Author Interview & Giveaway: L.H. Cosway Talks Painted Faces

Today we are delighted to have L.H. Cosway with us, author of the amazing and beautiful untraditional love story Painted Facesfeaturing the incredibly sexy Nicholas, who also happens to be a drag queen.

Yes, this is a male/female romance. And yes, Nicholas will make you completely reevaluate what you think an alpha hero is! For more of my thoughts on all things Painted Faces, check out my review.

We are also giving away THREE kindle copies of Painted Faces to THREE random (and lucky) readers!

Now, let’s give Miz Cosway a round of cyber applause and a warm welcome and get this interview started!


Who is L.H. Cosway? Who is the woman behind the words?

L.H. Cosway: L.H Cosway is my pen name. I take Cosway from one of my favorite novels, Wide Sargasso Sea. Behind all that I'm just a little Irish freelance writer/editor who enjoys composing fiction on the side. As a person you could probably describe me as a happy goth, if that makes sense! I strive to find humor in all things, even the darkest of situations. I love to be around people, but I'm most creative when I'm alone. Despite being an author, I still read far more than I write. I'm addicted to stories and I'll read just about any genre, though I prefer when they have a romantic element. In essence, I'm all about the books. I want to immerse myself in a fictional world, whether it's one I've concocted myself or the creation of another writer.

Painted Faces hit shelves December 16th. Tell us a little about it.

L.H. Cosway: Painted Faces was my first romance novel. My other books have romance in them, but it's never been the main contender like in this one. With this book I wanted to tell a story about two people falling in love, but I didn't want it to be the kind where they're both fighting all the time. I wanted to write a story of friendship and attraction evolving into love (with just a touch of melodrama). I tried my best to portray a kind of warmth and mutual respect between Nicholas and Fred, and how they immediately just clicked and were quipping back and forth before they even got to know one another. When people read the blurb and see that Nicholas works as a drag performer they often think, nah this isn't for me. I do agree that it isn't for everyone, but I also think that those people are in the minority. I think that most of the people who believe they aren't going to like it will end up changing their minds once they start reading. I'm not saying this because I think my book is so amazing, I've just had a lot of readers tell me they were hesitant and then ended up loving it. Even though the blurb says it's unconventional (and it is) it's not way, way out there.

Where did the inspiration for this story come from? Are you a big Rocky Horror fan?

L.H. Cosway: Oh yeah definitely. I first saw the film when I was about ten years old and thought it was the best thing ever (even though I was too young to get all the innuendos!) Tim Curry as Dr Frank N. Furter was a big inspiration because he has that kind of androgynous sexuality that I really wanted to portray in Nicholas. The idea for the story didn't come from any one place, but from a whole selection. For instance, Nicholas' stage persona “Vivica Blue” is actually inspired by some of my favorite cabaret singers, such as Camille O'Sullivan and Meow Meow. It's odd in that sense because I didn't draw on drag queens for Viv, I drew on actual female performers. I've always been intrigued by effeminate men and masculine women, so I guess with Nicholas I was putting all of those characteristics into one person. Sometimes he's a sexy alpha male and at others he's delicately feminine. Some people ask me why I didn't make Fred more conflicted about Nicholas' occupation, but that's not the kind of story I wanted to tell. If I did then I would have just made Nora the heroine instead. Painted Faces isn't about the characters changing who they are, it's about them embracing it. When all is said and done, Nicholas will continue to perform and Fred will continue to be this slightly insecure, funny, potty-mouthed woman. In my opinion they are perfect in their imperfections.

Why do you believe readers would enjoy a romantic book affair with Nicholas?

L.H. Cosway: The main thing about Nicholas is that he's very sexually forward. He says exactly what's inside his head, no matter how lewd. He's a beautiful, confident man who makes no apologies about who he is or what he does for a living, and I think that's what makes him so attractive and why readers will enjoy falling for him. Behind the confidence there's a vulnerability and a painful childhood that only makes you love him even more. Fred wants to show him just how lovable he is because he really doesn't know it.

I can honestly say that I've never thought of, or imagined I'd enjoy, a hero who is a drag queen. (Way to prove me SO wrong!) Were you ever afraid of how readers would react to Nicholas?

L.H. Cosway: I was terrified. I really had no clue what the reaction would be. All through writing the novel I was questioning whether there would be a backlash from readers simply because this particular type of male lead hadn't really been done before. I haven't come across a book yet with a character quite like Nicholas. When you're doing something new you don't have any reference point from which to judge how people are going to react to the story. That was the scary part of publishing this book. Luckily people have taken to Nicholas in a big way and it gives me faith to know that there are enough open minded people out there who are willing to accept him.

If you could cast the movie version of Painted Faces, who would play Freda and Nicholas?

L.H. Cosway: Every time I get asked this question I change my mind. I think that James McEvoy would make a brilliant Nicholas because he's got those mischievous sparkly blue eyes. Freda is more difficult to pick, because I can never think of any Irish actresses who could play her. If you've ever seen Fergie as Saraghina in Nine, that's how I visualize Freda in terms of hair and body type.

Can you share with us what you're currently working on? Or what we can expect from you next?

L.H. Cosway: I'm currently working on the third book in my urban fantasy series, Tegan's Magic. I'm hoping to have that finished in the next few weeks and then I'll be working on another contemporary romance that I've been planning for a while. This one is quite different from Painted Faces in that it portrays a love/hate sort of relationship. It's set in London, but will again feature an Irish heroine. The working title for it is The Nature of Cruelty but that could change by the time I get around to publishing.

What is the most unusual resource you have ever used while writing?

L.H. Cosway: Wine maybe? Haha! Only joking. I don't really use resources that are very unusual. Most of the time I sort of fall into the page and I don't really need anything to prompt me. Although sometimes I make soundtracks and play them on full volume while I'm writing. I know it doesn't sound too conducive to good creativity, but for some reason I get some great scenes written in this way because the music sort of draws it out of me. I find this especially good when writing a scene where the characters are drunk or experiencing extreme emotions.

What are some of your favorite books or authors that you’ve read?

L.H. Cosway: For paranormal and urban fantasy I love books by Kelley Armstrong and Lili St.Crow. Contemporary romance wise I really liked Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols, I also like Simone Elkeles and Lauren Strasnick. One of the best books I ever read and which I noticed had a bit of a revamp of popularity last year was Stolen by Lucy Christopher. It's the kind of book that sticks in your head for weeks after reading it.


About the Author

L.H. Cosway is a self-employed writer, editor, and proofreader. She has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

Find L.H. Cosway Online:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Thank you so much for joining us today, Miz Cosway! James McAvoy would be a sexy Nicholas, I completely agree, but I couldn’t get Billy Crudup from Stage Beauty (that scene in particular) out of my head! So, so hot!


THREE randomly drawn readers will win a kindle copy of L.H. Cosway’s Painted Faces! Open Internationally. Please follow the Rafflecopter widget directions and terms and conditions. Giveaway ends at 12:01am on 2/11/13.

Please leave us a comment telling us why you’d love to have a romantic book affair with Nicholas!

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  1. Nicholas sounds amazing! I'd love to have a book affair with him because he's not a typical hero and I like that he's in touch with his feminine side. Sounds so frickin sexy!

  2. Great giveaway..I love finding new books and new authors that I haven't read yet..Thanks for the chance

  3. He sounds Amazing and why not I can def add more to my book boyfriend list!!

  4. What I read about it so far looks really good..Thanks for a great giveaway..

  5. Nicholas sounds like my kind of guy - beautiful and confident! Great interview and thanks for the giveaway!


  6. I just love romances and beautiful men!!

  7. Wonderful interview! I can't wait to meet Nicholas.

  8. Great interview! Nicholas is intriguing and confident who doesn't love that!!

  9. What a great interview! L.H Cosway seems like she would be an awsome person to hang out with. Painted Faces sounds like a great read.

    1. Oh and Nicholas would probably be a whole heck of a lot more romantic than my husband, who I love very very much, despite his unromantic

  10. Haven't read the book so not sure how to answer the question! But I am definitely intrigued!

  11. I haven't had the opportunity to read Painted Faces so I wouldn't know anything about Nicholas other than what I've read in the synopsis.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. It sounds very good and you recommended it to me :0)
    thanks for the giveaway
    my1lulabug at yahoo dot com

  13. Seems like an interesting man! :)

  14. He sounds like someone you can fall in love with over and over every day.

  15. Rachael Sauve-cumleFebruary 9, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    PICK ME :) :) :)

  16. Haven't had a chance to read this yet, so I don't know much about him, but I'd love to get to know him ;) Always room for another book boyfriend! Great giveaway!

  17. Because he is beautiful and kind of guy!! Thanks for the givaway! Great interview!

  18. Because he is intriguing, different, and confident!!


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