Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Whips, Chairs And a Chat With Liz Carlyle

by Caren Crane

Some of you may have heard me boast about--er, mention--that one of my dear friends is none other than the elusive and seldom-seen-in-cyberspace Liz Carlyle. Liz is the NY Times best-selling author of dark, hot Regency romances. I am thrilled to have Liz guesting with us today. All I had to do to secure this visit was tackle her in the Whole Foods parking lot and hold her organic kumquats hostage until she agreed! *ahem*

Welcome to the Bandits' Lair, Liz!

Thank you, Banditas! It's a pleasure to be in the saddle with you today. (Should I have worn a mask? A kerchief over my face? Just wasn't sure of bandit etiquette here . . . )

Never worry about your attire. Should you require a mask, Donna has extras. For now, we'll spend time gazing at you adoringly. (gazes adoringly) Such fun to have you here today! Coincidentally, today is the release date of the latest in your Never series, Never Romance a Rake, isn't it? (blinks innocently)

Yes, Bandita Caren! Coincidentally, it is. Wonder how that happened?

I cannot discuss my powers of Amazon...er, divination. *ahem* Anyway, I gobbled up Never Lie To a Lady and Never Deceive a Duke. The hero of Never Romance a Rake , much to my delight, is Baron Rothewell . I and all your other slavering fans have waited a year for Rothewell's story. A long year. What can you tell us about his book?

Well, I can tell you that if you think the book was a long time coming out, you should have seen me writing it. (Oops, actually, you pretty much did, didn't you?) As my dearest friends know--having observed the gnashing of my teeth these many months--this book was hard sledding. Rothewell was such an intriguing character to so many readers and, well, let's face it--a bit of an asshole. So redeeming him was a challenge, as was writing the sort of book he deserved. Because, you see, an author's characters are her children, and she knows the good in them, even when others cannot see it. I knew there was a tender heart this dark, hulking, hard-drinking, mean-tempered man--I just had to find it, sober him up, slap him around, then convey him on the page to my readers. Without totally wussifying him, of course.

Inquiring minds simply must know. What sort of woman could possibly tame such a beast as the luscious...er, dark and dangerous Rothewell?

A woman with a whip and a chair? Seriously, this girl is intense and--in her own way--a little ruthless. That, to me, was what it was going to bring the old boy around. I know conventional wisdom tells us opposites attract, but in Camille Marchand, I found myself with a heroine who really could go toe-to-toe with Lord Rothewell. She was not afraid of him. And from the very first, he is taken aback by her, and almost as quickly smitten. She makes him work for it, though. I really thought he needed to be punished for his wicked ways. I wanted him on his knees, and Camille got the job done. Of course that blade cuts both ways . . .

Oh, my! It sounds like the beginning of another stormy, lightning-hot romance. I don't suppose you are selling tickets to the Rothewell taming? What's that? I have to read the book? Well, if I must. Camille comes across as an exotic and definitely not British woman. She isn't alone in that. You have had a number of non-British characters in your novels. What made you decide to include these more exotic characters in your novels?

I like the contrast of two people from slightly different cultures, with different languages. As an author, right off the bat, you've got your "fish out of water" element to play with. And there's nothing sexier than a whispered endearment in a foreign language--especially French or Italian. I think, too, that society was very fluid, even then. There was a good deal of travel between countries (depending upon what war was going on where) and it was a hallmark of an educated mind to have traveled, or at least to have a passing knowledge of another culture, especially French.

Right now I'm working on my next hero who is a little bit Spanish, a little bit Gypsy--maybe a little Sicilian thrown in for good measure. Even he isn't sure of his heritage--a mongrel, he calls himself--and I must say, I'm having a great time with him so far.

I am certainly looking forward to that hero. (Sorry, my "Gypsy/Sicilian man" picture didn't look very historical. Oopsie!) I love endearments whispered in foreign languages. (clears throat) So, we have a bad boy hero coming out TODAY and this fascinating hero of unknown origin coming out next year. In the meantime, you will be at the Literacy Autographing in San Francisco at the RWA Conference. Yippee! We are looking forward to that. What are you looking forward to in San Francisco, Liz?

Going home. Yes, as all my friends know, I am the ultimate homebody. You have to blow me out of the house with dynamite.

Ok, seriously. I'm looking forward to hanging out with my pals--especially you, Bandita Caren--and just chilling. I have tried to keep planning to an absolute minimum this year so I can be--gasp!-- spontaneous. Also, I really enjoy the literacy signing--I love to meet readers and fellow writers, and it's for a very good cause.

Spontaneity, you say? I'll believe it when I see it. (Note to self: pack dynamite to blast Liz out of hotel room.) But, dear readers, any of you in the San Francisco area (or those of you at Conference) should plan to stop by the Literacy Autographing to meet Liz in actual, real live person!

Oh, Liz, before you crawl back into your cave, is there anything you would like to ask our Bandita Buddies today?

Yes, Bandita Caren, I would like to pick the learned brains of your esteemed Banditaship. How do the Banditas like their historicals nowadays? How hot is too hot to be appropriate in today's historical (non-erotica) market? Does sex play and light bondage seem out of place? I've got a difficult hero and heroine on my hands here, and they seem to require some discipline, but I'm not sure I'm ready to play the kinky card yet. I'll do it only if the characters warrant it, not just to throw in gratuitous kinky-ness. So...think it will be a wallbanger? Will they strip me of my Historical Author Tiara for this?

Let Liz know what you think and you will be entered in a drawing to win an autographed copy of Never Romance a Rake!

101 comments:

Elyssa Papa said...

Did I get it?

Elyssa Papa said...

About time the Golden Rooster was mine! I've been eyeing for a long time, and I consider it quite the coup de rooster that I got him. LOL

I think I'll show him the NY way of life. *w*

Liz, I loved Never Deceive a Duke and my copy of Never Romance a Rake arrived yesterday. I've definitely wanted to read Kieran's story; the excerpt alone at your website had me salivating months on end.

What I like is how your characters have "darkness" to them... they have real issues, if that makes sense. So, how do you make sure that your characters come off as three-dimensional and not all angsty?

Kirsten said...

Well done Elyssa!!

Liz, I can't tell you how pleased and honored we are to have you here in the Lair. I do hope Caren told you about our theme song. No? Oh, well, it goes something like this -- "Welcome to the Hotel Baa-an-di-i-ta...such a lovely place...such a lovely place.." (sing along with me Bandita Buddies!!)

:-)

Anyway, I am a big fan of the light bondage, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. LOL. In fact, without putting too fine a point on it, can I get in line to get a copy of that book? Hmmm? I love tough, naughty, bad girl heroines, especially ones who use their powers to reform nasty bad-boy rakes. Yum.

Being **somewhat** of an introvert myself, I have blogged before about being terrified of the big parties at Nationals and the idea of networking and meeting scads of people you don't know and trying to make polite conversation. So I feel your pain! But we're nice here in the Lair. I promise. ;-)

Oh, and a question for you -- do you get pressure to write more? How do you keep your book a year schedule?

Anna Campbell said...

Liz! LIZ!!!!! Loud fan girl squeak here all the way from Oz! Did you know I'm sitting VERY near you at the signing? (Editor's note: Liz requests name change to Mabel Smith...) Seriously I think you're one of the best writers working in the historical field right now. I love the way you write men. They're fantastic, they're passionate, they're smart (although not always!). Can you give us some insight into writing the hero? Do you find he comes easily to you? Also I'd love to know something about your writing background. Did you always want to be a writer or did you come to this weird and wonderful career late? What or who inspired you and your writing?

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Ely, cool bananas on the chook! Treat him nice - hmm, I hear HE might be into light bondage! A bit of chicken wire goes a long way. Bwork!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, and, Liz, on your question - personally if the story is compelling and the characters grab me, they can do whatever they like. I remember a wonderful Laura Kinsale (sadly, her most recent although it's a couple of years ago) that really pushed the envelope with pain and sex. Was I turned off? Not when she was the captain of that particular ship! No sirree! I really like that historicals are taking a few chances these days. But sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism when it's not backed up by solid character development and motivation? No, that doesn't get me in at all.

kimmyl said...

Liz, I love reading your books. I love reading about the characters and the history. I also like how your characters ooze with passion.

Louisa Cornell said...

SQUEEEEEEING here, right along with La Campbell. I ADORE your books, Liz!! The Never series is a PARTICULAR favorite of mine and I recommend them to everyone I see!

And Rothwell ..... SWOOOON! THUD! Gotta love a really, really bad boy! And I cannot WAIT to meet the woman who can tame him! Lucky girl!

I am with my friend, La Campbell, a little bondage is good for what ails you IF everything else in the book is well-written and the sex play grows organically from the story and what we know of the hero and heroine. I have read a few novels recently that have thrown sexual adventure in just for the sake of sensationalism and that is definitely a wall-banging offense to me.

Powerful characters require powerful measures to express what they feel for each other and the things in their lives that have brought them together and might keep them apart.

Your heroes are REAL men and some things are just REAL in any age!!

Nobody would DARE take your historical tiara from you! I happen to know the Banditas are experts at kidnapping, retrieving stolen goods and torturing information from people (okay mostly men.) Should anyone be foolish enough to snatch that well-earned tiara the entire pirate crew would have them pleading for mercy in no time.

Thanks, Liz, for writing such great books. I can't wait to meet you in San Francisco and I promise not to scream!

jo robertson said...

Welcome to the Bandit Lair, Liz Carlyle. We're so honored to have you here. Your latest series sounds my cuppa tea! When I heard you were coming, I ordered Never Lie to a Lady and Never Deceive a Duke. Can't wait for them to arrive.

Congrats on the rooster, Elyssa. Are you a rooster-virgin? Tee hee, he's gonna love NY! Maybe he'll show you some tricks he's learned from Jennifer Y, who's had him far too often.

As Anna said, I like that historicals are taking a chance these days, but I wonder how many dyed-in-the-wool historical readers would balk at light bondage or sex toys especially with their virgin heroines?

Christine Wells said...

Liz a very warm welcome to the Lair. Ever since I heard Caren was friends with you, I've been bugging her to kidnap--er--persuade you to be our guest. We're so pleased and honoured to have you!

How marvelous Rothewell meets his match in this novel! I love the idea of a heroine who can challenge a man like that. The banditas are tired of hearing me gripe about wimpy heroines whose only job is to lurv the hero and forgive him until he stops kicking her and suddenly realizes can't live without her. Gah!

I think I've read all your novels and I love the way you write such big gorgeous masculine men as heroes and match them with independent-minded women. And Liz, as far as how hot you can go, sky's the limit as far as I'm concerned, because it's never gratuitious if you're writing it! When you have two powerful characters, I think issues of dominance and trust automatically follow into the bedchamber. I find that a fascinating exploration of character. And ok, it's really hot, but not if the character development isn't there, as Anna C said.

Christine Wells said...

Congrats, Ely!! Snorking about your coop/coup!

Donna MacMeans said...

Congratulations Elyssa! It was time for a change of scenery for the rooster.

Liz - Can't wait to read your latest! The cover is divine. As has been mentioned, I think anything works in historicals these days as long as it's supported by strong characters with strong motivation.

Looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

I realize that your book is not erotica, but there was an article in Publisher's Weekly recently about the fast growth and general acceptance of erotica. I think maybe that acceptance is helping to push the envelope a bit in all genres of romance.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Kimmy, I love "ooze with passion." Can I steal it?

Natalie Hatch said...

I think after yesterday the rooster needs time with adults, three kids at once can be a terrible pain.
Liz love the blog, and well, when will we know when enough is enough? There are some stories that I just think oh this is rubbish, no woman would ever do that, and yet others are like oh do I have to put the book down?

peggy said...

hi liz,
your books are great.I think it will add someing fresh and new.

Eva S said...

Welcome Liz,
your books are on my keeper shelf and I have been waiting for "Never Romance a Rake"! I like my heroes to be bad boys (as you all know, LOL!), they need strong heroines and there isn't any too hot, it's all about the characters...

Jane said...

Hi Liz,
I look forward to reading "Never Romance a Rake." I have to admit that Giles is one of my favorite heroes of all time. I like my historicals hot. I think light bondage, sex play or even up against the wall would be fine in an non-erotic. If they strip you of your tiara, we'll revolt.

Helen said...

Well done Elyssa enjoy your day with him

Great interview Liz and Caren

I will be ordering these books asap can't wait to read them.

I love historicals and have read some really goods ones over the years that have had light bondage in them and they have been fantastic books I have only read a couple of erotic romance books and I did enjoy them very much and I love a dark sexy historical they are right up my alley. I am sure I would love them.

Have Fun
Helen

Tawny said...

Liz -- WELCOME! We're thrilled to have you in the lair (singing along with Kirsten "...such a lovely place...such a lovely place.." )

I'm a big fan of anything sexy in any time period... as long as it fits the characters :-D I love seeing how intimacy brings out the deepest emotions, fears and issues for characters and how they handle it. If it takes a little silk cord to do that... well wrap 'em up and go for it!

Elyssa - congrats on the GR! I hope he doesn't get in too much trouble in NY!

Margay said...

Liz, welcome to the Lair! I ave to tell you that I am a fan and I think that what you've done up to this point regarding the sensuality level in your books is just right. Keep up the great writing.

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I can't believe you haven't read Liz's stuff. It's absolutely right up your alley! Run to a bookshop, young lady!

Deb Marlowe said...

OMG--Caren, you actually got her into the lair! Lizzie's here!

You guys are going to love Rothewell--he's so bad, and Camille is one of Liz's best heroines ever! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing a smart and strong heroine shaking a powerful hero's world.

Now, quick--somebody send Sven to get Liz a drink and have one of Joanie's Roman's deliver it, or she's going to get reattached to her 'puter and we'll never see her again!

Maureen said...

Hi Liz,
I have been reading your books since the first one came out and loving them so I am thrilled that you have a new one out. I don't think about how hot a book is when the characters are behaving in a way that makes sense for them.

Caren Crane said...

Liz, welcome at last! And Elyssa, don't let the GR loose on NYC - I'm not sure the City is ready for him!

Isn't Liz the best? I love all that darkness too. Bentley, anyone? *fans self* I cannot write dark, so I just read in awe. If Liz weren't so nice, I'd hate her for all that insane talent.

Caren Crane said...

Kirsten, you weren't supposed to let Liz know she's never getting out! I was going to lull her with frosty drinks and get on e of the cabana boys to lure her down to the dungeon. Now I have to think of a whole new plan. Hm...

Gannon Carr said...

Congrats, Ely, on nabbing the GR!

Welcome to the lair, Liz! I love my historicals hot. If a little light bondage fits the story line and the personality of the hero and heroine, I say 'go for it'!

Caren Crane said...

Anna C., I was awakened around 12:30 this morning and realize only now it was the Fan Girl Squee Heard Around the World. Oh, my! If Liz had known what a frenzy she would cause, she might have stayed in her cave...

Caren Crane said...

Trust Deb Marlowe to stealthily slide in a little "nah-nanny-poo-poo" since she critiques with Liz and has already read the book. I would call her an impolite name, but then she wouldn't walk with me anymore and I need the exercise.

Good call on the drink and Sven (our resident masseur), though. Part of my evil plan!

Caren Crane said...

Tawny, why am I not surprised that you're all for tying Liz's characters up? *g*

Everyone is right about it depending on the characters, though, and Natalie had a great point about it sometimes working and sometimes not. I think motivation and the core of who the characters are drive their actions in the bedroom (or wherever).

Though people keep their dark parts hidden most of the time, there are usually hints. If, as a reader, I never get a hint of it then I'm less likely to believe it. I think your tiara is secure, Liz!

Christine Wells said...

Deb, Sven is most definitely at Liz's service. Don't worry, one minute of our Swedish friend's magical massage and our illustrious guest will be putty in our hands! Bwahahaha!

Christie Kelley said...

Welcome to lair, Liz, and great interview, Caren.

I love your books, Liz! You asked for our 2 cents so I'll give it.
I like the hotter historicals, not just because that's what I write. Passion is a part of romance and I want to see that in my hero and heroine.

I personally believe as long as you're true to your characters about the kinky stuff then it will work. You might find as you write it that the kink won't work :)

I'm also an introvert so try to have fun at SF. I'd love to meet you but SF just wasn't happening this year. Thanks for stopping by the lair

Buffie said...

Hey Liz! Welcome to the Lair. It is so great having you here.

I absolutely LOVE your books!!! And I definitely can't wait for this one. I am a reader who says the hotter the better when it comes to the sex scenes, but the scenes also need to be part of the story -- not just thrown in. And if it takes a few toys to bring two people together, then bring out the trinkets!

Dina said...

Hi Caren and Liz,

Liz, like you said, I like it as long as it fits with the story and not just because.

Liz Carlyle said...

Wow, ladies! Many thanks for the wonderfully warm welcome. I should have gotten up earlier. Actually, I've been up a while, and trying to make my password work. (sigh) Yes, I'm cyberly impaired.

Thanks for answering my question. Now I'll try to answer yours.

Oh . . . and about that rooster?????

Suzanne Welsh said...

Wow, Caren, what a great interview, and Liz....welcome to the Bandita Lair!! pull up a comfy chair and we'll get a cabana boy to bring over a cool margarita!

Never Romance A Rake sounds like a jolly good read! I'll be picking it up at National for sure!

And uhm, you can never, ever, ever make a historical too hot for me. (innocent grin)

Liz Carlyle said...

Elyssa asked about three-dimensional characters, etc. I am not sure I do anything special here. I just try to really, really know my character. To know how he would react in every situation, how he stands, talks, walks. How he votes. What he eats for breakfast. Not that I consciously go thru all this, mind. Just . . . it's kind of in my head. Not very useful, I'm afraid . . .

Kirsten said...

motivation shotivation! I say, bring on the gratuitous sex and unmotivated bondage!

LOL Buffie on the trinkets!

Helen, I had no idea you were so naughty! ;-)

Kirsten said...

Tawny, I knew you were naughty!

And let us not forget that a certain redhead was published in erotica before she sold her fantastic Regency to Kensington...

Liz Carlyle said...

Kirsten asked about the pressure to write. Bandita Caren and I were discussing this just last night, actually. I don't feel any pressure from my publisher -- I can do that all by myself, sadly. I'm averaging about one book every nine months. The way I keep my books on schedule is to do nothing for six months, then write like a house afire. It is admittedly poor planning on my part . . .

Trish Milburn said...

Liz, so nice to have you here in the Lair today. Don't let Kirsten scare you with the Bandita theme song. :) I honestly can't recall reading a book with bondage in it. I do like books where the hero is dark and damaged and has to have a big arc to become hero material by the end.

Anna, LOL on the chicken wire!

Liz Carlyle said...

Lovely book cover, Anna! You asked about writing heroes, and I have to say, that's the easy part for me. I just love men. I understand men. I get men. Women, not so much. Now, this is a weird thing, because I grew up in a home with four sisters, no brothers, and a father who traveled almost 24/7, so don't ask me where I got this insight. Maybe, now that I think on it, it was from working so many years in male-dominated industries. Sometimes I would be the only woman in a group of 25 men, and I got used to that. Men are very blunt and kind of put it out there. You don't have to guess what they are thinking. (OK, sometimes they aren't thinking . . . ) So I learned, as a survival mechanism, to see the difference between how the male brain works (or not) and the female brain. Or maybe I just like men . . . :-)

Liz Carlyle said...

Oh, and yes, Anna, I came to writing late. I was pushing 40 before I even thought of writing fiction, and then it was just a whim. Before that I spent about twenty years in the chemical and automotive industries, doing non-creative, male-dominated things. I still wake up in the mornings, and wonder how the heck all this happened. It still feels weird, not going to the office.

Michele Ann Young said...

Great post, this is clearly a must read. Thanks to Christine for letting us know the interview was up. I will definitely drop by your signing table at RWA Liz.

Buffie said...

Kirsten -- glad you got a laugh out of that! Sometimes a girl's got to use everything in her arsenal :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Liz! Welcome to the wild side, um, I mean the Bandita Lair. :>

*you can check out any time you like...but you can never...*

Sorry, got distracted by the song. Grins.

Liz, it is so wonderful to have you here with us. We love Bandita Caren and the interview is fab. I haven't been a big historicals fan, but with the advent of the hotter historical, I've become one. It never made sense to me that all these women were untouched, since sex has been happening for a long, long time(Thank goodness!) and I couldn't abide a whiny, virginally wimpy heroine. All that ended as historicals turned up the heat and admitted that, gee, people were people, even then! Heehee.

So, that being said, (or to echo Tawny) bring on the silk cord, if it fits their personality, or make sure the post-chaise is locked before it rocks. Grins.

As Anna C said, I'm going to hie myself to a bookshop and buy the first one in the Never series. I need something to read on the plane! (I'd wait for the Literacy signing, but your line will be too long! Ha!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

BTW, Congrats Elyssa, on the rooster-boy!

Nancy said...

Great interview, Caren and Liz! Welcome to the lair, Liz.

I think there's a trend toward heat pretty much across the market today, as Donna notes. I was a history major and am one of those history geeks for whom historical accuracy really, truly matters, which probably puts me in a minority of readers.

I can accept people going outside the rules for their social strata if the author gives me sufficient motivation (really, it's all about motivation in fiction, isn't it?) and shows me convincingly how they're going to get away with it or how they reasonably think they will. If a book appears to be hot for the sake of hot, in disregard of social convention or where I don't have a strong reason for the couple to transgress the social rules, or it's obvious they can't get away with this, I'm done. That's a wall-banger for me. Though I want to make it clear this has never happened with bandita books or any books I've read by our guests. Liz is a master of believability.

I don't object to kinky as long as it doesn't go into the "eeuw" zone, which, of course, is almost impossible to define. This is no help whatsoever, I realize.

Deb Marlowe, you're clearly up on the bandita vices--uh, hobbies. Those are powerful incentives.

Liz (and any new visitors), the Golden Rooster goes to the first commenter of the day. Given his adventurous and unruly temperament, the winner has to be alert for the next 24 hours.

Elyssa, congratulations! Good luck with him.

HistoricalGoddess said...

Hi Liz. You may not remember me but I used to talk to you on pocket book, and Ive been a forever fan. Anyway, the only way I can relate to you on what is enough without going into erotica is read Lorraine Heaths In Bed with the Devil. The love scenes are great and not too much but a good amount of them and it doesnt leak over to the erotica. I dont think the'd take your tiara either.lol..

MsHellion said...

Congrats, Ely for scoring the rooster! I know he'll love spending time with you! :)

I LOVE LIZ CARLYLE'S BOOKS! (I just had to get that off my chest.) And there is no such thing as too hot, and I'm running right out to get the Rake book...OMG. He sounds EXACTLY as I love my men: mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

PJ said...

Wow, I'm back just in time to welcome the fabulous Liz Carlyle to the lair! I love your books and can't wait to get my hands on your latest. How do you celebrate the release of a new book?

Sex and light bondage are fine in my historicals as long as it makes sense for the characters and isn't just thrown in for the sake of adding sex.

Liz, the hero you're writing sounds fascinating and Caren, I don't care if that picture doesn't look historical. I've just met the star of my next round of fantasy dreams. (grin)

PJ said...

Ely, congrats on nabbing the GR!

terrio said...

Goodness, I'll never catch up. So I'll just answer the question like a good little Bandita Buddy. I say the hotter the better within reason. Nice paradoxical answer, huh? A friend of mine has her first three historicals coming out next year and in one, there is light bondage. So light, I'm not even sure you'd call it that. But I paced my house drinking very cold water after reading it. Seriously. *fans self*

I don't like closed door stuff, but that's totally personal preference. I understand that's not everyone's cup of tea.

Oh, and I'm almost positive you are not capable of writing a wallbanger!

Virginia said...

I think if the book is well written it doesn't much matter how the sex plays out.

Claudia Dain said...

Liz, isn't this the nicest place to hang out? Other than your kitchen, I mean.

I think you hit just the right note with your sensuality because it fits the characters and the density of layers you've given them. You make it seem very real and very logical.

Don't worry! Just write it as it comes to you. But write it faster, 'k? The world is waiting.

No pressure.

terrio said...

Forgot to say congrats on the Chook, Ely. He's probably relieved to get to someplace that doesn't have kids or pets. LOL!

flchen1 said...

Liz, thanks for visiting! I don't think light bondage out of place in a historical, but it really depends on the characters and story :) So, uh, bring it on! ;)

Congrats on the GR, Elyssa!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Liz. I love your books. I think that historical novels can have smoking hot sex scenes and be great reads.

Keira Soleore said...

Ely, w00t! on the GR.

Liz, what a great pleasure it is to read your interview. Great job, Caren. Happy Release Day, Liz.

A Rothwell Taming? (waving my credit card) I'm buying tix!!

Your next hero sounds like a Johnny-Depp-in-Chocolat-kind of a hero. Yum!

I definitely hope to stop by your table in SF, Liz. I own many Carlyle books, but none autographed yet. So your name is definitely on my list.

Liz Carlyle said...

Celebrate???? Today I'm celebrating my book release by working like a dog on the next one. Hey, I could be out having fun tonight with Bandita Caren and Crew, but nooooo. I am too far behind to play. Boo hoo.

Jennifer Y. said...

Welcome Liz! Wonderful interview!

As for sex in historicals...I am probably not going to be very helpful...I read everything from the very sweet romances where nothing more than a hug or kiss occurs to the erotic romances where just about anything goes. So honestly, I have no preference when it comes to sex in historicals. I just want it to fit the story and the characters...does that make sense?

Susan Seyfarth said...

Welcome, Liz! And what a great, thought-provoking question! I think we all know that the historical crowd can be a little...what's the word?...stringent when it comes to historical accuracy. And whether or not they'd accept their virginal heroines engaging in a little light bondage is definitely an interesting question.

As for me, I'm not a rules maven. I didn't mind when Eloisa James put her hero in pajamas (rather than the historically accurate night gown) & I wouldn't mind seeing my hero/heroine go outside the boundaries a little in the bedroom. In fact, one of my very favorite historicals of all time was Laura Kinsale's Shadow Heart. (Was that the title? I think it was.) The one where the hero is the submissive & the heroine the dominant, dishing out a little pain & punishment. I didn't think I'd like it. I was prepared to hate it.

I loved it. Because it was true to both characters, necessary to them both. They were both wounded in their own ways &this fit.

So I say go where your characters need you to go. I'll buy it. :-)

Thanks, Caren, for bringing us such a wonderful guest!

Cassondra said...

Hello Liz, and Warmest Welcome to the Bandit lair!

We've been so excited since we learned that you'd agreed to visit with us, and I hope you won't be overwhelmed if we mob you in San Francisco. We're big girls and you can just say "back off!" if you need to do so--or maybe Aunty Cindy will loan you her riding crop or Susan will loan you her bullwhip for self defense purposes, of course.

Lessee...bondage....

I guess it has to be defined for me--"light bondage"....being tied, willingly, to the bed? Being tortured with a feather? What? That's the thing...like Nancy, it's an indefinable line.

Being cut so you bleed? Uh...NO. Bruises and whelts from beatings? Uh...NO. Physically painful sex--probably not.

I don't like mixing sex and pain because I guess I've seen so many instances (in real life in the big bad world)where the two become confused and I REALLY don't like that confusion. It's a sickness sometimes and anything that smacks of that is a turn off.

But that's not usually what I find in a well-written book (I don't read the ones that include that).

Bondage....It DOES come down to the characters and who they are and what they like and want and need. And they have to be matched. Now I don't enjoy erotica particularly, unless it's very light--and don't like the heavy bondage and such that gets a lot of sales these days. I don't guess I ever will. One character using another--nope. It's just not who I am. I think there needs to be a certain amount of intimacy and tenderness in the relationship or I don't enjoy reading it, and if it's gratuitous, those emotions are not there. The caring is not there. BUT intimacy and tenderness--that CAN be there up against the wall you know? Why not?

Hmmm. That's it I think--now that I've talked myself through it. If the characters care about one another, I think that's the key to "anything goes" because that emotion bridges all the gaps in what is okay and what is not. It's the motivation for the action and reaction(I must believe it) and the intimacy with which sex is approached.

Okay that just dumped a whole nuther bucketload of mud into the puddle...*sigh*.

I think if we could define it, we could all do it and then we'd...well...we'd be as awesome as Liz Carlyle!

Louisa Cornell said...

Coup de Coop?? Great one! Congrats, Ely! Keep an eye on him. He's a wily one. Better make that TWO eyes!!


I think the thing about bondage is if it is depicted as what it should be - a matter of trust. You can talk about the hero/heroine trusting each other all day, but a really well written sex scene SHOWS it beautifully.

So, how do you go about writing a scene like that, Liz? Is it something your write in one fell swoop or is it something you plot out and rewrite and rewrite. I have my own process, I am just curious as to yours because frankly your love scenes are so organic and SMOKIN'!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, anyone wanting to fill time while waiting for Liz to sign a book, just look two doors up and collect a Caramello Koala. She says, batting eyelashes in winsome, innocent way! Sometimes a girl is glad she went to 'C'. Snork! Hey, Liz, do you want a Caramello Koala?

Thanks for those great answers to my questions!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, PJ! Welcome back! We missed you!

Liz, I find your writing journey fascinating. What made you write historicals when you came to doing fiction? Was that your preferred reading? I was one of those weird kids who wanted to be a writer after someone read her Cinderella at age two. The late arrivals are intriguing to me.

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, Shadowheart was the LK I was talking about. Wasn't it fab? And soooo emotional. But I also think she motivated that D&S stuff really well. It didn't come out of the blue just to titillate the palate of a jaded reader. Mind you, I'd line up to buy the LK Phone Book! I wish she was still writing.

Liz Carlyle said...

Thanks, ladies, for all the responses to my question! I'm in the camp of "anything goes so long as no one gets hurt." LOL. Now, if you want to get hurt . . . sorry, that's a book I probably won't read. Must say, though, I probably will read that Kinsale one of these days. I read the prequel eons ago and loved it.

Liz Carlyle said...

A Caramello Koala, huh? It sounds fattening, so yeah, put me on the list!

I don't know how I write love scenes. I don't know how I write anything, really, and if I stop to think about it, I'm afraid I'll over-analyze it and fry my brain. (Yep, I'm a pantster.)

As to always wanting to be a writer, I always loved to write, but was bent more in the traditional journalism direction. (That's my degree.) Fiction never crossed my mind until late in life.

Thanks, ladies, for the wonderfully thought provoking questions!

Helen said...

Anna I hope you are taking a lot of Caramelo Koalas with you because once they taste them they are going to want more !!

Liz
I can't wait to get your books in my hands so as I can read them I can't believe that I haven't as yet they are just the type of books I love.

Have Fun
Helen

Santa said...

I am such a big fan of yours and this latest series ROCKS! I can't wait for Never Romance A Rake!! I hope to stop by your table and say hello this year at National!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I have so many CKs and Tim Tams in my bag that I'm sure customs is going to think I'm a chocolate smuggler!

Christine Wells said...

AnnaC, interesting you talk about the motivation for D&S in Shadowheart, because for me, the difference in historicals is that the activity can be 'real' in the sense of not a game in the characters' minds and therefore has more of an edge for the reader. Maybe as historicals became a bit more polite about tying women up for real people turned to shapeshifters and paranormal for that added edge of 'real' danger. Do you get what I'm saying? Not sure I'm explaining very well.

In CTC for example, Kylemore wasn't playing games, he was in earnest. He took Soraya to his hideaway against her will. If he'd been playing games, we'd all know she could call a halt whenever she liked and you lose that edge. I think it's an interesting area of grey that historical and paranormal writers can play in that perhaps contemporary writers can't.

Christine Wells said...

Yes, Fo, it's like that, isn't it? I've got Tim Tams and two big boxes of Cadbury's Favourites, so maybe we'll be thrown into a cell together! Hey, at least we'll have something to eat;)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Christine, EXACTLY! I agree 100% with you about the edge you can apply to the historicals because to the characters in that time period it was real and not a game with safe words, etc.

Anna Campbell said...

Lucia Macro always says the rise in paranormals directly parallels the entry of political correctness into historicals - so you've got big guns who agree with you, CW!

Pat Cochran said...

WOW! I've just finished reading all the comments: thought I'd never finish! Most intriguing discussion!
This reader responds: for me, there
should be affection for any kind of intimacy to "work." How extensive
or intensive the intimacy? It is dependent upon the persons and
their situation.

Thank you, Ms. Liz and Bandita Caren for the great interview!

Pat Cochran

Caren Crane said...

Liz, stay FAR AWAY from the Caramelo Koalas. They are addictive! And because she's a pusher, darling Anna C. sent me some and got me hooked. Oy! The other big sin here are Tim Tams. I don't know why all the evil candy comes from Australia, but it seems to.

The third big vice around here is Nutella. Oh, did I say that out loud? Because Keira is MAD for Nutella!

SF is going to be so much fun and not only because of the sinful snacks. Speaking of which, I must dart off to see my personal trainer, Josh. Or maybe Justin. They are both about 12 and have little boy names. And they're evil. Wait until you see me limping around the conference...

Caren Crane said...

Santa, please plan a MOB for Liz at the autographing, as well as the Banditas who are signing. More is better! *g*

Beth said...

Liz, welcome to the Lair! We're all so thrilled Caren forced...er...coerced you into a visit *g*

I'm in the camp of "anything goes so long as no one gets hurt." LOL.

I'm in the same camp! As long as it's consensual and enjoyable for those characters, I say: Go for it :-)

Wonderful interview and congrats on your newest release! Never Romance A Rake sounds fabulous *g*

Liz Carlyle said...

Ladies, it has been such a pleasure visiting with you today, and an honor to be a Temporary Bandita! Alas, it is nearing eight o'clock, which Bandita Caren can attest is my bedtime. :-) I will be back tomorrow to peruse. Again, I can't thank you enough for the warm welcome today.

Christine Wells said...

Liz we've loved having you here. Thank you for a fascinating discussion! And thanks again to Caren for headlocking--I mean--arm-twisting you into it. See you at National!

Jennifer Y. said...

Hmmm...Caramelo Koalas? I am almost afraid to ask what that is...but judging by comments it is good. LOL

Christine Wells said...

Suz, my idea exactly. Well, as Fo points out, Lucia Macro had the idea first.LOL

But isn't it the case that we like a bit of danger with our romance? Romantic suspense, romantic adventure, gothics, paranormal--when there's no safety net, the romance is just that much more exciting. Of course, we don't want that kind of stuff in real life, most of us. But in a novel, it's a wonderful vicarious thrill.

limecello said...

Hi Liz, thanks for visiting with us today! I absolutely love your books.
Hmm... bondage in a historical - well, it depends on the characters and if it fits. I feel like a lot of books I've been reading recently have extra kink/BDSM/et al for... no reason other than to be "edgy" - it adds nothing to the novel - much like the gratuitous cleavage shot in movies/tv shows.
Regardless of what happens between the characters, personally for me it just has to work. There should be a reason for it/a point - of course with historicals it makes bondage etc possibly a bit harder considering how taboo sex was - but, I'm sure there were people who had healthy and happy sex lives, and your characters can be a part of that group :)

Anna Campbell said...

Liz, thanks for visiting us today. It's been a blast!

Jennifer, CKs are truly evil. As Caren says, all the really BWAHAHAHAHAHA chocolate comes from Oz.

PJ said...

Liz, thanks so much for visiting with us today.

Anna C, thanks for the welcome back! Missed you too!

Joan said...

Historical + light bondage = ROME! I mean there are chains involved, Ha!

And probably a LOT that runs the range of shall we say experiences?

Best I can tell the Greeks invented a lot of "stuff"

Anyway, sorry I missed your day in the lair, Liz! Your books sound fabulous and hope to meet you in SF!

(Only ONE more work shift, Suz!)

catslady said...

I'm late but I would have to say to go on the side of caution - I'd rather imagine certain parts than get overloaded with too much. of course the hard part is figuring out what that is but I think you know your characters best :)

Caren Crane said...

Joan, I am SO not surprised to find your boys may have dabbled in a bit of...er...light bondage, let's say. Rome. They had to keep things interesting, I suppose. All that conquering countries and taking slaves got old after a while. *g*

Never fear about missing Liz. She'll be in SF and has promised - nay, sworn! - she will come hang out in the bar and stuff. Claudia, Deb, Sabrina and I plan to FORCE her. Ha!

Caren Crane said...

Liz, darling, thank you for visiting today. I figured after 8:00 pm you would be in bed. (She really does go to bed insanely early, y'all.)

Thank you for hanging out with us and plan to be MOBBED at the conference. Maybe someone will bring you a Caramelo Koala!

Caren Crane said...

Jennifer Y, just don't even try a CK. They are Cadbury chocolate on the outside and caramel gooey goodness on the inside, all in the shape of an adorable koala. You can't say no to them!

Also, when you see the size of my backside, you will know why I am warning you to stay FAR AWAY from Australians bearing chocolates. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Keira, please don't feel alone in having no signed Liz Carlyle books. I see her every few weeks. Do I have any signed books? NO! You know what she said when I mentioned this recently? "You know where I live. Bring them on by."

The sad thing is, she's right. I'm just never thinking about dragging a pile of books along with me to dinner. And then she would just think of increasingly evil things to write in them. I'll have to pace the signings. *g*

Caren Crane said...

Elyssa, I fully expect a REPORT on the GR's activities in the Big City. Did he buy a Metro card and zip uptown and downtown all day? I'll bet he hit Nintendo World, didn't he?

Jill James said...

Kink has been alive and well all through the ages. If it fits the characters personalities, I love it.

Sue said...

Liz,
I am so excited to be able to read Keiran's story at last. I love your heroes. Now if I could only convince contest judges that heroes are allowed be like yours, and Anna Campbell's of course, sexy, troubled, dark, and don't need to be perfect from page one. And yes, puch the boundaries a bit more if oyu want to. Please keep writing your amazing heroes though because they stay with me forever and I recommend them to everyone. When are you coming to OZ? We want you, don't we co-aussie ladies?
Sue

M. said...

Ms. Carlyle,
One of the best benefits of surfing blogland is learning of new-to-me authors, so I'm delighted the Banditas have given me the chance to get more of a background picture of your work. Personally, I adore fish out of water stories and characters of different backgrounds are a huge plus for me. So if both these themes define your books I will certainly look out for them! In terms of the love scenes- I think I may be the odd reader out in that I tend to skim or even skip them to find out what happens next. So upping the ante there, so to speak, wouldn't make a book more attractive to me personally...

Santa said...

I'll bring the Nutella to SF. Does anyone know where we can get our hands on a bastone or a ciabatta. Nutella nothing without some nice crusty bread.

Naturally I'll trade for some Tim Tams and those Caramelo treats - cultural exchange and all that!

Christine Wells said...

Santa, sounds like a plan! Have you ever had Nutella spread over a giant choc chip cookie? I haven't for over a decade but it was goooood!

Madame, who is talking about food so she doesn't eat any. The Tim Tams in my suitcase are calling...

Liz Carlyle said...

Oh, puleeeze! Bandita Caren would have you all believe I do not bow down to her as the rest of the world does. It is NOT true, I tell you.

Yes, everyone who will be in SF, please come by and see me. Wear your bandita mask, tho, so I will know you are a part of the posse.

Again, many thanks for giving me -- and the wicked Lord Rothewell -- such a warm welcome. Please keep asking any questions you might have, or shoot me an email at liz@lizcarlyle.com.

Caffey said...

Hi Liz!!! Oh was a great post! I think it goes with my mood of what I'll pick up. I love them from sweet regencies to sizzling erotic historical romances. So for me, all of them are great reads, and which I read, depends on what I want to read for that day! And I have read everything in between.

I so can't wait for the new release! I haven't been out in a while so I haven't seen it. Lucky to you who've gotten it! Enjoy.
Thanks for the great reads Liz!!

jennybrat said...

I love sizzling hot historicals so I welcome sex play and light bondage as long as it develops the characters and story. Spanking is a bit too kinky for me.