Thursday, 29 September 2011

Guest post: When Historical Facts Fit Fiction by Maggie Robinson + Giveaway

Today I am happy to welcome Maggie Robinson to the blog, who stopped by Ex Libris on her blog tour celebrating the release of Mistress by Marriage the 3rd book in the Courtesan Court series, which let me tell you is a very steamy historical romance series! (So hot that don't even start to read it without a cold drink and a fan, you've been warned! *wink*) (You can read my review of Mistress by Marriage here.)

Please give a warm welcome to Maggie, and read on to discover some of her behind the scenes secrets! ;-)


Thanks so much for having me here today! I’ve had an exciting couple of months talking about my two recent releases all over the Internet. I’ve also just turned in a manuscript, and am working on something baby-fresh. So there are a whole lot of characters crowded into my head at the moment. It’s a very scary place to be. ;)

I really never know what’s going to happen when I sit down to write. I’m a hideous plotter, and nothing ever quite conforms to any proposal I submit. I tend to go off on tangents, or discover something unexpected that fits perfectly. Sometimes the writing is a struggle, but other times I get so lucky it’s kind of scary.

I have a novella “To Match a Thief” in Improper Gentlemen (Brava, August 2011). It’s kind of a comedy. No one is who they think they are, each character wearing various disguises/identities. My hero has risen from the slums, and wants to better himself to fit in with society. He’s gone from being an illiterate pickpocket to a captain of industry. So I had to decide how make him “cultured.”

Opera! I said to myself, the most culturific thing I could think of—and something I know nothing about. (In fact, most opera sounds like cats yowling in heat to me. I’m a rock and roll kind of girl with a splash of country music on the side. Although I cannot listen to music when I write—I just listen to the radio and sing along in the car when I’m driving.)

So I researched what might have been on the stage at the time the book was set and stumbled upon a production where the romantic male lead is always sung by a woman in disguise. No one is who they think they are indeed. What were the odds of finding an opera that so perfectly fit with the theme of my book? Stuff like this happens to me all the time and sometimes it makes me nervous. :-)

Which brings me to my latest release, Mistress by Marriage (Brava, September 2011). It’s set in the summer of 1820. My hero Edward wants a divorce from his wife Caroline. Guess what was happening that very same summer? King George IV (Prinny) was trying to divorce his wife…Caroline. Turns out that his Bill of Pain and Penalties before Parliament plays a key role in reuniting Edward and his Caroline. How handy for the accidental historian, LOL.

Research is always fun. I’ve found out a ton of weird things. Fashionable ladies used to shave their eyebrows off and glue mouseskin eyebrows on. A French castle was once stormed through a latrine drain—yep, the soldiers squeezed up through the sewer pipe. Yuck. Parliament would adjourn in the summer because London smelled so bad. More yuck. We won’t even talk about the safety of the water. People drank ale for breakfast—I would have been back asleep by midmorning.

So as much as I love to write about the past, I’m glad I live in the now and can sing in my car.

Do you like opera? Can you work with music or do you need absolute quiet to concentrate? What fun thing have you stumbled upon? One commenter will win both Improper Gentlemen and Mistress by Marriage!

Maggie Robinson is a former teacher, library clerk and mother of four who woke up in the middle of the night, absolutely compelled to create the perfect man and use as many adverbs as possible doing so. A transplanted New Yorker, she lives with her not-quite perfect husband in Maine, where the cold winters are ideal for staying inside and writing hot historical romances.

You can find Maggie at her Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads 


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Maggie has generously offered signed paperback copies of Mistress by Marriage and Improper Gentlemen to a lucky commenter!


All you need to do to be entered is

1) answer Maggie's question: Do you like opera? Can you work with music or do you need absolute quiet to concentrate? What fun thing have you stumbled upon?

2) and leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 7 October 2011!

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