Anne here, and today I'm interviewing Mary Jo Putney about her new book, Once a Rebel which I was lucky enough to read in advance (one of the perks of being a word wench.) The second in Mary Jo's "Rogues Redeemed" series, Once a Rebel will be released on August 29.
Publishers Weekly called it: “A page-turner tale…As these two appealing characters discover how friendship can change into romance, Putney completes their story with plenty of detail and cameos from historical figures.
Kirkus said: Putney’s continued foray into the new setting of the United States in the early 19th century is a welcome addition to the historical romance shelf. . . Though suspense and adventure drive this story forward, the love at its center sets it apart.
Anne: Mary Jo, in Once a Rebel your hero, Richard (aka Lord George Gordon Audley) appeared briefly in Once a Soldier and was the most difficult student to ever attend the Westerfield Academy (for boys of good birth and bad behavior.) Tell us about him.
MJP: Anne, Gordon had actually appeared in three of my Lost Lords books: Not Quite a Wife and Not Always a Saint as well as Once a Soldier. He has a tough and dangerous vibe and his former classmates regarded him warily, but he's very good at coming through in a pinch.
So how did he become the man he is? I often say rather random things about minor characters, and when they turn into promising hero material, I have to weave those threads into the fellow's life. For example, Gordon was described to his old classmates as "someone you'll recognize, though you knew him under a different name." He's also known as "Lady Agnes Westerfield's one failure." Clearly he has a checkered past!
Naturally I gave him a fairly dreadful childhood. My characters often have that because it gives me something to work with. Hence Lord George Gordon Richard Augustus Audley was the third and most worthless son of a marquess. Despised by his father and harassed by his older brothers, he is one angry and rebellious young man.