Hey everyone! Boy do I have a treat for you today! Christine Trent, author of A Royal Likeness and The Queen's Dollmaker is here today to discuss her new book and her life as a Historical Fiction author. She is also graciously giving away a copy of her new book A Royal Likeness, which is open INTERNATIONALLY!
Guest Interview with Christine Trent
All Things Historical Fiction
1. I was pleasantly surprised that A Royal Likeness picks up right where The Queen's Dollmaker left off with Marguerite taking over Claudette's Doll shop. What made you decided to continue the story of Marguerite and Claudette?
Well, truth be told, I continued the story because my editor told me to! I was halfway through an entirely different manuscript when I sold THE QUEEN’S DOLLMAKER, but my editor at Kensington, Audrey LaFehr, said she’d prefer to see a sequel. I knew instantly that Marguerite’s story needed to be told, and that her dollmaking skills would transfer well to waxworking.
2. One of the things that I love about both your books is that you creatively incorporated doll making (The Queen's Dollmaker) and wax working (A Royal Likeness) into your storyline. What made you decide to write books centered on artistic trades in the late 1700s and early 1800s?
My inspiration was British historical romance author Rosalind Laker, whose romances frequently incorporate a heroine in a business – fan making, mask-making, haute couture, etc. Reading her books inspired me to write my own with professions but with a twist: I wanted to write about very unusual professions, with a little more emphasis on the historical aspect, vs. the romance side.
3. When beginning a new book or project, what steps do you take in researching and developing both your characters and your plot? Do you travel abroad to do your research or do you do it all through the internet? Where do you get your ideas for your main characters both fictional and historical?
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been abroad, but I’ve visited many of the places I write about: Versailles, Edinburgh, and Brighton Pavilion, to name a few. To develop a book, I first decide on the unusual profession. From there, I try to build the profession around both major and minor historical events, and I draw in as many real people as I can. There are usually only half a dozen or so invented characters in my books. As far as my portrayal of fictional characters goes, I can only say that those people just pop into my head fully formed.
4. Who did you enjoy writing about most, Marie Antoinette or Madame Tussaud and why?
Wow, a difficult choice. I guess I’d have to say that Madame Tussaud was a greater creative challenge, because so little is known of her touring years in early 19th-century England, so I had to fill in a lot of gaps myself. And who doesn’t enjoy a creative challenge?
What I really enjoyed about Marie Antoinette, though, was giving her a more sympathetic portrayal than history has done. The queen was silly and extravagant, but so was everyone else around her. I don’t think she deserves the “let them eat cake” reputation she’s been stuck with for many years.
5. Do you have a favorite place to do all your brainstorming and writing for your books, such as a coffee shop or your home office. Where do you think you do your best writing?
My husband built me a little 3x5 writing space in our home library. We call it The Writing Hut, or The Hut for short. It has space for my current project’s research books, as well as a cat bed for whichever kitty is joining me that day. I do all of my writing there, except for once each month when I go to the hairdresser. I can do an amazing amount of writing while sitting in a chair with potions on my head!
6. I really like when books that I have read get turned into films because I can see all the characters and settings come to life. If the opportunity ever came your way, how would you feel about turning your books into film and seeing your creations come to life? If this is something that appeals to you, which one of your books would you most like to see on the big screen and why?
There is no author on the planet who doesn’t want to see her book turned into film! Those opportunities are, unfortunately, few and far between. If I had a choice, I’d like to see A ROYAL LIKENESS on the screen. It would be sort of a cross between Master and Commander and the Vincent Price movie, House of Wax. J
7. What projects are you currently working on and if you're willing can we have a little sneak peak as to what we can expect from you in the future?
My next book, tentatively titled THE PRINCE’S PAVILION, about a cloth merchant named Annabelle Stirling, should be released in early 2012. Thanks to her patron, the great architect John Nash, Belle Stirling is a rising star in the homes of London’s fashionable elite. Even the Prince Regent wants her elegant, high quality fabrics used in the decoration of his new palace, Brighton Pavilion. But when those closest to her conspire against Parliament, she risks losing her reputation, her business. . .and even her life. To read the prologue, visit here: http://www.christinetrent.com/theprincespavilion.html#excerpt
As always, I plan to bring in historical events both great and small, including the Luddite riots, the Cato Street Conspiracy, the rebuilding of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, and other events of Regency England. I hope readers will be as fascinated as I was by details of early 19th century cloth manufacture.
My fourth novel will encompass another unusual profession, this time a dark and mysterious one set in Victorian England. And that’s all the detail I’m giving for now!
Thanks Christine for taking the time out of your day and spending it with us here at ATHF!
If you would like to read my review of A Royal Likeness click here: A Royal Likeness
A Royal Likeness International Giveaway: Ends February 1st
If you would like to win a copy of Christine's new book all you have to do is:
1. Be a follower of my blog
2. Leave your name and email address in the comments section
2. Leave your name and email address in the comments section