Author Spotlight: EE Carter
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I have always loved to write. When I was about nine or, when I had run out of Nancy Drew books to read, I started writing my own. When I was 13 I decided I wanted to be a journalist and I got a newspaper cadetship as soon as I finished high school. From there I moved to script and copywriting and web site content writing too.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
I fooled about with writing a novel when I was 22, a contemporary romance, but I didn’t finish it and it’s long-gone, along with the computer I wrote it on. I also fooled around with writing fanfic, I wrote an X-Files casefile romance novella under a pseudonym, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I decided to get serious and finish writing a novel and that was Moonstone Obsession.
Tell us a little more about Warrior’s Surrender:
Warrior’s Surrender is a medieval romance with a twist. There is a romance (of course!), a murder mystery and some supernatural overtones. It’s been a rather ambitious book for me to write. Set in 1077 in wild and untamed Northumbria in the years following William the Conqueror’s Harrying of the North. Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick has returned to her family home after seven years in exile — not victorious as her dead father promised – but defeated by Baron Sebastian de la Croix, the Norman who rules her lands. To save her gravely ill brother’s life, Alfreya offers herself hostage to her enemy. Sebastian is a man with a secret – one that could destroy him. Seven years earlier, he made the impetuous decision to spare the life of a Saxon Earl and his family – the act brands him a traitor, even now. For Alfreya’s protection and his, Sebastian makes another impetuous proposal just as a new threat emerges. Drefan of Angou, a man who betrayed Alfreya’s father and claims to be her betrothed, arrives with more than a reunion in mind. He has learned the Baron’s secret and will use it to destroy him – even using Sebastian’s own family – to further his ambition that will plunge an unprepared England into war against the Scots.
The heroine Lady Alfreya is certainly a strong, independent and courageous character; were there any challenges in developing the characterisation of Lady Alfreya?
Alfreya was very interesting to create. She is a strong-willed woman, but she’s weary. She has taken on more responsibility than she was ever prepared for and it has taken its toll. She presents a brave face to the world but she is also vulnerable. Moreover, Alfreya is also lonely. She has had to make decisions that affect the lives of those who depend on her without truly having anyone she could draw strength on. Making sure she displayed both characteristics – vulnerability and bravery – without her coming across as being weak or brittle. Alfreya offers herself hostage to Baron Sebastian de la Croix and in doing so sets in motion a new proposal and plot twist. What sparked this concept for you? I wanted to explore how it would feel to be forced to make peace with someone you’ve been conditioned to consider your enemy. In the case of Alfreya, she has been dispossessed of her homeland and now she is returning as a stranger.
What one character trait will most endear both Alfreya and Sebastian to your readers?
Oh my, Sebastian is just a wonderful alpha male hero, his single-minded courtship with Alfreya is soon worthy. He is not without his faults, but first and foremost, he is a man of honour and bravery. I think a lot of readers will be able to identify with Alfreya too, she is a perfect match for Sebastian, although it takes her a while to realise it. Alfreya is also a woman of action, I think readers will love the scenes where she exhibits her prowess with a long bow.
What kind of research was involved in the planning of Warrior’s Surrender? Was there anything surprising that you learned during the research process?
The idea for Warrior’s Surrender had percolated for a while – especially since reading the book Life in the Year 1000, which used documents and manuscripts from the time to show what a full calendar year was like in England. One of the things that surprised me at the time was that, thanks to the Medieval Warm Period, grapes were growing as far north as the Scottish borders! Also, Alfreya’s younger brother develops as a scholar, so it was interesting to read about the origin and development of universities that were established by monasteries and the development of the modern scientific method by the Church.
What do you want readers to know about the romance genre?
I adore romance. Romance is more than ‘just’ love stories – romance is the exploration of the human condition, distilled to its elements – a man, a woman, their history, their present, their future. What’s not to love?
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Reading (romance, of course!) otherwise I would be making films. I have to be creative!
What’s next for you?
I have written a sequel to Moonstone Obsession called Moonstone Conspiracy which tells the story of Moonstone Obsession’s villain, Lady Abigail Houghall that I hope will come out next year. I’m working on a short story in the same universe called Moonstone Promise which gives Toby Jackson his only happily ever after.
I’m very excited by a short story anthology I am a part of with Susanne Bellamy, Noelle Clark, and Eva Scott. The anthology is called A Season To Remember and it contains four short stories with Christmas and the sea as its theme. It will also be a free download from Amazon.
What book is currently on your nightstand?
I,Claudius/Claudius The God by Robert Graves. I’m researching a new historical romance set in 3rd Century AD Rome.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Don’t wait until you’re 43 before you write your first novel.
It’s almost Christmas (yes, already!), tell us: what are you hoping to find under the tree this year?
Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all men and DVD copies of The Princess Bride and Ladyhawke.
Favourite Christmas recipe?
Glazed Orange Christmas Cookies (http://www.eatthelove.com/2013/12/best-christmas-cookie-recipe/) I only have one thing to say – O.M.G. they are sooooo good.
Favourite Christmas tradition?
Watching Christmas movies with my gorgeous husband – The Thin Man, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Meet John Doe, and Die Hard
Share with us your biggest New Years Resolution for 2015:
Write more, stress less.
Favourite travel experience?
Getting hopelessly lost and being picked up in a ute by a bunch of cane-cutter wielding New Calendonian Islanders.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
Chase tornados in the United States.
Milk, dark or white chocolate? Yes.
Red, white, bubbly? Yes. (Oooooh, the previous two questions were supposed be multiple choice… In that case – dark and bubbly )
About the Author:
A future with words was always on the book for Elizabeth Ellen Carter who started writing her own stories when she ran out of Nancy Drew mysteries to read when she was 10. Using her mother’s Olivetti type writer with the italic keyboard, she spent endless school holidays making up her own stories and then using the Dewey Decimal System to arrange and categories her bookshelf. Somewhere around the age of 13 she determined to become a journalist and at 17 was awarded a cadetship to the Gold Coast Bulletin. She covered news, council, education, health but had the most fun as the paper’s entertainment and features reporter covering film, TV and music. Best of all she met her husband there and together they started a small award-winning media, marketing and advertising agency and now she works as marketing manager for an international organic skin care company.
Set in 1077 in wild and untamed Northumbria in the years following William the Conqueror’s Harrying of the North.
Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick has returned to her family home after seven years in exile — not victorious as her dead father promised – but defeated by Baron Sebastian de la Croix, the Norman who rules her lands.
To save her gravely ill brother’s life, Alfreya offers herself hostage to her enemy.
Sebastian is a man with a secret – one that could destroy him.
Seven years earlier, he made the impetuous decision to spare the life of a Saxon Earl and his family – the act brands him a traitor, even now.
For Alfreya’s protection and his, Sebastian makes another impetuous proposal just as a new threat emerges.
Drefan of Angou, a man who betrayed Alfreya’s father and claims to be her betrothed, arrives with more than a reunion in mind. He has learned the Baron’s secret and will use it to destroy him – even using Sebastian’s own family – to further his ambition that will plunge an unprepared England into war against the Scots.