Why Austria? By Carrie Lofty
It started out so simply. For my historical romance titled SONG OF SEDUCTION ( http://www.carrielofty.com/Song.html ), available on June 7 from Carina Press, I began with two musicians. He was a renowned composer and piano player with a dark secret. She was a violin virtuosos whose scandalous birth compelled her to hide her talent.
Where in the world should such a story be set?
I’ve been a fan of the 1984 masterpiece Amadeus for such a long time. Greed, jealousy, brilliance–all there. Tom Hulce’s unmistakable laugh. F. Murray Abraham’s painful-to-watch despair. Throw in costumes and gorgeous sets and Mozart’s incredible, undeniable music, and you have one of my favorite movies of all time.
Perhaps it was no surprise, then, that I chose Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg, Austria, for SONG OF SEDUCTION’s setting.
Part of the appeal had to be how completely unknown Salzburg was to me at the time. Beyond that tidbit about Mozart, I knew nothing else. I’d just come off about 15 years studying the American Old West, which had culminated in my master’s thesis on Jesse James and Wild Bill Hickok. To say I needed a change of pace is an understatement.
The more I learned, the more I became enamored of this faraway city. Its customs and people were so very different from the rough-n-ready frontier towns I’d studied for years. Salzburg had history going back to Roman times. It had culture and art and war and a tremendous sense of independence. And of course it remains a simply gorgeous city.
But to find the right publisher to take a chance on Austria…that took a little while. While many editors agreed that the story was worth publishing, they didn’t necessarily share my faith in the idea that readers would grow to love Salzburg too. Some suggested that they’d take a second look if I changed the book’s setting to England, a suggestion that made my heart sick. To my thinking, such a drastic change would’ve sucked all the personality out of it.
Hmmm…so what’s a girl to do?
I trunked SONG OF SEDUCTION and moved on to other projects, such as my medieval adventure romances from Kensington. But then came Carina Press, “where no great story goes untold.” The rest, as I frequently think, is history!
Knowing what I know now, I might think twice about setting a romance in Austria. But then I’d proceed along on my merry way and write it how anyhow. I’m stubborn, maybe, but I’m also having a great time indulging in the whims of my imagination.
If you could read a romance novel set in any time or place–someplace daring and unconventional–where and when would it be?