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Theme Song for a Countess
Kati and Jamie, thank you so much for hosting me today! It’s great to join you to chat about my new historical romance, To Charm a Naughty Countess—in stores and on e-readers tomorrow.
Today I’d love to talk about music, and how it can inspire or reflect parts of a story. This is something I’ve never talked about before in a blog post, for one simple reason: I don’t listen to music while I write.
Truly, I don’t. Not EVER. I get easily distracted by sounds, and even instrumental music winds up drawing my attention away from what I’m working on. I can—and do—listen to music while I’m doing something non-word-related, like paying bills. But when I’m writing? The quieter the better, please.
As you can probably guess from the post title, though, I had a particular song in mind as I was finishing up To Charm A Naughty Countess. The song is “Glad Rag Doll,” from Diana Krall’s fall 2012 album of the same name. If you’ve never heard it before, you can hear a snippet of it in this interview:
At around that time, I was finishing up To Charm a Naughty Countess. I turned it in to my editor in November 2012 (yes, the publication process can be pretty long!). I’d been working with the character of Caroline, the “naughty countess” of the book’s title, for a long time, since she appears in another book of mine (It Takes Two to Tangle). Her character seems to have everything—youth, confidence, wealth, admiration—but for one short scene in It Takes Two to Tangle, the story moves into Caroline’s point of view and she almost aches with loneliness.
That wistfulness and loneliness is very much a part of her character in TCANC, though she usually succeeds at hiding it from others. After a youth without wealth, rank, or reputation, she is desperate to hold on to all of those things. She’s determined to earn popularity, and she’ll pay any price for it.
If you’re thinking, “her hero ought to be the sort of man who doesn’t care a bit about popularity,” you’re right. Actually, Michael, Duke of Wyverne, goes even further: anxious and harsh, he’s practically a recluse until the need to marry for money brings him to London society. Caroline—his partner in an old scandal—wants to win him over. He wants to win a bride. Neither of them is thinking about falling in love, but when they pool their strengths, that’s exactly what begins to happen. Their relationship will never work, though, until they both accept themselves—and know that they deserve to be loved, just as they are.
As I put the finishing touches on the story, I realized “Glad Rag Doll” was a perfect reflection of Caroline as she begins the story. But by the end of To Charm a Naughty Countess, I can promise you that both she and Michael have let go of their fears. (Don’t worry: she’s still as naughty as ever.)
Now it’s your turn: let’s talk about songs and stories! Do you ever associate music with stories? Or do you have a favorite song from a movie soundtrack? I’d love to know what you all think. One random visitor today will win a copy of To Charm a Naughty Countess, open to US and Canada.
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (May 6, 2014)
CAN A RECLUSIVE DUKE…
Brilliant but rumored mad, Michael Layward, the impoverished Duke of Wyverne, has no success courting heiresses until widowed Lady Stratton takes up his cause–after first refusing his suit.
WIN LONDON’S MOST POWERFUL COUNTESS?
Caroline Graves, the popular Countess of Stratton, sits alone at the pinnacle of London society and has vowed never to remarry. When Michael–her counterpart in an old scandal–returns to town after a long absence, she finds herself as enthralled with him as ever. As she guides the anxiety-ridden duke through the trials of society, Caroline realizes that she’s lost her heart . But if she gives herself to the only man she’s ever loved, she’ll lose the hard-won independence she prizes above all.
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- Do you ever associate music with stories? Or do you have a favorite song from a movie soundtrack?
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