Be sure to check out the schedule of stops for her virtual tour below, as well as enter to win a copy of The Emperor's Conspiracy!
What was the inspiration behind writing The Emperor’s Conspiracy? And what drew you to set it in Regency London?
I really find it hard to nail down a favorite historical period, because I love so many, but the characters for this story, specifically Charlotte, arrived in my mind complete with setting, and the very real plot by Napoleon wormed its way into the story, so that defined the actual date of 1811. As for insprication, I started out writing The Emperor's Conspiracy more than five years ago, and in those early days it was much more light-hearted. As I researched the life of a London sweep and a child labourer, I realized the whole story would have to be grittier and darker, and I mulled things over for years before actually rewriting what little I had already written, and finishing the story.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? And why historical fiction?
I've always wanted to be a writer. I love reading, I love books, but I always wanted more stories, and I wanted the stories to go a specific way. I didn't always agree with the author. LOL. What choice did I have but to write stories of my own? If I can keep someone up late, transport them away to another world, just like I do when I'm reading a wonderful book, then I consider myself sucessful. As for historical fiction, well, I love history. I absolutely love it. I studied it at high school and university, and read all historical non-fiction I can find. But I have to admit I love fantasy and sci-fi, too. And you may be seeing some books from me in those genres in a year or so. :) But I'll never not write historical fiction. I have way too many historical fiction stories in me for that to ever happen.
Can you take us through a day in your life while you are writing a novel?
I get up and get the kids ready for school, then I walk them over, and keep going on my walking route, which is roughly 5 kms. Then I get home and shower, and then if I'm not expecting any urgent email, I go straight to writing for a couple of hours. I do some chores, open up my email, and attend to the other business of being a writer that isn't writing, then try to fit in another couple of hours of writing before I fetch the kids and take them off to their after-school activities, homework, etc. At night, if I have the energy, I'll try to write for another hour when the kids are in bed.
What authors inspire you?
Oh, so many! My critique partners, Liz Kreger and Edie Ramer, inspire me for their dedication to their craft, their perseverance and their generosity of spirit. Authors such as Jayne Anne Krentz, Dick Francis, Terry Pratchett, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, Iain M. Banks, Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, Patricia Briggs, Sulman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood inspire me with their consistent excellence and ability to totally lose me in their worlds. And they are just the ones that leapt into my mind this minute, I'm sure there are plenty I'll think of later.
What book would you like to read again for the first time?
Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks. It has such a twist at the end, any re-reading you do, you can't help but read in the light of that final revelation, which changes the way you see so many characters. So you can never re-read with the same sense of discovery.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Understand that it is hard. It is supposed to be hard. And when you've finished something, I highly recommend leaving it for at least a month, before taking it out and doing a final edit. You won't regret it!
What project on you working on next?
I just finished a book that is a sequel to The Emperor's Conspiracy, tentatively entitled Banquet of Lies. Charlotte and Edward are secondary characters in this book, but it stands on its own, like The Emperor's Conspiracy. To give myself a break, I'm working on writing a full length novel inspired by my short story contribution to the Entangled Anthology. Breaking Out, my contemporary paranormal contribution, has resulted in a barrage of emails from readers asking me to continue the story. I'm obliging. I will probably put a book together which includes Breaking Out as the first four chapters, and carries on from there.
About the Book
Publication Date: November 27, 2012
From nineteenth-century London’s elegant ballrooms to its darkest slums, a spirited young woman and a nobleman investigating for the Crown unmask a plot by Napoleon to bleed England of its gold.
Chance led to Charlotte Raven’s transformation from chimney sweep to wealthy, educated noblewoman, but she still walks a delicate tightrope between two worlds, unable to turn her back on the ruthless crime lord who was once her childhood protector.
When Lord Edward Durnham is tapped to solve the mystery of England’s rapidly disappearing gold, his search leads him to the stews of London, and Charlotte becomes his intriguing guide to the city’s dark, forbidding underworld. But as her involvement brings Charlotte to the attention of men who have no qualms about who they hurt, and as Edward forges a grudging alliance with the dangerous ghosts of Charlotte’s former life, she faces a choice: to continue living in limbo, or to close the door on the past and risk her heart and her happiness on an unpredictable future.
About the Author
Michelle Diener has always had a passion for reading and writing. She began writing stories when her parents gave her a typewriter for her twelfth birthday, and she hasn’t stopped since. Born in London and raised in South Africa, she now lives on the west coast of Australia with her husband and two small children.
She is the author of Dangerous Sanctuary, In a Treacherous Court and Keeper of the King's Secrets.
Connect with Michelle Diener: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
The Emperor's Conspiracy Virtual Tour Schedule
Monday, November 26
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, November 28
Review & Giveaway at Books Devoured
Friday, November 30
Author Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Monday, December 3
Review & Giveaway at My Reading Room
Review, Author Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Libraria
Tuesday, December 4
Review at Historical Tapestry & The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Wednesday, December 5
Review & Giveaway at Book of Secrets
Friday, December 7
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Monday, December 10
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Giveaway (US ONLY)
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- Giveaway ends on December 10th.
Good luck to all!