After being a POW, Tavish forsook his military career living a bleak and dark existence. But when he meets Laetitia, a sizzling attraction ignites between them. Laetitia, who fled hell on earth, resists his advances to preserve her new life and recently found peace. Laetitia becomes Tavish’s obsession; Tavish, Laetitia’s unattainable dream. Meanwhile, a man with a grudge plots his long-awaited revenge.
Revenge and obsession colour the pages of the romance ‘Love Painted in Red’. Here to paint the surrounds of this tale is author Cristiane Serruya. Cristiane, thanks for spending a little time with me today. Can you start the first strokes of this interview with where the idea for ‘Love Painted in the Red’ commenced?
Tavish Uilleam MacCraig, a war hero, was a secondary character on my first romance, Entwined Fates, TRUST #1. By the time I finished TRUST series, he had grown to be such an important character–and he found a very special place in my heart–he demanded I wrote his story! :-)
Wow, after so much time with a single character you must have a very strong relationship with him. Do you ever visualise what he would be like if he, or any of the other characters from this novel had to be cast for the screen?
Readers’ imaginations are always better than reality, but if I chose the cast, it’d be: Joe Manganiello as Tavish with sexy sea-green eyes, silvery-blonde Jane Levy as Laetitia, and Josh Holloway as “the man with a grudge”. Pictures of real clothes and locations on my Pinterest – http://bit.ly/CrisPin
Did many of the interactions within the lives of these characters come from your personal experiences?
It was an emotional experience writing of the lead characters’ pains, especially Tavish, a war veteran. The impact of war on soldiers is heartbreaking and I struggled to capture some of that pain in a meaningful way. This book is my homage to those who dedicate themselves to make this world safer.
It’s wonderful that this novel gave you the opportunity to pay homage to something that you clearly feel strongly about. Did you find yourself undertaking much research to ensure that the interactions rang true and to ensure the homage didn’t feel slighted?
I do lots of research–I love learning new things–in various ways. In Love Painted in Red, among reading non-fiction books and visiting places, I interviewed many people about many things, but especially about war and strange cults. Then I mixed everything in my cauldron spiced it with my imagination and out came Tavish, Laetitia, and their love story.
For you, what do you feel is the most significant aspects of the love story that came out of your cauldron?
Leisure, information, and empowerment. As a reader, I look for characters that I can relate to in some way; a woman who is more than a damsel in distress but not a badass bitch; a man who is a domineering alpha male and loves and admires strong women. I love fiction books which bring me new information, make me think, and do that in a non-lecture way. Learning is a passion of mine and sharing my experiences and thoughts through my stories is amazing. But if the readers want just to breeze about my in-depth thoughts and not give a fig about them, because they only want to have a good time, they are more than welcome to do it. After all, I (mainly) write fiction.
As a dedicated author I’m sure you’re already hard at work on your next novel. Can you tell us a little about it?
I am working on the second installment of The Diaries Series, from which FROM THE BARONESS’S DIARY: The erotic escapades of Baron Beardley’s wife is the first installment, is a 20th century romantic and humorous erotic romance. It started with a single diary entry I wrote and was supposed to be a bonus scene for the print version of Love Painted in Red, where Laetitia, a painter, used the late Baroness’s diaries to develop a series of erotic paintings, but I realized I would be doing a disservice to my readers if I didn’t develop Lady Chloé Beardley’s own story. I am so excited about this next installment!
I love hearing about projects that energise authors! What’s keeps you excited about writing?
I’ve always written poems and small stories, and as a lawyer, my job was to essentially retell my clients’ stories. In 2009, I considered writing fiction and eventually created the embryo for TRUST SERIES, where Tavish is also featured. When it was done, I knew I’d found a new calling and it was the piece that was missing in the puzzle of my life.
Once you had found this new calling, how did you go about spending as much time working on the puzzle that is writing? Can you tell us a little about how the writing process unfolds for you?
Funny you ask that. I have my best ideas while showering!
*grin* Although I try to write every day, it’s not always possible. I like to write at night when everything is quiet, but my six-foot-six husband who is very jealous of my books — or should I say jealous of the male lead characters? demands I go to bed at a more…hmm…normal hour once in a while. *grin* I don’t have writing goals. I can write 10,000 words in a day — not that I was counting, I never do; not a single character in others; delete whole chapter; write middle chapters — which will probably not be used; have a horrible writer block for days…that’s okay, it’s part of my author life. But then I can be hooked by the story and won’t stop until I finish it. Although I have an office at home where I plan the story and characters and do the editing, my favorite place to write is the big armchair I have on my living room. There, drinking home-made ice-tea during the Carioca summer (almost year round) or hot tea in the Carioca two-week-winter and listening to music, I type away on my laptop all night until the sun comes out.
I thought that writing on my patio when it rains was nice, but I love your technique of writing in the big comfy armchair sipping on ice-tea. I shall have to try that method as well. Do you find that music helps you stay on task when you write? And if so, what do you like to play?
It depends on the scene! From classic music to hard rock, there is everything in-between on my play lists. Er, minus samba!
The poor overlooked samba! On the topic of dancing, I let’s take some steps in the direction of the quick fire round to finish the interview with a little flourish. Let’s start with: What is your zodiac sign?
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
I go by the words of Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.
You can’t go past Gandhi for peaceful wisdom. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
What is your best tip for authors?
Research what you are writing about.
I agree that reading *ahem*, research is always integral to the writing process. What is your favourite word?
I’m glad that you said you liked sharing :). Could you share your favourite drop of emotion from your novel to round out today’s interview?
War is strange. In the beginning is all about people; in the end it’s all about power. Power couldn’t care less how many die
Cristiane thank you for sharing a little of yourself with myself and the readers today. I appreciate that you’ve painted in some of the background details of this tale for us and I wish you the best of luck with every single one of your writing endeavours!
Want to find out more about Cristiane Serruya? Connect here!