Monday, November 14, 2011

Carla Kelly - Marian's Christmas Wish - Author Interview

My thanks to Carla Kelly for stopping by The Plot Thickens for an author interview during the blog tour for her book, Marian's Christmas Wish.

Author Interview

1. Who is the plot based around?
Marian Wynswich's determined effort to see that even if the family estate is going to be lost at Christmastime, there's no reason why one of the diplomats who came home with her brother from treaty talks in Ghent, Belgium, shouldn't have a Merry Christmas with his family. He's been shy about going home, because he was injured in an incident of war. Marian is also falling in love with him.

2. What is the main idea of the plot?
To save the family home with an advantageous marriage for Ariadne Wynswich (who already has a suitor she prefers, even if he is poor), and Marian's determination to have a Merry Christmas and help out Gilbert Collinwood, Lord Ingraham, a diplomat who came home with her brother for Christmas. Gil turns out to be more than he seems.

3. When does the plot take place?
The story is set in 1814, right at the time that the British and Americans were holding treaty talks in Ghent, Belgium, to end the War of 1812. The events happen right around Christmas, first in Devonshire at the Wynswich family estate, and then in Bath, a particular favorite spot of mine in England.

4. Where does the plot take place?
Well, the story takes place in Devonshire, one of England's loveliest shires, located in what is called The West. The plot takes place within the novel.

5. Why did the plot develop the way it did?
Because to be an effective writer, A is followed by B, which logically leads to C and so on. The idea of a novel is to start the ball rolling, and see where it goes, to reach a logical conclusion. I like to use history as a framework, because of my background as a historian.

6. How did you come up with the idea for the plot?
That's what writers do. I sat down and thought about it. I enjoy Christmas to some extent, and knew readers did, too. My editor at SIgnet back then (I wrote this book in 1989, and this is a reprint from the Signet edition) claims that this is the first Regency romance to devote an entire book to a holiday. Also, a writer sets up a conflict that needs resolution. As simple as that. And as complicated, I suppose.

About the Book
Marian's Christmas Wish

Book Details:
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: September 2011
Genre: Historical Romance, Holiday
Format: Paperback, ebook
Price: $8.99 paperback, $2.99 ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle

Miss Marian Wynswich is a rather unconventional young lady. She plays chess, reads Greek, and is as educated as any young man. And she s certain falling in love is a ridiculous endeavor and vows never to do such a thing. But everything changes when she receives a Christmas visit from someone unexpected--- a young and handsome English lord.

About the Author
Carla Kelly

Carla began to write novels in the first grade, with “The Old Mill,” written on her mother’s typewriter. The book had only two sentences, but there was a plot.

In her writing career, which began in 1984 with Daughter of Fortune (set in colonial New Mexico), Carla has written some 26 novels and umpteen short stories, as well as scholarly works about the fur trade and the Indian Wars: her “footnote projects.” Many novels have been Regency romances, simply because a long-ago editor suggested she try that genre, and because Carla has a scholar’s interest in the Napoleonic Wars. The Regencies have large international audiences, so she’s been a bit typecast, writing Regencies.

She writes mainly about ordinary people, because she believes somewhat in the dictum that an author should write about what she knows. She knows the sea, too, as well as the Indian Wars, earning a master’s degree in that subject from the University of Louisiana – Monroe.

The daughter of a naval officer, Carla has a real affinity for life on the rolling main. Her recent Channel Fleet series took on captains, surgeons, marines, a retired admiral, and finally, an American POW in Dartmoor. She is now turning her attention to the American West, specifically, the Indian Wars, which she knows well from work at historic sites with the National Park Service, and various monographs.

Carla has two Rita Awards for Best Regency of the Year from Romance Writers of America; two Spur Awards for Best Short Story of the Year from Western Writers of America; a career achievement award from Romantic Times; and good will from readers. Carla only writes books she’d like to read; she’s selfish that way.

She’s recently taken a fond look at her own religious background, with Borrowed Light, about a Mormon chef from Utah who hires out to cook for Wyoming cowboys. Poor thing. A sequel is in the production stages now. Next up is a book set at Fort Laramie due for Harlequin Historicals, and then two more works of fiction for Cedar Fort, Inc.

Martin and Carla Kelly spent the past 13 years in North Dakota, where Martin was Director of Theatre at Valley City State University, and Carla was an adjunct professor, and then a ranger at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, on the North Dakota-Montana border. After Martin retired in 2009, they moved to Wellington, Utah, in Carbon County, because they like wide open spaces and empty roads. The Kellys are the parents of five adult children.

A recent addition on their house means Carla now has her own office. It’s a step or two up from the laundry rooms and furnace rooms where she used to write. Carla volunteers at the Western Mining and Railroad Museum in Helper, where she does research and writing for the museum.

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