quite a Lady this morning. I expected to enjoy every syllable, and I did. I liked the fact that Darius was a different kind of scholar, but Charlotte’s story is what will make the book most memorable for me. She has joined Jessica and Bathsheba in my favorite heroines list.
    You say that you are through with the Carsingtons “for now.” Will we get Olivia and Peregrine’s story?

    Reply
  7. I just finished Not Quite a Lady this morning. I expected to enjoy every syllable, and I did. I liked the fact that Darius was a different kind of scholar, but Charlotte’s story is what will make the book most memorable for me. She has joined Jessica and Bathsheba in my favorite heroines list.
    You say that you are through with the Carsingtons “for now.” Will we get Olivia and Peregrine’s story?

    Reply
  8. I just finished Not Quite a Lady this morning. I expected to enjoy every syllable, and I did. I liked the fact that Darius was a different kind of scholar, but Charlotte’s story is what will make the book most memorable for me. She has joined Jessica and Bathsheba in my favorite heroines list.
    You say that you are through with the Carsingtons “for now.” Will we get Olivia and Peregrine’s story?

    Reply
  9. The research sounds like loads of fun. I, too, gobbled up Not Quite a Lady within 24 hours of receiving it and enjoyed it very much, though I must admit that Jessica remains my favorite of your heroines. I love those alpha-female characters, unfazed by the vicissitudes of their mates, impervious to the foolish opinions of the general population, supremely self-confident. Oh, how I long to be like that myself! Actually, Olivia is a lot like that, isn’t she? Hmmmm…more fun in store for us there, I can tell.

    Reply
  10. The research sounds like loads of fun. I, too, gobbled up Not Quite a Lady within 24 hours of receiving it and enjoyed it very much, though I must admit that Jessica remains my favorite of your heroines. I love those alpha-female characters, unfazed by the vicissitudes of their mates, impervious to the foolish opinions of the general population, supremely self-confident. Oh, how I long to be like that myself! Actually, Olivia is a lot like that, isn’t she? Hmmmm…more fun in store for us there, I can tell.

    Reply
  11. The research sounds like loads of fun. I, too, gobbled up Not Quite a Lady within 24 hours of receiving it and enjoyed it very much, though I must admit that Jessica remains my favorite of your heroines. I love those alpha-female characters, unfazed by the vicissitudes of their mates, impervious to the foolish opinions of the general population, supremely self-confident. Oh, how I long to be like that myself! Actually, Olivia is a lot like that, isn’t she? Hmmmm…more fun in store for us there, I can tell.

    Reply
  12. The research sounds like loads of fun. I, too, gobbled up Not Quite a Lady within 24 hours of receiving it and enjoyed it very much, though I must admit that Jessica remains my favorite of your heroines. I love those alpha-female characters, unfazed by the vicissitudes of their mates, impervious to the foolish opinions of the general population, supremely self-confident. Oh, how I long to be like that myself! Actually, Olivia is a lot like that, isn’t she? Hmmmm…more fun in store for us there, I can tell.

    Reply
  13. I have especially loved your books where the “villain” becomes a hero, like Basil Trevelyan and Ismal/Esmond. So, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Colonel will be similarly revived. He isn’t exactly bad, but I can definitely see him getting blindsided by a woman who ruined his very specific plans for finding a bride and doing the right thing.

    Reply
  14. I have especially loved your books where the “villain” becomes a hero, like Basil Trevelyan and Ismal/Esmond. So, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Colonel will be similarly revived. He isn’t exactly bad, but I can definitely see him getting blindsided by a woman who ruined his very specific plans for finding a bride and doing the right thing.

    Reply
  15. I have especially loved your books where the “villain” becomes a hero, like Basil Trevelyan and Ismal/Esmond. So, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Colonel will be similarly revived. He isn’t exactly bad, but I can definitely see him getting blindsided by a woman who ruined his very specific plans for finding a bride and doing the right thing.

    Reply
  16. I have especially loved your books where the “villain” becomes a hero, like Basil Trevelyan and Ismal/Esmond. So, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Colonel will be similarly revived. He isn’t exactly bad, but I can definitely see him getting blindsided by a woman who ruined his very specific plans for finding a bride and doing the right thing.

    Reply
  17. I snapped up a copy of NQAL the day it come out, but I’m saving it for the trip I have to take at the end of the month. 6 hours with nothing to do but read . . . if it wasn’t for the lack of leg room it would be heaven. LOL!
    I’m amazed that you seem to have liked the pigs. I grew up on a commune and the pigs were the one animal I just couldn’t stand. Let me tell you, there’s pretty much NOHTING scarier than being chased by a 400 lb omnivorous animal whose teeth will go right though you like a hot knife through butter! *shudder*
    I was at a friend’s farm recently and one of his new rare breed pigs (still small) ran over and began nuzzling and licking my foot. I shoved it off as he yelled “Don’t let her do that, she’ll take a chunk out of you if you give her the chance.” Uh, yeah, I know.

    Reply
  18. I snapped up a copy of NQAL the day it come out, but I’m saving it for the trip I have to take at the end of the month. 6 hours with nothing to do but read . . . if it wasn’t for the lack of leg room it would be heaven. LOL!
    I’m amazed that you seem to have liked the pigs. I grew up on a commune and the pigs were the one animal I just couldn’t stand. Let me tell you, there’s pretty much NOHTING scarier than being chased by a 400 lb omnivorous animal whose teeth will go right though you like a hot knife through butter! *shudder*
    I was at a friend’s farm recently and one of his new rare breed pigs (still small) ran over and began nuzzling and licking my foot. I shoved it off as he yelled “Don’t let her do that, she’ll take a chunk out of you if you give her the chance.” Uh, yeah, I know.

    Reply
  19. I snapped up a copy of NQAL the day it come out, but I’m saving it for the trip I have to take at the end of the month. 6 hours with nothing to do but read . . . if it wasn’t for the lack of leg room it would be heaven. LOL!
    I’m amazed that you seem to have liked the pigs. I grew up on a commune and the pigs were the one animal I just couldn’t stand. Let me tell you, there’s pretty much NOHTING scarier than being chased by a 400 lb omnivorous animal whose teeth will go right though you like a hot knife through butter! *shudder*
    I was at a friend’s farm recently and one of his new rare breed pigs (still small) ran over and began nuzzling and licking my foot. I shoved it off as he yelled “Don’t let her do that, she’ll take a chunk out of you if you give her the chance.” Uh, yeah, I know.

    Reply
  20. I snapped up a copy of NQAL the day it come out, but I’m saving it for the trip I have to take at the end of the month. 6 hours with nothing to do but read . . . if it wasn’t for the lack of leg room it would be heaven. LOL!
    I’m amazed that you seem to have liked the pigs. I grew up on a commune and the pigs were the one animal I just couldn’t stand. Let me tell you, there’s pretty much NOHTING scarier than being chased by a 400 lb omnivorous animal whose teeth will go right though you like a hot knife through butter! *shudder*
    I was at a friend’s farm recently and one of his new rare breed pigs (still small) ran over and began nuzzling and licking my foot. I shoved it off as he yelled “Don’t let her do that, she’ll take a chunk out of you if you give her the chance.” Uh, yeah, I know.

    Reply
  21. You know, I’m turning over a new leaf and planning to buy at least my favorite author’s new instead of used. I was going to start with NQAL, but our bookstore told me they couldn’t order it yet because it had already sold out! I guess you’re doing okay without my business, Loretta. 🙂 (But I will go back and try again.)

    Reply
  22. You know, I’m turning over a new leaf and planning to buy at least my favorite author’s new instead of used. I was going to start with NQAL, but our bookstore told me they couldn’t order it yet because it had already sold out! I guess you’re doing okay without my business, Loretta. 🙂 (But I will go back and try again.)

    Reply
  23. You know, I’m turning over a new leaf and planning to buy at least my favorite author’s new instead of used. I was going to start with NQAL, but our bookstore told me they couldn’t order it yet because it had already sold out! I guess you’re doing okay without my business, Loretta. 🙂 (But I will go back and try again.)

    Reply
  24. You know, I’m turning over a new leaf and planning to buy at least my favorite author’s new instead of used. I was going to start with NQAL, but our bookstore told me they couldn’t order it yet because it had already sold out! I guess you’re doing okay without my business, Loretta. 🙂 (But I will go back and try again.)

    Reply
  25. Loretta,
    I loved NQAL! (It Saved my Sanity on my recent flight to France with 11 ten-year-olds.)
    I think I have read Everything You Have Ever Published except for–THE LAST HELLION. Oh please, Esteemed Authoress, can you reveal to your Gentle Readers when your Avon reprints will be released?
    And–if I’m remembering right, you’re a Gemini so must have a birthday in this vicinity–so Happy Birthday!
    Melinda

    Reply
  26. Loretta,
    I loved NQAL! (It Saved my Sanity on my recent flight to France with 11 ten-year-olds.)
    I think I have read Everything You Have Ever Published except for–THE LAST HELLION. Oh please, Esteemed Authoress, can you reveal to your Gentle Readers when your Avon reprints will be released?
    And–if I’m remembering right, you’re a Gemini so must have a birthday in this vicinity–so Happy Birthday!
    Melinda

    Reply
  27. Loretta,
    I loved NQAL! (It Saved my Sanity on my recent flight to France with 11 ten-year-olds.)
    I think I have read Everything You Have Ever Published except for–THE LAST HELLION. Oh please, Esteemed Authoress, can you reveal to your Gentle Readers when your Avon reprints will be released?
    And–if I’m remembering right, you’re a Gemini so must have a birthday in this vicinity–so Happy Birthday!
    Melinda

    Reply
  28. Loretta,
    I loved NQAL! (It Saved my Sanity on my recent flight to France with 11 ten-year-olds.)
    I think I have read Everything You Have Ever Published except for–THE LAST HELLION. Oh please, Esteemed Authoress, can you reveal to your Gentle Readers when your Avon reprints will be released?
    And–if I’m remembering right, you’re a Gemini so must have a birthday in this vicinity–so Happy Birthday!
    Melinda

    Reply
  29. Elaine, it was wonderful to write a fully confident heroine–but she needed to be, since the hero was so awful and so deeply screwed up. Only someone like Jessica could have got through to someone like Dain.
    Kalen–Oh, I would not be happy with commune life. I didn’t have to get close to the pigs. I do know that pigs are not averse to human flesh. Several mystery writers have used pigs to dispose of inconvenient corpses. But I was like the aristos in NQAL, safely behind the heavy wooden fence. And my characters had lots of menials about to come to their rescue if necessary. So I do hope that readers will view the pigs from a safe, fictional distance, as fun to watch and good for thinking. Sleeky, it seems that a number of places sold out, because Avon’s gone to a second printing. My sister reported a similar situation at her local Waldenbooks: They didn’t order enough, and sold out in a single day. And may I say, Yippee?
    RevMelinda, the Lord of Scoundrels reprint is scheduled for December. I don’t yet have a date for The Last Hellion.
    Chris, I have been toying with the idea of giving the colonel a story–he is so rigid that I would love to see a woman drive him insane–but right now my focus is on the WIP.

    Reply
  30. Elaine, it was wonderful to write a fully confident heroine–but she needed to be, since the hero was so awful and so deeply screwed up. Only someone like Jessica could have got through to someone like Dain.
    Kalen–Oh, I would not be happy with commune life. I didn’t have to get close to the pigs. I do know that pigs are not averse to human flesh. Several mystery writers have used pigs to dispose of inconvenient corpses. But I was like the aristos in NQAL, safely behind the heavy wooden fence. And my characters had lots of menials about to come to their rescue if necessary. So I do hope that readers will view the pigs from a safe, fictional distance, as fun to watch and good for thinking. Sleeky, it seems that a number of places sold out, because Avon’s gone to a second printing. My sister reported a similar situation at her local Waldenbooks: They didn’t order enough, and sold out in a single day. And may I say, Yippee?
    RevMelinda, the Lord of Scoundrels reprint is scheduled for December. I don’t yet have a date for The Last Hellion.
    Chris, I have been toying with the idea of giving the colonel a story–he is so rigid that I would love to see a woman drive him insane–but right now my focus is on the WIP.

    Reply
  31. Elaine, it was wonderful to write a fully confident heroine–but she needed to be, since the hero was so awful and so deeply screwed up. Only someone like Jessica could have got through to someone like Dain.
    Kalen–Oh, I would not be happy with commune life. I didn’t have to get close to the pigs. I do know that pigs are not averse to human flesh. Several mystery writers have used pigs to dispose of inconvenient corpses. But I was like the aristos in NQAL, safely behind the heavy wooden fence. And my characters had lots of menials about to come to their rescue if necessary. So I do hope that readers will view the pigs from a safe, fictional distance, as fun to watch and good for thinking. Sleeky, it seems that a number of places sold out, because Avon’s gone to a second printing. My sister reported a similar situation at her local Waldenbooks: They didn’t order enough, and sold out in a single day. And may I say, Yippee?
    RevMelinda, the Lord of Scoundrels reprint is scheduled for December. I don’t yet have a date for The Last Hellion.
    Chris, I have been toying with the idea of giving the colonel a story–he is so rigid that I would love to see a woman drive him insane–but right now my focus is on the WIP.

    Reply
  32. Elaine, it was wonderful to write a fully confident heroine–but she needed to be, since the hero was so awful and so deeply screwed up. Only someone like Jessica could have got through to someone like Dain.
    Kalen–Oh, I would not be happy with commune life. I didn’t have to get close to the pigs. I do know that pigs are not averse to human flesh. Several mystery writers have used pigs to dispose of inconvenient corpses. But I was like the aristos in NQAL, safely behind the heavy wooden fence. And my characters had lots of menials about to come to their rescue if necessary. So I do hope that readers will view the pigs from a safe, fictional distance, as fun to watch and good for thinking. Sleeky, it seems that a number of places sold out, because Avon’s gone to a second printing. My sister reported a similar situation at her local Waldenbooks: They didn’t order enough, and sold out in a single day. And may I say, Yippee?
    RevMelinda, the Lord of Scoundrels reprint is scheduled for December. I don’t yet have a date for The Last Hellion.
    Chris, I have been toying with the idea of giving the colonel a story–he is so rigid that I would love to see a woman drive him insane–but right now my focus is on the WIP.

    Reply
  33. I’m happy to learn that the reason I couldn’t find NQAL on a recent trip to the bookstore was that it was sold out and not due to incompetence on the part of my local Borders. I will now order it an hope it arrives in time to help me while away the 10-hour flight to Buenos Aires.
    I’ve loved Ms. Chase’s books since I first discovered them precisely because her heroines are slightly older, definitely wiser, and so clearly bring more to the relationship than simply wide-eyed innocence to balance the hero’s world-weary cynicism. How could I not love a heroine who shoots the hero when he dares her to or a hero who says he can’t stop being charming because “wit and charm come naturally to me”. My only quibble was with Leila’s infertility because Victorian doctors clearly didn’t know much, and her husband was an alcoholic and drug addict which we now know affects such things. Why I even cared that there be little d’Esmonds running around is a testament to Ms. Chase’s power as a writer.

    Reply
  34. I’m happy to learn that the reason I couldn’t find NQAL on a recent trip to the bookstore was that it was sold out and not due to incompetence on the part of my local Borders. I will now order it an hope it arrives in time to help me while away the 10-hour flight to Buenos Aires.
    I’ve loved Ms. Chase’s books since I first discovered them precisely because her heroines are slightly older, definitely wiser, and so clearly bring more to the relationship than simply wide-eyed innocence to balance the hero’s world-weary cynicism. How could I not love a heroine who shoots the hero when he dares her to or a hero who says he can’t stop being charming because “wit and charm come naturally to me”. My only quibble was with Leila’s infertility because Victorian doctors clearly didn’t know much, and her husband was an alcoholic and drug addict which we now know affects such things. Why I even cared that there be little d’Esmonds running around is a testament to Ms. Chase’s power as a writer.

    Reply
  35. I’m happy to learn that the reason I couldn’t find NQAL on a recent trip to the bookstore was that it was sold out and not due to incompetence on the part of my local Borders. I will now order it an hope it arrives in time to help me while away the 10-hour flight to Buenos Aires.
    I’ve loved Ms. Chase’s books since I first discovered them precisely because her heroines are slightly older, definitely wiser, and so clearly bring more to the relationship than simply wide-eyed innocence to balance the hero’s world-weary cynicism. How could I not love a heroine who shoots the hero when he dares her to or a hero who says he can’t stop being charming because “wit and charm come naturally to me”. My only quibble was with Leila’s infertility because Victorian doctors clearly didn’t know much, and her husband was an alcoholic and drug addict which we now know affects such things. Why I even cared that there be little d’Esmonds running around is a testament to Ms. Chase’s power as a writer.

    Reply
  36. I’m happy to learn that the reason I couldn’t find NQAL on a recent trip to the bookstore was that it was sold out and not due to incompetence on the part of my local Borders. I will now order it an hope it arrives in time to help me while away the 10-hour flight to Buenos Aires.
    I’ve loved Ms. Chase’s books since I first discovered them precisely because her heroines are slightly older, definitely wiser, and so clearly bring more to the relationship than simply wide-eyed innocence to balance the hero’s world-weary cynicism. How could I not love a heroine who shoots the hero when he dares her to or a hero who says he can’t stop being charming because “wit and charm come naturally to me”. My only quibble was with Leila’s infertility because Victorian doctors clearly didn’t know much, and her husband was an alcoholic and drug addict which we now know affects such things. Why I even cared that there be little d’Esmonds running around is a testament to Ms. Chase’s power as a writer.

    Reply
  37. Susan/DC–We are of one mind regarding heroines, I see. I quibble with Leila’s doctors, too, for the same reasons. I always pictured little Esmonds running around eventually. But I wanted Ismal to be the kind of man who’d accept her infertility. Women were nearly always–perhaps always–blamed if they didn’t have children. And they were seen as defective. A true hero would not see matters this way, and would love her no matter what.

    Reply
  38. Susan/DC–We are of one mind regarding heroines, I see. I quibble with Leila’s doctors, too, for the same reasons. I always pictured little Esmonds running around eventually. But I wanted Ismal to be the kind of man who’d accept her infertility. Women were nearly always–perhaps always–blamed if they didn’t have children. And they were seen as defective. A true hero would not see matters this way, and would love her no matter what.

    Reply
  39. Susan/DC–We are of one mind regarding heroines, I see. I quibble with Leila’s doctors, too, for the same reasons. I always pictured little Esmonds running around eventually. But I wanted Ismal to be the kind of man who’d accept her infertility. Women were nearly always–perhaps always–blamed if they didn’t have children. And they were seen as defective. A true hero would not see matters this way, and would love her no matter what.

    Reply
  40. Susan/DC–We are of one mind regarding heroines, I see. I quibble with Leila’s doctors, too, for the same reasons. I always pictured little Esmonds running around eventually. But I wanted Ismal to be the kind of man who’d accept her infertility. Women were nearly always–perhaps always–blamed if they didn’t have children. And they were seen as defective. A true hero would not see matters this way, and would love her no matter what.

    Reply
  41. Loretta, NQAL was a great read…!!A beautiful combination of the hero/heroine… only a handful of authors write a great heroine and your one of them, if not the BEST!!! I think sometimes the heroine is overlooked, so they are written as whiny,no brained, and always sayin no, no no, until the final chapter, I love the fact that your stories have the couple fighting an outside influence,together, as opposed to fighting each other, THAT IS SO REFRESHING!!!! Also any sneak peeks on who your are writing next!! PLEEEESE!!!
    Thanks for a WONDERFUL Reading…( LOS Jessica/Dain have to be the best couple, EVER.. I read it almost once a month, still) Tal

    Reply
  42. Loretta, NQAL was a great read…!!A beautiful combination of the hero/heroine… only a handful of authors write a great heroine and your one of them, if not the BEST!!! I think sometimes the heroine is overlooked, so they are written as whiny,no brained, and always sayin no, no no, until the final chapter, I love the fact that your stories have the couple fighting an outside influence,together, as opposed to fighting each other, THAT IS SO REFRESHING!!!! Also any sneak peeks on who your are writing next!! PLEEEESE!!!
    Thanks for a WONDERFUL Reading…( LOS Jessica/Dain have to be the best couple, EVER.. I read it almost once a month, still) Tal

    Reply
  43. Loretta, NQAL was a great read…!!A beautiful combination of the hero/heroine… only a handful of authors write a great heroine and your one of them, if not the BEST!!! I think sometimes the heroine is overlooked, so they are written as whiny,no brained, and always sayin no, no no, until the final chapter, I love the fact that your stories have the couple fighting an outside influence,together, as opposed to fighting each other, THAT IS SO REFRESHING!!!! Also any sneak peeks on who your are writing next!! PLEEEESE!!!
    Thanks for a WONDERFUL Reading…( LOS Jessica/Dain have to be the best couple, EVER.. I read it almost once a month, still) Tal

    Reply
  44. Loretta, NQAL was a great read…!!A beautiful combination of the hero/heroine… only a handful of authors write a great heroine and your one of them, if not the BEST!!! I think sometimes the heroine is overlooked, so they are written as whiny,no brained, and always sayin no, no no, until the final chapter, I love the fact that your stories have the couple fighting an outside influence,together, as opposed to fighting each other, THAT IS SO REFRESHING!!!! Also any sneak peeks on who your are writing next!! PLEEEESE!!!
    Thanks for a WONDERFUL Reading…( LOS Jessica/Dain have to be the best couple, EVER.. I read it almost once a month, still) Tal

    Reply
  45. Tal, thank you! I do think the heroine is very important, and I like to see hero and heroine working together and/or fighting a common enemy–even if it’s against their will–to show them as well as us that this is a true partnership.
    As to the new story–look for a bit more about it next Friday, in Part Deux of this interview, when Susan/Miranda tries to pin me down about Venice and who exactly I’ve put there. I do plan to share some of my research discoveries–and, in time, an excerpt.

    Reply
  46. Tal, thank you! I do think the heroine is very important, and I like to see hero and heroine working together and/or fighting a common enemy–even if it’s against their will–to show them as well as us that this is a true partnership.
    As to the new story–look for a bit more about it next Friday, in Part Deux of this interview, when Susan/Miranda tries to pin me down about Venice and who exactly I’ve put there. I do plan to share some of my research discoveries–and, in time, an excerpt.

    Reply
  47. Tal, thank you! I do think the heroine is very important, and I like to see hero and heroine working together and/or fighting a common enemy–even if it’s against their will–to show them as well as us that this is a true partnership.
    As to the new story–look for a bit more about it next Friday, in Part Deux of this interview, when Susan/Miranda tries to pin me down about Venice and who exactly I’ve put there. I do plan to share some of my research discoveries–and, in time, an excerpt.

    Reply
  48. Tal, thank you! I do think the heroine is very important, and I like to see hero and heroine working together and/or fighting a common enemy–even if it’s against their will–to show them as well as us that this is a true partnership.
    As to the new story–look for a bit more about it next Friday, in Part Deux of this interview, when Susan/Miranda tries to pin me down about Venice and who exactly I’ve put there. I do plan to share some of my research discoveries–and, in time, an excerpt.

    Reply
  49. Loretta, I haven’t finished the book yet but I’m already loving it. I’ve just reached Daisy’s introduction and I’m glad you’ve chosen a bulldog instead of another breed of dog. Daisy reminded me so much of my father’s friend bulldog named Winnie (after Winston Churchill). She’s was scary in looks but was actually a very gentle dog, lazy and can’t be bothered to move most of the time. Some people think they are ugly, but I think they are beautiful in their ugliness. I’m already having my laughs, especially when Darius’s logic comes through most of the time. I also love your portrayal of Lord Hargate and his eccentric mother (I’ve peeked through their scenes all throughout the book). You’ve captured the British eccentricities so well. And what tremendous personalities all these Carsingtons have, plus Lord Hargate’s wife.

    Reply
  50. Loretta, I haven’t finished the book yet but I’m already loving it. I’ve just reached Daisy’s introduction and I’m glad you’ve chosen a bulldog instead of another breed of dog. Daisy reminded me so much of my father’s friend bulldog named Winnie (after Winston Churchill). She’s was scary in looks but was actually a very gentle dog, lazy and can’t be bothered to move most of the time. Some people think they are ugly, but I think they are beautiful in their ugliness. I’m already having my laughs, especially when Darius’s logic comes through most of the time. I also love your portrayal of Lord Hargate and his eccentric mother (I’ve peeked through their scenes all throughout the book). You’ve captured the British eccentricities so well. And what tremendous personalities all these Carsingtons have, plus Lord Hargate’s wife.

    Reply
  51. Loretta, I haven’t finished the book yet but I’m already loving it. I’ve just reached Daisy’s introduction and I’m glad you’ve chosen a bulldog instead of another breed of dog. Daisy reminded me so much of my father’s friend bulldog named Winnie (after Winston Churchill). She’s was scary in looks but was actually a very gentle dog, lazy and can’t be bothered to move most of the time. Some people think they are ugly, but I think they are beautiful in their ugliness. I’m already having my laughs, especially when Darius’s logic comes through most of the time. I also love your portrayal of Lord Hargate and his eccentric mother (I’ve peeked through their scenes all throughout the book). You’ve captured the British eccentricities so well. And what tremendous personalities all these Carsingtons have, plus Lord Hargate’s wife.

    Reply
  52. Loretta, I haven’t finished the book yet but I’m already loving it. I’ve just reached Daisy’s introduction and I’m glad you’ve chosen a bulldog instead of another breed of dog. Daisy reminded me so much of my father’s friend bulldog named Winnie (after Winston Churchill). She’s was scary in looks but was actually a very gentle dog, lazy and can’t be bothered to move most of the time. Some people think they are ugly, but I think they are beautiful in their ugliness. I’m already having my laughs, especially when Darius’s logic comes through most of the time. I also love your portrayal of Lord Hargate and his eccentric mother (I’ve peeked through their scenes all throughout the book). You’ve captured the British eccentricities so well. And what tremendous personalities all these Carsingtons have, plus Lord Hargate’s wife.

    Reply
  53. My copy of NQL arrived on Monday. I finished it by Thursday. It was wonderful. I love Darius. All the Carsington brothers are great. I have a special spot in my heart for Rupert as his was the first story I read.
    I, too, hope the colonel gets his own story. He is so deliciously stiff-rumped and knowing what’s best for women. He needs to be shot down by the right woman.
    And I cast my vote for the book with Olivia and Peregrine as h/h. It was great to see Olivia in NQL. Even if it was just a brief glimpse. Glad to see she hasn’t changed her stripes.

    Reply
  54. My copy of NQL arrived on Monday. I finished it by Thursday. It was wonderful. I love Darius. All the Carsington brothers are great. I have a special spot in my heart for Rupert as his was the first story I read.
    I, too, hope the colonel gets his own story. He is so deliciously stiff-rumped and knowing what’s best for women. He needs to be shot down by the right woman.
    And I cast my vote for the book with Olivia and Peregrine as h/h. It was great to see Olivia in NQL. Even if it was just a brief glimpse. Glad to see she hasn’t changed her stripes.

    Reply
  55. My copy of NQL arrived on Monday. I finished it by Thursday. It was wonderful. I love Darius. All the Carsington brothers are great. I have a special spot in my heart for Rupert as his was the first story I read.
    I, too, hope the colonel gets his own story. He is so deliciously stiff-rumped and knowing what’s best for women. He needs to be shot down by the right woman.
    And I cast my vote for the book with Olivia and Peregrine as h/h. It was great to see Olivia in NQL. Even if it was just a brief glimpse. Glad to see she hasn’t changed her stripes.

    Reply
  56. My copy of NQL arrived on Monday. I finished it by Thursday. It was wonderful. I love Darius. All the Carsington brothers are great. I have a special spot in my heart for Rupert as his was the first story I read.
    I, too, hope the colonel gets his own story. He is so deliciously stiff-rumped and knowing what’s best for women. He needs to be shot down by the right woman.
    And I cast my vote for the book with Olivia and Peregrine as h/h. It was great to see Olivia in NQL. Even if it was just a brief glimpse. Glad to see she hasn’t changed her stripes.

    Reply
  57. Cory, neighbors of mine had a young bulldog for a time, but ended up giving it to another family member because their children turned out to be too young to properly care for and play with him. I think this was a kindness and a sign of intelligent parenthood–but oh, I loved that bulldog. He was beautiful in his ugliness, as you say. We hardly ever heard a peep out of him, and he sure could entertain himself with a stick. Daisy is my tribute to him.
    Margaret, last night I found myself thinking about the Colonel–and Olivia and Peregrine. Maybe he’ll have a subplot in their story or a story of his own. Maybe these are two novellas. But these characters do seem to have a future.

    Reply
  58. Cory, neighbors of mine had a young bulldog for a time, but ended up giving it to another family member because their children turned out to be too young to properly care for and play with him. I think this was a kindness and a sign of intelligent parenthood–but oh, I loved that bulldog. He was beautiful in his ugliness, as you say. We hardly ever heard a peep out of him, and he sure could entertain himself with a stick. Daisy is my tribute to him.
    Margaret, last night I found myself thinking about the Colonel–and Olivia and Peregrine. Maybe he’ll have a subplot in their story or a story of his own. Maybe these are two novellas. But these characters do seem to have a future.

    Reply
  59. Cory, neighbors of mine had a young bulldog for a time, but ended up giving it to another family member because their children turned out to be too young to properly care for and play with him. I think this was a kindness and a sign of intelligent parenthood–but oh, I loved that bulldog. He was beautiful in his ugliness, as you say. We hardly ever heard a peep out of him, and he sure could entertain himself with a stick. Daisy is my tribute to him.
    Margaret, last night I found myself thinking about the Colonel–and Olivia and Peregrine. Maybe he’ll have a subplot in their story or a story of his own. Maybe these are two novellas. But these characters do seem to have a future.

    Reply
  60. Cory, neighbors of mine had a young bulldog for a time, but ended up giving it to another family member because their children turned out to be too young to properly care for and play with him. I think this was a kindness and a sign of intelligent parenthood–but oh, I loved that bulldog. He was beautiful in his ugliness, as you say. We hardly ever heard a peep out of him, and he sure could entertain himself with a stick. Daisy is my tribute to him.
    Margaret, last night I found myself thinking about the Colonel–and Olivia and Peregrine. Maybe he’ll have a subplot in their story or a story of his own. Maybe these are two novellas. But these characters do seem to have a future.

    Reply
  61. Loretta I love reading your books. I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day. Lord of Scoundrels
    is a great all time book. I can’t wait to read Not Quite a Lady. Will you be writing any other books and turning them into a series. I love what you’ve done with this series.

    Reply
  62. Loretta I love reading your books. I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day. Lord of Scoundrels
    is a great all time book. I can’t wait to read Not Quite a Lady. Will you be writing any other books and turning them into a series. I love what you’ve done with this series.

    Reply
  63. Loretta I love reading your books. I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day. Lord of Scoundrels
    is a great all time book. I can’t wait to read Not Quite a Lady. Will you be writing any other books and turning them into a series. I love what you’ve done with this series.

    Reply
  64. Loretta I love reading your books. I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day. Lord of Scoundrels
    is a great all time book. I can’t wait to read Not Quite a Lady. Will you be writing any other books and turning them into a series. I love what you’ve done with this series.

    Reply
  65. I read this in Vegas. VEGAS! Gave up three hours of VEGAS to read this book and it was totally worth it!! And then I just about died because I was reading an ARC I couldn’t call up my friends and demand their thoughts. So Painful!

    Reply
  66. I read this in Vegas. VEGAS! Gave up three hours of VEGAS to read this book and it was totally worth it!! And then I just about died because I was reading an ARC I couldn’t call up my friends and demand their thoughts. So Painful!

    Reply
  67. I read this in Vegas. VEGAS! Gave up three hours of VEGAS to read this book and it was totally worth it!! And then I just about died because I was reading an ARC I couldn’t call up my friends and demand their thoughts. So Painful!

    Reply
  68. I read this in Vegas. VEGAS! Gave up three hours of VEGAS to read this book and it was totally worth it!! And then I just about died because I was reading an ARC I couldn’t call up my friends and demand their thoughts. So Painful!

    Reply
  69. Loretta you have quite a dedicated fan base here and they’ve piqued my interest in NQAL. I’ll be looking for it the next time I’m in a bookstore.
    “Your May book NOT QUITE A LADY returns to the Carsingtons, a family already dear to readers of your earlier books.”
    Should I start with an earlier book, before reading NQAL? I hate to read out of sequence.

    Reply
  70. Loretta you have quite a dedicated fan base here and they’ve piqued my interest in NQAL. I’ll be looking for it the next time I’m in a bookstore.
    “Your May book NOT QUITE A LADY returns to the Carsingtons, a family already dear to readers of your earlier books.”
    Should I start with an earlier book, before reading NQAL? I hate to read out of sequence.

    Reply
  71. Loretta you have quite a dedicated fan base here and they’ve piqued my interest in NQAL. I’ll be looking for it the next time I’m in a bookstore.
    “Your May book NOT QUITE A LADY returns to the Carsingtons, a family already dear to readers of your earlier books.”
    Should I start with an earlier book, before reading NQAL? I hate to read out of sequence.

    Reply
  72. Loretta you have quite a dedicated fan base here and they’ve piqued my interest in NQAL. I’ll be looking for it the next time I’m in a bookstore.
    “Your May book NOT QUITE A LADY returns to the Carsingtons, a family already dear to readers of your earlier books.”
    Should I start with an earlier book, before reading NQAL? I hate to read out of sequence.

    Reply
  73. Kimberly, thank you. The book I’m working on seems to be a standalone but one can never tell whether a character will take hold of one’s imagination. That’s how the Carsington trilogy ended up being a quartet. And there are some characters from the Carsington book who seem to hold potential for their own books. One way or another, I’ll be writing series.
    Lacey, I sympathize. I just finished the ARC of Eloisa James’s DESPERATE DUCHESSES and wish I had someone to discuss it with. But it’s only a few weeks before she’ll be here to discuss it with us. And she and her readers group will be discussing NQAL from 5/15-30, so maybe you can join us?

    Reply
  74. Kimberly, thank you. The book I’m working on seems to be a standalone but one can never tell whether a character will take hold of one’s imagination. That’s how the Carsington trilogy ended up being a quartet. And there are some characters from the Carsington book who seem to hold potential for their own books. One way or another, I’ll be writing series.
    Lacey, I sympathize. I just finished the ARC of Eloisa James’s DESPERATE DUCHESSES and wish I had someone to discuss it with. But it’s only a few weeks before she’ll be here to discuss it with us. And she and her readers group will be discussing NQAL from 5/15-30, so maybe you can join us?

    Reply
  75. Kimberly, thank you. The book I’m working on seems to be a standalone but one can never tell whether a character will take hold of one’s imagination. That’s how the Carsington trilogy ended up being a quartet. And there are some characters from the Carsington book who seem to hold potential for their own books. One way or another, I’ll be writing series.
    Lacey, I sympathize. I just finished the ARC of Eloisa James’s DESPERATE DUCHESSES and wish I had someone to discuss it with. But it’s only a few weeks before she’ll be here to discuss it with us. And she and her readers group will be discussing NQAL from 5/15-30, so maybe you can join us?

    Reply
  76. Kimberly, thank you. The book I’m working on seems to be a standalone but one can never tell whether a character will take hold of one’s imagination. That’s how the Carsington trilogy ended up being a quartet. And there are some characters from the Carsington book who seem to hold potential for their own books. One way or another, I’ll be writing series.
    Lacey, I sympathize. I just finished the ARC of Eloisa James’s DESPERATE DUCHESSES and wish I had someone to discuss it with. But it’s only a few weeks before she’ll be here to discuss it with us. And she and her readers group will be discussing NQAL from 5/15-30, so maybe you can join us?

    Reply
  77. Sue A., you don’t know how fortunate I feel to have such dedicated readers, and to get such a warm response to my book. NQAL is the fourth of a series that starts with MISS WONDERFUL. They’re all still in print at the moment. You can find a complete book list, explaining the order (and a printable list, too) on the BOOKLIST page of my website:
    http://www.LorettaChase.com

    Reply
  78. Sue A., you don’t know how fortunate I feel to have such dedicated readers, and to get such a warm response to my book. NQAL is the fourth of a series that starts with MISS WONDERFUL. They’re all still in print at the moment. You can find a complete book list, explaining the order (and a printable list, too) on the BOOKLIST page of my website:
    http://www.LorettaChase.com

    Reply
  79. Sue A., you don’t know how fortunate I feel to have such dedicated readers, and to get such a warm response to my book. NQAL is the fourth of a series that starts with MISS WONDERFUL. They’re all still in print at the moment. You can find a complete book list, explaining the order (and a printable list, too) on the BOOKLIST page of my website:
    http://www.LorettaChase.com

    Reply
  80. Sue A., you don’t know how fortunate I feel to have such dedicated readers, and to get such a warm response to my book. NQAL is the fourth of a series that starts with MISS WONDERFUL. They’re all still in print at the moment. You can find a complete book list, explaining the order (and a printable list, too) on the BOOKLIST page of my website:
    http://www.LorettaChase.com

    Reply
  81. First of all, let me just say that I love NQAL. Loved the front cover too. You certainly didn’t disappoint. I have a question regarding Pip. There have been opposite viewpoints regarding your characterization of Pip on some forums. Some thought Pip was rather shallow or not traumatized enough by what happened to him. Other’s didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Frankly, I didn’t have a problem with him myself, but it seems that a few have. Can you give us some thoughts on how you crafted Pip’s character and on how you wanted to portray him to your readers?

    Reply
  82. First of all, let me just say that I love NQAL. Loved the front cover too. You certainly didn’t disappoint. I have a question regarding Pip. There have been opposite viewpoints regarding your characterization of Pip on some forums. Some thought Pip was rather shallow or not traumatized enough by what happened to him. Other’s didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Frankly, I didn’t have a problem with him myself, but it seems that a few have. Can you give us some thoughts on how you crafted Pip’s character and on how you wanted to portray him to your readers?

    Reply
  83. First of all, let me just say that I love NQAL. Loved the front cover too. You certainly didn’t disappoint. I have a question regarding Pip. There have been opposite viewpoints regarding your characterization of Pip on some forums. Some thought Pip was rather shallow or not traumatized enough by what happened to him. Other’s didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Frankly, I didn’t have a problem with him myself, but it seems that a few have. Can you give us some thoughts on how you crafted Pip’s character and on how you wanted to portray him to your readers?

    Reply
  84. First of all, let me just say that I love NQAL. Loved the front cover too. You certainly didn’t disappoint. I have a question regarding Pip. There have been opposite viewpoints regarding your characterization of Pip on some forums. Some thought Pip was rather shallow or not traumatized enough by what happened to him. Other’s didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Frankly, I didn’t have a problem with him myself, but it seems that a few have. Can you give us some thoughts on how you crafted Pip’s character and on how you wanted to portray him to your readers?

    Reply
  85. First of all, let me just say that I love NQAL. Loved the front cover too. You certainly didn’t disappoint. I have a question regarding Pip. There have been opposite viewpoints regarding your characterization of Pip on some forums. Some thought Pip was rather shallow or not traumatized enough by what happened to him. Other’s didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Frankly, I didn’t have a problem with him myself, but it seems that a few have. Can you give us some thoughts on how you crafted Pip’s character and on how you wanted to portray him to your readers?

    Reply
  86. First of all, let me just say that I love NQAL. Loved the front cover too. You certainly didn’t disappoint. I have a question regarding Pip. There have been opposite viewpoints regarding your characterization of Pip on some forums. Some thought Pip was rather shallow or not traumatized enough by what happened to him. Other’s didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Frankly, I didn’t have a problem with him myself, but it seems that a few have. Can you give us some thoughts on how you crafted Pip’s character and on how you wanted to portray him to your readers?

    Reply
  87. First of all, let me just say that I love NQAL. Loved the front cover too. You certainly didn’t disappoint. I have a question regarding Pip. There have been opposite viewpoints regarding your characterization of Pip on some forums. Some thought Pip was rather shallow or not traumatized enough by what happened to him. Other’s didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Frankly, I didn’t have a problem with him myself, but it seems that a few have. Can you give us some thoughts on how you crafted Pip’s character and on how you wanted to portray him to your readers?

    Reply
  88. First of all, let me just say that I love NQAL. Loved the front cover too. You certainly didn’t disappoint. I have a question regarding Pip. There have been opposite viewpoints regarding your characterization of Pip on some forums. Some thought Pip was rather shallow or not traumatized enough by what happened to him. Other’s didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it. Frankly, I didn’t have a problem with him myself, but it seems that a few have. Can you give us some thoughts on how you crafted Pip’s character and on how you wanted to portray him to your readers?

    Reply
  89. Thank you, AnneH!
    Regarding Pip–well, I knew what I didn’t want, and that was the poor, pitiful orphan. Or the damaged orphan. I wanted a brave, resilient, spirited child. I used a name Dickens used for one of his heroes, and I know that Dickens was deeply traumatized simply having to work in a blacking factory for some months. But not all children are alike. We’ve all read stories about children who bear cancer treatment bravely. If that’s not traumatic, what is?
    And for a really great example, let me point you to an interview Eloisa James did at
    http://www.wnbc.com/entertainment/5887589/detail.html
    Please scroll down to the part where she talks about her child with kidney disease. That says it all for me.

    Reply
  90. Thank you, AnneH!
    Regarding Pip–well, I knew what I didn’t want, and that was the poor, pitiful orphan. Or the damaged orphan. I wanted a brave, resilient, spirited child. I used a name Dickens used for one of his heroes, and I know that Dickens was deeply traumatized simply having to work in a blacking factory for some months. But not all children are alike. We’ve all read stories about children who bear cancer treatment bravely. If that’s not traumatic, what is?
    And for a really great example, let me point you to an interview Eloisa James did at
    http://www.wnbc.com/entertainment/5887589/detail.html
    Please scroll down to the part where she talks about her child with kidney disease. That says it all for me.

    Reply
  91. Thank you, AnneH!
    Regarding Pip–well, I knew what I didn’t want, and that was the poor, pitiful orphan. Or the damaged orphan. I wanted a brave, resilient, spirited child. I used a name Dickens used for one of his heroes, and I know that Dickens was deeply traumatized simply having to work in a blacking factory for some months. But not all children are alike. We’ve all read stories about children who bear cancer treatment bravely. If that’s not traumatic, what is?
    And for a really great example, let me point you to an interview Eloisa James did at
    http://www.wnbc.com/entertainment/5887589/detail.html
    Please scroll down to the part where she talks about her child with kidney disease. That says it all for me.

    Reply
  92. Thank you, AnneH!
    Regarding Pip–well, I knew what I didn’t want, and that was the poor, pitiful orphan. Or the damaged orphan. I wanted a brave, resilient, spirited child. I used a name Dickens used for one of his heroes, and I know that Dickens was deeply traumatized simply having to work in a blacking factory for some months. But not all children are alike. We’ve all read stories about children who bear cancer treatment bravely. If that’s not traumatic, what is?
    And for a really great example, let me point you to an interview Eloisa James did at
    http://www.wnbc.com/entertainment/5887589/detail.html
    Please scroll down to the part where she talks about her child with kidney disease. That says it all for me.

    Reply
  93. Interesting interview! I loved NQAL, but it is definitely a quieter book than some of your other novels. External conflict is all well and good, but the best thing about your books to me is how they have strong plots but keep the focus on the internal struggles of the characters. Struggling to ask my question without spoiling, but at one point I thought the Colonel was going to be more of an obstacle than he turned out to be. Did you change your plans for him?

    Reply
  94. Interesting interview! I loved NQAL, but it is definitely a quieter book than some of your other novels. External conflict is all well and good, but the best thing about your books to me is how they have strong plots but keep the focus on the internal struggles of the characters. Struggling to ask my question without spoiling, but at one point I thought the Colonel was going to be more of an obstacle than he turned out to be. Did you change your plans for him?

    Reply
  95. Interesting interview! I loved NQAL, but it is definitely a quieter book than some of your other novels. External conflict is all well and good, but the best thing about your books to me is how they have strong plots but keep the focus on the internal struggles of the characters. Struggling to ask my question without spoiling, but at one point I thought the Colonel was going to be more of an obstacle than he turned out to be. Did you change your plans for him?

    Reply
  96. Interesting interview! I loved NQAL, but it is definitely a quieter book than some of your other novels. External conflict is all well and good, but the best thing about your books to me is how they have strong plots but keep the focus on the internal struggles of the characters. Struggling to ask my question without spoiling, but at one point I thought the Colonel was going to be more of an obstacle than he turned out to be. Did you change your plans for him?

    Reply
  97. Thank you Loretta.
    First, my apologies for the double post. I was asked to copy those letters and numbers thing two times and it got me confused.
    I’ve been searching my mind on the right adjective to describe Pip and you just gave me the right word – resilient. There was something rather steadfast about him w/c I really like and I’m glad that you chose to portray a boy like that than the usual scarred, dysfunctional one. And yes, there are indeed children who are able to rise above their terrible situations.

    Reply
  98. Thank you Loretta.
    First, my apologies for the double post. I was asked to copy those letters and numbers thing two times and it got me confused.
    I’ve been searching my mind on the right adjective to describe Pip and you just gave me the right word – resilient. There was something rather steadfast about him w/c I really like and I’m glad that you chose to portray a boy like that than the usual scarred, dysfunctional one. And yes, there are indeed children who are able to rise above their terrible situations.

    Reply
  99. Thank you Loretta.
    First, my apologies for the double post. I was asked to copy those letters and numbers thing two times and it got me confused.
    I’ve been searching my mind on the right adjective to describe Pip and you just gave me the right word – resilient. There was something rather steadfast about him w/c I really like and I’m glad that you chose to portray a boy like that than the usual scarred, dysfunctional one. And yes, there are indeed children who are able to rise above their terrible situations.

    Reply
  100. Thank you Loretta.
    First, my apologies for the double post. I was asked to copy those letters and numbers thing two times and it got me confused.
    I’ve been searching my mind on the right adjective to describe Pip and you just gave me the right word – resilient. There was something rather steadfast about him w/c I really like and I’m glad that you chose to portray a boy like that than the usual scarred, dysfunctional one. And yes, there are indeed children who are able to rise above their terrible situations.

    Reply
  101. I liked NQAL a lot, but Mr. Impossible remains my favorite. Rupert is a riot, even at his most obtuse. And Daphne is perfect. Now I am without a new title (until 2008?).

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  102. I liked NQAL a lot, but Mr. Impossible remains my favorite. Rupert is a riot, even at his most obtuse. And Daphne is perfect. Now I am without a new title (until 2008?).

    Reply
  103. I liked NQAL a lot, but Mr. Impossible remains my favorite. Rupert is a riot, even at his most obtuse. And Daphne is perfect. Now I am without a new title (until 2008?).

    Reply
  104. I liked NQAL a lot, but Mr. Impossible remains my favorite. Rupert is a riot, even at his most obtuse. And Daphne is perfect. Now I am without a new title (until 2008?).

    Reply
  105. Thanks, Trish. It’s funny, because my agent & I were just talking yesterday about the “quiet” and the “noisy” books–and that comes from setting as well as H/H characters. And you are right on target regarding the Colonel. Originally, I had the standard Snidely Whiplash villain–but as the story evolved, I saw him so differently: an Army officer, very disciplined and rigid, who’s having a real problem fitting into the civilian world. And so the issue with him was, essentially, that he didn’t understand Charlotte, that he had narrow ideas about women–and that not-necessarily-evil people can make evil plans out of the best of intentions. And so I loved letting him plot and plan–and watch it all go to pieces because the people he plotted about behaved unpredictably, as civilians, alas, so often do.

    Reply
  106. Thanks, Trish. It’s funny, because my agent & I were just talking yesterday about the “quiet” and the “noisy” books–and that comes from setting as well as H/H characters. And you are right on target regarding the Colonel. Originally, I had the standard Snidely Whiplash villain–but as the story evolved, I saw him so differently: an Army officer, very disciplined and rigid, who’s having a real problem fitting into the civilian world. And so the issue with him was, essentially, that he didn’t understand Charlotte, that he had narrow ideas about women–and that not-necessarily-evil people can make evil plans out of the best of intentions. And so I loved letting him plot and plan–and watch it all go to pieces because the people he plotted about behaved unpredictably, as civilians, alas, so often do.

    Reply
  107. Thanks, Trish. It’s funny, because my agent & I were just talking yesterday about the “quiet” and the “noisy” books–and that comes from setting as well as H/H characters. And you are right on target regarding the Colonel. Originally, I had the standard Snidely Whiplash villain–but as the story evolved, I saw him so differently: an Army officer, very disciplined and rigid, who’s having a real problem fitting into the civilian world. And so the issue with him was, essentially, that he didn’t understand Charlotte, that he had narrow ideas about women–and that not-necessarily-evil people can make evil plans out of the best of intentions. And so I loved letting him plot and plan–and watch it all go to pieces because the people he plotted about behaved unpredictably, as civilians, alas, so often do.

    Reply
  108. Thanks, Trish. It’s funny, because my agent & I were just talking yesterday about the “quiet” and the “noisy” books–and that comes from setting as well as H/H characters. And you are right on target regarding the Colonel. Originally, I had the standard Snidely Whiplash villain–but as the story evolved, I saw him so differently: an Army officer, very disciplined and rigid, who’s having a real problem fitting into the civilian world. And so the issue with him was, essentially, that he didn’t understand Charlotte, that he had narrow ideas about women–and that not-necessarily-evil people can make evil plans out of the best of intentions. And so I loved letting him plot and plan–and watch it all go to pieces because the people he plotted about behaved unpredictably, as civilians, alas, so often do.

    Reply
  109. “I quibble with Leila’s doctors, too, for the same reasons. I always pictured little Esmonds running around eventually. But I wanted Ismal to be the kind of man who’d accept her infertility.”
    I really like the way you handled this aspect of the storyline. We get to see that Ismal accepts her “infertility.” Yet, as modern observers, we know that the doctors are wrong and Leila probably will have children. The best of both worlds.
    Between-the-lines storytelling like this is what really makes a book stand out for me.

    Reply
  110. “I quibble with Leila’s doctors, too, for the same reasons. I always pictured little Esmonds running around eventually. But I wanted Ismal to be the kind of man who’d accept her infertility.”
    I really like the way you handled this aspect of the storyline. We get to see that Ismal accepts her “infertility.” Yet, as modern observers, we know that the doctors are wrong and Leila probably will have children. The best of both worlds.
    Between-the-lines storytelling like this is what really makes a book stand out for me.

    Reply
  111. “I quibble with Leila’s doctors, too, for the same reasons. I always pictured little Esmonds running around eventually. But I wanted Ismal to be the kind of man who’d accept her infertility.”
    I really like the way you handled this aspect of the storyline. We get to see that Ismal accepts her “infertility.” Yet, as modern observers, we know that the doctors are wrong and Leila probably will have children. The best of both worlds.
    Between-the-lines storytelling like this is what really makes a book stand out for me.

    Reply
  112. “I quibble with Leila’s doctors, too, for the same reasons. I always pictured little Esmonds running around eventually. But I wanted Ismal to be the kind of man who’d accept her infertility.”
    I really like the way you handled this aspect of the storyline. We get to see that Ismal accepts her “infertility.” Yet, as modern observers, we know that the doctors are wrong and Leila probably will have children. The best of both worlds.
    Between-the-lines storytelling like this is what really makes a book stand out for me.

    Reply
  113. Joelle, I honestly don’t know the answer. My agent goes to the various European book fairs, and meets with the publishers–and the books have been translated into other languages–so clearly, she’s doing her job. Which American romance authors do you see in your bookstores? Perhaps they only translate the Superstar Authors? Are romance novels popular in France? If so, is historical romance popular, or do people seem to prefer contemporary romance? It’s a very interesting question–but I think you might be better able to devise a theory than I!

    Reply
  114. Joelle, I honestly don’t know the answer. My agent goes to the various European book fairs, and meets with the publishers–and the books have been translated into other languages–so clearly, she’s doing her job. Which American romance authors do you see in your bookstores? Perhaps they only translate the Superstar Authors? Are romance novels popular in France? If so, is historical romance popular, or do people seem to prefer contemporary romance? It’s a very interesting question–but I think you might be better able to devise a theory than I!

    Reply
  115. Joelle, I honestly don’t know the answer. My agent goes to the various European book fairs, and meets with the publishers–and the books have been translated into other languages–so clearly, she’s doing her job. Which American romance authors do you see in your bookstores? Perhaps they only translate the Superstar Authors? Are romance novels popular in France? If so, is historical romance popular, or do people seem to prefer contemporary romance? It’s a very interesting question–but I think you might be better able to devise a theory than I!

    Reply
  116. Joelle, I honestly don’t know the answer. My agent goes to the various European book fairs, and meets with the publishers–and the books have been translated into other languages–so clearly, she’s doing her job. Which American romance authors do you see in your bookstores? Perhaps they only translate the Superstar Authors? Are romance novels popular in France? If so, is historical romance popular, or do people seem to prefer contemporary romance? It’s a very interesting question–but I think you might be better able to devise a theory than I!

    Reply
  117. Mary K, thank you. I like between the lines, too, but my intentions may not always come across–and this is a perfect example. It’s wonderful, and most flattering, that readers care enough about the characters to question such matters. One great aspect of this blog is the opportunity to talk about the things that don’t make it onto the page–or may be so dimly writ between the lines that not everyone can see them. In my own reading, I often miss things, and need them explained by others.

    Reply
  118. Mary K, thank you. I like between the lines, too, but my intentions may not always come across–and this is a perfect example. It’s wonderful, and most flattering, that readers care enough about the characters to question such matters. One great aspect of this blog is the opportunity to talk about the things that don’t make it onto the page–or may be so dimly writ between the lines that not everyone can see them. In my own reading, I often miss things, and need them explained by others.

    Reply
  119. Mary K, thank you. I like between the lines, too, but my intentions may not always come across–and this is a perfect example. It’s wonderful, and most flattering, that readers care enough about the characters to question such matters. One great aspect of this blog is the opportunity to talk about the things that don’t make it onto the page–or may be so dimly writ between the lines that not everyone can see them. In my own reading, I often miss things, and need them explained by others.

    Reply
  120. Mary K, thank you. I like between the lines, too, but my intentions may not always come across–and this is a perfect example. It’s wonderful, and most flattering, that readers care enough about the characters to question such matters. One great aspect of this blog is the opportunity to talk about the things that don’t make it onto the page–or may be so dimly writ between the lines that not everyone can see them. In my own reading, I often miss things, and need them explained by others.

    Reply
  121. “One great aspect of this blog is the opportunity to talk about the things that don’t make it onto the page–or may be so dimly writ between the lines that not everyone can see them. In my own reading, I often miss things, and need them explained by others.”
    This would be a cool discussion topic – “Pivotal Between-the-Lines Plotting That You May Have Missed.” I’d love to be enlighted about subtleties I’ve missed. 😀

    Reply
  122. “One great aspect of this blog is the opportunity to talk about the things that don’t make it onto the page–or may be so dimly writ between the lines that not everyone can see them. In my own reading, I often miss things, and need them explained by others.”
    This would be a cool discussion topic – “Pivotal Between-the-Lines Plotting That You May Have Missed.” I’d love to be enlighted about subtleties I’ve missed. 😀

    Reply
  123. “One great aspect of this blog is the opportunity to talk about the things that don’t make it onto the page–or may be so dimly writ between the lines that not everyone can see them. In my own reading, I often miss things, and need them explained by others.”
    This would be a cool discussion topic – “Pivotal Between-the-Lines Plotting That You May Have Missed.” I’d love to be enlighted about subtleties I’ve missed. 😀

    Reply
  124. “One great aspect of this blog is the opportunity to talk about the things that don’t make it onto the page–or may be so dimly writ between the lines that not everyone can see them. In my own reading, I often miss things, and need them explained by others.”
    This would be a cool discussion topic – “Pivotal Between-the-Lines Plotting That You May Have Missed.” I’d love to be enlighted about subtleties I’ve missed. 😀

    Reply
  125. Loretta, Yes, that’s true Romance books aren’t very popular here… But from your group, Mary Jo Putney books are translated and some from Patricia Rice, Susan King, Jo beverley, Edith Layton and all Harlequin books from Miranda Jarrett… That’s why I ask this !!!! You can count on me to let them know !!!! I sent a letter to the major french romance publisher (J’ai Lu) and ask them why !!!! Just wait and see… 😉
    Love from JOELLE

    Reply
  126. Loretta, Yes, that’s true Romance books aren’t very popular here… But from your group, Mary Jo Putney books are translated and some from Patricia Rice, Susan King, Jo beverley, Edith Layton and all Harlequin books from Miranda Jarrett… That’s why I ask this !!!! You can count on me to let them know !!!! I sent a letter to the major french romance publisher (J’ai Lu) and ask them why !!!! Just wait and see… 😉
    Love from JOELLE

    Reply
  127. Loretta, Yes, that’s true Romance books aren’t very popular here… But from your group, Mary Jo Putney books are translated and some from Patricia Rice, Susan King, Jo beverley, Edith Layton and all Harlequin books from Miranda Jarrett… That’s why I ask this !!!! You can count on me to let them know !!!! I sent a letter to the major french romance publisher (J’ai Lu) and ask them why !!!! Just wait and see… 😉
    Love from JOELLE

    Reply
  128. Loretta, Yes, that’s true Romance books aren’t very popular here… But from your group, Mary Jo Putney books are translated and some from Patricia Rice, Susan King, Jo beverley, Edith Layton and all Harlequin books from Miranda Jarrett… That’s why I ask this !!!! You can count on me to let them know !!!! I sent a letter to the major french romance publisher (J’ai Lu) and ask them why !!!! Just wait and see… 😉
    Love from JOELLE

    Reply

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