Give it up for the Novella!
By Carrie Lofty
First off, thanks to Delighted Reader for letting me stop by! I’m excited to talk about “A Little More Scandal.” At just $.99… Take a chance! This is an adorable intro to my Christies series of Victorian romances.
It’s one of Pocket’s first original digital releases. You can read more about those fabulous new originals here, including an extended excerpt of “A Little More Scandal.”
But there. Aside from the blurb, that’s my sales pitch.
I wanted to talk about what I found really interesting about writing my first novella. The first challenge was to fit it into a really tight series. I have four Christies siblings, and thus four planned novels. Where was a novella going to come from? In the end, the choice was really obvious. The siblings are set on challenges that span the globe because of their father. Who was he? What made him make such a choice for them? And after a tumultuous childhood and a rapacious climb up the social ladder, what finally gave him peace.
(Hint: it’s true love.)
Structurally, however, there are so many differences between a novella (I think “A Little More Scandal” wound up right around 90 pages) and a novel. The first is the level of conflict. External conflict—the events and people outside of the hero and heroine that keep them apart—is particularly curtailed. There’s just not enough room to include high-stakes espionage, a judgmental mother-in-law bent on revenge, and a horse farm about to go bankrupt. (Wouldn’t that be a book??)
So…streamlined. Man. Woman. Love. Granted, both William and Catrin have loads of personal problems. That’s a natural in romance. What I learned is that one of the characters needs to be less problematic than the other. Instead of both of them thinking they’re unworthy or some such, only one of them does. The other must remain a little more practical—still complicated, of course, but slightly calmer.
In this case, Catrin is the calmer influence. A wartime nurse in the Crimea, the sole survivor of a shipwreck, and the ton’s newest curiosity, you’d think she would be a bundle of neuroses. Sure, she has her issues, and they emerge by the end of the story. But she’s also remarkably practical and straightforward. Coy is not in her vocabulary. That made her an easier character, with regard to conflict. She could tell William exactly where to shove it.
Wait. That didn’t come out right.
Or maybe it did.
William is the trickier of the two. He becomes the lynchpin of the Christie family, but how? Fathering four children by three different women…the man has history. And issues. And wide shoulders. And a sexy Scottish accent…
I keep getting distracted.
Because, see, a novella still has to leave room enough for tasty, sexy fun. William and Catrin have lots. Why shouldn’t they? Life is short. Love is strong. And they have a sturdy mahogany desk…
Next up for Carrie:
STARLIGHT is the second full-length romance in the Christies series, set in Victorian Glasgow. It was just given 4 ½ stars and chosen as a Top Pick from RT BookReviews. It’ll be released in paperback and digitally on June 26 from Pocket.
HIS VERY OWN GIRL is a historical romance set in WWII England. Seriously. Not women’s fiction. Not literary fiction. A full-on honest to goodness historical romance. Another Pocket Star digital original, it’ll be available September 4.
Carrie on the internet:
I’d like to give away a copy of FLAWLESS, the first of the Christies series from Pocket. I’ll ship anywhere. Anyone who already has FLAWLESS can win any choice from my back catalog. To enter, leave a comment below. Giveaway ends June 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM ET.
A passion this seductive is more precious than diamonds…
Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies’ man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for stepsiblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire…and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives.
Lady Vivienne Bancroft fled England for New York, hoping to shed the confines of her arranged marriage to unrepentant rogue Miles Durham, Viscount Bancroft—though she never forgot the fiery desire he unleashed with his slightest touch. And when the gambling man arrives on her doorstep for a little sensual revenge for her desertion, he is met with Vivienne’s dilemma: She must earn her father’s inheritance by profitably running a diamond business worth millions in colonial South Africa.
Swept together in an exotic undertaking filled with heated passion and hungry temptation, will Vivienne and Miles discover that the marriage vows they once made are the greatest snare—or the most treasured reward?
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