Author Spotlight: K.J. Charles, "A Fashionable Indulgence"

It is such a privilege for me to have been given the opportunity to interview author K.J. Charles in line with the release of a new series published under the Loveswept imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, Society of Gentlemen. The first book, A Fashionable Indulgence, is one of my favorite reads for 2015 and I hope you'll add it to your to-be-read lists!


A Q&A with K.J. Charles

How did you come up with the story and characters for A Fashionable Indulgence?

I wrote a Regency story called The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh for a charity anthology. As part of the background I mentioned that one of the heroes was part of a little clique of well-born gentlemen, and named a couple of them. The idea took hold of me in the most absurd way, and I plotted out a trilogy in an evening, sitting in the garden, just based on a couple of throwaway sentences in a short.

How is the Society of Gentlemen series different from your A Charm of Magpies series? How is it similar?

Charm of Magpies is Victorian-set fantasy, so you have things like trains and the Metropolitan Police, but also magical crime and magical law enforcement. It’s a trilogy about the same couple. Society of Gentlemen is Regency, so set about sixty years earlier (sixty very significant years in social terms), and it’s real-world, with no magic and a heavy concentration on the real historical background. It hangs off a couple of significant political events of the time, whereas the Magpie books aren’t linked to any specific year. Society of Gentlemen also concentrates on a different couple in each book, though the events and characters are extremely closely linked.

What’s similar is, of course, the grotesque oppression faced by men who loved men. Sodomy could see you pilloried or hanged in 1819; after the 1885 Labouchere amendment any sort of ‘gross indecency’ between men could get you two years, possibly with hard labour. So both series deal in different ways with that injustice and its consequences.

Most of your books are historical romances. Would you ever consider creating a modern-day series?

My problem with contemporary can be summed up in two words: mobile phones. They ruin everything when it comes to plotting. “Yeah, hi, we’re alone in a big house in the country with a set of terrifying villains. Can you send in a large heavily-armed team to help? Cool, see you then.” Bah.

Given a chance, would you prefer to live in England during the Victorian or Regency era or in today's modern times?

My obstetrician told me, with what I can only feel was inappropriate cheerfulness, that I’d have died in childbirth in any earlier era. I’m going to stick with now, thanks.

When you have an idea for a new story, what is your writing process like (i.e. how often do you write, do you have a routine you go through before you start the actual writing, etc.)?

I’m freelance, so if I’m not editing I’m writing. I try to get a synopsis on paper before I begin but it usually covers up to about half way and then goes a bit vague. I know the shape but not the detail and I usually have a few end scenes very clear in my mind when I begin. I’m a strong believer that the only way to be a writer is to write, so I don’t do routines or getting in the mood or whatever, I just sit down and type. (It’s surprising how the text you force out that way looks like the stuff that flows easily when you’re in the zone.)

I read your bio on your website. Do you ever have nightmares of your increasingly murderous cat trying to kill you and burying your body in your out-of-control garden? :)

My cat has only ever attacked one human, so I think I’m okay. He waited in ambush under a table till the lodger came home and then sprang for his throat, which was obviously Very Bad Cat, but kind of amazing. If he ever does kill anyone, we’ll find the body by the kitchen door, just like all the other corpses.

What advice would give aspiring writers?

1. Listen to your editor. You don’t necessarily have to agree, but listen.

2. Never respond to a review. Never. No, not even then. Let readers get on with it and write the next book.

~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~ - ~

Thank you to K.J. Charles for generously taking the time to answer my questions and to Lisa Filipe of Tasty Book Tours for facilitating the interview. ♥

Read my five-plus-starred review and my book spotlight for A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles.

Make sure to purchase K.J.'s books at your favorite e-retailers:
Society of Gentlemen (Pre-Order)
A Fashionable Indulgence - book one - Amazon |B&N | Kobo
The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh - short story - Amazon | Kobo
A Seditious Affair - book two - Amazon | B&N | Kobo
A Gentleman's Position - book three - Amazon | B&N | Kobo

A Charm of Magpies
The Smuggler and the Warlord - free read - Love Bytes
The Magpie Lord - book one - Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Interlude with Tattoos - free novella - Smashwords | Kobo
A Case of Possession - book two - Amazon | B&N | Kobo
A Case of Spirits - free novella - Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Flight of Magpies - book three - Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Feast of Stephen - free novella - Smashwords | B&N | Kobo
Jackdaw - linked story - Amazon | B&N | Kobo

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
Butterflies - free novella - B&NKobo
Remnant - free novella (co-written with Jordan L. Hawk) - B&NKobo
The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal - Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Think of England - Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Non-Stop Till Tokyo - Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Another Place in Time - AmazonB&N | Kobo

Charmed & Dangerous (pre-order) - AmazonB&N | Kobo


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review: By a Thread by Lucy Score

Release Blitz: By a Thread by Lucy Score

Review: Underneath the Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste