Today I have Lillian Marek on my blog, and there is also a giveaway of her new book :)
If you could set your next book anywhere in the world where would you set it and why?
Then I have three or four Regency-era books in various stages of completion, so I need to get them finished. The real question is what comes next.
There’s the Byzantine Empire with all those contorted palace intrigues and those gorgeous robes, stiff with gold embroidery and jewels. If you’re looking for interesting people, it’s hard to beat Theodora, who began as an actress (and possibly a prostitute) and ended up an empress and, eventually, a saint. I would also love to set a story in Prague in the 18th century when its musical culture was booming. Mozart!
But something I have wanted to do for years is write a story about Galla Placidia. This tale harkens back to the fall of the Roman Empire. Galla Placidia was the daughter of the emperor but was captured by Alaric and the Goths when they sacked Rome in 410. She was a hostage for a while but after Alaric died she married his successor, Ataulf, who promised to help her restore Rome. The other Goths weren’t enthusiastic about this. Ataulf was murdered and she was sold back to the Romans. Constantius married her so he could be co-emperor with her brother Honorius. Shortly thereafter, she was a widow again, and Honorius was a bit too fond of her. She fled to Constantinople, and after Honorius died she returned to Rome as regent for her six-year-old son. Someday I have to write that story. If I don’t get around to it—a LOT of research would be needed—somebody else has to do it.
In reality, the book I would really like to write next is set in the late 19th century. I know that doesn’t sound very unusual or exotic or anything special. There are tons of novels set in that period. However, what really interests me is the class distinctions that were beginning to crumble a bit in that period. The upper classes may have felt secure in their superiority, but the lower classes were growing dubious and starting to question the class order.
Generally speaking, the servants in historical romance are depicted as loyal and even fond of their benevolent employers. Frankly, I don’t know why they should be. Going into service was better than working in the mills or mines, and it was certainly better than poverty in the slums, but it wasn’t exactly a picnic. And in reality, those employers were rarely benevolent.
By the late 19th century, there were far more possibilities for people in general and women in particular. Most important, more and more of the poor had received at least some education, though even in the 1920s a lady could still be surprised to discover that her maid could read.
The heroine I have in mind is a lady’s maid, a bright young woman who has always kept her eyes and ears open. Without ever seeming disrespectful, which would get her fired, she judges her employers and their friends pretty shrewdly. In her spare time, she writes a novel that skewers them all. It becomes a roaring success—and I have no idea what happens next. Will the hero be her childhood friend who has become a publisher? Or the aristocratic gentleman who sees through her demure servant pose?
I don’t know yet, but I do look forward to writing that book.
Besides, I really like the clothes around 1880.
1 copy of A Scandalous Adventure
1. US only.
2. Ends Aug 8th
3. Enter by leaving a comment
(And remember if I can't find your email in your profile (or well, I know that you have a blog where I can look for it, then I can't find ya.)
Title: A Scandalous Adventure
Series: Victorian Marriages, #3
Author: Lillian Marek
Pubdate: August 2nd 2016
They’re hiding a scandalous secret
When his monarch’s flighty fiancée disappears, Count Maximillian von Staufer is dispatched to find her. His search leads Max to discover not the princess, but a look-alike who could be her double. Desperate to avoid an international crisis, he conceives a plan that will buy some time—and allow him to get to know a beautiful Englishwoman.
And time is running out
Lady Susannah Tremaine and her young friend Olivia are staying at the Grand Hotel in Baden, where so far the most exciting part of the visit has been the pastries. But when a devastatingly handsome royal Germanic officer asks Olivia to impersonate a missing princess, Susannah finds herself drawn into a dangerous world of international intrigue as she tries to protect her friend—and her heart.
Lillian Marek was born and raised in New York City. At one time or another she has had most of the interesting but underpaid jobs available to English majors. After a few too many years in journalism, she decided she prefers fiction, where the good guys win and the bad guys get what they deserve. The first book in her Victorian Adventure series, Lady Elinor’s Wicked Adventures, won first prize in both the Launching A Star and the Windy City Four Seasons contests. She was also a first prize winner in the Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot contest.