Marian’s Christmas Wish
by Carla Kelly
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 8th 2011
by Cedar Fort, Inc.
Miss Marian Wynswich is an unconventional young lady. She plays chess, reads Greek, and is as educated as any young man. And she is certain falling in love is a ridiculous endeavor and vows never to do such a thing. But everything changes when she receives a Christmas visit from someone unexpected— a young and handsome English lord.
Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the Cedar Fort blog tour for Marian’s Christmas Wish. We have an exclusive author interview with Carla Kelly. Thanks so much for joining us Carla!
Any in the works now? Yep. I’m writing a third book for Harlequin in my current 3-book contract, plus a fun little novel set in Chama Valley, NM in 1725, which I’m hoping to turn into a series. Then in January, I’ll start my Scofield Mine Disaster story.
Tell us a little about the book and your main characters. It’s Devonshire in 1814. The interesting, eccentric Wynswich family is facing ruin and the loss of the family estate, thanks to Dad’s mismanagement. In order to avoid the above, one of the two daughters has to marry well, and marry soon. Ariadne, the older, already is pining over the poor-as-a-church-mouse vicar. Marian, the younger, is a smart young lady who has looked around and decided that she’s too sensible to get married. Ever. Enter Gilbert Collinwood, Lord Ingraham, a marquis with diplomacy on his mind. He meets Marian and wants to change her mind about marriage. He’s hauling around some heavy baggage that puts the issue in serious doubt. Two people in the novel, Marian and her brother Alistair, have to grow up, and as Duke of Wellington said of Waterloo, “It is a near-run thing.”
What has been your most rewarding part of being an author? Readers, and the pleasure of creating little worlds that really matter, while someone is involved in reading. I also like padding down the hall in my sweats, hair combing and shoes optional, and getting to work.
Do you have any writing rituals, music or snacks that help? No rituals. I put my happy a** in the chair and leave it there until I’ve written enough for the day. I do have a lovely photo of a 1948 trail drive of the Two Dot Ranch in Sunlight Basin near Cody, Wyoming, where my dad was raised. I look at it a lot, because I like cowboys and know a few. I’m LDS, but I have a wonderful little retablo of St. Francis de Sales hanging over my printer that makes me smile. He’s the patron saint of writers, journalists and editors. Yo, St. Francis.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why? I’ve been to home ground in lowland Scotland, and enjoyed London and Plymouth. I’ll be heading back to the Chama Valley this spring, and then Bonanza, Colorado, settings for two books to come, when I get a moment. That’s where I want to be. Back in Taos and Santa Fe, too. Writing is a bit like painting. I need to see where stories take place, when possible.
What advice would you have to aspiring writers? Take your happy a** and put it in that chair. Avoid too many writing/critique groups and blogs. Writing takes time and discipline and that stuff is way too time-consuming and distracting. It is a solitary profession. Also, avoid self-publishing. If you’ve sent it to numerous publishers and been turned down, it’s time to take another look at the book and see what you can improve. Seriously.
About The Author: A newcomer to Cedar Fort, Inc., Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America.
Recently, she’s been writing regency romances (think Pride and Prejudice) set in the royal Navy’s Channel Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars between England and France. She comes by her love of the ocean from her childhood as a Navy brat.
Carla’s history background makes her no stranger to footnote work, either. During her National Park Service days at the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Carla edited Friedrich Kurz’s fur trade journal. She recently completed a short history of Fort Buford, where Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881.
Following the ?dumb luck? principle that has guided their lives, the Kellys recently moved to Wellington, Utah, from North Dakota and couldn’t be happier in their new location. In her spare time, Carla volunteers at the railroad and Mining Museum in Helper, Utah. She likes to visit her five children, who live here and there around the United States. Her favorite place in Utah is Manti, located after a drive on the scenic byway through Huntington Canyon.
And why is she so happy these days? Carla looks forward to writing for an LDS audience now, where she feels most at home.