Monday, February 2, 2009

SCANDAL by Carolyn Jewel

Microsoft SQL Server Database Administrator by day, historical and paranormal romance novelist by night. So goes the intriguing double of life of Carolyn Jewel, my guest today on the Girlfriend’s Cybercircuit Lit Blog Tour and author of the new book, Scandal, published by Berkley Sensation and available now.

The earl of Banallt is no stranger to scandal. But when he meets Sophie Evans, the young wife of a fellow libertine, even he is shocked by his reaction. This unconventional and intelligent woman proves to be far more than an amusing distraction-- she threatens to drive him to distraction. Unlike the women who usually fall at Banallt's feet, and into his bed, Sophie refuses to be seduced. And soon Banallt desires her more than ever-- and for more than an illicit affair.

Years later, the widowed Sophie is free, and Banallt is determined to win the woman he still loves. Unfortunately, she doesn't believe his declaration of love and chivalrous offer of marriage-- her heart has already been broken by her scoundrel of a husband. And yet, Sophie is tempted to indulge in the torrid affair she's always fantasized about. Caught between her logical mind and her long-denied desire, Sophie must thwart Banallt's seduction-- or risk being consumed by the one man she should avoid at all costs...

An intense, beautiful love story and a most rewarding read.
--Sherry Thomas, bestselling author of Delicious.

Jewel plays readers' emotions like a virtuoso, ensuring they will eagerly follow her characters into dramatic, intensely passionate and gripping love stories that will steal your heart and make you beg for more. She grabs you at the first word and never lets go.
-- Kathe Robin, Romantic Times

Carolyn lives a little over an hour north of me in Northern California’s Sonoma County with her son, border collie, three cats, several chickens and other various critter friends. She took some time from her varied schedule to answer some questions.

How do you approach writing your novel? Do you outline the plot? Start with a character or...?
Typically, I start with characters. I spend a lot of time brainstorming them and how they might interact in a story. Then I do an absolutely bare bones outline. It's probably lying to say it's an outline. There is no point (for me -- many other writers are completely different on this), in spending a lot of time plotting. I have a general notion of what will happen but this changes dramatically as I write and discover my characters. I update my outline to match what's happening in the chapters and often review that for arc and pacing. Eventually I reach a point where I no longer need the outline (at roughly 60% of the way done). I brainstorm in the morning what I intend to write that night. Working much further ahead than that is usually a waste of time, for me.

Who are the top three writers who have influenced your writing style?
Perhaps a better answer for me is to identify three writers who have inspired me. Chinua Achebe for his ability to take a distasteful character and show us his honor. Brilliant. Ever since I read Things Fall Apart, I've been fascinated by characters with a dark side. Mary Balogh for her ability to pack everyday moments with an emotional wallop and J.R. Ward for her ability to make a story HUGE.

What are you reading now?
At this exact moment (mid-January 2009) I am reading books for RWA's RITA award and so cannot reveal those titles. However, other books I am reading include, The Earl and His Butler in Constantinople (non-fiction based on the diary of a butler in Constantinople in the 1600's), Orc by Stan Nicholls. A Mercy by Toni Morrison.

What is your writing schedule like?
5:00 am to 5:45 am: notebooking at the gym. If I am behind, then I also work during my lunch hour. Evenings in between family responsibilities from 4:00 pm to 10:00pm

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Sleep. I should try to come up with a better answer, but I'm often sleep-deprived so that's that true answer. But I adore martial arts movies and love action films in general.

View the book trailer for Scandal HERE and find out more about Carolyn at her Web site, including lots of tips for writers.

Carolyn, best of luck with Scandal!

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