Little Gems 2012 Author: Carol Hoggart

Hi, legally I’m Carol Hoggart, but such a name is quite unsuitable for an author of medieval romances. Not a sniff of romance there, so I’ve cooked up a pseudonym (partly so my parents never read my stuff!).
I plan to publish as Venetia Green, although my Little Gems are going to remain prosaically Hoggarty.
Carol has two short stories in the Diamond Edition:
 And the names are quite wierd enough for you to remember: ‘The Nun and the Thief’ and ‘The Diamond of Friday Street’.
What challenges you most in writing a short romance story?
Regarding the challenges of a short story – the biggest one had to be length! Plan as I might, the words just didn’t want to stay contained within the 3000 word limit. Then there was research – these were the first stories I had written set in medieval London, so the research I needed to do was completely disproportionate to the word count. Just finding out that goldsmiths and the like usually set up shop on Cheapside or Friday Street took a whole load of discovering. Still, it’ll all come in handy later on.
Regarding tips for short stories, I’m really not sure I’m the right person to give them. These were the first I had written pretty well since high school. But I’m definitely a plotter. I suppose my tips might be: keep the number of characters to a minimum, the plot relatively simple, and plot first to make sure the story is do-able within the length.
Do you have a favourite line/short piece from your short?
Seeing as I have two stories in the anthology, I’m going to be greedy and give you two excerpts, one from each:
From ‘The Diamond of Friday Street’:
‘We have other stones, my lord. Amber a-plenty, ruby that dropped as dragon’s blood from the skies, a handful of pearls from seas warm as bath-water …’
‘No, I want no other stones.’
‘But … we are lapidaries, my lord. We have no other stock. So … your business with us is done.’
Her eyes were upturned to his now, pools of grey light sparking with a million tints. Like Adela herself – seemingly colourless at first, but threaded with all the richness of the meadow.
And from ‘The Nun and the Thief’:
The man lounging beside her might be low-life scum – attractive in a lithe and cocky sort of way, admittedly – but still first-cousin to the slime that rimmed the Thames at low-ebb. But he was not stupid, and he would take her diamond if he could. The liripiped man had known what he was about: two thieves made an honest man.
What was your inspiration for the story?
The theme of diamond, of course! I was determined to remain within the Middle Ages, and diamonds were not particularly well known then. Engagement rings were unheard of, and the cutting of stones was still pretty rare. I had lots of fun in ‘The Diamond of Friday Street’ with incorporating ancient beliefs about the diamond or ‘adamant’ as it was sometimes called. Then in ‘The Nun and the Thief’, I was inspired by a historical robbery in medieval London, although the details are quite different.
What are your writing goals for the future?
My first project was a full length historical romance featuring Vikings, entitled Enslaved. I’m currently on tenterhooks waiting to hear back from 2 publishers on that score. But for the future: writing short stories has proved to be so satisfying that I’ve decided to try my hand at novellas for a bit. I’ve just finished an erotic novella with a Viking setting, and now I’m trying to psyche myself up to beginning another – set in medieval London. With the boom of e-books, short stories and novellas are suddenly a lot more marketable!
Will we be able to catch up with you in person at the RWA National Conference in August?
Absolutely! Would I miss the chance to catch up with the most interesting and inspirational ladies (and occasional gents) in Australia? No way. I’ll see you there.
 Anthology Orders Now OpenWould you like to order the anthology for yourself, as a special gift or a Christmas (yes I said Christmas) stocking filler?Orders are now open and we are taking pre-release orders until the end of June, so plenty of time. Use the order form on our RWA website.

NOTE: Pre-release ordering means you are ordering and paying but the anthology will not be available until August (launched at the national conference).
Leave a comment


  1. Hi Carol,
    It’s a huge achievement to get two stories into the anthology. They sound wonderful and I look forward to reading them.

  2. Hi Carol. I love Venetia Green, but I am glad at least some of your things are remaining ‘prosaically Hoggarty’ (which phrase amused me no end, incidentally). Your Gems sound great. I’m looking forward to reading them!

    • Carol H

       /  May 9, 2012

      Thanks Imelda! I pseudo-named myself after one of my favourite Georgette Heyer books + part of the title of an Anya Seton historical novel. All very deep and meaningful.

  3. Carmen

     /  May 9, 2012

    Hi Carol! Ah, yes. The parents. You made me laugh. Congrats on both stories 😀

  4. Carol, your stories sound great. Really looking forward to receiving my copy of our anthology this year.

  5. Carol C

     /  May 10, 2012

    Hi Carol – Looking forward to reading your stories in the anthology and good luck with the submission process for your story ‘Enslaved’. I think I may have been priveleged enough to see a tiny bit of it in the judging process and have my fingers crossed that it finds its home!
    From another Carol

    • Carol H

       /  May 10, 2012

      Hi other Carol! Guess what? Enslaved is going to be published – by Ellora’s Cave! I found out less than a week ago and it’s all incredibly exciting. Thanks for the good wishes!

  6. Hi Carol,
    Great to read about your stories and congratulations on getting TWO entries into the anthology. Looking forward to catching up at conference.

    • Carol H

       /  May 10, 2012

      Thanks, Chris! And CONGRATULATIONS yourself on finaling in the Emerald!!!

  7. Vanda Vadas

     /  May 13, 2012

    Hi Carol
    Congratulations on having two stories published in this year’s Little Gems and more congrats for having your Viking historical published by Ellora’s Cave. I’ve been to Norway several times and got up close and personal with old Viking longships and relics. I bought heaps of Royal Pewter with a pattern that springs from events re King Olav and his men at the battle of Stiklestad in the year 1030AD.
    See you at the conference.

    • Carol H

       /  May 14, 2012

      Thanks a lot, Vanda! I’m looking forward to reading your Little Gem too! I’d love to catch up with you at the conference and talk of things Norwegian …


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