Sunday, November 13, 2011

Carla Kelly - Marian's Christmas Wish - Author Interview

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

Author Interview

1. Who is your favorite character?
One's favorite characters are generally the protagonists of a story, else why bother to write it? In Marian's Christmas Wish, it would be Marian, or course, and also her brother Alistair, who started out as pretty much a self-absorbed care-for-nobody, in Regency language, and turned into something much more. I won't give away the plot to explain further. It's the same with Marian. I based her character on my three daughters, who were in high school and the upper elementary grades when I wrote this book. (It was first published in 1989 by Signet-Penguin/Putnam; Cedar Fort's edition is a reprint.) Young girls sometimes seem immature and silly one day, and quite grown up the next. It's all part of the maturing process, and readers see that in Marian. By the end of the story, she is a woman, but still a woman who will always be delightfully fun.

2. Why is he/she your favorite?
See above.

3. How did you come to create him/her?
Well, I thought and thought and a novel came out! I wanted a cheerful Christmas story, but there is a lot of pain in Marian's Christmas Wish. The Wynswich family is losing their estate, and Marian wants to have one good Christmas, even though everything conspires against her.

4. When did he/she first enter your mind?
It's all part of the writing process. I usually get a plot first, and then people it. Both seem to develop at the same time.

5. Where was he/she given life in the creative process?
Maybe I'm too literal for your blog. She was given life when I put it on the computer screen, or in Marian's case, the typewriter. Remember those?

6. What do like the most about him/her and what do you dislike the most about him/her?
Marian is my protagonist. I liked everything about her that I wrote, but I made sure to include her foibles, which Gilbert Collinwood so clearly sees...and loves her anyway.

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.

This is a Christmas story about a loving, if eccentric, family that has fallen on hard times. In order to keep the mortgaged estate, one of the daughters has to marry into money, and soon. The older daughter also has a secret beau, but he is the poor-as-a-church-mouse vicar. The younger daughter has decided she doesn't want to get married. She thinks she's too smart to fall in love. Enter Gilbert Collinwood, Lord Ingraham, dashing diplomat, who is going to try to change her mind.

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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