Friday, March 20, 2015


My guest is historical romance author, Caroline Warfield. She has had quite a few grand adventures in her life. When I asked about making a movie of her life her answer was thought out and quite fascinating.

Sia asked if they made a movie of your life, what would it look like? What genre would it be? Who would play you?  It made me smile to think about it. 

The first thing that came to mind was the theme music. I always thought the music of my life would have to be the Beethoven piano concertos. They have very great lows, tremendous highs and great crashing chords with very little limping along in the middle.  But a movie? That would take thought.

All writers are asked for their biography; they are asked frequently.  I flipped mine out with what I thought was wry humor until I looked at it and realized it was all true. Written down it sounds a lot more interesting than living it felt.  At least one person told me she wished she had my life. 
Here it is:

Caroline Warfield has at various times been an army brat, a librarian, a poet, a raiser of children, a nun, a bird watcher, an Internet and Web services manager, a conference speaker, an indexer, a tech writer, a genealogist, and, of course, a romantic. She has sailed through the English channel while it was still mined from WWII, stood on the walls of Troy, searched Scotland for the location of an entirely fictional castle (and found it), climbed the steps to the Parthenon, floated down the Thames from the Tower to Greenwich, shopped in the Ginza, lost herself in the Louvre, gone on a night safari at the Singapore zoo, walked in the Black Forest, and explored the underground cistern of Istanbul. By far the biggest adventure has been life-long marriage to a prince among men.
So what about the movie?

Lady Tobin
I propose we pitch it as a Victorian travelogue with the heroine (that would be me) as an intrepid adventurer such as Lady Catherine Tobin or Lady Florence Dixie—or a fictional adventurer like Amelia Peabody.  We might give it a sort of sepia toned look. Our heroine would wear trousers and a practical hat. She would carry a leather backpack.  The backpack would contain an ever-present book and a notebook for sketches and story notes.

Lady Florence Dixie
Finding the right actress to play me would, of course, be tough. She has to convey courage, intelligence, and a solid grounding in literature and history. She would also have to manage profound spirituality when called for.  If a very young Judy Dench isn’t available, I suggest we ask Amy Adams or Adelaide Clemens.

Caro and husband in Ephesus
What’s that? The hero you ask?  Yes, she will require a fellow traveler, one who shares her curiosity and confidence. Wait! I have one of those.  Here is a picture of him walking the paved streets of ancient Ephesus with me.
The movie would require an owl, either as a muse, a pet, or simply a wondrous sight. Add a typewriter and a camel to carry it all, and we might just have it—my life, as I would like to have lived it. 

When I begin a new book I almost always begin not with plot, not with characters, but with setting. I think of a place and time, and ask, “Who can I put there? What would their life have been like?” From that flow conflict, motivation, and love, always in the end there is love. My newest is no exception. After visiting Rome I asked, “What was it like for an English man or woman in Rome in 1820?” Dangerous Secrets is my answer.
So gentle readers, do you enjoy books set in exotic locations? Do you prefer contemporary or historical? And can you think of another actress to play me?
Leave a comment follow my Dangerous Secrets Tour link for a chance to name characters in a holiday novella that is in process, as well as an Amazon Gift card.

 When a little brown wren of an Englishwoman bursts into Jamie Heyworth’s private hell and asks for help he mistakes her for the black crow of death.  Why not? He fled to Rome and sits in despair with nothing left to sell and no reason to get up in the morning. Behind him lie disgrace, shame, and secrets he is desperate to keep.

Nora Haley comes to Rome at the bidding of her dying brother who has an unexpected legacy. Never in her sunniest dreams did Nora expect Robert to leave her a treasure, a tiny blue-eyed niece with curly hair and warm hugs. Nora will do anything to keep her, even hire a shabby, drunken major as an interpreter. 

Jamie can’t let Nora know the secrets he has hidden from everyone, even his closest friends. Nora can’t trust any man who drinks. She had enough of that in her marriage. Either one, however, will dare anything for the little imp that keeps them together, even enter a sham marriage to protect her. Will love—and the truth—bind them both together?


Caroline Warfield sits in front of a keyboard at a desk surrounded by windows, looks out at the trees and imagines. Her greatest joy is when one of those imaginings comes to life on the page and in the imagination of her readers.

You can find Caroline:

Website and Blog, Facebook, Twitter @CaroWarfield


Kat Sheridan said...

Caroline, I would go watch that movie in a heartbeat! Some of the most extraordinary people I know never think of themselves that way, never realizing how exotic is sounds to some of us. I've had the great privilege of reading Dangerous Secrets (and your first, Dangerous Works) and what stuck me the most was how utterly refreshing it was to read a Regency era romance that didn't have one mention of balls or the ton or anything else. And your characters were pitch perfect. I love a brave, questing heroine and a broken hero. Sigh. Dangerous Secrets really is a lovely book. I also loved that you wrapped real historical events so nicely in with your fictional lives. Well done!

Caroline Warfield said...

Blushing, Kat. What kind words! I write what I'd like to read.

Liza said...

Sounds like you write what I like to read, too. I'm putting this on my list!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Caro--welcome to Over Coffee!

I truly enjoyed your article, well thought out and entertaining.

I haven't had the chance to read this one yet, but I will. Like Kat, I enjoy reading regency stories with other settings besides balls and the ton. There was so much questing for knowledge during this period and it's always a pleasure to read about characters involved with all the new learning and technology. Plus this was the time when the intrepid English were exploring so many places beyond their borders. Fascinating time period--beyond balls and routs which get boring after awhile.

Wishing you the absolute best with this!

Caroline Warfield said...

Thanks so much for having me, Sia. This one was a blast to do.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to hear from you, Caroline. I can't wait to read Dangerous Secrets, as Dangerous Works was a wonderful book!

It's interesting what you say about starting a story with the setting. I do that too! I used to think I started with characters, since the choices are always presented as character or plot. But I've learned that actually, I first fall in love with an era or location and begin to imagine myself there. Ancient Egypt. Viking Europe. Norman England. I wonder how an average woman would deal with problems back then, how she would deal with the men in her life, and how she would manage to not just survive but survive happily.

It's challenging to present a character in her culture and timeframe who is relatable to today's reader, but that's the fun of it, isn't? You do a fabulous job of it, Caroline!

Caroline Warfield said...

Oh, Oberon, you are so right to put era in the same bag as location. I go somewhere, or I read about a time and place and I think, "Who would have lived here then? What would they have done." Thanks for posting.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

I cannot express how happy I am to hear someone start with setting! I love settings too and find them inspiring. I like both historical and contemporary. I think the moment – the mood of the setting can trigger a story.

Caroline Warfield said...

Yea! It is very affirming to hear you say that.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I also like your fresh approach to starting a novel! I'm picturing Amy Adams decked out in Lady Florence Dixie attire!


Peaches Ledwidge said...

a beautiful way to start a blurb - "When a little brown wren of an Englishwoman bursts into Jamie Heyworth’s private hell and asks for help he mistakes her for the black crow of death."

Pulls the reader right in.

Stephen Tremp said...

It's great to meet Carolyn Warfeld and best wishes to her!

Not sure what movie would portray my life. It would be boring, but only because the statutes of limitations have not run out and I do not want to spend the rest of my life behind bars.

Megan Calista said...
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