Sunday, 24 August 2014

Author Interview: Christina Courtenay

Today I am interviewing author Christina Courtenay.

Welcome!


1. Tell me 3 strange things about yourself?  
I eat chocolate for breakfast
I don’t like champagne so if I have to drink it I mix it with 7Up, Lemonade or Sprite
I can swear or say something rude in eight languages (not sure that’s a good thing though!?)

2. Tell me about your new book Moonsoon mists?
It’s a historical romance and adventure story, set in India in 1759, and it’s the third book in my Kinross series. It features Jamie Kinross, younger brother of Brice from the second book in the series, Highland Storms. Jamie is a gem trader who embarks on a dangerous mission, carrying the stolen talisman of an Indian Rajah. When he encounters Zarmina Miller, he’s instantly tempted by the so called “Ice Widow”, but he soon begins to see another side to her – a dark past to rival his own and a heart just waiting to be thawed. But is it too late? And what is he to do with the talisman?

3. Why did you decide to set it in India?
The hero, Jamie, wants to escape his past and needs to get as far away from his native country of Sweden as possible. In the 1750s that usually meant going to the Far East, but his brother and parents have already been there so he decides on India instead.

From the author’s point of view, I chose India because I found a wonderful journal from that time with an account of a Swedish man’s journey to Surat in India so I was able to see things through his eyes which was very helpful. And having already written about China and Japan, I wanted to try something new and exciting.

4. This is something many readers always wonder when a book is part of a series. Do you recommend that they read book 1 and 2 first, or can it work as a stand alone?
The book definitely works as a stand alone, but it is probably more satisfying for the reader if they have read books 1 and 2 first as there will be things they recognise and little snippets of information about characters from the previous stories. And the ending, where everything comes together, includes characters from the previous books who have cameo roles in this one. So yes, I’d recommend reading all three, but it’s not essential.

5.Did you always plan to write about Jamie or?
No, and in fact, I hadn’t planned to write a trilogy at all! When I finished the first book in the series, Trade Winds, I thought I had finished with the Kinross family, but the characters wouldn’t leave my head and I ended up writing the second book about Brice, the son of the couple in Trade Winds. Then his younger brother Jamie seemed to be the villain of that story, but he had his reasons and he wouldn’t give me any peace until I’d written his take on it down too. And there were readers who egged me on to write Jamie’s story as well, so in the end, I did. And I’m glad, because I’ve enjoyed spending more time with this family.

6. What are you working on right now?
I’ve just sent my publisher the third book in my Japanese trilogy (provisionally titled The Snow Ghost) and now I’m about to start work on a time slip novel set partly during the English Civil War, a period in history that I love. There’s something very special about the Cavaliers so I’m looking forward to writing this one!

Thanks!
Thank you for having me as your guest!

Blurb for Monsoon Mists
Sometimes the most precious things cannot be bought … 
It’s 1759 and Jamie Kinross has travelled far to escape his troubled existence – from the pine forests of Sweden to the bustling streets of India.

Jamie starts a new life as a gem trader, but when his mentor’s family are kidnapped as part of a criminal plot, he vows to save them and embarks on a dangerous mission to the city of Surat, carrying the stolen talisman of an Indian Rajah.

There he encounters Zarmina Miller. She is rich and beautiful, but her infamous haughtiness has earned her a nickname: “The Ice Widow”.   Jamie is instantly tempted by the challenge she presents.
When it becomes clear that Zarmina’s step-son is involved in the plot Jamie begins to see another side to her – a dark past to rival his own and a heart just waiting to be thawed. But is it too late?
Links:

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33 comments:

  1. It's nice to know it's possible to read the books as a standalone book. And a story set in India? I don't think I've ever tried that. It's intriguing. thanks for the interview!

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    1. Thank you Melliane, hope you enjoy it! :-)

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  2. Great interview, being able to swear in a few languages in quite something :)

    I love that a book from a series can be read as a stand alone, often I pick up a book, not aware it is a series and after reading it will go back and get the others. It is hard though when chunks are missing which I felt happened with the book I finished yesterday.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. I feel the same, Lainy - I think books in a series should be able to stand alone even if they refer to things that have happened in other books. Thank you for your comment! :-)

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  3. Great interview, I like the title and cover of Monsoon Mists. And I am guilty of eating chocolate for breakfast :)

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    1. So glad it's not just me, Naida! I just can't resist and as I don't drink tea or coffee, it's kind of my 'pick-me-up' in the morning :-)

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  4. Thank you for the interview :)

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    1. Many thanks for having me as your guest! xx

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  5. The Indian setting is intriguing!

    I'm not a fan of champagne either -- I'll have to keep the Sprite trick in mind. =)

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    1. Thank you! Yes, do add Sprite, makes it much more bearable :-) (peach juice can be ok too, ie a Bellini - can you tell I have a very sweet tooth? :-D)

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  6. What?? Eating chocolate for breakfast is not strange at all! ...is it? Naah, because Nutella does it. :)
    hehe

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    1. Thank you, Carrie, really glad you think so! :-)

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  8. The Kinross Brothers....I just realised that I'd really like to see them appearing together. :) Joint heroes.

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    1. Good idea, but perhaps a different pair of brothers as these have already had their stories written? How about their sons? :-)

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  9. I've not read one set in India yet. Very neat.

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    1. Thank you, Anna, hope you like it if you read it! :-)

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    1. Many thanks, Yvonne, glad you enjoyed it!

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  11. Chocolate for brekkie! Why not?! And I don't like bubblies too, makes me burp like crazy. And India is an awesome setting, rich in culture and history, what a wonderful backdrop!

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    1. Thank you! It's great that I'm not the only one as everyone else always seems to love champagne :-)

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  12. Chocolate for breakfast with a mimosa sounds great. I love when series books can be read as a stand alone. Love the cover for this one. Sounds like a great read.

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    1. Thank you Heidi! And yes, chocolate is good for breakfast with anything :-)

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  13. I hope one day I'll be able to put you to the test on that swearing in eight languages claim :)

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    1. LOL Beverley, you probably know more than me, having travelled round so much :-) xx

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  14. chocolate for breakfast and swearing in 8 languages ... I like you already ;)
    Monsoon Mists sounds fantastic and the cover screams "read me" ... I'm a bit of a cover whore lol

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    1. Thank you, so glad you like it! :-D xx

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  15. I would eat chocolate for breakfast too if I wasn't afraid of it going straight to my hips. Hehe I can swear in two languages, but you put me to shame! Great Q&A ladies. :)

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    1. Many thanks, Carmel - maybe we can swap notes in case your languages are different to the ones I know already :-D And yes, the eternal problem with chocolate is where it goes after you eat it ... xx

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  16. I like the sound of this book and the cover is lovely! Great interview ladies!

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