Sinful Seduction Blog Tour (+ a Giveaway!) with Isobel Carr & Laurel McKee

I'm more than happy to welcome both Isobel Carr and Laurel McKee to the blog! They are currently on their Sinful Seduction Blog Tour promoting their new releases, Ripe for Seduction (The League of Second Sons #3) & Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires #2).


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your road to becoming an author.

Isobel: I come from the snooty white tower of academia. I got my MFA in poetry (and won a very prestigious national poetry award, the Intro Journals) before turning my hand to genre fiction. Writing romance is a LOT more fun!!!

Laurel: My road to becoming an author is probably a lot like other writers—I started as a big reader!! And I started young too. My grandmother was a voracious reader, and was always bringing home huge boxes of books from garage sales and used bookstores. When we visited her house in the summers, I would drag those boxes into a closet and hide in there reading. I found all kinds of things there—Barbara Cartlands and Georgette Heyers (my “starter” romances, that also got me hooked on history!), some Austen and Bronte, some random old-school Westerns, a few old Harlequins. I loved them all, and started making up my own stories when I ran out of reading materials and had to wait for the next garage sale run.

2. You write historical romance novels. What is it about history that draws you to write it?

Isobel: I like the challenge of crafting a historically feasible story that is still interesting, unique, and exciting.

Laurel: I've been a history nut ever since those long-ago novels! I also got hooked on a series I found in my elementary school library, about famous women in history as children (the childhood of Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Abigail Adams, stuff like that). I was fascinated by a world so very different from my own, where people dressed and spoke and ate so differently from me and yet were also so similar. I love being immersed in those worlds.

3. How much time do you spend doing research for each book/series?

Isobel: I’m never not doing research, so that’s a hard question to answer. I’m constantly buying new books and expanding my knowledge about the period. I rarely need to do intensive research for my books though, as I’ve been studying the period for twenty something years now. Mostly I have to look up small, fiddly bits like who was the ambassador to France in X year or double check a word in the OED.

Laurel: It depends on the book! A straightforward Regency story, which doesn't involve plot points of politics or real historical events, doesn't take a great deal of time, while a story set in a time period I don't know as much about can take longer. I'm always reading history books and biographies, even when I'm not actively researching a certain story, so the atmosphere is always there in my mind. I loved The Scandalous St. Claires book since I got to dive into the Victorian period for the first time!

4. If you have time to read what are some of your favorite books?

Isobel: I read everything. Right now my favorite authors are Miranda Neville, Carolyn Jewel (both her historicals and her paranaomals), Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews, C.S. Harris, Tracy/Teresa Grant, Julia James, Victoria Dahl, P.G. Hodgell, and Alison Sinclair.

Laurel: I will read anything and everything that catches my attention! Romance and mysteries, literary fiction (I just finished “Where'd You Go, Bernadette?” and have been running around raving about it to everyone!), history and biography, fashion magazines. I like to re-read Austen, the Brontes, and George Elliott when I have the time. Right now I'm re-reading “Anna Karenina” before I go see the new movie version.

When I was helping to run the Desert Island Keeper blog we had some "About Me" random questions we asked. I'm going to borrow a few today.

5. If you could be in any book/series/world which would you pick and why?

Isobel: Pern. I want a dragon!!!

Laurel: This might sound weird, but when I was a very little girl I loved the “Eloise” books! I've always thought it would be wonderful to live at the Plaza hotel and run wild there. But if I have to be grown-up about it, I wouldn't mind living at Austen's Pemberley, or maybe be an intellectual aristocrat in mid-18th century France.

6. What fictional hero would you like to be your significant other?

Isobel: That is so hard. At the moment though, Sebastian St. Cyr would win out (though I might elope on him with Curran or Damerel or F’lar).

Laurel: I've loved Mr. Rochester ever since I read “Jane Eyre” when I was about 10! (I stayed up all night reading it, and was shocked—shocked--by the wife in the attic!) He's so complex and broody, and so in love with Jane, though in real-life I might not be quite as understanding as she was. It was fun to bring something of their Victorian world into the St. Claires stories.

7. Best love song?

Isobel: When it comes to music, I like the broken hearted stuff more, Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know, everything by Adele and Depeche Mode.

Laurel: I really love “La Vie En Rose”! But maybe that comes from my love of all things Parisian.

8. Favorite sex song? (I have to ask as this is the Sinful Seduction blog tour!)

Isobel: Anything by Barry White (I’m a traditionalist).

Laurel: Hmmm, that is a tough one. :) I really like the Black Keys' “Next Girl”...very sexy.

9. Favorite Heroine?

Isobel: Of mine? Beau. She gets what she wants by whatever means necessary and she’s a fighter.

Laurel: Jane Eyre! Or if you mean my own heroines, I really found myself liking Sophia Huntington from “Two Sinful Secrets” more and more as I wrote the book. She was a character who just sort of ran away from me and made her own personality...I just followed along.

10. What heroine is most like you?

Isobel: Probably Margo, the secondary heroine of RIPE FOR SEDUCTION.

Laurel: From my own heroines, I think Lady Caroline from “Lady of Seduction” is most like me—bookish and studious, having to be pushed out into the world! When I was younger I felt a lot like Marianne Dashwood, sort of romantic and idealistic and not very realistic in many ways.

11. What heroine would you like to be?

Isobel: Oh, Margo. Definitely Margo. Once you see Philip, his house, and his dogs you’ll understand why. *grin* I love her so much I even wrote their reconciliation scene, even though it’s not in the book. It’s up on my website though, so that anyone who feels like they missed out can go read it.

Laurel: I'd like to be Elizabeth Bennet (like so many other romance authors!)

12. How old is your inside voice?

Isobel: I think she’s perpetually somewhere between 27-33.

Laurel: About 17, I think. See Marianne Dashwood above :)

13. What do you like best about being a writer?
Isobel: There’s really something amazing about knowing that something you created from nothing provided joy and entertainment to people. It’s like being able to perform magic.

Laurel: A lot of writers say this, but it's very true—working in my pajamas! I love just getting up, having a cup of tea, and diving right into a story without worrying about putting on my makeup. It's nice being able to work with my pets taking naps around me and some classical music on the stereo. But I also like all the friendships I've made, both the imaginary ones with the characters inside my head and the real ones with other writers. It's a wonderfully supportive field to be in. Plus I get to put my English lit degree to work, which my dad said would never happen! :)

Ladies, thank you so much for stopping by and letting us get to know you a bit better.

Giveaway:  I have print copies of both Ripe for Seduction and Two Sinful Secrets to give away to one lucky winner.  Leave a comment on this post, along with your email address, no later than 12/12/12 (hey, look at that!!) at 7:00pm to enter to win.

9 comments:

Wendy said...

Oooh, this was a fun interview! Isobbel's "best thing about being a writer" is very similar to my "best thing about being a librarian." Yeah there are frustrations, but it's that opportunity to change someone's life, even if it's just in a small way, for a short amount of time, that makes the job special :)

SidneyKay said...

Tracy: Great authors! I've been a big fan of both, even when they were aka's. Loved the interviews.

ellaquinnauthor said...

This was a really great interview. I love Isobel's books. Laurel, I've never read yours, but that will have to change.

Joanne said...

Two great authors and a wonderful giveaway. Thanks for that and the fantastic interviews.

JenM said...

That was a fun interview. I haven't tried any books by either of these authors, but both books sound very interesting.

jen(at)delux(dot)com

Yvette said...

Awesome give a way. Thanks for the chance ti win.
Yvette
yratpatrol@aol.com

Urb said...

Is love to,read these authors, they are new to me. Thanks for the interview!

brendurbanist at gmail dot com

Lil said...

It was fun to read the interview. Am so jealous about being able to work in pajamas.

Aurore said...

Great interview. I always love to get insights into how authors work. Thank you for the giveaway!

aurore.linnea (at) gmail (dot) com