Hi Lillian! Welcome to The Delighted Reader! We’re so excited to host you on this lovely fall day (peeks out window) or at least lovely for now…. It is Michigan after all.
Come sit awhile and let’s chat about you and your new book. Our readers (okay and us too) love to meet new authors and find new books to love.
First, what’s the latest? Did you do any fun fall activities?
I’m a nature walker with a fall color craze and I’m there with my throw blanket and my team spirit for Friday Night High School football.
I love fall. Here on Long Island, I think October is the most beautiful month—clear blue skies and cool crisp weather. It’s the perfect time for long, solitary walks on the beach.
What about Thanksgiving? Are you making anything special or traveling?
(Laughs) Well, since my first book just got published, I’m thinking that this Thanksgiving would be special even if we had nothing but gruel for dinner. (Gruel sounds nicely Victorian doesn’t it?) It does! *shivers* I always picture one of those pitiful Charles Dickens waifs spooning gruel to keep from starving. I’m not the go-to gal in our family with culinary talent, but I do manage to produce a couple of sides for the trip to Gran’s house which really is over the creek and through the woods. Haha!
Now you’re talking about the opposite of solitary. The Thanksgiving table wanders from house to house depending on who in the family volunteers to be host, and all the relatives who can get there gather round. The younger ones frequently end up at the kids’ table, and that may be their favorite part of Thanksgiving—nobody to tell them to mind their manners. As for the menu, it’s a cooperative effort and mostly pretty traditional, though every year my daughter and I try to sneak in something new, like green beans with persimmons and chives or roasted parsnips and carrots. We’re a family of cooks, though, so the food is always delicious. Besides, when you’re surrounded by family, how could dinner not be wonderful?
Now, you’ve got this new book, Lady Elinor’s Wicked Adventures, that just released.
What are five words or phrases you would use to entice me into reading Harry and Elinor’s story?
Oh my, that’s not so easy to answer. The first thing that comes to mind is “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…” That’s part of the introduction to the old Lone Ranger programs, and you can always hook me with that. I love the idea of those thrilling days. To entice a reader, I’d probably say adventure, excitement, romance, humor, and some gorgeous clothes! Works for me! Love the images that conjures up. Hi Ho Silver!
I adore historical romance because I enjoy traveling (vicariously, mind you) back in time to many geographical locations and periods to see how people lived.
What made you choose the Victorian era and choose Italy and the Etruscans as the background?
Back when I was in graduate school, I spent a couple of years virtually living in the 19th century, so I’m very comfortable there. It’s a complex period, full of contradictions—like pretty much any period, the present included. Besides, I figure corsets couldn’t be any more uncomfortable than shoes with six-inch heels!
As for Italy and the Etruscans, once when I was in Italy I saw a wonderful exhibition of Etruscan tomb sculptures. There would frequently be a couple, carved as if they were reclining on a dining bench, with his arm around her, and they would be smiling, as if they expected the afterlife to be a delightful dinner party. How could anyone resist people that cheerful? I can see how the tomb sculptures would be a powerful tie to the past seeing evidence of happiness and love like that.
What’s your favorite thing about Elinor or maybe a favorite scene for her?
What I like about Elinor is her spirit of adventure. She’s not at all afraid of new people, new places, new experiences. Early in the book, when they are crossing the Channel, there’s a storm and they’re being tossed around in the middle of the night. She’s up on deck, looking out into the darkness, unable to see anything, as if they were at the edge of the world, and loving every minute of it.
Who or what brought about Harry’s character? Any modern men or Victorian contemporaries that come to mind?
The manners and mores of the Victorians were different, but I think there’s an inner core to people that is universal. Harry is strongly committed to the idea of family, he is determined to do the right thing, and I think those qualities can be found in any period, now as well as then. In fact, those qualities pretty much describe my husband. *Grin* Ahhh…
And what’s next for you? Any new writing projects you care to share?
The next book in this series, Lady Emily’s Exotic Journey, is scheduled to come out in August 2015. In it, Lady Emily and her parents travel to Assyria, stopping to visit the ruins of Nineveh, across the river from Mosul. I finished writing it in May and it has been particularly horrifying for me to see the way that part of the world exploded a month later. I feel as if I should grab hold of people and say, “It wasn’t that dreadful in 1860. It really wasn’t.” No kidding! It is definitely not the vacation spot of choice at the moment let alone safe for the locals. However 1860 totally works for me and I’d love to bum along with Lady Emily on her journey to exotic places.
Anyway, the next one I’m working on takes place in a German principality that no longer exists—at least not as an independent country—so reality can’t intrude too much.
Thanks for stopping by Lillian! We are delighted you came.
I thank you for inviting me. Writing is such a solitary occupation—just me and my computer sitting there in my corner—that it’s a pleasure to talk to someone. Since this is my first published book, I don’t quite know what to expect, but I do hope readers will let me know what they think of the book. Is it okay to put my website—lilmarek.indiemade.com—here and say that people can email me at Lillian.Marek@verizon.net? Absolutely, we love connecting with authors and do stop by anytime you’re feeling lonely.
I want to offer special thanks to Anna @ Herding Cats and Burning Soup for her Blogger to Author post that offered great interview advice that I decided to try out with Lillian Marek as my guinea pig (I military volunteered her so she deserves particular thanks): http://www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com/2014/09/blogger-to-author-2-making.html
Blurb for Lady Elinor’s Wicked Adventures:
Harry de Vaux, Viscount Tunbury, has loved Lady Elinor Tremaine for as long as he can remember—but is convinced that his past makes him unworthy of her. He agrees to accompany the Tremaine family to Italy to explore Etruscan ruins, even if it chips away at his resolve to stay away from the delightful woman he loves.
The intrepid Lady Elinor is caught up in the Victorian fervor for exploring distant lands. But during her travels she is thrown back into the company of an old friend, Harry de Vaux. Amid the sightseeing and treasure hunting, Elinor comes to realize that she wants far more from Harry than friendship. But when a dangerous discovery leaves them fighting for their lives, it might just be too late…
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