Monday, April 8, 2013

Today's Special - - Kate Noble


It's always a pleasure to welcome Kate Noble to The Romance Dish. Andrea and I both enjoy Kate's books and have been looking forward to her new release, Let It Be Me.  Apparently, we're not the only ones who think Kate writes terrific historical romances.  Her books have earned starred reviews from Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly. The Summer of You (one of my favorites) placed on Kirkus Reviews' Best Romance list and Revealed was a RITA finalist for best Regency Historical Romance.  

Find more information about Kate and her books at her website, like her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter and become a fan at Goodreads.  





Welcome, Kate!  Congratulations on the release of Let It Be Me.  Please tell our readers what they can expect from this book.

-- A history of the geography of Venice and a comprehensive lesson on how to play a Beethoven sonata.  ;) Seriously though, Let It Be Me is the story of Bridget Forrester, who is a brilliant pianist with a bad case of stage fright.  When she gets the chance to study with renowned composer Vincenzo Carpenini, she doesn’t hesitate to hop on a boat and sail for Venice.  But when she arrives, Carpenini’s never hear of her!  But Carpenini’s friend Oliver Merrick has, and actually was the one who sought her out.  When the men become embroiled in a musical wager, they need Bridget’s help – and more than money is at stake.

I love the opening lines of the prologue:   Before there were ever words, there was music.  A
language in and of itself, music is the background to life, where emotion dwells.   What beautiful words, evoking a swell of emotion in my own heart and setting the stage for the story to come.  Music plays a significant role in the lives of your main characters.  Does it in your life as well?

-- I studied music growing up, being forced into piano lessons, and eventually moving onto an instrument more my speed (the trumpet.  It only has 3 keys.)  While I was involved in musicals and marching band all the way through college, it was never as wholly engrossing for me as it is for Bridget.  I sort of wish it was.  There is something very brave and vulnerable about being so deeply passionate about something, as Bridget is about music.  It’s one of the many things that I admire about her.

You’ve taken the setting of this story out of the traditional London and moved it to Venice, Italy.  (which happens to be one of my favorite cities)  What made you choose Venice as the setting and do you plan to use other non-traditional settings for future books? 

-- I knew I had to get Bridget out of London – she needed a blank slate, and not have to deal with the prejudices that had emerged against her in her previous season (she did not fare well in comparison to her sister Sarah in If I Fall).  And Venice – Venice exists like a dream to me.  An island city where you travel by gondola?  What could be a more perfect place to fall in love? 

This is not the first time I’ve ventured outside of England – my novel Follow My Lead takes place mostly in Germany and Austria.  I find it refreshing – while I love the ballroom manners of Regency London, its nice to be reminded that the world is wide and with a very rich history, ready to be mined.

What is the one thing you’d like our readers to know about Bridget and Oliver, the heroine and hero of Let It Be Me?

-- Well, it doesn’t hurt to mention that Oliver is a tall, strong former actor who studied boxing in his youth with dark hair and light, laughing eyes.  But the most important thing about Bridget and Oliver is the support they give each other – Oliver especially is someone Bridget, who is under immense pressure can lean on.  All the flashy, flirting men in the world cannot compare to the steadiness Oliver gives her without question.

Without giving away any spoilers, what is the one scene you would never cut from this book?

-- oh goodness!  I don’t know if I could cut any.  But I would never cut the prologue.  And that might be considered controversial, because it could easily go, without affecting the general story.  But it means too much to me, showing how music has been a constant in Bridget and Oliver’s lives and how it has come to represent love to them both.

Let’s talk about you for a minute.  How do you relax when you’re not busy writing?  Do you have any favorite hobbies or activities?

-- I haven’t not been busy with writing in… too long to mention.  But on those rare occasions I cobble a weekend together, I like to explore new places.  I live in southern California, so there are many options, where I can sightsee, hike, wine-taste, etc.

This book reminded me of how much I love traveling, especially in Italy.  What’s your favorite travel destination?  Is there a place on your bucket list that you haven’t visited yet?

-- I love travelling in Europe, spent part of college in England, and recently took my first trip to South America.  But one thing I’ve never done is a cross-country road trip!  I’m planning on remedying that soon.

We all have our favorite comfort reads around here.  To what books or authors do you turn when you’re in need of a little fictional comfort?

-- Pride and Prejudice is the only book I’ve read over a dozen times.  It puts me exactly where I want to be when I need it.  But I also will seek out anything by JK Rowling or John Green when I need to lose myself for a few days.

If you were doing a self-interview, what question would you ask yourself that’s never been asked of you before?  How would you answer?

-- I would probably ask myself where I want to be in five years time.  Granted this is a question that has been asked, but generally by my mother.  In five years time, I would love to have hit the NYT list, with a Rita in hand and a couple personal accomplishments under my belt. 

What’s next?

-- I’m working on a new trilogy, the first of which will be out in 2014.  I’m also working on a comic book about an Edwardian superhero with Javier Grillo-Marxuach (creator of the Middleman) and artist Kel McDonald, and I am unabashedly excited about it.   And finally, I’m also working on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries spinoff, Welcome to Sanditon.  (see, I told you I haven’t had free time in too long to mention.)

Thank you for graciously answering my questions today, Kate.  Do you have a question for our readers?

-- Sure!  Since we talked a great deal about travel, tell me, what’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?  Or what city do you think is the best place to fall in love?  One lucky commenter will win a copy of Let It Be Me! (US only)

40 comments:

  1. We love to travel and have had many wonderful trips. One I took before I got married was to Indonesia/Bali in 1971 on my way home from a 3 year Peace Corps assignment. I know things have changed there since then, but it was a great experience. I stayed on the local level, not the tourist type places and got a good feel and view of the country and the people. Bali, especially, was magical - time slows down and the mystical is close to the surface.

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    1. I think that would be a wonderful adventure, Pat. Like you, I love to explore the local spots.

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  2. Congratulations to Kate on her new book. I always enjoy artistic heroines and I do like a character who feels passionately about something. I haven't traveled very much but New York is my favorite city. I grew up in New Jersey, not far from New York. When we went into the city it was New York and all other cities have seemed smaller and not as exciting .

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    1. New York City is a great place to visit. I went for the first time in 2007 and had such a wonderful time.

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  3. My favorite place is Rome, Italy. Fascinating, exciting and wonderful. My first international trip which opened my eyes to so much.

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    1. Rome is a wonderful city to explore but Florence has been my favorite Italian city since I first visited when I was 16. If I ever hit the lottery, I'm going to Italy every summer! :)

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  4. Hi, Kate! First of all, let me tell you how much I love your novels and especially the humor with which you “season” them. Congratulations on your successes and I look forward to reading more. “Let It Be Me” is on my Wish List and I cannot wait to read it.

    To answer your question, I would have to say that Paris is my favorite place. I lived there for six years and can say that there is love, excitement and always something new around each corner. I learned so much during my years there but felt that there was much more yet to learn.

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    1. My one and only visit to Paris was for two days when I was 16. I'm afraid I wasn't very impressed. I'd love to go back for an "adult" look at the city of light. :)

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  5. I always feel provincial when talk turns to travel because my travels have been limited to the U. S. Charleston and Savannah are my favorite cities. Both make me feel as if I only turn one more corner, I’ll be time traveling.

    I have traveled widely via books, and I loved revisiting Venice through the pages of Let It Be Me, which I’m reading for the second time today. I read it and loved it so much that it made me want to reread Follow My Lead and If I Fall. Once I reread those, I wanted to read Let It Be Me again. It’s always a joy to add another keeper to my collection.

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    1. Isn't it fun to revisit those stories that we fall in love with?

      I feel the same as you in both Savannah and Charleston, Janga. So much history, charm and atmosphere!

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  6. Travel is lovely. I haven't traveled very much and this past year being ill with breast cancer I was recovering. But I would love to visit a very romantic place. Lake Como would be extraordinary. A secluded villa. Travel is special.

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    1. A secluded villa on Lake Como sounds lovely, petite. I wonder if George Clooney is open to guests?

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  7. First I have to say how much I've enjoyed your books! As to travel, early on in my marriage we were able to visit some wonderful places. My three favorites were a Carribbean cruise, Hawaii and France. Being young and in love made it very romantic.

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    1. All three sound like lovely,romantic trips, catslady! I'll be visiting Hawaii for the first time this year. I'm very excited! :)

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  8. I haven't been a lot of places but sea world is one of my favorite places.

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    1. Sea World is a great "world" to explore!

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  9. I haven't traveled a great deal, so my favorite place was on the ocean front in South Carolina.

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    1. There are a lot of great places on the South Carolina coast. We've spent many vacations in the Garden City area.

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  10. Went to Hawaii on our honeymoon - awesome place.
    lovesthemets@yahoo.com
    Natalie's Mama

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  11. I would love to visit Hawaii! Haven't really traveled at all so I've only gotten away in the pages of a book :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I love visiting faraway places in the pages of the books I read. Some authors are so gifted at description that I can close my eyes and swear I'm there!

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  12. Hi, Kate!! Welcome back. We're glad to have you visiting with us today. I can't wait to read LET IT BE ME and find out what happens to Bridget! *g*

    Wow, favorite place I've ever been? Tough question...not sure I can narrow it down to one. Some of my favorites are: Washington DC, Yosemite National Park, the Harry Potter section of Islands of Adventure, the Grand Canyon, Jackson Hole, Wyoming....

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  13. My favorite city and one I think is perfect to fall in love in is the one I live in, San Antonio, Texas. There's a lot of history here, starting with the Alamo in downtown, and continuing on in many directions with many different peoples who helped settle the city and the area. Come check us out if you've never visited. And I'd love to win a copy of the book as I'm always looking for new to me author's.

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    1. San Antonio is a wonderful city and, I agree, very romantic. Did you know that the 2014 RWA National Conference will be in San Antonio? All those authors in your city! :)

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  14. Hi Kate! Congrats on the release of Let It Be Me! I think Italy is a fabulous place to fall in love. :) I also spent a wonderful week and a half in Spain when I was in high school and have been in love with it ever since. I think Barcelona, Seville, or Madrid would be the perfect place to fall in love too.

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    1. Barcelona is the only place in Spain that I've visited but it would be a great place to fall in love, I agree!

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  15. I'm currently reading If I Fall & enjoying it very much. One of my favorite places is Isle Royale National Park in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. My now-husband took me there when I was so in love I agreed to go camping--something I'd never done before! Sweetheart that he is, he got us a nice, clean, modern cabin and we fell in love during long hikes in the peaceful woods and along Lake Superior.

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    1. Maria, I grew up in Michigan and I think the UP is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's no wonder you fell in love! :)

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  16. I love the ocean. There's a timeless quality to the ebb and flow of the waves, a sense of undeniable humbleness looking upon it--you could be anyone in any space in time as you gaze across the water. Everything falls away.

    As for a place to fall in love, I think historic Charleston, SC would be amazing. There are so many different aspects the city itself could lend to your romance, and you're steps away from plantations and beaches. Really though, it's about the two of you, not the location. Remote, arid deserts could be romantic if the connection is strong enough to make you forget the sand chafing your unmentionables and your peeling, sun-burned nose.

    I cannot wait to read Let It Be Me!

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  17. My favorite place is probably vieques island puerto rico. White sand beaches. Bioluminescent bay beautiful water and great food and drinks.

    Best place to fall in love would probably be france or italy. Maybe not just one place but between the cities and the countryside (for both countries) it is a great place to fall in love. While I am partial to Italy as I honeymooned there. I must say I think France would be the place to fall in love if I were to ever fall in love again.

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  18. I've never really gone on a really awesome trip, but among the places I have traveled, I'd choose Monterey, California as my favorite. I think the best place to fall in love is wherever you and the right person are. :D

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  19. The only other countries I've been to are Canada and Mexico, so I'm not an expert on places to visit. I'm also a simple girl at heart. I'd love to go to my hubby's family cottage on a beautiful lake in northern Michigan about an hour from the Mackinac Bridge. It's so pretty and peaceful up there.

    Marcy Shuler
    bmndshuler(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  20. I don't get to travel much and when I do its never very far from home, but last November I took my oldest son to see a Christmas Show in New York and I loved it (he did too)! We got to see the show and go shopping! I live in the middle of no where PA so New York was a whole new world for me and my little guy.
    I wont have the money this year, but next year I"m hoping I can take both my boys again :)

    So as of right now New York would have to be my favorite place I have ever been!!

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  21. I have not ever really traveled much but I would love to travel to either Scotland or Italy or Australia and fall in love---all 3 places have such sexy accents ;-)

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  22. I discovered my "favorite places" when my husband and I went to England and Scotland. My two favorites were Winchester Cathdral and Linlithgow Palace.

    We loved Winchester because when we stepped into the Cathdral because just as we stepped through the door the organ started playing but it appeared as if we were the only ones there! The music was mystical and really made the visit wonderful! We also found Linlithgow Palace a place out of time and the history of the Palace is fascinating! We were the only visitors at the time so we really did feel like we were surrounded by the history of the Palace and thought of all that had walked its hallways in the past. It was a visit never to be forgotten.

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  23. Hubby was career Air Force, so we got to live in The Netherlands and Germany, as well as CA, NM and now OK. We also went to Isreal a couple of times, and visited Paris & London. I have to say Europe in general would be the favorite place I've ever been. There were other places in Europe I wish we could have visited, and maybe someday we will.

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  24. I loved visiting Scotland and Edinbourgh, lovely people and great history!

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  25. Scotland is my favorite of anywhere I've been.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

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