Today I’m lucky enough to have a visitor from The Spiced Tea Party blog, a writer whose work I admire greatly and who is also hilariously funny-(Check out her quiz at the end of the blog!)
Hi Jane/Janet and welcome to my blog!
What inspired you to write Forbidden Shores?
I read a wonderful book by Adam Hochschild, Bury The Chains, about the abolitionist movement in England. And I knew I wanted to write about abolitionists, because it was such a polarizing issue in England, the hot political issue of the Georgian era. My editor asked me to move the action to the Caribbean, something I was rather reluctant to do because although there was certainly a fairly substantial black population in
London at the time (1800), a high court ruling in 1772 had decreed that people living in England could not be slaves, or returned to slavery outside of the country. So I had to include slaves and their owners as characters and that was very difficult–I didn’t want to sugarcoat anything, but neither did I want to gross anyone (including myself)out. The conditions of slavery were absolutely appalling, and that was why there was such a tremendous amount of support, crossing gender and class, for the abolitionist cause.
I see that your publisher categorizes Forbidden Shores as a historical romance. How would you define it?
I originally sold the book as an erotic historical for the Heat line, and then I was upgraded to Signet Eclipse. I made a few changes to make it “more like a romance”–whatever that really means. The basic concept of the book is that there are three people, each of whom are in love with the one of who cannot love them back: Clarissa is in love with March who is in love with Allen who is in love with Clarissa. I’m hoping the book will appeal to romance readers as well as erotic romance readers–really, I’m concerned that people know what they’re getting; there is a lot of explicit sex.
What’s your favorite time period to write about?
Georgian-Regency, because it was a time of such great change and upheaval, with causes like parliamentary reform and abolition, the Romantic poets, and the terrific clothes. I don’t think men’s clothes have ever been sexier, and women could actually move in theirs. I love the earlier gowns that relied on line and drape of fabric, before they got those bizarre encrustations at the hemline and the silly sleeves.
I’m also very interested in the English Civil War period (yes, we had one too) but haven’t written anything about it yet.
How do you feel your writing differs between your two alter egos?
I don’t really think it does. Jane has more sex, although Janet does her best. Janet would have her characters slip on a banana skin while careening into the bedchamber, but they’d get there anyway. My first book, Dedication (2005), had quite a lot of grown-up sex in it–my boast is that it’s the only Signet Regency with two bondage scenes–but like Forbidden Shores it was inspired by a political idea: what
happened to the political radicals who embraced the ideals of the French Revolution (liberte, fraternite, egalite) as they matured into the older generation. The Rules of Gentility (Avon, August 2007) was written as a spoof, although there is some quite serious stuff in there about families and growing up–the interesting thing about the book is that some people don’t “get” that it’s a spoof but like it anyway. Avon doesn’t think it’s a romance–it’s shelved in the Lit section at bookstores–which I think is pretty funny, as I was convinced I’d cracked the romance code with this book.
What’s coming up next book-wise for you?
I’m a publishing one night stand sort of girl–so far I haven’t snagged a contract for more than one book at a time. So I have a partial for another erotic romance out, and Avon told me I could write about anything I wanted for my next book, which I found a terrifying idea,even though it’s what ever writer wants to hear. I’m working on a partial for them now, and it’s a sort of Regency Upstairs/Downstairs because I’m very interested in servants.
Any words of advice for aspiring authors?
Write what you want, don’t try to follow market trends, ignore what anyone tells you are “the rules” of (erotic) romance, and avoid–or subvert–cliches. And read outside the genre.
Tetley’s or PG Tips?
Yorkshire Gold is my substance of choice, although for everyday purposes I drink Brooke Bond Red Label (from my local Indian grocery store which also sells the best mangos in the area).
Thanks for having me visit, Kate!
The historical writers quiz:
Do you find yourself sitting on the sofa looking like an idiot because you can’t figure out what you’re reading? Or can’t even remember where your book is? Or your laptop seems to have mysteriously disappeared into your pants?
What, exactly are you reading or writing? Here’s a simple quiz to determine if your book is (a) a traditional regency, (b) a regency-set historical, (c) an erotic historical, or (d) historical erotica.
The heroine meets a gentleman she is attracted to. She:
a. Asks to be introduced to him by the patronesses of Almacks
b. Invites him to her bedchamber
c. Invites him and his three friends to her bedchamber
d. Invites him and his regiment to her bedchamber
The hero is wearing:
a. Immaculately polished Hessians, and a finely tailored coat and breeches
b. Boots, breeches and a historically inaccurate shirt unbuttoned all the way down
c. Not much, a sneer, oil, and a whip
d. Tattoos, scars, piercings, a sneer, oil, and an even bigger whip
The heroine is wearing:
a. Bonnet, gown, shawl, reticule
b. Gown, barely, and lots of hair
c. A little wisp of something from Victoria’s Secret and lots of hair
d. Tattoos, scars, piercings, a sneer, a really, really big whip, and a shaved head
The secondary characters include:
a. Comic servants and saintly family
b. Comic servants and tiresome family
c. Sex-obsessed companions who may or may not be human
d. Underlings you never meet but someone has to get in the lube and leather supplies
Your hero likes to spend long hours in the library:
a. Reading poetry
b. Decoding secret documents
c. Twisting himself into a pretzel for future activities, based on an ancient tome of erotic practices
d. Oiling the rack and himself
Your heroine likes to:
a. Embroider, play pianoforte, visit the poor
b. Tame stallions, write novels, etc.
c. Practice twisting herself into a pretzel etc.
d. What? Time to do anything else? I don’t think so
Jane is very kindly offering 1 lucky commenter a chance to win one of her books!
THE RULES OF GENTILITY, print and e-book, Avon, Aug. 2007
FORBIDDEN SHORES, writing as Jane Lockwood, Signet Eclipse, Oct. 2007
DEDICATION, a romance of love, lust and literary identity, still
available from Signet Regency