|Pia Fenton (writing name: Christina Courtenay)
Pia is a member of the London Chapter of the Romantic Novelists' Association, which is where I first met her. (Yes, I know I don't write romantic novels, but they're a generous bunch and let oddballs like me hang out with them). Pia was kind enough to let me crash her blog to talk about my ebook, so I'm very pleased to return the favour, especially as she has a brand new novel, The Gilded Fan just published. The PINK SOFA asked Pia about her new novel, and to tell us a little about herself and her writing.
'' Many thanks for having me as your guest, Carol, it's great to be here on the PINK SOFA! Nice and squishy, isn't it? (The PINK SOFA just wishes to point out here that it has now got two NEW cushions, with tassels.) 2013 certainly started with a bang for me, with 2 Kindle releases almost within days of each other - one was a Regency novella (Once Bitten, Twice Shy), the other was The Gilded Fan, which will also be available in paperback from 7th Feb onwards.
I'm half Swedish/half English. I was born in England but moved to Sweden when I was only a year old, so my English dad and I learned Swedish together. We also learned to swim together in the summer house by the lake. Fun but pretty cold! I once swam in water that was only 16 degrees C. Brrrr!
As my family has just moved house, I don't currently have a fixed writing place - can't seem to find the ideal place, so I'm moving from room to room and trying different things. I think I need to buy a new desk and chair, then maybe I'll be more settled. Good thing I write on a laptop. One of my favourite parts of the writing process is coming up with names for my characters. I can lose myself in name books or on name blogs for hours on end, happily jotting down possibilities until I stumble on one that's perfect. And I read the credits at the end of films just to pick up new names.
The hardest part of writing for me in actually putting bum on seat. It's so easy to get distracted by social networking and reading other people's blogs, especially if the writing isn't flowing that day.
|Pia's new novel
The Gilded Fan is set in 1641 and features what some people would call a 'kick-ass' heroine - a sword-wielding half-Japanese girl, trained in the arts of war.When Midori Kumashiro, the orphaned daughter of a warlord is told she has to leave Japan or die, sh has no choice but to flee to England.
With atypically Japanese upbringing (being taught self-defence by her father and also the samurai code of honour) tempered by her English mother's foreign ideas, Midori was an interesting character to portray. She thinks herself the equal of any man. That is, of course until she meets the hero, Captain Nico Noordholt, a man like no other she's ever known. He has come to Nagasaki to trade and the last thing he wants is a female passenger, especially a beautiful one.
I have to confess I like alpha heroes and Nico is certainly one of those - big, blond, handsome in a rugged sort of way and capable of holding his own in most situations. He's used to getting his own way and not caring for anyone other than himself. When Midori gets under Nico's skin, he has no idea how to cope, which was perfect for my story. I had great fun writing about these two. Although they clashed instantly, that also had so much in common - I just had to make them realise it!
I'd love to know what other people think of 'Kick-ass' heroines - love them or loathe them? Choc Lit are offering a copy of the prequel The Scarlet Kimono (all about Midori's mother Hannah, another wilful heroine) to the best comment!''
The Gilded Fan (ISBN 978-1-78189-008-0)
Pia's website (including blog): www.christinacourtenay.co.
Thanks Pia - THE PINK SOFA loves Choc Lit - listen, any publisher with 'choc' in its name is a winner!
Pia will be staying around for a while, so do take a seat, help yourself to Japanese rice crackers and sake, and have a chat.