Monday, 2 June 2014

The Interview - C.W.Lovatt on his hero and The Siege of Louisburg.

Today I have historical novelist C.W.Lovatt,  author of the best selling novel "The Adventures of Charlie Smithers", and co-author of the noir collection, "Wild Wolf's Twisted Tails". Josiah Stubb is his latest book, as revealed from within the interview chair.

C.W. Lovatt lives in Canada, and is the self-appointed Writer-in-Residence of Carroll, Manitoba (population +/- 20.)

“The Interview”

(1) What actually inspired the writing of your novel(s)?

After I’d finished writing The Adventures of Charlie Smithers, followed by a handful of short stories, I felt ready to tackle another novel. By now I’d been sending Charlie Smithers around the circuit of publishing houses, and was receiving replies along the lines of “Loved your story, but unfortunately we don’t publish historical fiction,” which was very enlightening, as well as very frustrating. Naive fellow that I am, I’d always thought that, if a book was good, it would be published. Not necessarily so. The message I was receiving was that they acknowledged that I could write very well, but they couldn’t publish because of the genre. Therefore I resolved that my next novel would steer well clear of historical fiction…and ended up writing a pretty darn good story based on the Siege of Louisbourg of 1758, which is about as historical as you can get. Why? The period has always interested me, as well as the siege.
Bottom line: if you want to grab a reader’s interest for any length of time, make sure that the subject you choose is one that will grab your own interest. Otherwise both of you will be bored to tears.

(2) Alpha or beta hero –profession/title/rank?– brief description!

I think that Josiah is a bit of both. While possessed with the makings of a dyed-in-the-wool type of hero (courage, good looks, et al) his beginnings were of the most humble imaginable. His mother is a prostitute, and by way of incest, led him along a similar path. Much of the story deals with Josiah’s struggle to break free of that degenerate cycle.

(3) Can you describe your heroine’s personality- title/rank?– description?

In many ways Elizabeth is the opposite of Josiah. Born with all of the advantages that were denied him, she has the will, and the courage, to attempt to bridge the yawning social gap between them.

(4) Are there secondary lead characters with important roles?

Oh yes. Isabelle Dawe is essential to the story, as well as Captain Beaumont. Both must be dealt with before Josiah can overcome his past.

(5) Where is the novel (s) set? – timeframe – country etc.

The second siege of Louisbourg in 1758, during The Seven Years War, in what is now part of Nova Scotia, Canada.

(6) What is it about your chosen era/periods that you most enjoy?

The Seven Years War had a lasting impact that is still felt today.
I’m fascinated with the struggle between Britain and France for control of what is now my country. Also, my American friends might take note, without it their revolution might never have happened.

(7) Which if any of your characters do you dislike, and why?

Although it’s never referred to specifically in the book, it is noticeable from her speech that Isabelle Dawe was of common origins, who gained social status through marriage, yet begrudged the same advancement to anyone else, specifically Josiah. Once her own position was secure, she was prepared to go to any lengths to keep her heel on the necks of the downtrodden, to make certain that they remained in the gutter.

(8) Do you avoid sex scenes, gross violence or other in your works?

I certainly don’t avoid such scenes, but I do try to contain them. For example, Josiah Stubb isn’t all about sex, nor is it entirely about violence, but they do form a significant part of the story. Therefore they need to fit within those confines, without taking away from anything else.

(9) How would you rate your novel – historical fiction, romantic fiction, tear-jerker, emotional drama, swashbuckling adventure, or...?

As much as I hate labelling a story, I’ve always considered Josiah Stubb to be historical fiction. However, to a greater or lesser degree, there are elements of everything else you’ve listed.


Back cover blurb:
It is 1758 and The Seven Years War is raging. The military might of the British and French empires collide in a desperate bid to control the key strategic Fortress of Louisbourg and, in turn, Quebec and French-held North America.
One man caught amidst the bloodshed is the young grenadier, Josiah Stubb. Raised by a whore amidst poverty and incest, Josiah seemed doomed from birth to a life in the gutter. His attempt to leave his sordid past behind leads him to Louisbourg, but it comes back to haunt him in the form of a gifted officer, battling his own inner demons.
As the siege blazes towards its inevitable bloody climax, will Josiah live to overcome the formidable obstacles that keep him chained to his past, or will his aspirations for a better life die with him on the brooding shores of Ile Royale?


Thank you.

No comments: