History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

23 October 2007

Welcome, Jane Lockwood!

Forbidden Shores
by Jane Lockwood
Available Now!

At the dawn of the nineteenth century two strangers set sail for a Caribbean island where sugar is king and human life is cheap. Clarissa Onslowe, ruined and exiled from her family, with nothing more to lose, seeks a rich protector. Disillusioned lawyer Allen Pendale entertains himself on the long voyage teaching the enthusiastic Miss Onslowe the arts of seduction.

He doesn't expect to fall in love with her.

And Clarissa falls for the man who can meet her price but can't return her affections because he loves someone else--Allen.

The three of them are bound together by love, desire, and jealousy, a fragile triangle that shatters when Allen uncovers a secret from the past.

Jane is going to give away a copy to one lucky poster, so make sure to check back in Thursday night to see if you're the winner!

Forbidden Shores is set in 1800. How did you become interested in this time period/location? What do you love about it?

I really like the period directly before the "official" start of the Regency--the clothes were particularly lovely at the time, there was still fallout from the French revolution, and the Romantics and the radicals; and of course the abolitionist movement was the burning issue of the day--or rather, one of the burning issues. It was a time of great change and passionate causes. And I really fell in love with the story of the abolitionist movement (see below); Hochschild's book gave me a new perspective on Georgian England, really quite a surprising one--that it was seen as a democratic country, despite the fact that only about in one ten men could vote; it had a great infrastructure, a benign monarchy, and a high level of literacy.

What do you like least about this period?

The truly appalling conditions most people lived in, and the general exploitation of the have nots by the haves. And the fact that there was a war that dragged on and on and it was again the poor who suffered. Just think what it would be like if your husband or brother was press ganged into the navy and you didn't know where he was or if he'd ever come home again.

Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around?

In Forbidden Shores I write about slavery, and that was very difficult; just the concept of an erotic romance dealing with slavery (the real kind, not kinky role-playing) sounds like an invitation to true tastelessness. I originally wanted to set the book among abolitionists in London, but my editor wanted me to move it to the Caribbean--for some reason she thought naughty frolicking on dazzling white sands beneath azure skies etc etc was sexier than Quakers in the rain collecting signatures for petitions. I think she was right--it greatly increased the personal stakes for the characters.

What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your head?

I read Bury The Chains by Adam Hochschild, a writer I love, and for the past two years I've been boring everyone to death with how they absolutely must, must read this book. (Read this book!) I blogged about the original opening scene, which came to me very strongly, at Risky Regencies, it's the first meeting of the hero and heroine, and although the setting changed--they meet aboard a ship--I kept the detail of her stocking sliding down and their appearances didn't change.

Did you have to do any major research for his book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn’t already know?

Oh, tons. My first true confession is that I invented the sugar island. It's a conglomeration of all sorts of bits and pieces of various places. It doesn't have a name; everyone refers to it as "the island," rather like people referring to London as "town." I went to England and visited the Bristol Industrial Museum which has an exhibit on slavery, including decorative dog collars slaves wore (in England itself slaves were usually decorative fashion accessories; there was a huge labor force of servants and no labor intensive cash crop like tobacco or sugar). I wish I could have gone there for the celebrations earlier this year of the 200th anniversary of the Act of Parliament banning the slave trade (which is what the movie Amazing Grace was about. I still haven't seen it). All the details of slavery were true; in fact if anything I toned them down. I read one of the most famous accounts of slavery, Olaudah Equiano's Interesting Narrative and I used his anumission when I needed to quote one. One fact that possibly I made up but seems absolutely right is that the footmen (who are slaves) have elaborate wigs and livery but are barefooted. I don't know whether that's true or not, but it worked.

There’s lots of buzz on the net about the m/m angle of this story (and how it seems to be have been glossed over in the back blurb). Anything you want to let potential readers know?

I actually think it's quite mild m/m but it is there; if even the thought makes you go ewwwww then don't read it. The story is about three people, Clarissa, Allen, and March, who fall in love with the one of the three who can't love them back. So the threesome scenes have a lot of conflicting emotions--requited lust, unrequited love; no one is getting what they really want. But don't let the retro bodice-ripper cover or the classification as a historical romance fool you--it is a very dirty book!

What/Who do you like to read?

Lots of different stuff, but not a lot of romance. Certain writers—JR Ward and Anne Stuart--are guilty pleasures for me; their concepts make me laugh but I get caught up in them. I'm reading Terry Pratchett's latest novel Making Money at the moment and I'm also re-reading Emma by Jane Austen for no particular reason.

Care to share a bit about your writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?

Opening scenes always come to me very strongly; I usually start writing and let the characters evolve. I am really, really bad at plotting. I love the idea of plotting by spreadsheet or diagrams, but I can't do it.

What are you planning to work on next?

I have a partial out which has been rejected by at least one publisher as not erotic enough: I like to reveal the erotic in ordinary people and everyday situations. And I'm planning another partial after that which has a first erotic scene with no physical contact at all (a pianist accompanying a singer--I'm dying to write that scene but I think it's only so I can procrastinate on something else I should be writing!).

Thanks for having me, Hoydens!


Blogger ChristyJan said...

Great post about Jane and her new book. I've heard wonderful things about FORBIDDEN SHORES and would love to be entered to win a copy.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

This is a wonderfully steamy erotic book but it also has a lot of soul. The triangle between March, Clarissa and Allen is incredibly well done.

8:13 AM  
Blogger JRMullany said...

Hi Christy and Elizabeth, and thanks Elizabeth!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Pam Rosenthal said...

Jane is one of my inspirations, and I highly recommend Forbidden Shores. Welcome, Jane.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Welcome, Jane! I, too, have heard wonderful things about this book...maybe on Smart Bitches?

Anyway, looking forward reading FORBIDDEN SHORES!

Best, Kathrynn Dennis

9:36 AM  
Blogger JRMullany said...

Hi Pam and Kathrynn--and yes, this is the book that will not shut up! It's also featured in a dueling review at dearauthor.com where last time I looked they're talking about Kinsale. But that's OK--I'm quite happy to tag along!
Oh, and they mentioned The Slightest Provocation, Pam, and that is an influence.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Tracy Grant said...

Great interview, Jane and Kalen, and the book sounds fascinating. There's so much rich potential for conflict in triangles--particularly when each person wants someone they can't have.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Jane. I participated in the "dueling review" at Dear Author, and while FORBIDDEN SHORES had some flaws for me, I do want to say that I think it is well worth reading, extremely hot, and very different from the usual fare. I am also a fan of BURY THE CHAINS, btw. I'm very excited to see what you'll write next.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Sue A. said...

So many great comments about the book! I'm going to check out the book myself.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Kammie said...

hahaha! "it is a very dirty book!" Now...I want to read it more! Neat storyline idea.

6:57 PM  
Blogger JRMullany said...

Thanks Jennie! And hi to Kim and Sue.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Popping in late, as usual and waving at Jane. It is too bad the publisher did not show by the cover art and blurb what this book really is, because what it is is terrific!

5:29 AM  
Blogger anne said...

I enjoyed this fascinating look at this unique novel. Thanks for the information and background in the interview. Must get this esciting book.

10:01 AM  
Blogger JRMullany said...

Belated hellos to Tracy and Diane and Anne--thanks for stopping by!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I've heard nothing but good things about this book, Jane! Congrats!


5:54 AM  
Blogger CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Forbidden Shores sounds good. I have heard wonderful comments about this book.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

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12:35 PM  

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