Friday, February 6, 2009

A Visit with Carolyn Jewel (and a Book Giveaway!)

I'm really excited to welcome author and GCC pal Carolyn Jewel to Brant Flakes today! Carolyn latest novel, just released this week, is called SCANDAL (Berkley Sensation, February 2009), and it is her 8th romance. It's gotten much praise already, including a great recommendation by the Smart Bitches: "Jewel weaves a furious sexual tension between Banallt and Sophie that reaches and maintains scorching levels....This book took my breath away."

Take a look at this intriguing premise: The earl of Banallt is no stranger to scandal. But when he meets Sophie, the young wife of a fellow libertine, even he is shocked by his reaction. This unconventional and intelligent woman proves to be far more than an amusing distraction. Unlike the women who usually fall at Banallt's feet, and into his bed, Sophie refuses to be seduced. And soon Banallt desires her more than ever-- and for more than an illicit affair. Years later, the widowed Sophie is free, and Banallt is determined to win the woman he still loves. Unfortunately, she doesn't believe his declaration of love and chivalrous offer of marriage--her heart has already been broken by her scoundrel of a husband. And yet, Sophie is tempted to indulge in the torrid affair she's always fantasized about. Caught between her logical mind and her long-denied desire, Sophie must thwart Banallt's seduction--or risk being consumed by the one man she should avoid at all costs...

Ooohhh! Makes me wanna

Welcome, Carolyn! Thanks so much for being here with us today :).

What's the main thing you hope people take away from your book? A burning and insatiable desire to buy my backlist and everything else I ever write for the rest of my life. And to tell everyone they know to do the same thing. OK, seriously, I just hope they enjoy the heck out of the story.

If you could only own and read five books for the rest of your life, (excluding your own) what five books would you choose? Villette by Charlotte Bronte, Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Some edition of O'Henry Best Short Stories, A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh.

Name a few of your favorite musical artists/groups. Did you use any musical references in your novel? If so, do they play a significant role? Paolo Nutini, James Blunt, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters. SCANDAL does not include any musical references, but if it had, it would not have been any of these four. Lord Banallt would probably prefer John Lee Hooker while Sophie would actually prefer Vampire Weekend for having written Oxford Comma.

What's your Writer Fantasy--i.e., to see your book make into a feature film, to be on the New York Times bestseller list for 40 consecutive weeks, etc.? Hmm. My fantasies typically involve Adrian Paul or Jet Li. But I could live with 40 weeks on the NYT bestseller list. If I had to.

What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication? Dorothea Brande's section of Tapping the Unconscious in "Becoming A Writer” which included this warning: "If you fail repeatedly at this exercise, give up writing. Your resistance is actually greater than your desire to write and you may as well find some other outlet for your energy early as late." (79). Alas, I failed miserably and repeatedly at her freewriting exercise. It seems I am a no-talent amateur with delusions of grandeur. I can't explain my ten (counting through the end of 2009) published novels, given this failure. I think I must be a freak of some sort. Brande's book taught me that writing advice can, and possibly should, be ignored. Writers follow different paths to success and one path is never more valid than another. What works for me may not work for you and there's nothing wrong with that. The point is to actually go out and find what works for you.

Tell me a little about what inspired your book? Terror. I'm only partly kidding. Just about all my books are inspired by the terror of believing it isn't working and that, working or not, I won't be able to finish on time. More seriously, Scandal is set during the English Regency period (which was 1811-1820) and I very deliberately drew on my grad school research on a woman who wrote during this time period. Women of the English upper classes had few resources if the men in their lives did not, for whatever reason, fulfill their cultural obligation to take care of their female relatives. Writing novels was one of the few things a woman could do, openly or secretly, to make money. I was astonished to discover that the money a novelist could expect to make in 1815 isn't much different than it is today. The chief difference between then and now lies in the copyright. In 1815, publishers bought the copyright outright. The author was paid once and that was it. Today, authors typically retain the copyright to their work.

What's up next? In June, 2009, Grand Central Publishing will release My Forbidden Desire, the second of an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance set in a world that includes mages and demons. Indiscreet will be an October 2009 historical from Berkley Sensation.

Thanks, Carolyn! And, because you're all such exceptionally wonderful blog friends, Carolyn has generously offered to give away one of her novels--MY WICKED ENEMY (August 2008), her first paranormal/urban fantasy from Grand Central Publishing--to one lucky commenter on today's post. I'll draw the winner's name at noon on Valentine's Day! Hope you all have a great weekend :).


Pamala Knight said...

And here I am at the right place and the right time once again. I love being first, LOL!!

Oh my goodness, I am rushing right out to get this book and I'll be saving the chair next to me for the next time Carolyn is in the vicinity. She had me when I found out she rolls with Vampire Weekend, but then she totally hooked me when she let me know that I'll need to wrestle her for Adrian Paul or Jet Li. The only fault I found in that sentence was that it said 'or', not 'and' ;-).

Marilyn, once again, you deliver the goods. What would we do without you? Bad things very badly, even though I didn't ask 'how', LOL. Thanks so much for the awesome interview and review.

Eliza Evans said...

Oh, I definitely want to be entered in this contest! I am reading Scandal right now, actually -- it's been my train book this week. I picked it up on the recommendation of the Smart Bitches.

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamala~LOL about Adrian Paul AND Jet Li!!! So glad you enjoyed the Q&A, my dear. And I'm still totally ignorant when it comes to Vampire Weekend, so I think I'd better check 'em out :).

Eliza~great to "see" you here! I'm glad you stopped by, and how awesome that you're already a Carolyn fan!!

Pam said...

Marilyn--thanks for a great interview!

Carolyn--I saw news of your release over on Kristin Nelson's blog and, being one of the historical persuasion myself, was very interested, so I can't wait to pick up ANY of your books. I've heard the slightest buzz that Regencies are getting more difficult to sell and publishing is going more towards other periods. Have you seen any evidence of that?

P.S. Loved your reference to Jet Li. He's just got that something, doesn't he? ;-)

Robin said...

Another fab interview, Marilyn! It's so nice to meet you, Carolyn! And the book sounds great! I love Adrian Paul too - Highlander was one of my favorite TV shows.

Marilyn Brant said...

Pam~thanks for reading the Q&A and for asking such a good question! I'm interested in Carolyn's perspective... Personally, I can't imagine Regencies wouldn't stay strong--they're my favorite historical period, and I think a lot of historical romance readers feel that way as well.

Robin~I'm in full agreement on Adrian Paul. You, however, have your hands full with Brad and Daniel. Leave a few hot movie star men for the rest of us, missy! :-)

June said...

What a great interview!

The book sounds wonderful and I love Historical romances set in the regency, so this is right up my alley!


mindy said...

sounds wonderful and thanks for the giveaway

liane66 said...

please enter me.
Thanks for the giveaway!

scottsgal said...

This is a new author for me that I look forward to reading. Please count me in. msboatgal(at)aol(dot)com

Angela C said...

Please enter me. Thanks for the giveaway :)

Marilyn Brant said...

June~thank you!! I'm so glad you liked the interview, and I do know how you love historicals (although you write absolutely lovely YAs ;).

mindy and liane66~nice to see you both back here! Glad you popped by for the giveaway!

scottsgal and Angela C~welcome to Brant Flakes! Good luck with the contest :).

Lady Roxi said...

Love to have this.



L.A. Mitchell said...

Great interview, as always, Marilyn.

Carolyn, your books sounds fantastic. I'll be on the lookout for it:)

Marilyn Brant said...

Lady Roxi~great to see you here again--you're entered!

L.A.~thanks, as always, for visiting me :).

Vesper said...

Thank you for a great interview! Very interesting... :-)