Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Another Interview and a Book Giveaway


I have another interview--with a book giveaway--up at a site called Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books. This is another wonderful (but dangerous) site for lovers of both historical fiction and nonfiction to browse, especially if you're fond of medieval tales. I could spend forever just looking at the beautiful gowns portrayed in the cover art.

You can read the interview here. And don't forget the book giveaway, which is open until 11 March.


Jane said...

The peek into book 7 sounds intriguing. I belive from your comments in other blog sections that it takes place in time immediately after book 6.

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask this but I have a question on British hereditary titles. I noticed that even though Lord Jarvis is a Baron, which is a lower title than Duke, Marquess, Earl or Viscount, he is always referred to in your books as Charles, Lord Jarvis. Is there a reason for this?

Also, Sebastian holds the courtesy title of Viscount. I would assume that is one of Hendon's lower titles as Jarvis mentioned in book 1 that Sebastian will not be an actual member of the peerage until he inherits Hendon's title(s). If Sebastian and Hero have a male child (or female for that matter), how would the child be addressed? As Lord/Lady or Honorable?

Also, do you ever have an "Ask the Author" section on your blog for these type of questions?

Thank you.

Essex said...

Hi Candy! Had to take a break from some of those maudlin postings I've been reading. Will you be coming to the pacific northwest at any time for a book signing? Would love it if you did .
Hope that you are enjoying mardi gras- sure looks like you are!

RevMelinda said...

Candy, I am fascinated that your ideas sometimes come to you "through water." You are one of the few regency-period historical authors I have read who seem to have a concept of London as a river city, and water runs thematically and plotwise through so many of the St. Cyr books. Death seems to come for many of your characters in and around water, and I find its symbolism interesting--water that kills and obscures, and also water that reveals, redeems, and gives life (thinking of, among others, Sebastian and Hero's Encounter of Consequence in Where Serpents Sleep). . .

cs harris said...

Jane, book 7 takes place 4 days after book 6 ends, so they are very close. Jarvis could simply be called "Lord Jarvis," but the placement of the first name in front is common. Think Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Viscount Devlin is one of Hendon's lower titles that Sebastian holds as a courtesy title. Hero and Sebastian's children will not be lord or lady until Hendon dies and Sebastian inherits the earldom. The "Honorable" is typically only used in writing, not in speech. I haven't done an "ask the author", but I could--once tensions die down a bit.

Essex, I don't have any plans to visit the Pacific Northwest at the moment. I go to Houston next week and will probably be in Arizona in June. Where abouts in the northwest?

Melinda, that's an interesting concept. You're going to enjoy Maidens, because there is a lot of water in it, too, both Camlet Moat and the Thames. I've always found it strange the way so many writers ignore the Thames. It was a huge part of people's lives. It wasn't until the gasworks killed off the fish that it quit being a big source of the city's food supply, too. I think perhaps people think of how smelly it was in the Victorian era and imagine that people in the Regency era avoided it. They didn't.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm off to check it out.

Essex said...

By the way, I just want you to know how much I appreciate that you have this blog and let us into a bit of your life, and how you respond to everything that people write, no matter how trivial or silly. It is really a very nice gesture.
I live in Vancouver, BC. We don't get a lot of authors coming through - mainly other Canadians. One day you should swing by - just not now when it is rainy and cold!

Anonymous said...

So a couple of things. 1) Oh yes, please come to the Pacific northwest!! Seattle is where I am. 2)Thanks for the mardi gras sharing. Liked the pics of you, your hubby and daughter buried in there 3)I concur with Essex. Thank you for the blog and letting us into your life and thoughts. It is fun to keep track of where u are with the books and what is happening in your life and lastly 4) just finished my 2nd read of WSD. Loved it even better than the first time around. I'm so sorry about the harsh posts from people who seem to forget to be civil. They are your characters and as fans we should let you tell the story. I, frankly, find it hard to believe that people think you can actually only love once in a lifetime. Kinda sad in a way. Keep the story and mysteries coming. Sabena

cs harris said...

Essex, I started this blog after Katrina, and the truth is I do enjoy it. My daughter went to Vancouver last September and fell in love with the city, although she's such a hothouse flower she'd never last through a winter there.

Sabena, I've been thinking about my old romances and realized that more than half of my characters had loved before. Some had loved unwisely, some had lost their previous loves to death. Yet my romances were very successful (lead romances sell far more copies than mysteries!), so I'm wondering if this is something that has crept into the romance industry in the past ten years?

Kim said...

Hi,Candy - I've read all your romances and have to diagree with your conclusion on the possible changes in the industry.

In all your romances, the prior lovers or spouses were clearly in the past. Yes, in Night in Eden Hayden had loved before, but by the time the book opens, his wife is gone. We don't see him with her. We know he loved her, but we don't experience that love. Even in Whispers of Heaven, where Jessie is betrothed since childhood, most of their early interactions are off the written page. The book opens with her coming home after many years and meeting the eventual hero. We're not invested in the old relationship.

So while your romances explored the ways the h/h loved, healed and moved on, you didn't have the former lover and current one on the same stage so to speak.

In your mystery series, the love between Kat and Sebastian is written in real-time. You didn't open the book with this relationship firmly rooted in the past. They act on their love in What Angels Fear and in Gods, then profess their love right through Where Shadows Dance. So as opposed to your romances where we the love between former lovers/spouses occurs before page one opens, this didn't happen in the St. Cyr series.

Since I had read and enjoyed your romances, I fully expected there to be difficulties and pain along the way, but what I didn't expect was the romantic pairing to be changed mid-way through. So it's not that h/h in romances can't love again, it's that the love has usually ended for whatever reason before the story begins. That hasn't happened in the mysteries.

vp said...

Thanks for the interview posting. I really enjoy hearing how writers approach their work and I appreciate those that are willing to share.
I just finished re-reading Shadows and I found myself enjoying it even more. I broke down and bought all of the books for my kindle and spent a week re-reading the series and I have to compliment you on the growth and development of all of the characters. I was struck by how organically one book flowed into the next. I would also remind readers that while there has been a strong romantic element to all of the books, this is a mystery series, not a historical romance series. I have never expected that the relationships would follow those rather rigid guidelines. Of course, the historical romances I enjoy most tend to be the rare titles that break out of those narrow confines, so what do I know.
After re-reading the series, I just want to say thanks for crafting such marvelous characters. I cannot wait for 7!

cs harris said...

Kim, it's true that in my romances the previous loves were in the past as opposed to within the books themselves. But my point was that the other loves had existed, which is why I've been surprised by readers who seem to believe that someone can't love twice. I can certainly understand someone feeling sadness that Kat and Sebastian can't be together; it is a very sad situation. It's meant to be, so that I can then show both Kat and Sebastian moving on from that sadness. The series is about Sebastian's journey of self-discovery as he learns the the healing power of life and love.

One of the reasons I moved into mysteries was because I wanted to explore other emotions, other stories. Some writers are happy writing essentially the same stories over and over again; they're the lucky ones, because they can brand themselves and give their readers the same, expected experience. I was at the point I wanted to reach for something different. Because of my romance roots, I could never write a story in which the characters were left desolate and hopeless. But I go back to the fact that some of the greatest, most memorable love stories ever written actually do not end well--Casablanca and Gone With the Wind being two prime examples.

VP, thank you. You're right, the needs of a mystery series are very different from those of a romance. One of the reasons I wrote this series under a different name was because the stories were different.

Kim said...

Thanks for your patient answers. Although I really liked the mystery and would have loved to find out the answers to Sebastian's past, I've decided that Where Shadows Dance will be my last book in the series.

This is not said to hurt your feelings in anyway. Over the weekend, I re-read the first few books in the series and re-read the blurbs on the back covers.

It was clear that the series originally was intended to be a mystery with Kat as Sebastian's lover and his partner in crime solving. It was presented as a mystery with a second chance at love underlying theme, but has turned into something else that I didn't anticipate and no longer enjoy.

In the very first book, Sebastian asked Kat why she sent him away with a lie when the truth would suffice and she said she knew he would eventually convince her to marry him. This is quite different from what Kat says now.

You have patiently explained why you changed directions. However, I find the changes incredibly sad. I tend to like uplifting love stories and I'm not finding that in the St. Cyr books anymore. I just don't care for the pairing of Sebastian and Hero and I don't think that will change.

I'm just disappointed that I won't learn all there is to know about Sebastian's past because I do like him and your writing style.

It sounds like a lot of readers disagree with me, so one less reader won't make a difference.

Best of luck with your writing.

Jane said...

Hi Candy,

Well I, for one, love the series and am very happy with the direction that it is going in. I think the quality of the writing is excellent and the story line is compelling and interesting. I find that your novels stay with me long after I'm finished reading them and that's a great compliment to you.

Trade Winds is one of my favorite novels (I still have it on my shelves) and I read somewhere that you named Hero based up the one of the lead characters in that book, Hero Althena Hollis. Actually, I find the two characters alike in some respects, such as the blue stocking tendencies and the courage they exhibit. I don't think that Sebastian is much like Emory Frost, though, except perhaps that they were both extremely attractive and intelligent. And rebels in their own way.

I have a question concerning getting a signed copy of your book(s). Is it possible to get a signed copy of your current book over the internet through one of your local bookstores?

Thank you.

cs harris said...

Kim, if you no longer enjoy the books because of the direction Sebastian's personal life has taken, I can certainly understanding stopping reading the series. I would like to make it clear, however, that I never changed direction in my own mind; from the time I began writing What Angels Fear, I had intended Sebastian to marry Hero. (I have only limited input into the blurbs.)

Even if I had been writing this as a romance, I would never have had someone like Kat end up with Sebastian. Perhaps I'm not enough of a romantic, but I don't believe love conquers all and if I had continued to write the series after bringing them back together, we would have seen the slow steady erosion of their joy as they tried to make a life together. While it is true that some noblemen in the 18th century (not so much in the 19th) did marry actresses and courtesans, the repercussions were significant.

Had they married, Kat would have had to give up her acting career; she has no desire to do that, and I have too much respect for her as an ambitious, independent woman to do that to her. She has no interest in solving mysteries herself in the way Hero does; her passion is Ireland. Some have suggested the couple could have simply sailed away to begin life anew someplace else, but that would obviously have been death to this series, which is about Regency London!

While Kat might not have had the will to resist Sebastian at 16/17, she is older now and ever more wise to the ways of their world. Would I have written the series differently had I known the backlash that was coming? Possibly. But I would never have had Sebastian and Kat end up together. I probably would have simply cut that part of the story. And I think that would have been a pity, because it is a powerful, emotional story and the books would have been much less without it.

Jane, I signed books for Poison Pen in Arizona and I know they sell on line (I got an autographed copy of Martin Cruz Smith's last book from them); they should still have some. Also, on April 2, I will be signing books for Garden District Book Store here in New Orleans, and they will then have them available online. And I will be going to Murder by the Book in Houston this coming Saturday to sign books.

Petra said...

I agree with Kim in that after rereading the first few books, there is nothing indicative that Sebastian and Hero would ever end up together, nor should they. Kat and Sebastian continue to profess their true love for each other, and it is so poignant that it is difficult to let go of the idea that their relationship and future together is now forfeit. Although I wish that something else would have happened to keep them together, I wouldn't be able to stop reading the series, even if I wanted to. By the end of the series, will the questions about Sebastian's mother be answered? Will some of these questions be answered in book 7?

Anonymous said...

I think the story has developed very nicely. I root for Hero and Sebastian , because Kat and Sebastian coming together would have been unrealistic (keeping in mind the era in which the story is set). Also why is Sebastian still in love with a women who has slept with half the powerful/influential men in London in order to pass information on to the French ??? And how have Kat's actions helped the cause of freedom for Ireland ?? This part of the story line has not been explored at all.

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