Author Interview with Christine Trent, author of A Royal Likeness + GIVEAWAY

Passages to the Past is pleased to bring you an interview with the lovely Christine Trent, author of the recently released A Royal Likeness!  

Christine has graciously stopped by to answer a few questions and she's also provided PTTP one copy of A Royal Likeness to give away to one of my lucky readers!  Make sure to enter the INTERNATIONAL giveaway at the end of this post!


Okay, I have to ask....you have a personal library that includes 3,000 books?!

Well, when you put it like that, it sounds like I might have a little collecting problem! Actually, with the amount of research I’ve been doing over the last couple of years (plus all of the great historical novels coming out that I cannot live without), I think my collection is fast approaching 4,000. And because I have a mother-in-law who was a librarian before she retired, they’re catalogued with cards filed in an old school card catalogue, and mylar jackets protect all of the hardbacks. OK, this is really beginning to sound a little obsessive-compulsive, isn’t it?

A Royal Likeness is your second novel, how do you feel you've grown as an author since the writing of your first, The Queen's Dollmaker?

Interesting question. I’d say that I’m more confident about creating a more complex story with several subplots woven through it. The reader will meet many more characters in A ROYAL LIKENESS than in THE QUEEN’S DOLLMAKER. Most of the characters are real historical figures. It’s fun to try to bring to life real people from the past.

What book (or books) are you reading now?

Well, I keep trying to crack open Ken Follett’s latest, FALL OF GIANTS, but my own book research always gets in the way. I’ve recently read THE HERETIC’S WIFE by Brenda Rickman Vantrease, THE COUNTESS AND THE KING, by Susan Holloway Scott, and LADY OF MILKWEED MANOR, by Julie Klassen. All really different historical reads, but all fast-paced and entertaining. I can’t recommend all three of these authors enough.

Can you give us a teaser as to what your next project is about? Will Marguerite be making a return appearance?

Sorry to say, Marguerite’s adventures have come to an end. My next novel, tentatively titled THE PRINCE’S PAVILION, is about a cloth merchant named Annabelle Stirling. Thanks to her patron and 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.

This story will be a dash through the Regency England you’ve never known: the exploding cloth manufacturing industry, the deadly Luddite riots, and the radical Cato Street Conspiracy all play parts in the novel.

Did you come across anything particularly surprising while researching Marie Tussaud's life?

Wow, where to begin with Madame Tussaud? I think there were two things that impressed me the most about her. First was that, as a woman born in the 18th century with seemingly limited opportunities, she rose to be one of the greatest entrepreneurs of her time. She knew how to carry herself at all levels of a stratified society, was a consummate businesswoman who kept her eye on the bottom line, and never let anyone get in her way of success.

Next was the fact that she maintained her high energy and a firm grip on her business well into eighties. In fact, she died not long before her 90th birthday, and had remained very active in her wax exhibition until just a few months prior to her death.

I don’t know how the woman managed such endless vigor and oomph. I truly admire her for it.

How do you think Marie resigned herself to displaying wax figures of the executed royals who were her friends?

Tussaud was, first and foremost, a businesswoman. She knew that the public was dying (pardon the pun) to see figures of the executed royal family, and that the success of her business hinged largely on giving the public what they wanted. I suspect Tussaud dealt with it by imagining that putting her friends out was a way to honor them and keep their memories alive.

And lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring historical fiction writers?

I would encourage all aspiring historical fiction writers out there to join as many relevant writing organizations as possible, and get involved with them. For example, the Historical Novel Society (www.historicalnovelsociety.org) is the premier organization for historical writers, but then also consider organizations for your sub-genre. Writing a historical mystery? Join Mystery Writers of America (www.mysterwriters.org). Is your book a historical thriller? Join International Thriller Writers (thrillerwriters.org). If you’re considering a historical romance, Romance Writers of America (www.rwanational.org) is a great organization with fabulous networking opportunities. All of these organizations put on conferences, where you can meet fellow writers, pitch to editors and agents, and attend numerous classes to help you hone your craft.

My second piece of advice is: be patient. This is not a quick industry. The wheels grind very slowly, and it can seem to take an eternity to sell a book. Don’t give up hope! Keep submitting, keep attending conferences, and keep writing more manuscripts.

Now that's some good advice!  Thanks so much to Christine Trent for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with us!  I hope you have a fabulous release day Christine!

ABOUT THE BOOK
SYNOPSIS:  As heiress to the famous Laurent Fashion Dolls business, Marguerite Ashby's future seems secure. But France still seethes with violence in the wake of the Revolution. And when Marguerite's husband is killed during a riot, the young widow travels to Edinburgh and becomes apprentice to her old friend, Marie Tussaud, who has established a wax exhibition. When Prime Minister William Pitt commissions a wax figure of Admiral Nelson, Marguerite becomes immersed in a dangerous adventure - and earns the admiration of two very different men. And as Britain battles to overthrow Napoleon, Marguerite will find her loyalties under fire from all sides. With a masterful eye for details, Christine Trent brings one of history's most fascinating eras to life in of a story of desire, ambition, treachery, and courage.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:
- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address.
- Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
- For +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting on Facebook.  You can use the SHARE buttons below and please include the info in the comment section below.
- Giveaway ends on December 28th.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL!!

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66 comments:

  1. I'd love to read this book. I've always heard of Madame Tussaud but never read anything about her. Thanks for the giveaway.
    lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great interview...Madame Tussaud's success would be impressive in any era, but when you think about her own time - it's mind boggling. And her legacy still lives on!
    rlawrence110(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post! Please enter me.
    Laura
    laura.leahj@gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been waiting for this to come out! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Rachelhwallen@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, how I would love to have a personal library like Christine Trent's! Sounds like heaven. Please enter me in the giveaway, and thank you!
    joannemccabe9(at)cox(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonderful interview as always Amy and really liked learning about Christine's library! I use to have alot more books until we downsized and I'm sure I had close to 2,000 and now it's probably down to 1,000...just can't live without books ;) Thanks for the giveaway as well. Fondly, Roberta

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just posted the giveaway on facebook...love your buttons ;)
    Roberta
    rlphilbr13@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just tweeted...and have to remember my email in the comments...but I'm sure you know it by now...lol
    Roberta
    rlphilbr13@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ooohhh, I aspire to be Christine Trent! I am so intrigued by this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    tiger_fan_1997 AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Amy...just added your giveaway to my sidebar and noticed that you have the giveaway date as Nov. 30th so I posted it as Dec. 30th. Just thought you'd want to know. Have a great week. Fondly, Roberta
    http://con-tain-it.typepad.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved The Queen's Dollmaker. Would love to read this one too!

    HPelkey1982@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. =) Can we ask for pictures of this wonderful personal library?

    tiredwkids at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful interview -- I appreciate the advice to aspiring authors. Can't wait to read her next book -- Cloth merchant! Sounds fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds great! Please enter me.

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks!
    I posted it on my sidebar:
    www.brokenteepee.com
    www.pricillaspeaks.blogspot.com

    I shared on:
    facebook
    twitter
    google buzz

    Merry Christmas!
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. i love books with a lot of characters! this one sounds amazing!! thank you for the contest!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I would love to read this! Please enter me!

    crimson_haze(at)hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great interview! A Royal Likeness sounds great, and I'd love to win a copy.

    jmartinez0415 AT gmail DOT com

    I tweeted about your post as well, here's the link:
    http://twitter.com/#!/crazylilcuban/status/15162596831264768

    ReplyDelete
  19. Would like to be counted in

    mystica123athotmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow! That sounds GREAT! :) Count me in for sure!
    You can reach me at luvpinkpanther@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hm.. The book seems fabulous, not to mention that the cover is gorgeous!
    atta.girl@rocketmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. THis book sounds absolutely fascinating! Please enter me in the contest! What a lovely present it would be for the new year !

    Thanks!

    apereiraorama @ gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I enjoyed this interview and was very impressed with Madame Tussaud's story.Amazing. That even today her name is so well known.I 'd love to read this book. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. we another great giveway please count me in. thanks for the chance
    grams

    ReplyDelete
  25. Many author interviews have been done, but I do not too often see questions where the author is asked for tips on how you become an author! Great advises from Mrs. Trent!
    This book is on my TBR.

    malena_u2@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Do count me in, please!

    carlos_durao AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. This book, and the book before it, sound awesome! I have both on my amazon wishlist and am just waiting for santa to send me some money so I can buy them :). Thanks for the giveaway!
    candc320@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am really impressed with Madame Tussaud. How did she rise to the top and become an amazing business woman during that time period. If I were in France during that time period, I would want to be her apprentice too!!!!



    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am really impressed with Madame Tussaud. How did she rise to the top and become an amazing business woman during that time period. If I were in France during that time period, I would want to be her apprentice too!!!!



    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I tweeted:


    Carolee888 is my Twitter name.


    http://www.passagestothepast.com/ See this link for a giveaway of 'A Royal Likeness'.

    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    I loved the Queen's Dollmaker.

    justpeachy36@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great interview! Great book! I would love to read it.
    elena.cacahuete(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. tweet:
    http://twitter.com/spelena/status/15506424998141952
    elena.cacahuete(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. This sounds like such a fascinating book. I've always wondered about Madame Toussad, especially after seeing her name in lights in Vegas a few weeks ago! :)

    I'm also showing this interview to my hubby so he'll be thankful that my books only number in three digits!


    Thanks for the giveaway,
    Jules
    onebookshy at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I would LOVE to read this. Thanks for the opportunity.

    martinack_75 AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

    libneas[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Tweet Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/#!/LibbysLibrary/status/15559245940391936

    libneas[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Posted:
    http://libslibrary.blogspot.com/2010/12/passages-to-past-author-interview-with.html

    libneas[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  40. bmeagher@sympatico.caDecember 16, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Oh to win......perchance to read!

    bmeagher@sympatico.ca

    ReplyDelete
  41. What a gorgeous cover! Please enter me Amy!

    bj19662001 (at) yahoo (dot) ca

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I have this book on my wishlist, so thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    nellista at yahoo dot com dot au

    ReplyDelete
  43. 4000 books!!! OMG! One day , I hope to have that many books..
    Thanks for the interview!

    I tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/Misha_1989/status/15659706706038785

    Misha
    mishamary@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'd really like to read this. Please enter me!

    juliannedouglas05 ( at ) sbcglobal [dot] net

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oooh nice!
    suusjes @ planet . nl

    +1, posted to Facebook :-)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I really want this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    teddyr66 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I tweeted this wonderful giveaway.

    teddyr66 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I posted this wonderful giveaway on Facebook.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I am so glad you are writing books that highlight what women accomplished in earlier times. So often their contributions are overlooked or skimmed over. You have put a face on these events and let us know how it effected people on a personal level. I like finding out what obstacles they face and how they overcame them.
    THE QUEEN'S DOLLMAKER is on my TBR shelf and I look for ward to reading it and A ROYAL LIKENESS.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm in!
    :)
    catarina(dot)magoito(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'd love to read this book!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/aikchien/status/16781778282876928

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I shared on Facebook [Aik Chien]

    http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=132791006781194&id=1467072730

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I would love to win this one. I've heard great things from the pre-reviews. Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Holidays!

    aaffstew@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Do count me in!
    agcestrela [@gmail.com]

    ReplyDelete
  56. I would love thi!

    goncalo DOT mil AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Great giveaway!
    Count me in, please!

    joanapatriciadias [at] gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I think I've just found my new favorite blog! I'm a new follower and love the type of books you're reviewing. My TBR list just got bigger! Thanks for this great giveaway! Count me in!

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  59. Tweeted giveaway: http://twitter.com/#!/MamaHendo3/status/19440283766751233

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  60. Posted giveaway on FB: http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=139523686104678&id=1336711064

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  61. This sounds really good! I'd love to read it!
    tweet
    http://twitter.com/CarolAnnM/status/19524206744051712

    mittens0831 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. Great interview and it sounds like a great book. I loved learning about her library and look forward to reading the book (either as a gift or a near future purchase).

    lori @ booknutsreadingclub . com

    Posted on Facebook

    ReplyDelete
  63. I love to read historical romances. This book looks like a great book to read - please count me in!

    Thanks for the giveaway…
    Happy Holidays!
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thank you for this opportunity. Would love to receive a copy.

    valleauATsuddenlinkDOTnet

    ReplyDelete
  65. I would love to read this.

    educhico(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Looks great! I'd love to read this.

    Chelseadinsmore(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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