Kate Pearce is writing steamy historical romances (e.g. „House of Pleasure“-series) that take your breath away with each page you turn over. She also succeeded in turning a hated villain into a hero in one of her books. For that stroke of genius I still admire her. (Photo: Copyright Jax Cassidy@Jaxadora Designs)

Thank you for taking the time for this interview.

Thank you for having me. 🙂

You’re one of the few authors who succeed in writing sexy scenes with great plots. How did your idea for „House of Pleasure“ start?

It was quite odd really. There was a discussion on a Regency loop I belong to about British ships being set upon by Barbary pirates and the women being taken into slavery. I thought about this, and I wondered what if it were two boys who were taken? How would they survive in a Turkish brothel, and what would happen if they were rescued as adults and brought back to England? And then Lord Valentin Sokorvsky turned up in my head, swiftly followed by his friend, Peter Howard, and I started to write the first book, „Simply Sexual“.

At the time there wasn’t that much out there in this format, so I had no idea if I would be able to sell such a book which had elements of a former sexual relationship between these two men. It also had one of those men, Peter still in love with the other, which caused all sorts of tension with the plot. I’m actually quite proud that I was one of the first authors to get male/male love scenes into my traditionally published New York books. 🙂

Your characters are very driven but instead of only tortured heroes you also have tortured heroines. Do such topics come lightly to you?

I think they must, because all my characters seem to come out of my head with a bag full of issues. *lol* I love to peel the layers off my characters and get really deep inside their heads. For me, erotic romance, and erotica need to have a mental as well as a physical side to them. Sex is a mind game, a power play and a physical activity but it is also very emotional.

Did you imagine that readers would want more of your series so that you could write many novels about all the heroes by connecting them through the House of Pleasure?

To be honest, I’ve been very grateful that my publisher and my editor have allowed me to keep writing these books. I’ve been able to explore all kinds of heroes and heroines. My editor didn’t even flinch when I told him I’d like to write a book with the enigmatic villain, Lord Minshom as a hero, (although how heroic he is is open to debate). The House of Pleasure has served as the perfect place to introduce new characters and gradually grow them through the books until I really want to get to know them better so that I can write a whole book about them.

In February the next installment of the „House of Pleasure“-series has been published. Could you tell us a little bit about it to whet our appetite?

„Simply Carnal“ is about Christian Delornay, Helene’s son, who has been around since book #3 when he turned up as an obnoxious eighteen year old hating his mother. Christian was a difficult character to get to know and it took me about three quarters of the book to finally understand him myself and then it all made sense. *lol*

In „Simply Carnal“, he meets a woman named Elizabeth who is as skilled as he is at hiding her past, using sex to get what she wants and demanding no emotional entanglements. Of course Christian is intrigued by such a woman, and is determined to find out all her secrets. In doing so, he finds himself revealing far more about himself than he ever intended. When he does discover the truth about Elizabeth’s past, it forces him to deal with his own demons and work out what love is and finally understand the true meaning of his mother’s love for him.

At the moment your books haven’t been translated in German. How would you describe your series for a German reader who doesn’t know it, yet?

That’s a hard question. The series is set in Regency London, but not in the ballrooms and society ballrooms familiar from Georgette Heyer, but in a hidden private world of sex and ilicit relationships. It is, hopefully, well researched (I’m British), highly emotional and hot as hell.

How do you do research for your historical romances?

I’m lucky that I grew up just outside London, so I have a decent working knowledge of many of the places I write about. This really helps when I’m trying to picture a particular scene. I’m also a history major so I know how to find things out and I love doing research. The internet is great for a quick answer, but I also pour over my „A-Z of Regency London“ by Richard Horwood and many other research books for hours.

I also belong to an amazing Romance Writers of America specialist Regency chapter, the Beaumonde, where if you have a question about anything ‚Regency‘ someone on that list will have an answer for you.

There are some really hard torture scenes in your books. How did you write them?

For me every sex scene is dictated by the needs of the character. For example, James in book #2 Simply Sinful, likes to be sexually dominated and punished, and I needed to show that side of him so that his wife and Peter would understand him. I never think to myself, ‚oh, what extreme sex act can I write about now?‘ For me it always comes from the characters, and then I go off and research what they need. Sometimes I have to ask for opinions from those who engage in such acts in real life to get the details right. I don’t go out and experience everything for myself. I don’t have time. *lol*

Sometimes when I’m writing a scene which is very emotional and painful it can be difficult but I have to be true to what the character wants. Lord Minshom was hard to write, but it had to be written that way. I don’t like to classify my books as BDSM or M/M or whatever, because once someone tries to put a label on something it is easier for someone else to tell you you’ve got it all wrong. I think a good sex scene that includes something that you as a reader finds uncomfortable, can be very liberating and interesting,

Do you have writing rituals?

I spend far too much time on the internet and email before I write, then I usually reread what I wrote the day before and fix any errors. Then I just try and write a bare minimum of a thousand words, usually more, editing as I go, adding and fixing until it is as clean as I can get it. I usually like to have some kind of candy near me, especially jelly belly’s which I eat from my least favorite color to favorite color. They soothe me. The only other thing I do when I sit down to write is say to myself-„Make it Better“, which is fairly self-explanatory. 🙂

You have coupled Henry VIII. with vampires in your „Tudor Vampire Chronicles“-series. How did you get that idea?

That was another weird one. I was asked if I could write Tudor Vampires and of course I said. ’sure‘ because writers are foolish like that. *lol* I studied Tudor politics as part of my degree, so I was on fairly familiar territory with the Tudors. I decided to reference the Tudor family’s Welsh roots by adding the element of the Druids to the story as foes of the Vampires and by making one particular Druid family, the Llewellyns responsible for the safety of the Tudor dynasty. They were great fun to write!

What new projects have you planned? And what project are you itching to see accomplished one day?

I self published a favorite Regency historical of mine „Educating Elizabeth „at Christmas onto all the digital platforms. It was a favorite book of mine that somehow missed the mark with traditional publishers and it was great to be able to revisit it and get it out there. I plan to self publish the second in the series in the summer.

I’m very pleased to tell you that I’m going to be writing a series of Regency set mysteries for Kensington Publishing! Here’s the announcement:

A series of Regency mysteries set in the village of Kurland St. Mary from Kate Pearce, writing as Catherine Lloyd. A shy spinster and a bed-ridden hero from the Napoleonic Wars must work together to prove that a murder has been committed in their small peaceful village and then solve the case.

I know it doesn’t tell you much, but the first book involves our feisty heroine, Miss Lucy Harrington, the Rector’s oldest daughter and Major Robert Kurland, late of the 10th Hussars, and heroically wounded at Waterloo. Major Kurland is stuck in bed with very limited mobility and it is Miss Harrington who has to do a lot of the sleuthing in the quiet little village attached to the manor house. Think of it as Rear Window meets a young Miss Marple, and you’ll get the idea. And there will be a tiny bit of romance in there. The first one is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2013. 🙂

But don’t worry if you still prefer romances to mystery. I won’t stop writing as Kate Pearce, complete with all the naughty bits!

Also I’m just about to propose some new Regency erotic historicals to Kensington, so I’m quite busy and very happy to be doing what I do.

One day I will write that historical novel about Katherine Swynford I promise you.

Thank you for your time. I am already looking forward to your „Simply Carnal“ in February and „Simply Voracious“ in July 2012.

Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure. 🙂