25 August 2011

Thursdays Questions for Carla Capshaw with giveaway

Todays Thursday feature is a little different. A couple of weeks back I asked for questions for Carla Capshaw and here are her answers. Thanks to all who asked and thanks to Carla for her time.
There is also a giveaway at the bottom of the post.
From Cecelia when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
***Hi Cecelia.  Thank you for your question.  The writing bug first bit me when I was about ten years old.  I watched a TV movie about Marco Polo as an English assignment for school and fell in love with the idea of writing a book and traveling.  I traveled a lot for years and then about ten years ago decided it was time to sit down and write.  Since I'd always been a Romance fan, I naturally gravitated in that direction.  I started with
contemporaries, but quickly learned I loved historicals more.  I started researching one of my favorite time periods and began work on a Colonial set in Charleston, SC.

From Lyn Have you always been fascinated by ancient Rome. She always starts with a setting and is curious what prompted your choice.

***Hi Lyn, my fellow LIH author!  I like history in general, but ancient Rome is one of my very favorite times and has been since elementary school when I studied it and ancient Egypt.  I love the people and beauty of the period.  Everything was so colorful, inventive and lively.

From Jennifer she would like to know why you picked the period of the Roman Gladiator to first write about. (she's not disappointed she loves Caros!)
Pol also asked the same question commenting its such an intense background.

***Writing The Gladiator started by accident.  I was debating on whether or not to start another novel, so I prayed about it.  The next morning the entire story played out in my mind. I wrote the synopsis and first three chapters in no time (unheard of for me).  I sent it to my agent.  She loved it and passed it on to Melissa Endlich at LIH.  Research  and getting the details right took some time, but Melissa bought the manuscript once I finished it about eight months later.

From Camy how did you do your research. What were your favourite books/websites? Did you have to interview history professors or anything like that?

Hi Camy.  Thanks for your question.  I'm a very visual person, so I do my research by visiting the places I write about.  I tour old homes, explore old towns, visit antique stores, haunt museum, etc.  For my Roman series, I went to Italy for three weeks, toured the Coliseum and spent four days exploring Rome specifically.  I also visited Pompey and the Amalfi coast, which provided tons of villas, ruins and ideas for the books.  I use the
Internet and libraries to check historical facts and background information.  Basically, I do whatever I can to make sure I get the story as authentic and "real" as possible.  :-)

Jennifer again, Do you model each of your characters after someone you personally know. She knows the last story was influenced by your parents.

***Hi again, Jennifer!  No, I don't intentionally base my characters on specific people.  I think each of my heroines probably shares some of my own likes, dislikes, fears and struggles, but none of them is entirely me or anyone else I know.  Like you said,  the hero and heroine's journey in The Champion was based on my parents, but that is probably as close as it gets to actually using a real person's story within the story. For me, the fun of writing is creating a character and letting that person grow and change along with the story.  When I start a book, I usually have a general idea of where it's going, the basic conflicts, a few details of the characters, like what they look like and what their job is. From there it's as much a mystery to me as anyone in terms of how it's going to turn out.  LOL

Janet asks Have you visited Rome and if so if you found enough in today's world that related to the time period of your book (almost wondering if it would be best to just see it all in your mind through books or if it helps to see it in today's world)?

***Hi Janet!  I did visit Rome and found so much history there to soak up and use in the books.  It's true that what's left of this time period in the present day is ruins, but there is enough that the flavor and feel of the era are everywhere.  I recommend going to Rome to everyone.  It is a truly beautiful city that is steeped in history. nbsp;Everywhere you look there is something beautiful to see and enjoy.

Momofthree asked How do you balance your writing and home/family life? Is it difficult finding enough peace and quiet to write? When are you most productive? Are you sad to leave this series of ooks in Ancient Rome?  (Jenny here commenting if Carla isn't I am).

Great question, Momofthree.  When I first started writing, things were harder than they are now because my son was much younger and life was a lot more hectic.  These days, my son is twenty-one and spreading his own wings so I'm on my own more.  In the early days, I made things work by writing after my son had gone to bed and I could concentrate better, but for years I functioned on four to five hours of sleep a night.  It also helped that I explained to my family that I considered my writing a real job.  I took that seriously, wrote a certain number of hours each day the same as if I had to go out to work, delegated household responsibilities and over time they took me seriously as well.

As for leaving Rome, yes, I'm sad to move on.   I love my gladiators and Rome, but I'm also excited because I'm researching a new time period (Victorian England) and getting to explore new conflicts and a new culture.

Jenny's question is do you have a favourite book in this series? do you have a favourite hero and heroine. After reading the last book I think this one is the best. I loved the other two but Tibi is special and I really like Alexius there was something special.

***I love this question, Jenny and so glad you loved The Champion.  I loved writing it because Tibi and Alexius were just so sweet together. I was constantly smiling at them.  lol As for the rest of your question, it's hard to answer.  I really don't have a favorite book.  Each of them is like my child with things I love and things I wish I could tweak a little.  If anything, my "favorite" tends to be the book I'm working on and when it's released, I'm crazy nervous that people aren't going to like it. lol  I honestly don't have a favorite hero.  Heroines?  I don't have a favorite, but I admit that Adiona is special to me.  She's very misunderstood and needs love *so* much.  I was glad there was a man like Quintus to love her and help her find the Lord.

Last question how do you come up with the names I found it hard to pronounce some of them.

***LOL I think some of them are hard to pronounce too.  I pick names from websites and books.  I research them for their meaning and origin.  I try to make the main characters' names something that will be recognizable to most readers or at least easy to sound out. Other, less recognizable names, I use on minor characters so the reader won't have to deal with them too much.   On a happy easier-name note, the hero and heroine of my next book are Rose and Sam. ;-)

Thank you for all these wonderful questions.  I'll come back and answer anymore you may have for me later.

Ciao for now,
Carla Capshaw

Product Description:
Triumphs in the Coliseum-and society bedchambers-made gladiator Alexius of Iolcos famous for his brutal skill and womanizing ways. Yet the only woman who intrigues him is Tiberia the Younger, who now needs his help. Protecting Tiberia places Alexius in the greatest danger he has ever known-from her vengeful father and his own heart.
Becoming a temple priestess may be an honor, but Tibi can't bear to surrender her freedom or her newfound faith. Alexius's solution stuns her. Marriage.to a gladiator! Scorned by her noble family, Tibi always felt unworthy. But with her champion by her side, can she accept-and give-a love strong enough to vanquish their enemies?

Carla is giving away 2 prizes to 2 lucky readers. One will be a copy of her new book The Champion and the second is a chance to name a character in one of her future books. Just leave a comment answering the below question and saying if you wish to be in both draws. 

Carla has had a couple of unusual pets in these books, a pet tiger called Cat and now a pet panther what animal would you like to have as a pet?

Please leave a comment by Friday night 2 September 6pm Australian time


Rebecca said...

I think that it would be awesome to have a pet hedgehog. They look so cute.

Thanks for the chance to win. This is a great giveaway.


Angela said...

I have always wanted to have a pot bellied pig. I think they are cute and have an attitude all their own.

Thank you for the chance to win.

griperang at embarqmail dot com

Laetitia :-) said...

Ooh, I always wanted a horse. Now I'd settle for having a dog (I rent so it's not so easy getting permission for pets, especially when one moves every few years).

Please enter me in both draws.

You have my contact details. :-)

Melissa/welachild said...

Angela said, "I have always wanted to have a pot bellied pig. I think they are cute and have an attitude all their own."

I am with you on that! But really any size pig would do for me, I love visiting the pigs at fairs and one of these days I will have one of my own :)

Carla- your research really shines through in The Gladiator, I felt like I was plopped right into Roman times!

Thanks for doing the giveaway, I'd love to be entered in both!
itwasemotional (at) yahoo (dot) com

Carla Capshaw said...

***Hi everybody! Thank you for stopping by!

Rebecca wrote:
I think that it would be awesome to have a pet hedgehog. They look so cute.

***Hedgehogs are adorable, Rebecca! I used to have seahorses and once a year the pet shop where I bought my horses' shrimp had a waiting list for hedgehogs. Loads of people would sign up, but the shop was only able to get about twenty. I happened to go in one year a couple of hours after they got their hedgehog shipment. Oh my goodness, they were too sweet for words. And as long as you're really gentle with them, they just curl up in your hand and go to sleep like trusting little babies.

I have always wanted to have a pot bellied pig. I think they are cute and have an attitude all their own.

***I agree with you, Angela & Melissa. Pbps are defintely an animal I might like to have as a pet one day. After dogs they are mom's favorite animal. I've heard nothing but good things about pigs. Apparently their really smart, clean, loyal, affectionate and live a long time. Sounds like a perfect pet. :-)

oh, I always wanted a horse. Now I'd settle for having a dog (I rent so it's not so easy getting permission for pets, especially when one moves every few years)

***Hi Laetitia! I think every little girl wants a horse. I know I did too. Right now, I have two cats and next year I'm planning on getting a French bulldog puppy. Maybe you could get a really small dog and a landlord wouldn't mind.

Melissa/welachild said...
Carla- your research really shines through in The Gladiator, I felt like I was plopped right into Roman times!

***Thank you so much! It is truly my goal to get the details right. Part of the enjoyment of reading for me is being transported into the story and I want others to have that experience when they read my books. :-)


Ausjenny said...

hi all thanks for stopping by. I would love a pet tiger expect not sure where to keep it. I have loved tigers since I was little. (My neice wanted a pet penguin I think she still does)
If not a tiger then a squirrel.

Carla Capshaw said...

I love the *idea* of having a pet tiger, too, Jenny, but I think the closet thing I'm going to get is my cat, Oli. lol

I've heard of people having squirrels as pets, but not indoor pets. I suppose you could though, right? My dad used to sit on his back porch everyday and hold food out for the squirrels and birds. It wasn't too long before the little stinkers were crawling into his lap or sitting on his shoulder and eating out of his hands. Right now, he's feeding feral cats and raccoons. Who know what it'll be next year. lol

PurlingPenny said...

I would love to have some of those adorable finches that peep in such soothing tones. Alas my husband allergic to feathers so I've abandoned that idea. We've been a household of pets though over the years. We've had various hamsters, degus, bunnies, cats, dogs and fish. We currently have two English Cocker Spaniels ( two sweet!) and a very interesting Chinchilla who is quite personable and friendly. One of our dogs thinks he is her own personal charge and guards his well being. I'm so glad God gave us animals to enhance our lives!

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Penny,

I totally agree that animals are a gift from the Lord!

You and your family sound like mine. We've had so many pets over the years. My parents even had chinchillas, which they thought were adorable as well. Funny how something so unusual can bring such fun to your life. Thanks for dropping by!


Christine Johnson said...

Hi Carla!! I loved Rome too, though I only got to visit for five days. It's a beautiful city filled to the brim with history. I loved reading your books and imagining ancient Rome based on my visit to the Forum and Colliseum. Thanks for writing the gladiator books! I look forward to your Victorian series.

Megan said...

Ever since I was little, I have always wanted a horse. Maybe one day:) I would love to win either prize, thanks for the opportunity!

lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

pol said...

Hi I had a cat as a child and now we have a boston terrier that runs the house, I have always thought it might be nice to have a goat. one of the small ones. Have not read this type story yet but looks interesting, thanks for sharing.Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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