I’m so very happy to introduce my friend Charlotte Featherstone!

March 6, 2009 | Karin's Blog | 22 comments

 

 

Keeping it Real!

 

 

I’m thrilled to be here, blogging at Karin’s place. I’m a big fan girl. Actually, I’m a rabid fan of the Blood Swords! Like frothing at the mouth rabid, ya know! So, when she offered me the chance to talk about my erotic historical Addicted, I squeed and squealed and took her up on a great opportunity.

 

So, now I have to blog. About what? I dunno. I’m actually sitting here, in a very quaint coffee shop, sipping away at a chai latte, wondering how I’m going to discuss with you my opium addicted hero and not send you running the other way! Lol!

 

I was thinking that I could recite some reviews. You know, the typical stuff, but that’s so impersonal and blah, blah, blah. Then I thought about something funny and then realized I’m not funny. I’m only funny when I least mean to be. So, I scraped that idea. Now, I’m thinking back to last night (it’s Thurs. am, a day ahead of the blog date) and that moment on the couch when my husband (get your mind out of the gutter!) said as I was droning on and on about Nathan’s painfully over the top attire (Amerian Idol) that at least he was ‘true to himself’.

 

That comment stopped me cold. I hate a man who rationalizes when I’m on a rant. Grrrr. However, as I was watching Nathan’s performance being reviewed I realized that while he’s a Drama King and he makes me feel all weird and embarrassed for him(despite the fact he can sing) I have to agree with hubby. He is true to himself. Something that isn’t always easy to do in our lives considering the critical world we live in.

 

So, now that I’m thinking ‘to thy own self be true’, I’m thinking of Karin’s Blood Sword series. What drew me to the books, beside the fact they’re hot knights wielding swords, and Karin’s sexy prose, was the fact that, these guys are just guys. They’re the product of their time which was dark and brutal. She makes no excuses for their behavior, thoughts or feelings. They just are. They’re her heroes and she writes them how they are, warts and all. And I so get that. As an author I admire the hell out of staying true to your characters when you could just play it safe. As a reader, I eat those books up because they make me feel. They make they think.

 

I did this with Addicted. I could have taken the easy road, make Lindsay an opium dabbler, not a full blown addict, but then I wouldn’t be true to his character. Lindsay is a Viscount in Victorian England. He’s a good man with a good heart and lots of honor. But sometimes he’s self righteous, he’s narrow minded, everyone is wrong and he’s right. He’s well, human and he’s slipped into a vice that is destroying his life. There were lots of things I could have changed about him, and his heroine as well, except that I felt I was cheating not only myself, but the readers from reading about two very human people who make some bad choices, and must learn to live with the consequences. Who of us haven’t made mistakes? Or said something and then immediately thought, ‘oh, shit! Wrong thing to say!” We’re human. It happens. And in Addicted, both protagonists are very human, foibles and all!

 

Reviewers have been calling Addicted ‘heart wrenching’, ‘honest and raw’; ‘hauntingly beautiful’, ‘darkly sensual’. I’m very proud of those things, but what I’m most proud of is that I took the more difficult path by writing a book that some people may hate, or not understand. I wrote about a hero with a true addiction and his journey. I wrote about a couple in love who are not perfect, who do make bad choices, but who must learn to forgive and move along if they’re to have their happily ever after. Taking the path was scary, especially for a large press debut. I don’t mind saying that I was sacred as hell about what readers were going to think about Lindsay and his opium binges (not to mention the love scenes between him and his heroine that take place in his opium den when he’s under the influence) but in the end, I feel proud and satisfied as an author that I stayed true to my character and the way he is. Just as Nathan from Idol should be proud that he came out as himself, not something deemed ‘more commercial’.

 

What do you think of reading books where the characters are human and flawed? Does it add a layer of realism and connection for you, or does it detract from the escapism found in a romance novel?

 

I’m giving away a copy of Addicted, so just leave a comment and I’ll pick a random winner (Normally random means my 9y/o daughter draws a name from a Dale Earnhardt Jr. hat! Lol! Good luck and thanks to the ultra cool Karin for letting me pimp my book!)

 

Thanks for stopping by, Charlotte!  And I just want to add, I have begun ADDICTED, and I’m ADDICTED! Charlotte, I love your voice!  Oh, and another little snippet, Charlotte also writes very sexy contemps as Sophie Renwick. I had the pleasure to read HOT IN HERE, which releases this June.  Hot, sexy and scrumptious!

 

 

PS. You can also visit Charlotte at Lust in Time, one of my fave blog stops!

 

Ciao!

 

Karin*

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22 Comments

  1. Margaret

    Wow, Charlotte!
    You must have written one hell of a book!
    I just keep thinking of how many rejections you must have gotten because the hero was unheroic or unsympathetic or the subject was too controversial.
    I usually like escapism factor, but recently I’ve discovered the same old, same old has become very, very boring.
    Good Luck!
    –And I LOVE Karin’s Blood Swords! Just ask her. I’ve been pestering her to write about Thorin (my fantasy main squeeze).

  2. B.E. Sanderson

    Hi Charlotte. Great to see you and read about a little bit of your journey.

    I just wanted to say congratulations for writing what you wanted to write and staying true to the character as well as yourself. I have a heroine who’s been called unsympathetic (and the book was rejected because of it) but I just can’t change her. She is who she is, and even if the book never publishes, I’m happy with her.

    You gave me hope this morning. Thanks. =o)

  3. Edie

    I love books with flawed characters! And taking them the extra step, going deeper than most of us dare to do. Me included! I’m thinking I should change that now. I really want to read Addicted and see how you did this.

  4. Lee

    I write my heroes very flawed. They seem more human, and it gives them the goal, (or the story) of growth, of over coming what ever maybe ailing them. Perfect heroes, well are perfect, and life isn’t. I get very board, very fast with the perfect hero, with no vices. Mine either phyiscally are scared, which makes them a bit stand offish, or have an addiction or problem or something, that just fleshes them out to real. The problem this has created for me, is I have agents tell me I need to tone it down, its too realistic, too raw. I’ve stayed true to my voice, and for that reason haven’t found a agent who wants raw and realistic. So I wait and write, stubbornly refusing to change.

  5. aj chase

    What a lovely cover. Really.

  6. Ames

    Charlotte…I actually PREFER real, flawed characters! That’s why one of my fave shows is Saving Grace 😀

  7. Charlotte Featherstone

    Hey guys, sorry to be jumping in so late, just got up from the graveyard shift. I’m sipping my first cuppa Joe (forgive the typos and the generalized response) Once I get my fix we’ll be in business! lolo!

    Thanks to everyone who’s jumping in and responding. I also like to learn about people’s journey’s and likes and dislikes. To be honest the book went to acquistions at three other houses but were subsequently turned down~too raw, too flawed etc…
    I just totally lucked out with my editor at Spice who was just wonderful and totally got him! She actually wanted the the opium front and center and that was so great. So everyone waiting to write that book, know that’s all in finding the right type of editor who likes that stuff. They’re out there, just hard to find!

    All good answers everyone! Thanks for dropping by! And thanks Karin for you kind words about Addicted and Hot In Here!!!!

    Now Margaret, I’m totally going to brag since Karin has written my main man~ Stefan!!!!! I cannot wait to sink my teeth into that hottie!

  8. Kendra

    Gorgeous, gorgeous cover! Your book sounds fantastic. Perfect heroes are dull. I can agree with your husband’s comment about headband boy, but the kid still drove me crazy.

    Please tell me your story has a HEA?

  9. Charlotte Featherstone

    totally has a happily ever after, and it’s very romancey. I know the Spice line sometimes isn’t, but this one really is a romance

  10. HollyD

    Welcome, Charlotte!

    Your book sounds wonderful. I’m adding it to my list. I feel if the characters in a book or movie are perfect, then they have no, well, character.

    Thanks for the blog.

  11. Kristina Cook

    Count me in as one of those who likes real/flawed/imperfect characters in my fiction! There’s nothing more boring than those ‘perfect’ people running around romancelandia–or the ones who have those ‘fake’ flaws (kinda like someone at a job interview, when questioned about their faults, who answer “I work too hard”). What really bothers me about characters like that is, where’s the character growth? You’ve left no room for it if your character is perfect from chapter one.

    One of my favorite flawed characters *ever* was Sugar Beth Carey from Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Ain’t She Sweet. She had done some really bad stuff in the past–she wasn’t proud of it, but she owned up to it, and, well, she was who she was, flaws and all.

  12. Karin Tabke

    Charlotte I hear you about being true to ourselves, and the whole Nathan thing, but damn, could he have at least lost the Olivia Newton John headbands??? Just one, maybe???

  13. Kristina Cook

    I swear, sometimes I think I’m the only person on the planet not watching American Idol! I used to watch–until Chris Daughtry was voted off! After that, I started a boycott, and have held to it, LOL! The American voting public just frustrates me TOO much.

  14. Charlotte Featherstone

    Oh, he totally could have dropped the headbands, and the weird clothes and gestures, but I needed, content, ya know! lol!

    I boycotted AI too after Daughtry got voted off, but the kidlet is having this AI fixation this year, so we’re making it family time. Although, we seem to be doing a lot of aruging over our favs!

  15. Karin Tabke

    hey, i was ready to boycott when that kid sanjaya kept making it!

    on the nathaniel thing, i *am* glad he stayed true to himself. headbands and all. i mean he wouldn’t have been nathaniel if he hadn’t.

    and thank god, tatiana coulnd’t figure out if she did or didn’t have an accent. gah!

  16. Brandy W

    It is so much easier to relate to a flawed character for me. The become attainable to me. Love the cover by the way.

  17. Charlotte Featherstone

    I’m so glad to hear that everyone is liking those ‘real’ characters! It’s good to know that there’s a home for books like that.

    Karin, Tatiana…OMG, don’t even go there! I couldn’t stand her, she was just so painful to watch. I usually had my pee break during her performances, both singing and otherwise!

  18. Amy S.

    Addicted sounds great!

  19. Karin Tabke

    if she had made it, charlotte, i would have understood why. ratings. i mean they need someone to stir things up. if you think about it, with all of the ‘characters’ cut, the competition seems pretty bland to me. i predict this season is going to be the most boring yet. talent? sure, but sometimes it’s not all about talent, it’s about entertainment.

    i feel like i’m contradicting myself here, but had nathaniel who could sing, and tatiana who could sing, and say, norman gentle who beneath his ridiculousness could sing, we’d be smiling and shaking our heads a lot more than we will now. i’m just sayin’…

  20. Karin Tabke

    Amy, ADDICTED is *really* good!

  21. Karin Tabke

    Charlotte, thank you for hanging out! Everyone else? Go buy ADDICTED. You will not be disappointed! I promise.

  22. Charlotte Featherstone

    Hi all, well, we’ve picked the winner from the hat, and its AMES

    congrats! Please send you snail mail addy to charlotte@charlottefeatherstone.net and I’ll get a copy of Addicted out to you.

    thanks to everyone who came out for my guest blog.

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