Thursday, October 06, 2011

Carol K. Carr, Guest Blogger

I’m a big fan of Carol K. Carr’s Madam of Espionage historical mystery series.  India Black is a fascinating character. So, today, I’m turning the blog over to Carol K. Carr so she can interview India, asking her about her latest adventures in India Black and the Widow of Windsor. Thank you, Carol and India.

Hello, India.  Welcome to the blog.  Can you tell us how it feels to be the heroine of your own series of novels?

    It's about bloody time madams got some respect in the literary world.  You'd think we'd get some recognition for valuable services rendered but, no, we're always the villain of the piece.

Do you think the author of your adventures, Carol Carr, has portrayed you accurately?

    Frankly, I think she could have done better.  She spends half her time whining about having "to tone me down," whatever that means.  I am much wittier in person.  And I am not at all pleased with that cover portrait.  I am very well-endowed and that picture does not do justice to my figure.  As for French, she's taken a little poetic license with him.  I mean, he's a handsome chap and all, but he's deuced insufferable.

Tell us about "India Black and the Widow of Windsor."

    It's like this, you see.  Her Royal Bovinity (that would be Queen Victoria) hies off to Balmoral after her dear departed husband, Prince Albert, appears at a seance and instructs her to spend the Christmas holidays there.  Hard to credit, but Her Majesty believes in communications with the other side.  Anyway, off she goes, oblivious to the fact that this was all planned by a group of Scottish nationalists who are bent on scragging her at the first opportunity.  Dizzy (that's Prime Minister Disraeli) gets wind of the plot and sends French and me to save the queen.  French spends his time drinking brandy with the rest of the toffs and I spend mine acting as a ladies' maid to the Marchioness of Tullibardine, and a more ancient, decrepit example of the Scottish aristocracy you will never see.  Despite running my legs off for the old trout, I have a grand time trying to ferret out a traitor in the queen's household and chasing assassins through the halls of Balmoral.

Can you tell us more about your background?  And what about French and Vincent.  What is their history?

     I've explained all that to Carol a dozen times.  You think she'd have it down by now, but she still spends a lot of time muttering to herself and drawing genealogical charts.  She has told me that my past and that of French will be revealed over the course of several volumes.  If you ask me, she's just trying to keep the readers interested so they'll keep buying books.  Being a businesswoman myself, I think that's a smart move.

I hate to bring this up, but some readers have pointed out that it is difficult to believe that the British government would need the assistance of a madam in matters of national security.

    That just shows a shocking lack of imagination on their part.  Have you ever met a politician who wanted to leave office?  There's absoluting nothing a politician won't do to stay in power, including hiring a madam to do a little spying here and there.  Besides, I've a natural flair for espionage work and I know how to use a revolver.

How does the creative process work between you and the author?

    What creative process?  I settle in with a glass of whisky and dictate to Carol.  She writes it up and takes care of the irritating bits, like talking to the agent and the publisher and reading the manuscript over and over until she goes cross-eyed.  She can be very cranky at times, but we get along fine as long as she does what I tell her to do.

What should we expect next from India Black?

    I once spent some time undercover, joining up with some sinister foreign types in an anarchist cell.  Dangerous stuff, that, as those blokes are an extremely paranoid and suspicious lot and they keep dynamite on hand.  Except for the bombs, things turned out fine.  Carol says we have to have this done by February 1st, and I tell her to quit dithering then and get on with it.

Thank you for dropping by, India.

My pleasure.  Mind you buy a copy of the book.  I've got my old age to think about.

I knew this was going to be a fascinating interview. Thank you, Carol, and thank you, India.

Carol K. Carr's website is

India Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K. Carr. Berkley Prime Crime. ©2011. ISBN 9780425243190 (paperback), 309p.


Dizzy C said...

Lesa, Carol, India,

fab interview. Loved it.
Looking forward to India's 2nd adventure.


Lesa said...

Isn't that a good one, Dizzy? I thought it was fun. I'm sure you'll enjoy India Black and the Widow of Windsor.

Dee DeTarsio said...

Ha ha--great interview, India!! I love India Black, and no worries, Madame, I am reading you right now! PS--I love your cover!

Liz V. said...

You said this would be good, Lesa.

Lesa said...

I like her cover, too, Dee De. I don't know that she really needed to show more cleavage!

Lesa said...

Hope you enjoyed it, Liz. I know I did.

Georgia said...

February 1st can't come fast enough! India, kick Carol in the shin, trip her with a cane or sic Vincent on her to HURRY! We need the next volume NOW! Who is India's Mother? Really. Not fair to leave us hanging about so many things. I can't get enough of India Black! Bring back the Marchioness and PLEASE don't let French be married. This is going to be a BIG winner series! I hope there's many more. Thank you! Now, where's my whisky...