Tuesday, December 01, 2009

In time for Christmas

It is always exciting when a novel comes out in a new format and many Loveday fans enjoy the audio version. Good news for them. The audio version of THE LOVEDAY CONSPIRACY is out today. It is published by Isis Soundings and would make a great Christmas present for anyone who prefers to listen to stories. If purchased through the Isis Soundings website it is approximately half the price of Amazon. 12 Cassettes boxed set £21.99. CD set £31.99. MP3 CD £31.99. Other titles in the series are also available.
I love the cover presented by Isis.

It is always a thrill hearing from Loveday readers either through email on my Kate Tremayne website or through The Loveday Books blog. These are a few of the questions that readers have asked about the series and my writing. I hope you find them interesting.

Q. For your Loveday characters, do you draw on the nature of your friends or your family?
A. That could be a good way of losing family and friends. But taking the question seriously there must be a subconscious element in my work when this occurs. I think most writers have an in built radar that has the ability to see two sides of a conflict between personalities. We probably also have an extra sense that delves into the psychological makeup of a character, so we know how they would react in a given set of circumstances. Also who of us have not judged a celebrity or person in a news story for their behaviour and how it affected others. This is information we gather all the time and it must leak back into our consciousness when developing character traits.

Q. Do you agonize before "killing off" a character?
A. This is never an easy decision especially when it is a member of the family. If I cannot do it in a way that has me reaching for the tissue box then I feel I have failed them. Unfortunately for the series to progress it is sometimes necessary to say goodbye too much loved friends. This enables new conflicts to be introduced and the drama within the family does not stagnate and they become bound by old rivalries. I have filled bin liners full of soggy tissues. Even with old adversaries, although there is a sense of satisfaction in bringing an enemy to justice, I have to decided what is dramatic and right for the series which will keep the story unpredictable and exciting. New protagonists bring in new emotion and drama and I hope the readers look forward to more adventures with Tristan.

Q. Within any given novel, do you know everything that is going to happen to your Loveday characters? Have there been surprises?
A. There are times when I despair of some unexpected escapades a Loveday has become involved in and have to find a way of retrieving them from it. Yet every time this has happened, I forget the sleepless nights, the extra research, and anxious days of resolving some fresh crisis, when I realise how much this event has improved the novel. The most recent of these incidents is in The Loveday Conspiracy when Adam shoots a man and saves Tristan’s life. Adam simply took over the scene. I was aghast. Not only did this make Adam a cold-bloodied murderer but he had saved the life of the cousin he hated as he blamed Tristan for St John’s death. My immediate reaction was to rewrite the scene. Yet knowing Adam so well this was how he would have instinctively reacted to the situation that presented itself. Whatever the rivalry and conflict within the family in times of danger loyalty binds them together.

Q.Your characters have such interesting names. How do you come up with them?
A. A character never comes alive for me until I have the right name. For Adam I wanted something very Alpha male. St John seemed more enigmatic. A name for a man of position who was a victim of the desolutory nature of the men of his times. When I heard the name Japhet I knew he would be the blacksheep of the family and a lovable rogue. It fitted him so well. In contrast his brother was always Pious Peter with his own demons to fight. Edward was a no nonsense name that felt right for their father. Meriel came to me as soon as she was introduced on the page and was exotic for an inn-keeper’s daughter but right for her fortune-huntress scheming. Senara needed to have an earthy ring to it because of her pagan ways. Tamasine was an unexpected arrival in the family and I wanted a name that showed her fighting, unconventional spirit. Recently when it was time to introduce a ne’er-do-well cousin who had clawed his way up from the gutter with a dark past and every reason to hate his family, Tristan sounded intriguing for a guttersnipe who vowed to become lord of the manor. He is the most complex character and I still enjoying exploring deeper aspects of his character.

Q. How much research do you do for each Loveday book?
A. I read everything I can about the Georgian period and apart from rereading several of these to check certain facts usually add another 6-8 new ones for each novel that are relevant to the new twists of the plot.

Q. Are you a disciplined writer?
A. To be published you have to be disciplined it is your work, but when the muse refuses to strike its OK to take some time out. Then I usually read or watch a film and sometimes find that by doing this an answer is given to me.

Q.Are there days when you DO NOT feel like writing? If so, how do you get back on track
A. Writing is a passion if not an obsession with me and no day feels complete if I have not produced some writing. There are however days when the Lovedays do not co-operate which often means I am tackling a scene or conflict from the wrong angle.

Q. Has a Loveday plot or character ever come to you through a dream?
A. Yes but not nearly often enough to make writing easy for me. Most of the prologues in the books have been dreams.

I wish everyone all the joys of the festive season.
Kate Tremayne


Jane Jackson said...

A fascinating post, Kate. And one that rang whole peals of bells for me! It's always interesting to hear how other writers work, and their sources of inspiration.
The audiobook cover is very appealing. I have a friend who has to travel a lot and is never without an audiobook on her MP3 or CD player. She's a huge fan of the Loveday series.

kate tremayne said...

Thanks Jane,
Delighted you enjoyed my ramblings. I have been fortunate that most of the Loveday books are in audio format. Waterstones have taken them as ebooks and it will be interesting to see how they do in comparison.
Thank your friend from me for being a fan of the series.