Thursday, August 29, 2013

Author/Interview With a Character Blog Hop -- Meet Nicolas!

I really enjoy when blog hops have themes. I'm trying something new this time around and it sounds like fun. It's the Meet the Author/Interview With a Character Blog Hop. The prize is a $50 gift card to Amazon and each author has goodies on their own sites too. Be sure to comment and leave your email to win. My prize is reader's choice of any of my novels or an ebook copy of my soon to be released Enchanted Skye. I'll sign it for you too with Authorgraph. 

Click here to enter the grand prize drawing. Use the code word "kisses".
Today I offer an interview with one of my favorite leading men -- Nicolas Halstead from Loving Leonardo. (See his trailer below) I fell in love with this man almost immediately.

Tell us about yourself.
Nicolas seated himself and crossed his legs comfortably before him. “Well, let me see…My name is Nicolas Halstead, 11th Earl of Halstead. I’ve assumed my deceased father’s seat in House of Lords. Though my travels puts me hardly ever there. As a young man I was educated at Eaton, and then finished my art history education at Oxford. From there I did my internship at the Ashmolean, where I recently became a fellow. It falls to me to add to her Majesty’s collections of state, and to do so, I acquire artworks from private holdings and collections.

I’m an exceedingly private person. To maintain that desired privacy, I live in London, away from the family estate. Mrs. Fletcher, my housekeeper, looks after me and has since the accident that killed my parents. My grandmother, Lady Augusta Halstead did me immeasurable kindness when she gave me over to her trusted servant’s care all those years ago. She has no idea of the bond between Mrs. Fletcher and me, or what we truly share. You see, my Grandmother comes from a time of little deviation from the path society placed before you. The old dear would come undone in knowing the truth of me.”

Nicolas’ lips twitch. “Until recently, I lived a quiet, somewhat content, life.”

Tell us about Ellie and Luca.
The twitch transformed into a wide smile. “I’ll assume by the question, you are aware of my nature. Therefore, to phrase it simply, we three are lovers and I love them. It’s trite to say, but we complete one another in ways we hardly realized were incomplete. Through them, I’ve discovered and accepted myself.
Were I to describe my new wife, I’d say she’s unlike anyone, male or female, of my acquaintance. Bold as brass in speaking plainly…in attitude and affections as well. She’s a suffragette, a progressive in the truest sense. If any woman deserved the vote it would be she. Her mind is extraordinary, her heart fiercely loving and protective. She’s American, you know. In general, Americans reminded me of impressionist artists. The Impressionists violated the rules of academic painting, and Americans violate the rules of conventionality. As a student of nuance, I very much like her. That on top of the love I feel. I consider Ellie to be a true partner in life and love.

Luca? He and I are cut from the same cloth in our interests and we share compatible views. I see Luca as one of the world’s purest souls. He’s kind and sensitive, loving and thoughtful. And I’ll add to that -- he’s compassionate and self-sacrificing to a fault. Luca is also bold and brave, far braver than I. He’s been through a lot in the last ten years. Were I able, I’d take the heartache onto myself to free him of it. I know he would do the same for me. He’s a man anyone would be proud to know, let alone love.”

What do you think is your strongest point?
“Modesty?” He laughed. “How does one consider their strongest attributes without sounding conceited? Let’s see…I’m a loyal friend and devoted to those I love. I have empathy. Consequently, the unfortunate and hungry souls in Rome laid me quite low when we were there. Admitting to that, I’d have to add that I’m more than soft-hearted, I’m painfully aware. I suppose that is my strongest and weakest attribute -- my attention to detail. I simply do not possess a blind eye. Given my training and interest in the artworks of the ages, I readily grasp nuance. I see the subtle shading of life in those small details often missed by others. It allows me to read situations quickly. Not a bad skill for a man with a deviate’s proclivity in an intolerant world!”

As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us about him/her.
“When I was a lad of twelve or so, Mrs. Fletcher’s orphaned nephew Thomas came to Halstead. He was a few years older than I and possessing a ready talent with horses, took a position working in the stables. I got to spend time with him when my Grandmother was out and about. I found him witty and fun and although our stations in life divided us, we enjoyed one another’s company. I went away to school and we stayed in touch through letters. When I returned home, I went to the stable to find my friend, and instead found him with his lover, the farrier’s son. Thom and I became lovers shortly after. Our relationship changed. And so had I.”

What do you wish was different about your life?
“I was born to a world divided by class structure and limitations. My mind sees the outward trappings of this divide daily, especially at Halstead. But my relationships with Mrs. Fletcher and her nephew Thomas transcend such boundaries. They mean the world to me, and my heart rebels at the very idea that I must keep my love for them a secret. I love Luca as well. It wasn’t all that long ago, loving him would cost us our lives. There’s no longer a death penalty for homosexual Englishmen, but we are still not free to love. I wish I was able to openly show my affections.”

If you were given your fondest wish, what would it be?

“I’d wish to turn back the clock to see my dear Thom living a full and happy life. We’d been together nearly thirteen years before I married Ellie. It was he who ended our relationship out of respect for her. I miss him.”

What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.  
“I would have asked, Will we ever live in a tolerant world?

My answer would be, yes. It’s 1887. Look how far we’ve come. Women will be voting side by side with men shortly, and are soon to be equal in every way. Especially if my wife has her say! With such social progress broadening our understanding of ourselves, I can’t imagine it taking long for prejudice, bigotry, and hatred to fall by the wayside. Love and kindness, tolerance and charity – these are precepts of faith around the world. But we don’t need our faith to tell us this is best. Like water, mankind eventually follows the path of least resistance. I have every confidence that before long, we’ll do what makes sense.”

My stories

The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo (Book 1 Ashkerwhetasu)
Inspired by Native American mythology and the very real urban legend
of the Wisconsin wolfman

The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo (Book 2 Eluwilussit)The story continues

Loving Leonardo (book1)
A Victorian polyamorous love story,
with a touch of reader-interactive art history

Loving Leonardo - The Quest (book 2)
The story continues

Dreamscape A haunting, a murder, a mystery, a reader's puzzle
running behind the scenes,
and a love that transcends time

Hermes Online A contemporary erotic romance
with a little ancient meddling
(Pssst...the Greek Gods are implied)

You'll LOVE Reading Rose!

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  1. It was wonderful to learn about Nicolas and to learn about your writing. Thank you for being part of the hop and giving us a chance to get to know more about you!


  2. Great interview!! :)

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  3. Excellent interview! I love Nicolas and can't wait to get to know him better! It's been a while since I've read anything historical!!! Am so glad I joined this blog hop! Have found so many new to me wallet HATES me right now!!!!


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