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Posts Tagged ‘Christa Paige’

Today we have an author interview from my latest work, Beaux Ballrooms and Battles anthology.

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It will be available digitally for $.99 and then after a short period of time sell for the regular price of $4.99

The Trade Paperback version will sell for $12.99

My story in the anthology is entitled: Not a Close Run Thing at All, which of course is a play on the famous misquote attributed to Arthur Wellesley, “a damn close-run thing” which really was “It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

Today we are fortunate to have with us Christa Paige who writes in contemporary, paranormal romance and Regency genres. Though we want to hear of her historical work in the Regency.

  1. 1)What moved you to become an author?

I wrote my first story while I was in middle school. It was awful. It was my first romance and it was based during the civil war with a Scarlett O’Hara caricature, a Tale of Two Cities twist and so many clichés. My next attempt came during the height of the Lord of the Rings movies where I dabbled in fan fiction land and met some amazing writers. From there I stepped back from creating stories and embarked upon beta-reading. Soon, many of those in the fanfic community realized that they could write their own stories and I was asked to critique drafts as they were being readied for submissions. One day a good author friend suggested I write my own story and submit it. With my family supporting me and my friends encouraging me, I did just that. I was quite lucky to be offered a contract on my very first submission. Of course, that just whet my appetite and I was soon writing another story and another.

  1. 2)How did you find out about the Waterloo project?

I believe I was on set with my daughter when I saw the post online. I thought it sounded really cool. Many of the authors who were going to be involved had been in an anthology with me for a Regency-themed Christmas series. I couldn’t commit to the writing though. I didn’t think I would be able to participate but around December I had some free time, so I took advantage of those minutes and wrote One Last Kiss.

  1. 3)Can you tell us some of the things that attracted you to writing a piece on the anniversary of this famous battle

About the only thing I knew regarding Waterloo was that it was France against the allies and Wellington was in charge. So, I thought it would be interesting to learn more. My co-author in the Regency series I write is Vivien Jackson and she dubbed me the ‘Queen of Research,’ because I get lost in the delightful journey of fact-finding and obscure information. Waterloo had amazing amounts of detail, people, places, equipment and I found myself excited to learn as much as I could about the war and those involved with it.

  1. 4)Tell us about your current story in the anthology.

Colin Scoville is a lieutenant colonel under the command of Colonel De Lancey. They are in charge of setting up the militia in their various positions on the battlefield. When the reports came in that the French had won a key position in Ligny, Colin must hie to the battle and attend to his duties.

Beatrice Ainsley is a young lady who has had the misfortune of becoming a ward to her uncle who is an aristocrat. They are in Brussels mainly due to Beatrice’s cousin’s commission in Wellington’s militia. He serves under Colin. Beatrice has always found Colin to be striking and a bit unsettling to her nerves. They have a moment before the war that changes everything between them. During Waterloo they are both hoping for the exact same thing: To be reunited and to never be parted again.

  1. 5)How did the story begin to develop in your mind?

I had a completely different story “written” in my mind. It involved a field marshal who is attached to Wellington and is a go-between rushing hither and yon on the battlefield.

Then, I had another story that took over and that included the heroine overhearing some details of the French attack and her need to share that information.

I scrapped both ideas because I couldn’t find a romantic thread in there that I felt wouldn’t be contrived.

About the same time, many of the authors in the anthology began talking about their stories and how they would be going to the ball. Of course I had to research this ball. And, like usual, I decided I wanted to write something different. “We are not going to the ball,” I told my muse. “We aren’t going to the battle, either,” I added, firmly. No balls, no battles. (Alas, do you see that title? Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles….) I started researching again and came across something I felt would be awesome fun to write: An impromptu cricket match. Apparently, some of the soldiers decided to play cricket at a lovely park in Brussels the day of the Duchess of Richmond’s ball. Well, I like being unique. So, cricket it was. From there, the story unfolded and my characters came to life. I did include the battle in the story because it felt—right.

  1. 6)What did you find most challenging about this story?

Uniforms. Battle maps. War terminology. I write romance novels. I like love stories and cravats and propriety. I researched the battle for days and days. I shared maps with my army veteran husband and had him explain things to me. I watched documentaries and Sharpe’s Waterloo (more for entertainment than actual history). I looked up re-enactments and digital video portrayals. When I finally had a grasp of what went down in that gory battle I still got tripped up on the uniforms. However, I did feel a bit chuffed when I went to the Evening with Jane event this past January and saw a man wearing a green uniform. I said to him, “You’re one of the Prince Regent’s Own, a sharp-shooter from the rifle-brigade.” He was very impressed with me and I was impressed with myself. I had learned a bit about uniforms, at least enough to write the battle scenes I needed in the story.

  1. 7)Tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a SoCal native and I grew up in Orange County. When I am not writing, I teach a college course for a local university. I’m the mom of two teenage girls who attend the school for the arts. Sometimes, I end up on set with my youngest while she films movies and commercials. I usually get to sit there and be quiet while enjoying tasty craft services. Other times, my oldest and I go thrift store hunting so she can upcycle vintage finds. Though I have a physical disability I am a runner. My husband is a runner, too, and he coaches me. I don’t run fast. I can’t do it all the time. But, it has given me such joy at reaching milestones. I like getting medals for my accomplishments even if there is a great deal of pushing myself to the finish line. I get to run with my mom, too, and those moments are ones I will cherish forever. I love beagles and have two little furry companions with me all day long. Yep, they are also a reason for the running. Cute they may be but they are also into everything and need their energy depleted so I can write in peace. I love Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and all things Jane Austen. Oh, and I’m a proud Vampire Diaries Delena shipper, but we can keep that on the down-low!

  1. 8)What is your next work, and beyond that, what do you want to work on.

For Regency era stories, I believe that Vivien and I are planning to write a third story based on the Avery family from our Christmas series. I have been considering a follow-up story to One Last Kiss featuring Beatrice’s cousin, Geoffrey. For my paranormal series, I have two novels in the works and I hope to have those in to my publisher soon. For those who have read this series, the stories are about Gunnar and Sevastian while continuing with the Komar family and the current threats they’ve been facing. I put the Kissin’ Cops series on the backburner for the time being but plan to do a complete reboot on two WIPs come summer. For those who follow that series, one story is about Maxwell the scarred SEB deputy from Star Spangled Kiss.

  1. 9)In the Waterloo Shorty Story, is there an excerpt to share? Your favorite scene, a part of your life that you put into the work and think it came out exceptionally well that you would like to share.

The part I really am proud of I don’t want to share here because I want to keep it as a surprise for the reader. But, I really did enjoy writing the scene before Colin and Geoffrey leave for Waterloo:

Colin didn’t know what to expect when he’d arrived at Lord Geoffrey’s residence. Certainly, he hadn’t imagined Beatrice meeting them in the foyer, dressed in nothing but her nightrail and a woolen robe. For a moment, he forgot himself, forgot the devastating state of affairs dragging him from the ball and into the fray. For that moment, he only could think of the beautiful young woman standing there with emotion sparking in her eyes and a firm resolve to remain brave in the face of such trying conditions.

And when he had touched her, taken her hand in his, a thrill surged low within his belly. She’d held on to his fingers, tightly, as if he alone was her anchor in this violent storm. For the first time in his life, he allowed himself to think of the possibilities of having a woman to return home to. A woman who challenged him, surprised him, and roused the fire of need in his veins. Beatrice Ainsley would be that woman.

In any other time and place where war wasn’t upon them, he’d ask to court her and let the matrons titter and gossip all they like. Yes, Beatrice didn’t have a grand title or a vast inheritance to add to his fortune, but she had something more. Compassion. Her emotions were vivid and obvious, playing on her features with little dissembling. The halo of fiery red hair held an allure like no other and in his darkest fantasies, he imagined sliding his fingers into the riotous mess and sifting through the silken tresses. Now, fantasy would have to suffice. But, he assured himself, if he made it through the skirmishes, the canon fire, the artillery and the Imperial soldiers who’d like nothing more than to stick their blade through his heart, he’d find Beatrice and convince her to let him woo her into his arms forevermore.

“It’s polished, sharpened to regimental specification.” Geoffrey’s tone, devoid of his usual charm, had flattened to a guttural intonation.

Colin turned to his soldier … his friend, and saw the stark fear in his wild stare. Geoffrey held the blade of his bayonet to the muzzle of his rifle, fitting it into position. After a quick inspection, he dismantled the gun, setting it aside.

“It will serve you well in battle,” Colin tried to reassure. He clasped his hands behind his back and added, “If you are prevailed upon to use it.”

Flashes of former battles raced in his thoughts. How he’d managed to survive the death toll in the peninsula always surprised him. The casualties, many from his own regiment, weighed heavily on his mind. He recalled their faces, youthful and exuberant, when they had arrived in Spain eager for a triumphant victory. Within days, the gruesome tableau struck great fright into their bravado. Soon, as the death toll increased, friend and foe dying in the blood-soaked mire, canon fire thundering all around them, Colin relied upon the training each of them had received. Calling his soldiers to muster on his orders prodded them from their terror. They had won their skirmish, taking hold of a prominent fort needed to secure the allies’ position. Colin had received commendations and medals for his conquest. No matter the awards or the promotions he garnered, those extinguished lives scarred his soul. At the present, he faced more losses. He was utterly unprepared. But who could be prepared for such times?

Obviously, good ole Boney. More than prepared, at the very least.

“We must take our leave, Geoffrey.” Colin tucked his thumb into the white sash bisecting his torso lest he be caught fidgeting or other such nervous behavior.

“There, I’m set.” Geoffrey turned the clasp on his portmanteau and slipped on his oiled duster coat. “Bollocks, I do believe it will rain soon.”

Colin blew out a breath; he observed the same of the weather. The air was thick, damp and the clouds rolled in heavy and black. This would only make fighting even harder with the mud sapping energy. Visibility for aiming the artillery would greatly diminish. “Yes, bollocks indeed.” He tried for levity but it fell flat.

Metal against metal hummed when Geoffrey slid his sword into the scabbard and secured it at his belt. He looked the soldier true, with his supplies bound on his back and his weapons at the ready. Once they departed, Colin must stop at his apartments and dress for battle, as well. And then, he’d ride to war.

“My lord, shall we see to your horse?” The butler asked and even his stolid composure had been shaken. The usual timbre of his well-modulated voice quavered with a hint of emotion.

“Aye.” Spurred to action, Geoffrey rattled off instructions for his gelding. His attentions now focused on his duties rather than his fears. Colin hoped his friend remained purposeful and managed to keep his head about him when the bedlam arose.

A tingle at the back of his neck put him on his guard as he felt Beatrice’s return before seeing her arrive. It was a curious distinction, a warmth and a scent of rose petals, or simply he’d developed an awareness of her that drew him to notice her even when unseen. It had been the same this afternoon at the park when he’d sworn there were eyes on him, watching him closely. Intuitively, he had the decided opinion those eyes belonged to none other than Beatrice Ainsley. What pretty, fine, eyes they were. Before he took his leave, he vowed to look into those brown, wide eyes and memorize the beauty within.

  1. 10)Who do you think influenced your writing, this work, and who do you think you write like:

Jane Austen definitely influenced my writing of the Regency era. I fell head over heels for Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Then, I fell even harder for Edmund and Fanny in Mansfield Park. Mary Balogh’s Slightly Series was also a great influence that my writing partner in crime Vivien Jackson introduced me to. We devoured each new release and discussed every little facet until I was doubly excited to write my very own Regency stories.

I would love to say I write like Miss Austen herself but that would be wishful thinking, indeed. Perhaps I write in a mash-up of all the Regency authors that I read way back when I started scribbling Regency romances. There would be Stephanie Laurens and Mary Balogh, Celeste Bradley and Julia Quinn and so many others that I would love to emulate. I think my mom really influenced me to write One Last Kiss, she gave me so much support and happily cheered me on as I got closer to writing those two powerful words: The End.

  1. 11)Who do you read? What are the things that a reader can identify with that you have grounded yourself in.

I have a huge TBR list. My kindle is bursting at the seams. I enjoy Regencies by Carolyn Jewel and Tessa Dare. I like paranormal stories by Mina Carter and Lara Adrian. But, the three books I am currently reading are The Complete Guide on Knitting for Beginners by Kathy Wilston, Lara Adrian’s Merciless and Carolyn Jewel’s Lord Ruin.

I ground myself in my family and my religion. I am a runner in order to keep my body healthy and to keep my mind sane. I like sarcasm and humor. I cherish friendships and love to cook.

  1. 12)When writing, what is your routine?

My life is fairly routine but my writing is not. It comes in fits and starts. It stalls. I fight my condition and unexpected changes in my schedule. I usually write what’s in my head and when there isn’t anything else in there, my writing slows down. I should probably be a whole lot more disciplined.

  1. 13)Do you think of yourself as an artist, or as a craftsman, a blend of both?

I don’t think of myself as either. I feel like I am lucky to tell stories and share them with readers.

14) Where should we look for your work.

My work is available at all online booksellers and at my publishers’ sites.

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Here is my Amazon Author Page

Here is a link to my website: www.christapaige.com

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristaPaige

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