Teresa Grant on Love, Loyalty, Betrayal . . . and Paris!


Teresa_grant_portrait_color_Cara/Andrea here,
I'm delighted to have my good friend and fabulous author Teresa Grant visiting the Word Wenches today to talk about her Regency-set mystery series, which is set against the backdrop of political and social upheaval as Europe struggles to reorder itself after over a decade of brutal warfare. The attention to historical detail and descriptions of real-life people are wonderfully rendered in her books—which should come as no surprise given her stellar scholarly background in history. Teresa studied British History at Stanford, a
nd received the Firestone Award for Excellence in Research for her
honors thesis on shifting conceptions of honor in late fifteenth century
England.


THE PARIS AFFAIRThe third book in the series, The Paris Affair just released last week (you can read more about it
here) so I asked Teresa to chat with us about the the era and why she finds it such a compelling period to write about. So, without further ado . . . 

Your books are not only compelling mysteries but also explore the complex psychological struggles of men and women trying to define their personal moral compasses in a world torn apart by the chaos of conflict. Can you talk a little about why you chose the Napoleonic Wars as a backdrop for your stories?
There are so many wonderful opportunities for spy stories in this period. I love spy stories, both James Bond adventure and the sort of intricate chess games and moral dilemmas John le Carré dramatizes so brilliantly. The Napoleonic Wars offers are a wonderfully rich setting for both types of story. So many different sides, so many different factions within sides. The French under Napoleon had been bent on conquest, but they had also brought much-needed reforms to many countries. Some liberal Spaniards saw supporting the French in the Peninsular War as the quickest route to progressive reform. And after the Napoleonic Wars, a number of the victors wanted to turn the clock back to before the French Revolution  and saw any hint of reform as one step away from blood in the streets. Friends easily melt into enemies and back again. Napoleon’s longtime foreign minister Prince Talleyrand  later became prime minister under the Bourbon restoration, Joseph Fouché who had been ruthless in using terror against enemies of the Bonapartist government was equally ruthless in going after Napoleon’s supporters who were proscribed from the amnesty after Waterloo. In the midst of breakneck adventure, a love affair can have political consequences, a tactical decision can shatter a friendship, it can come down to a question not of whether or not commit betrayal but only of who or what to betray.




Pocket-pistolYour characters wrestle with the concepts of loyalty, betrayal, honor and love as soldiers, spies and diplomats, and also as husbands, wives and friends. What is it about these elemental themes that resonate with you?

I think it’s interesting how writers gravitate to the same themes, consciously or unconsciously. I’ve always been fascinated by moral dilemmas as I mentioned above. And I’m intrigued by how romantic fidelity and betrayal can parallel other types of fidelity and betrayal (whether between husbands and wives or in their relationship with other characters or with a country or cause). I
M&SHouselike writing stories of adventure and intrigue set in tumultuous times, but I think in those sorts of times (probably always but then more than ever) choices don’t tend to come down to easy, clear-questions of right and wrong. It’s interesting to see how characters wrestle with those issues and how the personal and the political intertwine. The possibility that a loved one or friend isn’t who you thought they were is perhaps one of our deepest fears in a relationship. And yet most of us are somewhat different people in different aspects of our lives and have different loyalties – to spouses, children, lovers, friends, causes, countries, work. Sometimes it isn’t so much a question of betrayal as of deciding which loyalty comes first. It’s not so far from the seemingly lofty sentiment of “I could not love thee, dear, so much, Lov’d I not Honour more” to betraying a lover for a cause.


Duelling-pistols-joseph-manton-1815-2Suzanne and Malcolm, your main protagonists, come from very different worlds. What motivated you to choose their backgrounds.

I knew from the start that their allegiances would be divided, Malcolm a British diplomat and spy, Suzanne a French agent. Then I began to think about what kind of people would end up their situations. The divide between them seemed to be to strongest if Malcolm came from the heart of the British aristocracy – he doesn’t have a title himself, but his mother’s father is a duke, he’s connected by family or friendship to a good portion of the beau monde, he went to Harrow and Oxford. Whereas with Suzanne, I had to figure out a background that would have made someone an agent in her
Duel-1teens. It made sense that she had been orphaned and left to fend for herself in the tumult of the Peninsular War. She also needed to have considerable acting ability, so I made her parents traveling actors. I think the fact that she had a nurturing childhood for her first fifteen years and then had her world violently wrenched apart says a lot about her. In some ways she has a very hard edge, but though she might deny it, she’s better than Malcolm at believing in happy endings. Whereas Malcolm grew up in luxury but with parents who were a lot more emotionally distant. The irony is that Malcolm’s and Suzanne’s political ideals are remarkably similar. They’re both reformers, Radical reformers for their day, with a keen belief in human rights. They just have different very different approaches to how to bring about social and political change.               

There’s such an interesting backstory hinted at concerning Suzanne and Malcolm’s meeting and marriage during the war on the Peninsula. I’m sure you have many readers (me included!) asking to know more about it. Have you considered doing a “prequel” book to cover that time?
I actually wrote an e-novella, His Spanish Bride (released last November) about their betrothal and marriage. It was really fun to go back in time, and also an interesting challenge to write about them at a time when they were just coming to know each other. So much of their relationship is defined by their familiarity with each other. Before they married and began working together, they were rather different people. I’d love to write more about their meeting and the early years of their marriage, either in additional novellas or a full novel or perhaps in flashbacks in books set later in their relationship.


Paris 1Having tried my hand at writing mysteries, I’m in awe of how your intricate plots are exquisitely crafted with the interlocking precision of a Swiss watch. So I have to ask—do you carefully design all the twists and turns in advance? Or do things happen as you go along?

I’m thrilled if it ends up seeming precise – it can be a bit messy getting there . I need to work on the plot before I begin writing. I lay out scenes on index cards, which lets me shuffle things around and see the gaps in the plot. But at a certain point I find I need to start writing. Drafting scenes and seeing how my characters interact gives me further plot ideas. I love writing in Scrivener for this. It has a corkboard view (so no need to worry about my cats or my toddler messing up index cards spread on my dining room table), and you can easily switch from the corkboard to outline view to a draft, which allows me to write scenes out of order, skipping over plot elements I’m still working out or later moving things around if I’m not quite sure where they’ll fall in the story. I also find I waste less time on transitions writing this way. The Paris Affair was the first book I wrote completely in Scrivener, and I loved it.


WellingtonReal life personages figure prominently in your books. You’ve made all of then come wonderfully to life, but I’m particularly intrigued by the facets of Wellington’s character that you show in The Paris Affair. Can you tell us a little about how you researched what made him tick? And how did you end up feeling about him personally?

I loved writing about Wellington in both Imperial Scandal and The Paris Affair. I read some of his dispatches and letters, memoirs and letters of people who served under him or knew him socially, and Elizabeth Longford’s wonderful two volume biography. As to how I feel about him personally, I’d say my feelings more or less mirror Malcolm’s. Wellingotn was a brilliant man and there’s something likeable about his gruff directness and loyalty to those close to him. But his politics were decidedly reactionary, not in line with either Malcolm’s or mine. Malcolm struggles with how he feels about carrying out both Wellington’s and Castlereagh’s policies in The Paris Affair, and I struggled with how I felt about those two men as well. I think it will be interesting to explore Malcolm’s relationship with Wellington in the future, when both men enter politics.

Paris 3You make your city backdrops come to life as well, and in your new release, Paris, the City of Light, truly shines. Clearly you had great fun exploring its nuances. Can you share some of your favorite spots with us?

I really regret that I wasn’t able to go to Paris while writing The Paris Affair (among other things I was pregnant and had a baby in the midst of writing the book). But I loved researching and writing about Paris. One of my favorite settings was the Boulevards, where Suzanne walks with her young son and her friend Dorothée Talleyrand. Much of my description of the sights, sounds, and smells comes from the journal of General Cavalié Mercer. I also really enjoyed writing scenes set in cafés, particularly as I do much of my writing in cafés. Women were able to frequent Parisian cafés in a way they couldn’t London coffee houses, a freedom Suzanne appreciates and that I appreciated as a writer. And I loved setting scenes in both the Jardin des Tuileries and the Jardin du Luxembourg.


Paris 2You have a very impressive background in history. Is there any other era that you would find fascinating to write about?

I really love writing about the Napoleonic/Regency era, and I’m constantly discovering new things to explore in it. My college honors work was on aristocratic culture in late 15th century England, and I also find the 1930s fascinating, so if I ever wrote about another era it would probably be one of those, but mostly I’m very happy where I am.


ByronWhat’s next for Suzanne and Malcolm after The Paris Affair?

I’m currently finishing up the next book in the series, provisionally titled The London Gambit. It’s set in London in December 1817. Malcolm and Suzanne have taken up residence in Britain and have a second child. Malcolm has left the diplomatic service and gone into Parliament, but you can’t really leave the spy game. Their friend, playwright Simon Tanner, climbs through their library window one night, rain-drenched and bloody, clutching a manuscript. Malcolm and Suzanne are drawn into a mystery involving an alternate version of Hamlet that may or may not be by Shakespeare, a mysterious secret society, Irish rebels, Lady Caroline Lamb, and Lord Byron.

Oh, that sounds fabulous— I can't wait! Now, before we sign off, Teresa has a question for our Wenchly readers—In books that deal with loyalty and betrayal, characters often wrestle with moral choices. Have you ever found yourself having a hard time forgiving a character? Or conversely, feeling a character who made questionable moral choices was blamed too much by other charters? Teresa will be giving away a copy of The Paris Affair to one lucky person chosen at random from those who leave comments here between now and Sunday morning.

205 thoughts on “Teresa Grant on Love, Loyalty, Betrayal . . . and Paris!”

  1. I’ve read numerous interviews with Teresa Grant, because I love her books, and I can say that without doubt this is the best because of the searching questions asked.
    I’m still trying to think of my answer to the very good question posed for us readers, but I’ll get back to you that!

  2. I’ve read numerous interviews with Teresa Grant, because I love her books, and I can say that without doubt this is the best because of the searching questions asked.
    I’m still trying to think of my answer to the very good question posed for us readers, but I’ll get back to you that!

  3. I’ve read numerous interviews with Teresa Grant, because I love her books, and I can say that without doubt this is the best because of the searching questions asked.
    I’m still trying to think of my answer to the very good question posed for us readers, but I’ll get back to you that!

  4. I’ve read numerous interviews with Teresa Grant, because I love her books, and I can say that without doubt this is the best because of the searching questions asked.
    I’m still trying to think of my answer to the very good question posed for us readers, but I’ll get back to you that!

  5. I’ve read numerous interviews with Teresa Grant, because I love her books, and I can say that without doubt this is the best because of the searching questions asked.
    I’m still trying to think of my answer to the very good question posed for us readers, but I’ll get back to you that!

  6. Thanks for a very interesting interview, ladies. I haven’t read any of Teresa’s books, but I will look out for them now as they sound just the kind of intelligent and exciting stories I like. The question about forgiving a character is one I’ve been thinking about because I’ve just finished a novel called “The Flower Reader” by Elizabeth Loupas. It isn’t a Regency, it’s set at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots in the 1560’s and I really enjoyed it, but the hero does something which I found difficult to reconcile with the behaviour I expect from a hero. Without giving too much of the plot away, he steals something, an act which results in the heroine being forced into marriage with a man she hates, a man who treats her very badly. Already in love with the heroine and knowing what will happen to her, the hero still decides to betray her to keep an earlier vow of loyalty to someone to whom he owes a great debt, a vow which will also help protect Queen Mary. In the end, everything turns out all right. The heroine forgives him and there is a happy ending, but I couldn’t help wondering how she managed it. The suffering his act had caused her was intense and people she’d loved had died because of it so I’m not sure I could have forgiven him! I hope I could because I like to believe that true love can indeed conquer all, but in this case I think they really would have had to work hard at their relationship to succeed.

  7. Thanks for a very interesting interview, ladies. I haven’t read any of Teresa’s books, but I will look out for them now as they sound just the kind of intelligent and exciting stories I like. The question about forgiving a character is one I’ve been thinking about because I’ve just finished a novel called “The Flower Reader” by Elizabeth Loupas. It isn’t a Regency, it’s set at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots in the 1560’s and I really enjoyed it, but the hero does something which I found difficult to reconcile with the behaviour I expect from a hero. Without giving too much of the plot away, he steals something, an act which results in the heroine being forced into marriage with a man she hates, a man who treats her very badly. Already in love with the heroine and knowing what will happen to her, the hero still decides to betray her to keep an earlier vow of loyalty to someone to whom he owes a great debt, a vow which will also help protect Queen Mary. In the end, everything turns out all right. The heroine forgives him and there is a happy ending, but I couldn’t help wondering how she managed it. The suffering his act had caused her was intense and people she’d loved had died because of it so I’m not sure I could have forgiven him! I hope I could because I like to believe that true love can indeed conquer all, but in this case I think they really would have had to work hard at their relationship to succeed.

  8. Thanks for a very interesting interview, ladies. I haven’t read any of Teresa’s books, but I will look out for them now as they sound just the kind of intelligent and exciting stories I like. The question about forgiving a character is one I’ve been thinking about because I’ve just finished a novel called “The Flower Reader” by Elizabeth Loupas. It isn’t a Regency, it’s set at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots in the 1560’s and I really enjoyed it, but the hero does something which I found difficult to reconcile with the behaviour I expect from a hero. Without giving too much of the plot away, he steals something, an act which results in the heroine being forced into marriage with a man she hates, a man who treats her very badly. Already in love with the heroine and knowing what will happen to her, the hero still decides to betray her to keep an earlier vow of loyalty to someone to whom he owes a great debt, a vow which will also help protect Queen Mary. In the end, everything turns out all right. The heroine forgives him and there is a happy ending, but I couldn’t help wondering how she managed it. The suffering his act had caused her was intense and people she’d loved had died because of it so I’m not sure I could have forgiven him! I hope I could because I like to believe that true love can indeed conquer all, but in this case I think they really would have had to work hard at their relationship to succeed.

  9. Thanks for a very interesting interview, ladies. I haven’t read any of Teresa’s books, but I will look out for them now as they sound just the kind of intelligent and exciting stories I like. The question about forgiving a character is one I’ve been thinking about because I’ve just finished a novel called “The Flower Reader” by Elizabeth Loupas. It isn’t a Regency, it’s set at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots in the 1560’s and I really enjoyed it, but the hero does something which I found difficult to reconcile with the behaviour I expect from a hero. Without giving too much of the plot away, he steals something, an act which results in the heroine being forced into marriage with a man she hates, a man who treats her very badly. Already in love with the heroine and knowing what will happen to her, the hero still decides to betray her to keep an earlier vow of loyalty to someone to whom he owes a great debt, a vow which will also help protect Queen Mary. In the end, everything turns out all right. The heroine forgives him and there is a happy ending, but I couldn’t help wondering how she managed it. The suffering his act had caused her was intense and people she’d loved had died because of it so I’m not sure I could have forgiven him! I hope I could because I like to believe that true love can indeed conquer all, but in this case I think they really would have had to work hard at their relationship to succeed.

  10. Thanks for a very interesting interview, ladies. I haven’t read any of Teresa’s books, but I will look out for them now as they sound just the kind of intelligent and exciting stories I like. The question about forgiving a character is one I’ve been thinking about because I’ve just finished a novel called “The Flower Reader” by Elizabeth Loupas. It isn’t a Regency, it’s set at the court of Mary, Queen of Scots in the 1560’s and I really enjoyed it, but the hero does something which I found difficult to reconcile with the behaviour I expect from a hero. Without giving too much of the plot away, he steals something, an act which results in the heroine being forced into marriage with a man she hates, a man who treats her very badly. Already in love with the heroine and knowing what will happen to her, the hero still decides to betray her to keep an earlier vow of loyalty to someone to whom he owes a great debt, a vow which will also help protect Queen Mary. In the end, everything turns out all right. The heroine forgives him and there is a happy ending, but I couldn’t help wondering how she managed it. The suffering his act had caused her was intense and people she’d loved had died because of it so I’m not sure I could have forgiven him! I hope I could because I like to believe that true love can indeed conquer all, but in this case I think they really would have had to work hard at their relationship to succeed.

  11. Thanks for sharing, Gail. Questions of love, honor and betrayal are so complex, aren’t they, and we each have a very personal idea of what we can or can’t forgive. But I also think we never really know until we are forced to confront that question—the circumstances, the person . . .it’s all so hard to draw in black and white.

  12. Thanks for sharing, Gail. Questions of love, honor and betrayal are so complex, aren’t they, and we each have a very personal idea of what we can or can’t forgive. But I also think we never really know until we are forced to confront that question—the circumstances, the person . . .it’s all so hard to draw in black and white.

  13. Thanks for sharing, Gail. Questions of love, honor and betrayal are so complex, aren’t they, and we each have a very personal idea of what we can or can’t forgive. But I also think we never really know until we are forced to confront that question—the circumstances, the person . . .it’s all so hard to draw in black and white.

  14. Thanks for sharing, Gail. Questions of love, honor and betrayal are so complex, aren’t they, and we each have a very personal idea of what we can or can’t forgive. But I also think we never really know until we are forced to confront that question—the circumstances, the person . . .it’s all so hard to draw in black and white.

  15. Thanks for sharing, Gail. Questions of love, honor and betrayal are so complex, aren’t they, and we each have a very personal idea of what we can or can’t forgive. But I also think we never really know until we are forced to confront that question—the circumstances, the person . . .it’s all so hard to draw in black and white.

  16. Thanks for this interesting interview! I have already read The Paris Affair and loved it, but was not aware of the novella His Spanish Bride and have immediately downloaded it. The title refers to the Heyer book, I take it? (I do hope it is more interesting, The Spanish Bride is one of the dullest Heyers IMO, weighed down by too much research just like An Infamous Army.) I will read anything about Malcolm and Suzanne (or their former identities) and look forward to The London Gambit. My favourite is still Daughter of the Game, where one revelation chases the other and all (?) is finally revealed.

  17. Thanks for this interesting interview! I have already read The Paris Affair and loved it, but was not aware of the novella His Spanish Bride and have immediately downloaded it. The title refers to the Heyer book, I take it? (I do hope it is more interesting, The Spanish Bride is one of the dullest Heyers IMO, weighed down by too much research just like An Infamous Army.) I will read anything about Malcolm and Suzanne (or their former identities) and look forward to The London Gambit. My favourite is still Daughter of the Game, where one revelation chases the other and all (?) is finally revealed.

  18. Thanks for this interesting interview! I have already read The Paris Affair and loved it, but was not aware of the novella His Spanish Bride and have immediately downloaded it. The title refers to the Heyer book, I take it? (I do hope it is more interesting, The Spanish Bride is one of the dullest Heyers IMO, weighed down by too much research just like An Infamous Army.) I will read anything about Malcolm and Suzanne (or their former identities) and look forward to The London Gambit. My favourite is still Daughter of the Game, where one revelation chases the other and all (?) is finally revealed.

  19. Thanks for this interesting interview! I have already read The Paris Affair and loved it, but was not aware of the novella His Spanish Bride and have immediately downloaded it. The title refers to the Heyer book, I take it? (I do hope it is more interesting, The Spanish Bride is one of the dullest Heyers IMO, weighed down by too much research just like An Infamous Army.) I will read anything about Malcolm and Suzanne (or their former identities) and look forward to The London Gambit. My favourite is still Daughter of the Game, where one revelation chases the other and all (?) is finally revealed.

  20. Thanks for this interesting interview! I have already read The Paris Affair and loved it, but was not aware of the novella His Spanish Bride and have immediately downloaded it. The title refers to the Heyer book, I take it? (I do hope it is more interesting, The Spanish Bride is one of the dullest Heyers IMO, weighed down by too much research just like An Infamous Army.) I will read anything about Malcolm and Suzanne (or their former identities) and look forward to The London Gambit. My favourite is still Daughter of the Game, where one revelation chases the other and all (?) is finally revealed.

  21. Wonderful interview, ladies! The amount of research that goes into your books and the wonderful way you weave that research into your stories simply amazes me, Teresa!
    Thinking of heroes who have done the unforgivable always brings the Lymond Chronicles to mind. Lymond did many things throughout the series that can be considered “unheroic” and there were times I was furious with him and didn’t want to forgive him at all. But as in all things in life unless you have walked in another person’s shoes you don’t know what you might have done in similar situations. It is a compliment to Ms. Dunnett’s skills as a writer that ultimately I still love and admire Lymond.
    And I think when writing heroes and heroines who are less than heroic the skill of the writer is key. Their insight into a character’s pysche can be the thing that makes or breaks my ultimate reaction to the character’s behavior.

  22. Wonderful interview, ladies! The amount of research that goes into your books and the wonderful way you weave that research into your stories simply amazes me, Teresa!
    Thinking of heroes who have done the unforgivable always brings the Lymond Chronicles to mind. Lymond did many things throughout the series that can be considered “unheroic” and there were times I was furious with him and didn’t want to forgive him at all. But as in all things in life unless you have walked in another person’s shoes you don’t know what you might have done in similar situations. It is a compliment to Ms. Dunnett’s skills as a writer that ultimately I still love and admire Lymond.
    And I think when writing heroes and heroines who are less than heroic the skill of the writer is key. Their insight into a character’s pysche can be the thing that makes or breaks my ultimate reaction to the character’s behavior.

  23. Wonderful interview, ladies! The amount of research that goes into your books and the wonderful way you weave that research into your stories simply amazes me, Teresa!
    Thinking of heroes who have done the unforgivable always brings the Lymond Chronicles to mind. Lymond did many things throughout the series that can be considered “unheroic” and there were times I was furious with him and didn’t want to forgive him at all. But as in all things in life unless you have walked in another person’s shoes you don’t know what you might have done in similar situations. It is a compliment to Ms. Dunnett’s skills as a writer that ultimately I still love and admire Lymond.
    And I think when writing heroes and heroines who are less than heroic the skill of the writer is key. Their insight into a character’s pysche can be the thing that makes or breaks my ultimate reaction to the character’s behavior.

  24. Wonderful interview, ladies! The amount of research that goes into your books and the wonderful way you weave that research into your stories simply amazes me, Teresa!
    Thinking of heroes who have done the unforgivable always brings the Lymond Chronicles to mind. Lymond did many things throughout the series that can be considered “unheroic” and there were times I was furious with him and didn’t want to forgive him at all. But as in all things in life unless you have walked in another person’s shoes you don’t know what you might have done in similar situations. It is a compliment to Ms. Dunnett’s skills as a writer that ultimately I still love and admire Lymond.
    And I think when writing heroes and heroines who are less than heroic the skill of the writer is key. Their insight into a character’s pysche can be the thing that makes or breaks my ultimate reaction to the character’s behavior.

  25. Wonderful interview, ladies! The amount of research that goes into your books and the wonderful way you weave that research into your stories simply amazes me, Teresa!
    Thinking of heroes who have done the unforgivable always brings the Lymond Chronicles to mind. Lymond did many things throughout the series that can be considered “unheroic” and there were times I was furious with him and didn’t want to forgive him at all. But as in all things in life unless you have walked in another person’s shoes you don’t know what you might have done in similar situations. It is a compliment to Ms. Dunnett’s skills as a writer that ultimately I still love and admire Lymond.
    And I think when writing heroes and heroines who are less than heroic the skill of the writer is key. Their insight into a character’s pysche can be the thing that makes or breaks my ultimate reaction to the character’s behavior.

  26. There is a wonderful series by C.S. Harris featuring Sebastian St Cyr, “Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.” He investigates mysterious deaths, to the annoyance of his father (the Earl of Hendon) who wants him to marry, settle down, and behave in a way suitable for his heir.
    This is a *SPOILER* for the series!
    Sebastian is deeply in love with an actress, Kat, who he wants to marry, and then she discovers that her father is Sebastian’s father! They part in horror, very unhappy. But Hendon knows that his wife was unfaithful and that he definitely is not Sebastian’s father, so that Sebastian and Kat are not siblings. But Hendon doesn’t tell Sebastian that, and if my memory serves me correctly it was he who told Kat that he was her father.
    Hendon wanted to separate them so that Sebastian would marry the right type of girl etc., and convinces himself that it’s for Sebastian’s own good. He also doesn’t want Sebastian to know the truth about his parentage for a variety of reasons, many of them good.
    But I find it very hard to forgive Hendon. In fact, I haven’t forgiven him.
    The other example that comes to mind is Jane Austen’s Emma. She believes that she is acting from the best of motives, but I find her insufferable!
    When I discovered Melanie’s secret, I thought I wouldn’t be able to forgive her, and that Charles couldn’t either. But I have! (For new readers, Melanie and Charles are the names of Suzanne and Malcolm in earlier books published under the name Tracy Grant.)

  27. There is a wonderful series by C.S. Harris featuring Sebastian St Cyr, “Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.” He investigates mysterious deaths, to the annoyance of his father (the Earl of Hendon) who wants him to marry, settle down, and behave in a way suitable for his heir.
    This is a *SPOILER* for the series!
    Sebastian is deeply in love with an actress, Kat, who he wants to marry, and then she discovers that her father is Sebastian’s father! They part in horror, very unhappy. But Hendon knows that his wife was unfaithful and that he definitely is not Sebastian’s father, so that Sebastian and Kat are not siblings. But Hendon doesn’t tell Sebastian that, and if my memory serves me correctly it was he who told Kat that he was her father.
    Hendon wanted to separate them so that Sebastian would marry the right type of girl etc., and convinces himself that it’s for Sebastian’s own good. He also doesn’t want Sebastian to know the truth about his parentage for a variety of reasons, many of them good.
    But I find it very hard to forgive Hendon. In fact, I haven’t forgiven him.
    The other example that comes to mind is Jane Austen’s Emma. She believes that she is acting from the best of motives, but I find her insufferable!
    When I discovered Melanie’s secret, I thought I wouldn’t be able to forgive her, and that Charles couldn’t either. But I have! (For new readers, Melanie and Charles are the names of Suzanne and Malcolm in earlier books published under the name Tracy Grant.)

  28. There is a wonderful series by C.S. Harris featuring Sebastian St Cyr, “Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.” He investigates mysterious deaths, to the annoyance of his father (the Earl of Hendon) who wants him to marry, settle down, and behave in a way suitable for his heir.
    This is a *SPOILER* for the series!
    Sebastian is deeply in love with an actress, Kat, who he wants to marry, and then she discovers that her father is Sebastian’s father! They part in horror, very unhappy. But Hendon knows that his wife was unfaithful and that he definitely is not Sebastian’s father, so that Sebastian and Kat are not siblings. But Hendon doesn’t tell Sebastian that, and if my memory serves me correctly it was he who told Kat that he was her father.
    Hendon wanted to separate them so that Sebastian would marry the right type of girl etc., and convinces himself that it’s for Sebastian’s own good. He also doesn’t want Sebastian to know the truth about his parentage for a variety of reasons, many of them good.
    But I find it very hard to forgive Hendon. In fact, I haven’t forgiven him.
    The other example that comes to mind is Jane Austen’s Emma. She believes that she is acting from the best of motives, but I find her insufferable!
    When I discovered Melanie’s secret, I thought I wouldn’t be able to forgive her, and that Charles couldn’t either. But I have! (For new readers, Melanie and Charles are the names of Suzanne and Malcolm in earlier books published under the name Tracy Grant.)

  29. There is a wonderful series by C.S. Harris featuring Sebastian St Cyr, “Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.” He investigates mysterious deaths, to the annoyance of his father (the Earl of Hendon) who wants him to marry, settle down, and behave in a way suitable for his heir.
    This is a *SPOILER* for the series!
    Sebastian is deeply in love with an actress, Kat, who he wants to marry, and then she discovers that her father is Sebastian’s father! They part in horror, very unhappy. But Hendon knows that his wife was unfaithful and that he definitely is not Sebastian’s father, so that Sebastian and Kat are not siblings. But Hendon doesn’t tell Sebastian that, and if my memory serves me correctly it was he who told Kat that he was her father.
    Hendon wanted to separate them so that Sebastian would marry the right type of girl etc., and convinces himself that it’s for Sebastian’s own good. He also doesn’t want Sebastian to know the truth about his parentage for a variety of reasons, many of them good.
    But I find it very hard to forgive Hendon. In fact, I haven’t forgiven him.
    The other example that comes to mind is Jane Austen’s Emma. She believes that she is acting from the best of motives, but I find her insufferable!
    When I discovered Melanie’s secret, I thought I wouldn’t be able to forgive her, and that Charles couldn’t either. But I have! (For new readers, Melanie and Charles are the names of Suzanne and Malcolm in earlier books published under the name Tracy Grant.)

  30. There is a wonderful series by C.S. Harris featuring Sebastian St Cyr, “Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic Wars.” He investigates mysterious deaths, to the annoyance of his father (the Earl of Hendon) who wants him to marry, settle down, and behave in a way suitable for his heir.
    This is a *SPOILER* for the series!
    Sebastian is deeply in love with an actress, Kat, who he wants to marry, and then she discovers that her father is Sebastian’s father! They part in horror, very unhappy. But Hendon knows that his wife was unfaithful and that he definitely is not Sebastian’s father, so that Sebastian and Kat are not siblings. But Hendon doesn’t tell Sebastian that, and if my memory serves me correctly it was he who told Kat that he was her father.
    Hendon wanted to separate them so that Sebastian would marry the right type of girl etc., and convinces himself that it’s for Sebastian’s own good. He also doesn’t want Sebastian to know the truth about his parentage for a variety of reasons, many of them good.
    But I find it very hard to forgive Hendon. In fact, I haven’t forgiven him.
    The other example that comes to mind is Jane Austen’s Emma. She believes that she is acting from the best of motives, but I find her insufferable!
    When I discovered Melanie’s secret, I thought I wouldn’t be able to forgive her, and that Charles couldn’t either. But I have! (For new readers, Melanie and Charles are the names of Suzanne and Malcolm in earlier books published under the name Tracy Grant.)

  31. What an interesting example, Gail! I think it’s so interesting when two different loyalties collide. Which comes first – the oldest, the strongest? As to what can be forgiven, as Cara/Andrea says, I think we don’t know until we confront the situation. And the reality is almost always messier than the hypothetical…

  32. What an interesting example, Gail! I think it’s so interesting when two different loyalties collide. Which comes first – the oldest, the strongest? As to what can be forgiven, as Cara/Andrea says, I think we don’t know until we confront the situation. And the reality is almost always messier than the hypothetical…

  33. What an interesting example, Gail! I think it’s so interesting when two different loyalties collide. Which comes first – the oldest, the strongest? As to what can be forgiven, as Cara/Andrea says, I think we don’t know until we confront the situation. And the reality is almost always messier than the hypothetical…

  34. What an interesting example, Gail! I think it’s so interesting when two different loyalties collide. Which comes first – the oldest, the strongest? As to what can be forgiven, as Cara/Andrea says, I think we don’t know until we confront the situation. And the reality is almost always messier than the hypothetical…

  35. What an interesting example, Gail! I think it’s so interesting when two different loyalties collide. Which comes first – the oldest, the strongest? As to what can be forgiven, as Cara/Andrea says, I think we don’t know until we confront the situation. And the reality is almost always messier than the hypothetical…

  36. Well, Teresa, I can’t recall a character I was unable to forgive, unless it was the “bad guy” in the mystery and I let the author take care of his/her “just deserts.” I really get into a story, especially romantic mysteries, but I let the story carry me away in my imagination and trust that the author will take care of all the hurdles and problems that must be overcome for a HEA ending. I will admit, however, that I have a more difficult time staying aloof when the story involves drugs, alcoholism or adultery. Those problems make me “take sides” against the ones perpetrating the sins. jdh2690@gmail.com

  37. Well, Teresa, I can’t recall a character I was unable to forgive, unless it was the “bad guy” in the mystery and I let the author take care of his/her “just deserts.” I really get into a story, especially romantic mysteries, but I let the story carry me away in my imagination and trust that the author will take care of all the hurdles and problems that must be overcome for a HEA ending. I will admit, however, that I have a more difficult time staying aloof when the story involves drugs, alcoholism or adultery. Those problems make me “take sides” against the ones perpetrating the sins. jdh2690@gmail.com

  38. Well, Teresa, I can’t recall a character I was unable to forgive, unless it was the “bad guy” in the mystery and I let the author take care of his/her “just deserts.” I really get into a story, especially romantic mysteries, but I let the story carry me away in my imagination and trust that the author will take care of all the hurdles and problems that must be overcome for a HEA ending. I will admit, however, that I have a more difficult time staying aloof when the story involves drugs, alcoholism or adultery. Those problems make me “take sides” against the ones perpetrating the sins. jdh2690@gmail.com

  39. Well, Teresa, I can’t recall a character I was unable to forgive, unless it was the “bad guy” in the mystery and I let the author take care of his/her “just deserts.” I really get into a story, especially romantic mysteries, but I let the story carry me away in my imagination and trust that the author will take care of all the hurdles and problems that must be overcome for a HEA ending. I will admit, however, that I have a more difficult time staying aloof when the story involves drugs, alcoholism or adultery. Those problems make me “take sides” against the ones perpetrating the sins. jdh2690@gmail.com

  40. Well, Teresa, I can’t recall a character I was unable to forgive, unless it was the “bad guy” in the mystery and I let the author take care of his/her “just deserts.” I really get into a story, especially romantic mysteries, but I let the story carry me away in my imagination and trust that the author will take care of all the hurdles and problems that must be overcome for a HEA ending. I will admit, however, that I have a more difficult time staying aloof when the story involves drugs, alcoholism or adultery. Those problems make me “take sides” against the ones perpetrating the sins. jdh2690@gmail.com

  41. Thanks for posting, Maria! So glad you enjoy the series and have now discovered His Spanish Bride. My editor came up with the title – partly I think because Suzanne is a war bride like Juana in Heyer’s The Spanish Bride and also because a lot of the books in the series have “location” titles. My working title was “The Lisbon Bride” but everyone thought “Spanish” was more marketable :-).

  42. Thanks for posting, Maria! So glad you enjoy the series and have now discovered His Spanish Bride. My editor came up with the title – partly I think because Suzanne is a war bride like Juana in Heyer’s The Spanish Bride and also because a lot of the books in the series have “location” titles. My working title was “The Lisbon Bride” but everyone thought “Spanish” was more marketable :-).

  43. Thanks for posting, Maria! So glad you enjoy the series and have now discovered His Spanish Bride. My editor came up with the title – partly I think because Suzanne is a war bride like Juana in Heyer’s The Spanish Bride and also because a lot of the books in the series have “location” titles. My working title was “The Lisbon Bride” but everyone thought “Spanish” was more marketable :-).

  44. Thanks for posting, Maria! So glad you enjoy the series and have now discovered His Spanish Bride. My editor came up with the title – partly I think because Suzanne is a war bride like Juana in Heyer’s The Spanish Bride and also because a lot of the books in the series have “location” titles. My working title was “The Lisbon Bride” but everyone thought “Spanish” was more marketable :-).

  45. Thanks for posting, Maria! So glad you enjoy the series and have now discovered His Spanish Bride. My editor came up with the title – partly I think because Suzanne is a war bride like Juana in Heyer’s The Spanish Bride and also because a lot of the books in the series have “location” titles. My working title was “The Lisbon Bride” but everyone thought “Spanish” was more marketable :-).

  46. I think that’s why readers can discuss the Lymnond Chronicles so endlessly, Louisa. I think it’s so interesting how people respond to Lymond. My mom was really annoyed with him for the first half of Game of Kings, whereas I just assumed there was a reason for what he was doing. In a sense, one of the major mysteries of the series is Lymond and what makes him tick. One of my writer friends said she kept rereading the series because she’d think “this time I’ll find the key to who he is.”

  47. I think that’s why readers can discuss the Lymnond Chronicles so endlessly, Louisa. I think it’s so interesting how people respond to Lymond. My mom was really annoyed with him for the first half of Game of Kings, whereas I just assumed there was a reason for what he was doing. In a sense, one of the major mysteries of the series is Lymond and what makes him tick. One of my writer friends said she kept rereading the series because she’d think “this time I’ll find the key to who he is.”

  48. I think that’s why readers can discuss the Lymnond Chronicles so endlessly, Louisa. I think it’s so interesting how people respond to Lymond. My mom was really annoyed with him for the first half of Game of Kings, whereas I just assumed there was a reason for what he was doing. In a sense, one of the major mysteries of the series is Lymond and what makes him tick. One of my writer friends said she kept rereading the series because she’d think “this time I’ll find the key to who he is.”

  49. I think that’s why readers can discuss the Lymnond Chronicles so endlessly, Louisa. I think it’s so interesting how people respond to Lymond. My mom was really annoyed with him for the first half of Game of Kings, whereas I just assumed there was a reason for what he was doing. In a sense, one of the major mysteries of the series is Lymond and what makes him tick. One of my writer friends said she kept rereading the series because she’d think “this time I’ll find the key to who he is.”

  50. I think that’s why readers can discuss the Lymnond Chronicles so endlessly, Louisa. I think it’s so interesting how people respond to Lymond. My mom was really annoyed with him for the first half of Game of Kings, whereas I just assumed there was a reason for what he was doing. In a sense, one of the major mysteries of the series is Lymond and what makes him tick. One of my writer friends said she kept rereading the series because she’d think “this time I’ll find the key to who he is.”

  51. I love the Sebastian St. Cyr series, HJ! Yes, I too have a hard time forgiving Hendon. Emma, though, is one of my favorite Jane Austen heroines. Which isn’t to say I approve of all her behavior, but somehow I like her imperfections (whereas I have a really hard time with Fanny Price, who is a much “nicer” character). I think it’s interesting how readers react differently to Emma and to Mélanie/Suzanne. One of my friends actually got frustrated with Charles/Malcolm for taking “so long” to forgive her because she was only doing her job :-). Glad you were able to forgive her – that means I did something right.

  52. I love the Sebastian St. Cyr series, HJ! Yes, I too have a hard time forgiving Hendon. Emma, though, is one of my favorite Jane Austen heroines. Which isn’t to say I approve of all her behavior, but somehow I like her imperfections (whereas I have a really hard time with Fanny Price, who is a much “nicer” character). I think it’s interesting how readers react differently to Emma and to Mélanie/Suzanne. One of my friends actually got frustrated with Charles/Malcolm for taking “so long” to forgive her because she was only doing her job :-). Glad you were able to forgive her – that means I did something right.

  53. I love the Sebastian St. Cyr series, HJ! Yes, I too have a hard time forgiving Hendon. Emma, though, is one of my favorite Jane Austen heroines. Which isn’t to say I approve of all her behavior, but somehow I like her imperfections (whereas I have a really hard time with Fanny Price, who is a much “nicer” character). I think it’s interesting how readers react differently to Emma and to Mélanie/Suzanne. One of my friends actually got frustrated with Charles/Malcolm for taking “so long” to forgive her because she was only doing her job :-). Glad you were able to forgive her – that means I did something right.

  54. I love the Sebastian St. Cyr series, HJ! Yes, I too have a hard time forgiving Hendon. Emma, though, is one of my favorite Jane Austen heroines. Which isn’t to say I approve of all her behavior, but somehow I like her imperfections (whereas I have a really hard time with Fanny Price, who is a much “nicer” character). I think it’s interesting how readers react differently to Emma and to Mélanie/Suzanne. One of my friends actually got frustrated with Charles/Malcolm for taking “so long” to forgive her because she was only doing her job :-). Glad you were able to forgive her – that means I did something right.

  55. I love the Sebastian St. Cyr series, HJ! Yes, I too have a hard time forgiving Hendon. Emma, though, is one of my favorite Jane Austen heroines. Which isn’t to say I approve of all her behavior, but somehow I like her imperfections (whereas I have a really hard time with Fanny Price, who is a much “nicer” character). I think it’s interesting how readers react differently to Emma and to Mélanie/Suzanne. One of my friends actually got frustrated with Charles/Malcolm for taking “so long” to forgive her because she was only doing her job :-). Glad you were able to forgive her – that means I did something right.

  56. Thanks for posting, Janice! I think it’s interesting how particular issues can be harder for us to get past in characters than others. I’m not entirely joking when I say that I expect a large part of my problem with poor Fanny Price is that it’s really hard for me to like someone who objects to a play :-).

  57. Thanks for posting, Janice! I think it’s interesting how particular issues can be harder for us to get past in characters than others. I’m not entirely joking when I say that I expect a large part of my problem with poor Fanny Price is that it’s really hard for me to like someone who objects to a play :-).

  58. Thanks for posting, Janice! I think it’s interesting how particular issues can be harder for us to get past in characters than others. I’m not entirely joking when I say that I expect a large part of my problem with poor Fanny Price is that it’s really hard for me to like someone who objects to a play :-).

  59. Thanks for posting, Janice! I think it’s interesting how particular issues can be harder for us to get past in characters than others. I’m not entirely joking when I say that I expect a large part of my problem with poor Fanny Price is that it’s really hard for me to like someone who objects to a play :-).

  60. Thanks for posting, Janice! I think it’s interesting how particular issues can be harder for us to get past in characters than others. I’m not entirely joking when I say that I expect a large part of my problem with poor Fanny Price is that it’s really hard for me to like someone who objects to a play :-).

  61. As a friend of Tracy I’ve followed her career and enjoy reading everything I can. Love everything she has written. Her books are so popular, they are hard to find. Finally found Beneath a Silent Moon.

  62. As a friend of Tracy I’ve followed her career and enjoy reading everything I can. Love everything she has written. Her books are so popular, they are hard to find. Finally found Beneath a Silent Moon.

  63. As a friend of Tracy I’ve followed her career and enjoy reading everything I can. Love everything she has written. Her books are so popular, they are hard to find. Finally found Beneath a Silent Moon.

  64. As a friend of Tracy I’ve followed her career and enjoy reading everything I can. Love everything she has written. Her books are so popular, they are hard to find. Finally found Beneath a Silent Moon.

  65. As a friend of Tracy I’ve followed her career and enjoy reading everything I can. Love everything she has written. Her books are so popular, they are hard to find. Finally found Beneath a Silent Moon.

  66. Ahhh forgiving characters. I recently read Gone Girl and was so appalled by the actions of one of the main characters that I’m not sure if I hated the book for that or loved it for its intricacies and depth. The lack of any morals of this particularly character made it impossible to forgive the actions.

  67. Ahhh forgiving characters. I recently read Gone Girl and was so appalled by the actions of one of the main characters that I’m not sure if I hated the book for that or loved it for its intricacies and depth. The lack of any morals of this particularly character made it impossible to forgive the actions.

  68. Ahhh forgiving characters. I recently read Gone Girl and was so appalled by the actions of one of the main characters that I’m not sure if I hated the book for that or loved it for its intricacies and depth. The lack of any morals of this particularly character made it impossible to forgive the actions.

  69. Ahhh forgiving characters. I recently read Gone Girl and was so appalled by the actions of one of the main characters that I’m not sure if I hated the book for that or loved it for its intricacies and depth. The lack of any morals of this particularly character made it impossible to forgive the actions.

  70. Ahhh forgiving characters. I recently read Gone Girl and was so appalled by the actions of one of the main characters that I’m not sure if I hated the book for that or loved it for its intricacies and depth. The lack of any morals of this particularly character made it impossible to forgive the actions.

  71. Squeeing like a teenage fan girl! Wonderful interview – thank you Teresa and Cara.
    I love, love, love Teresa Grant’s books and have read them all. They are the perfect combination of espionage, history, and romance with impeccable plotting, great characterizations and superb writing. And while I was gobsmacked at Melanie/Suzanne’s revelation, there was never a question of forgiving her.
    I agree with HJ above – I’m not sure I’ve forgiven Hendon even now.

  72. Squeeing like a teenage fan girl! Wonderful interview – thank you Teresa and Cara.
    I love, love, love Teresa Grant’s books and have read them all. They are the perfect combination of espionage, history, and romance with impeccable plotting, great characterizations and superb writing. And while I was gobsmacked at Melanie/Suzanne’s revelation, there was never a question of forgiving her.
    I agree with HJ above – I’m not sure I’ve forgiven Hendon even now.

  73. Squeeing like a teenage fan girl! Wonderful interview – thank you Teresa and Cara.
    I love, love, love Teresa Grant’s books and have read them all. They are the perfect combination of espionage, history, and romance with impeccable plotting, great characterizations and superb writing. And while I was gobsmacked at Melanie/Suzanne’s revelation, there was never a question of forgiving her.
    I agree with HJ above – I’m not sure I’ve forgiven Hendon even now.

  74. Squeeing like a teenage fan girl! Wonderful interview – thank you Teresa and Cara.
    I love, love, love Teresa Grant’s books and have read them all. They are the perfect combination of espionage, history, and romance with impeccable plotting, great characterizations and superb writing. And while I was gobsmacked at Melanie/Suzanne’s revelation, there was never a question of forgiving her.
    I agree with HJ above – I’m not sure I’ve forgiven Hendon even now.

  75. Squeeing like a teenage fan girl! Wonderful interview – thank you Teresa and Cara.
    I love, love, love Teresa Grant’s books and have read them all. They are the perfect combination of espionage, history, and romance with impeccable plotting, great characterizations and superb writing. And while I was gobsmacked at Melanie/Suzanne’s revelation, there was never a question of forgiving her.
    I agree with HJ above – I’m not sure I’ve forgiven Hendon even now.

  76. I haven’t read Gone Girl, Christine, but I have hear a lot of people talk about the characters being unsympathetic. That – and the talk about the twists – intrigues me. I’m curious about how I would react to the characters in question. One more book on the TBR…

  77. I haven’t read Gone Girl, Christine, but I have hear a lot of people talk about the characters being unsympathetic. That – and the talk about the twists – intrigues me. I’m curious about how I would react to the characters in question. One more book on the TBR…

  78. I haven’t read Gone Girl, Christine, but I have hear a lot of people talk about the characters being unsympathetic. That – and the talk about the twists – intrigues me. I’m curious about how I would react to the characters in question. One more book on the TBR…

  79. I haven’t read Gone Girl, Christine, but I have hear a lot of people talk about the characters being unsympathetic. That – and the talk about the twists – intrigues me. I’m curious about how I would react to the characters in question. One more book on the TBR…

  80. I haven’t read Gone Girl, Christine, but I have hear a lot of people talk about the characters being unsympathetic. That – and the talk about the twists – intrigues me. I’m curious about how I would react to the characters in question. One more book on the TBR…

  81. Hi Donna! Thanks for the lovely comments! I think your and HJ’s and my strong feelings about Hendon are interesting. He doesn’t kill anyone or betray his country. And yet– I was going to say it’s that he deprives Sebastian and Kat of free will. And yet in a sense Suzanne does that to Malcolm in marrying him under false pretenses, and (like both of you!) I can forgive her…

  82. Hi Donna! Thanks for the lovely comments! I think your and HJ’s and my strong feelings about Hendon are interesting. He doesn’t kill anyone or betray his country. And yet– I was going to say it’s that he deprives Sebastian and Kat of free will. And yet in a sense Suzanne does that to Malcolm in marrying him under false pretenses, and (like both of you!) I can forgive her…

  83. Hi Donna! Thanks for the lovely comments! I think your and HJ’s and my strong feelings about Hendon are interesting. He doesn’t kill anyone or betray his country. And yet– I was going to say it’s that he deprives Sebastian and Kat of free will. And yet in a sense Suzanne does that to Malcolm in marrying him under false pretenses, and (like both of you!) I can forgive her…

  84. Hi Donna! Thanks for the lovely comments! I think your and HJ’s and my strong feelings about Hendon are interesting. He doesn’t kill anyone or betray his country. And yet– I was going to say it’s that he deprives Sebastian and Kat of free will. And yet in a sense Suzanne does that to Malcolm in marrying him under false pretenses, and (like both of you!) I can forgive her…

  85. Hi Donna! Thanks for the lovely comments! I think your and HJ’s and my strong feelings about Hendon are interesting. He doesn’t kill anyone or betray his country. And yet– I was going to say it’s that he deprives Sebastian and Kat of free will. And yet in a sense Suzanne does that to Malcolm in marrying him under false pretenses, and (like both of you!) I can forgive her…

  86. It’s so interesting that I find find Fanny Price the least interesting and sympathetic of Austen’s characters too. She seems to lack depth and spark. Emma, despite her faults, has such fire.I’ll forgive a lot of things when the character has spirit and a good heart.

  87. It’s so interesting that I find find Fanny Price the least interesting and sympathetic of Austen’s characters too. She seems to lack depth and spark. Emma, despite her faults, has such fire.I’ll forgive a lot of things when the character has spirit and a good heart.

  88. It’s so interesting that I find find Fanny Price the least interesting and sympathetic of Austen’s characters too. She seems to lack depth and spark. Emma, despite her faults, has such fire.I’ll forgive a lot of things when the character has spirit and a good heart.

  89. It’s so interesting that I find find Fanny Price the least interesting and sympathetic of Austen’s characters too. She seems to lack depth and spark. Emma, despite her faults, has such fire.I’ll forgive a lot of things when the character has spirit and a good heart.

  90. It’s so interesting that I find find Fanny Price the least interesting and sympathetic of Austen’s characters too. She seems to lack depth and spark. Emma, despite her faults, has such fire.I’ll forgive a lot of things when the character has spirit and a good heart.

  91. Fanny doesn’t seem to have much of sense of humor. I feel sorry for her circumstances, but I don’t particularly *like* her. As you say, at least for me as a reader, she lacks depth. It’s interesting that while flaws can make a character unsympathetic, the lack of flaws can also be off putting. And as with so much about reading, it’s so often in the eye of the reader.

  92. Fanny doesn’t seem to have much of sense of humor. I feel sorry for her circumstances, but I don’t particularly *like* her. As you say, at least for me as a reader, she lacks depth. It’s interesting that while flaws can make a character unsympathetic, the lack of flaws can also be off putting. And as with so much about reading, it’s so often in the eye of the reader.

  93. Fanny doesn’t seem to have much of sense of humor. I feel sorry for her circumstances, but I don’t particularly *like* her. As you say, at least for me as a reader, she lacks depth. It’s interesting that while flaws can make a character unsympathetic, the lack of flaws can also be off putting. And as with so much about reading, it’s so often in the eye of the reader.

  94. Fanny doesn’t seem to have much of sense of humor. I feel sorry for her circumstances, but I don’t particularly *like* her. As you say, at least for me as a reader, she lacks depth. It’s interesting that while flaws can make a character unsympathetic, the lack of flaws can also be off putting. And as with so much about reading, it’s so often in the eye of the reader.

  95. Fanny doesn’t seem to have much of sense of humor. I feel sorry for her circumstances, but I don’t particularly *like* her. As you say, at least for me as a reader, she lacks depth. It’s interesting that while flaws can make a character unsympathetic, the lack of flaws can also be off putting. And as with so much about reading, it’s so often in the eye of the reader.

  96. What a great interview, Tracy and Andrea! Tracy, your two cats look very like my Lacey and Grady, tabby and gray respectively.
    Honor is one of the great themes and conflicts of historical novels, I think. (Well, in contemporaries, too, but it’s more subtle there.)
    As for characters one has trouble forgiving–Dorothy Dunnett is the grand mistress. I’d be reading along and think, “THAT DOES IT! I will NEVER forgive Lymond for this!” And then, of course I would. He was proof that once one knows the motivations, the picture changes.

  97. What a great interview, Tracy and Andrea! Tracy, your two cats look very like my Lacey and Grady, tabby and gray respectively.
    Honor is one of the great themes and conflicts of historical novels, I think. (Well, in contemporaries, too, but it’s more subtle there.)
    As for characters one has trouble forgiving–Dorothy Dunnett is the grand mistress. I’d be reading along and think, “THAT DOES IT! I will NEVER forgive Lymond for this!” And then, of course I would. He was proof that once one knows the motivations, the picture changes.

  98. What a great interview, Tracy and Andrea! Tracy, your two cats look very like my Lacey and Grady, tabby and gray respectively.
    Honor is one of the great themes and conflicts of historical novels, I think. (Well, in contemporaries, too, but it’s more subtle there.)
    As for characters one has trouble forgiving–Dorothy Dunnett is the grand mistress. I’d be reading along and think, “THAT DOES IT! I will NEVER forgive Lymond for this!” And then, of course I would. He was proof that once one knows the motivations, the picture changes.

  99. What a great interview, Tracy and Andrea! Tracy, your two cats look very like my Lacey and Grady, tabby and gray respectively.
    Honor is one of the great themes and conflicts of historical novels, I think. (Well, in contemporaries, too, but it’s more subtle there.)
    As for characters one has trouble forgiving–Dorothy Dunnett is the grand mistress. I’d be reading along and think, “THAT DOES IT! I will NEVER forgive Lymond for this!” And then, of course I would. He was proof that once one knows the motivations, the picture changes.

  100. What a great interview, Tracy and Andrea! Tracy, your two cats look very like my Lacey and Grady, tabby and gray respectively.
    Honor is one of the great themes and conflicts of historical novels, I think. (Well, in contemporaries, too, but it’s more subtle there.)
    As for characters one has trouble forgiving–Dorothy Dunnett is the grand mistress. I’d be reading along and think, “THAT DOES IT! I will NEVER forgive Lymond for this!” And then, of course I would. He was proof that once one knows the motivations, the picture changes.

  101. Thanks, Mary Jo! I’ve always been particularly fond of gray and tabby cats. When Suzanne and Lescaut (the cats) curl up together, the gray blends together so it’s hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins.
    That’s a great point that knowing the motivations has a lot to do with whether or not one can forgive a character. One of the things I found fascinating in the Lymond Chronicles was trying to figure out how Dunnett was going to justify Lymond’s latest outrageous action. She uses POV brilliantly – very little of his, so see different sides of him – and different takes on his actions – through the eyes of different characters.

  102. Thanks, Mary Jo! I’ve always been particularly fond of gray and tabby cats. When Suzanne and Lescaut (the cats) curl up together, the gray blends together so it’s hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins.
    That’s a great point that knowing the motivations has a lot to do with whether or not one can forgive a character. One of the things I found fascinating in the Lymond Chronicles was trying to figure out how Dunnett was going to justify Lymond’s latest outrageous action. She uses POV brilliantly – very little of his, so see different sides of him – and different takes on his actions – through the eyes of different characters.

  103. Thanks, Mary Jo! I’ve always been particularly fond of gray and tabby cats. When Suzanne and Lescaut (the cats) curl up together, the gray blends together so it’s hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins.
    That’s a great point that knowing the motivations has a lot to do with whether or not one can forgive a character. One of the things I found fascinating in the Lymond Chronicles was trying to figure out how Dunnett was going to justify Lymond’s latest outrageous action. She uses POV brilliantly – very little of his, so see different sides of him – and different takes on his actions – through the eyes of different characters.

  104. Thanks, Mary Jo! I’ve always been particularly fond of gray and tabby cats. When Suzanne and Lescaut (the cats) curl up together, the gray blends together so it’s hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins.
    That’s a great point that knowing the motivations has a lot to do with whether or not one can forgive a character. One of the things I found fascinating in the Lymond Chronicles was trying to figure out how Dunnett was going to justify Lymond’s latest outrageous action. She uses POV brilliantly – very little of his, so see different sides of him – and different takes on his actions – through the eyes of different characters.

  105. Thanks, Mary Jo! I’ve always been particularly fond of gray and tabby cats. When Suzanne and Lescaut (the cats) curl up together, the gray blends together so it’s hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins.
    That’s a great point that knowing the motivations has a lot to do with whether or not one can forgive a character. One of the things I found fascinating in the Lymond Chronicles was trying to figure out how Dunnett was going to justify Lymond’s latest outrageous action. She uses POV brilliantly – very little of his, so see different sides of him – and different takes on his actions – through the eyes of different characters.

  106. Motivation is such a rich topic, isn’t it. Not only how an author deals with it, but also how readers perceive actions and their justifications. Everyone is so different as to what she/he is willing to accept (in real life as well as fiction.)

  107. Motivation is such a rich topic, isn’t it. Not only how an author deals with it, but also how readers perceive actions and their justifications. Everyone is so different as to what she/he is willing to accept (in real life as well as fiction.)

  108. Motivation is such a rich topic, isn’t it. Not only how an author deals with it, but also how readers perceive actions and their justifications. Everyone is so different as to what she/he is willing to accept (in real life as well as fiction.)

  109. Motivation is such a rich topic, isn’t it. Not only how an author deals with it, but also how readers perceive actions and their justifications. Everyone is so different as to what she/he is willing to accept (in real life as well as fiction.)

  110. Motivation is such a rich topic, isn’t it. Not only how an author deals with it, but also how readers perceive actions and their justifications. Everyone is so different as to what she/he is willing to accept (in real life as well as fiction.)

  111. I can see a bunch of blog posts coming out of this discussion. It goes to the fact that I often think each reader collaborates with the author and reads a slightly different book, because they bring different perceptions and fill in the blanks differently.

  112. I can see a bunch of blog posts coming out of this discussion. It goes to the fact that I often think each reader collaborates with the author and reads a slightly different book, because they bring different perceptions and fill in the blanks differently.

  113. I can see a bunch of blog posts coming out of this discussion. It goes to the fact that I often think each reader collaborates with the author and reads a slightly different book, because they bring different perceptions and fill in the blanks differently.

  114. I can see a bunch of blog posts coming out of this discussion. It goes to the fact that I often think each reader collaborates with the author and reads a slightly different book, because they bring different perceptions and fill in the blanks differently.

  115. I can see a bunch of blog posts coming out of this discussion. It goes to the fact that I often think each reader collaborates with the author and reads a slightly different book, because they bring different perceptions and fill in the blanks differently.

  116. Great to see you here, Tracy! I haven’t finished reading The Paris Affair yet, but I’m loving it so far. I can’t think of any characters that did something unforgivable, but I did have an author do something unforgivable. I read and loved all of Walter Mosley’s detective series starring his Easy Rawlins character, but in the last book of that series, “Blonde Faith” back in 2008, something happens which is so shocking and unexpected, that I haven’t been able to bring myself to read any of his books since, even though he’s a great writer. I’m STILL gobsmacked thinking about what he did, but I don’t want to give it away for those who haven’t read the books yet.
    I also want to add that “Vienna Waltz” made such a strong impression on me, that when I was reading Cara/Andrea’s book “The Cocoa Conspiracy” recently, also set in Vienna, I kept expecting Malcolm and Suzanne to pop up. Vienna’s got such a great atmosphere for the setting of a story.

  117. Great to see you here, Tracy! I haven’t finished reading The Paris Affair yet, but I’m loving it so far. I can’t think of any characters that did something unforgivable, but I did have an author do something unforgivable. I read and loved all of Walter Mosley’s detective series starring his Easy Rawlins character, but in the last book of that series, “Blonde Faith” back in 2008, something happens which is so shocking and unexpected, that I haven’t been able to bring myself to read any of his books since, even though he’s a great writer. I’m STILL gobsmacked thinking about what he did, but I don’t want to give it away for those who haven’t read the books yet.
    I also want to add that “Vienna Waltz” made such a strong impression on me, that when I was reading Cara/Andrea’s book “The Cocoa Conspiracy” recently, also set in Vienna, I kept expecting Malcolm and Suzanne to pop up. Vienna’s got such a great atmosphere for the setting of a story.

  118. Great to see you here, Tracy! I haven’t finished reading The Paris Affair yet, but I’m loving it so far. I can’t think of any characters that did something unforgivable, but I did have an author do something unforgivable. I read and loved all of Walter Mosley’s detective series starring his Easy Rawlins character, but in the last book of that series, “Blonde Faith” back in 2008, something happens which is so shocking and unexpected, that I haven’t been able to bring myself to read any of his books since, even though he’s a great writer. I’m STILL gobsmacked thinking about what he did, but I don’t want to give it away for those who haven’t read the books yet.
    I also want to add that “Vienna Waltz” made such a strong impression on me, that when I was reading Cara/Andrea’s book “The Cocoa Conspiracy” recently, also set in Vienna, I kept expecting Malcolm and Suzanne to pop up. Vienna’s got such a great atmosphere for the setting of a story.

  119. Great to see you here, Tracy! I haven’t finished reading The Paris Affair yet, but I’m loving it so far. I can’t think of any characters that did something unforgivable, but I did have an author do something unforgivable. I read and loved all of Walter Mosley’s detective series starring his Easy Rawlins character, but in the last book of that series, “Blonde Faith” back in 2008, something happens which is so shocking and unexpected, that I haven’t been able to bring myself to read any of his books since, even though he’s a great writer. I’m STILL gobsmacked thinking about what he did, but I don’t want to give it away for those who haven’t read the books yet.
    I also want to add that “Vienna Waltz” made such a strong impression on me, that when I was reading Cara/Andrea’s book “The Cocoa Conspiracy” recently, also set in Vienna, I kept expecting Malcolm and Suzanne to pop up. Vienna’s got such a great atmosphere for the setting of a story.

  120. Great to see you here, Tracy! I haven’t finished reading The Paris Affair yet, but I’m loving it so far. I can’t think of any characters that did something unforgivable, but I did have an author do something unforgivable. I read and loved all of Walter Mosley’s detective series starring his Easy Rawlins character, but in the last book of that series, “Blonde Faith” back in 2008, something happens which is so shocking and unexpected, that I haven’t been able to bring myself to read any of his books since, even though he’s a great writer. I’m STILL gobsmacked thinking about what he did, but I don’t want to give it away for those who haven’t read the books yet.
    I also want to add that “Vienna Waltz” made such a strong impression on me, that when I was reading Cara/Andrea’s book “The Cocoa Conspiracy” recently, also set in Vienna, I kept expecting Malcolm and Suzanne to pop up. Vienna’s got such a great atmosphere for the setting of a story.

  121. Thanks, Mary Jo! So glad you enjoyed the interview. Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.

  122. Thanks, Mary Jo! So glad you enjoyed the interview. Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.

  123. Thanks, Mary Jo! So glad you enjoyed the interview. Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.

  124. Thanks, Mary Jo! So glad you enjoyed the interview. Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.

  125. Thanks, Mary Jo! So glad you enjoyed the interview. Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.

  126. Hi Karin! So glad you’re enjoying The Paris Affair! It can be so hard when an author takes that sort of twist with a series. I think it’s a fine line between keeping a series fresh with unexpected twists and upsetting readers so much they stop reading. A line that is probably different for different readers. I know some readers were very upset by a recent twist in Elizabeth George’s series, while I actually thought, sad as it was, it opened up interesting possibilities.
    I think that’s so cool that you kept expect Malcolm and Suzanne to show up in Andrea’s Vienna! And Andrea, I love the idea our two couples working together – I think they would totally get along!

  127. Hi Karin! So glad you’re enjoying The Paris Affair! It can be so hard when an author takes that sort of twist with a series. I think it’s a fine line between keeping a series fresh with unexpected twists and upsetting readers so much they stop reading. A line that is probably different for different readers. I know some readers were very upset by a recent twist in Elizabeth George’s series, while I actually thought, sad as it was, it opened up interesting possibilities.
    I think that’s so cool that you kept expect Malcolm and Suzanne to show up in Andrea’s Vienna! And Andrea, I love the idea our two couples working together – I think they would totally get along!

  128. Hi Karin! So glad you’re enjoying The Paris Affair! It can be so hard when an author takes that sort of twist with a series. I think it’s a fine line between keeping a series fresh with unexpected twists and upsetting readers so much they stop reading. A line that is probably different for different readers. I know some readers were very upset by a recent twist in Elizabeth George’s series, while I actually thought, sad as it was, it opened up interesting possibilities.
    I think that’s so cool that you kept expect Malcolm and Suzanne to show up in Andrea’s Vienna! And Andrea, I love the idea our two couples working together – I think they would totally get along!

  129. Hi Karin! So glad you’re enjoying The Paris Affair! It can be so hard when an author takes that sort of twist with a series. I think it’s a fine line between keeping a series fresh with unexpected twists and upsetting readers so much they stop reading. A line that is probably different for different readers. I know some readers were very upset by a recent twist in Elizabeth George’s series, while I actually thought, sad as it was, it opened up interesting possibilities.
    I think that’s so cool that you kept expect Malcolm and Suzanne to show up in Andrea’s Vienna! And Andrea, I love the idea our two couples working together – I think they would totally get along!

  130. Hi Karin! So glad you’re enjoying The Paris Affair! It can be so hard when an author takes that sort of twist with a series. I think it’s a fine line between keeping a series fresh with unexpected twists and upsetting readers so much they stop reading. A line that is probably different for different readers. I know some readers were very upset by a recent twist in Elizabeth George’s series, while I actually thought, sad as it was, it opened up interesting possibilities.
    I think that’s so cool that you kept expect Malcolm and Suzanne to show up in Andrea’s Vienna! And Andrea, I love the idea our two couples working together – I think they would totally get along!

  131. I wonder, is the cover of “The Paris Affair” true to the period, just after Waterloo? Somehow I associate that fashion – the waist and jacket sleeves – with a later part of the 19th century.

  132. I wonder, is the cover of “The Paris Affair” true to the period, just after Waterloo? Somehow I associate that fashion – the waist and jacket sleeves – with a later part of the 19th century.

  133. I wonder, is the cover of “The Paris Affair” true to the period, just after Waterloo? Somehow I associate that fashion – the waist and jacket sleeves – with a later part of the 19th century.

  134. I wonder, is the cover of “The Paris Affair” true to the period, just after Waterloo? Somehow I associate that fashion – the waist and jacket sleeves – with a later part of the 19th century.

  135. I wonder, is the cover of “The Paris Affair” true to the period, just after Waterloo? Somehow I associate that fashion – the waist and jacket sleeves – with a later part of the 19th century.

  136. On the topic of forgiveness: A Franciscan once told me that “to forgive and forget” did not mean that you had to put yourself back into a bad situation. It meant that you dropped the baggage and went on with your life. I took that to mean that I had to forgive for my own sake, but that I could distance myself from that person. This works.

  137. On the topic of forgiveness: A Franciscan once told me that “to forgive and forget” did not mean that you had to put yourself back into a bad situation. It meant that you dropped the baggage and went on with your life. I took that to mean that I had to forgive for my own sake, but that I could distance myself from that person. This works.

  138. On the topic of forgiveness: A Franciscan once told me that “to forgive and forget” did not mean that you had to put yourself back into a bad situation. It meant that you dropped the baggage and went on with your life. I took that to mean that I had to forgive for my own sake, but that I could distance myself from that person. This works.

  139. On the topic of forgiveness: A Franciscan once told me that “to forgive and forget” did not mean that you had to put yourself back into a bad situation. It meant that you dropped the baggage and went on with your life. I took that to mean that I had to forgive for my own sake, but that I could distance myself from that person. This works.

  140. On the topic of forgiveness: A Franciscan once told me that “to forgive and forget” did not mean that you had to put yourself back into a bad situation. It meant that you dropped the baggage and went on with your life. I took that to mean that I had to forgive for my own sake, but that I could distance myself from that person. This works.

  141. Excellent point, Maria. I love, love, love the cover for The Paris Affair, but the ensemble does look more late 19th century. Early 19th century women did wear short spencer jackets over narrow dresses (Suzanne wears an outfit similar in color and fabric to the one on the cover) but the lines would be different, both the dress and jacket in a high-waisted empire style. I think the mood of the cover is spot on, though, and it looks like Suzanne. At a recent reading I did, a long-time reader of the series came up to me and said “this is exactly how I picture Suzanne.”

  142. Excellent point, Maria. I love, love, love the cover for The Paris Affair, but the ensemble does look more late 19th century. Early 19th century women did wear short spencer jackets over narrow dresses (Suzanne wears an outfit similar in color and fabric to the one on the cover) but the lines would be different, both the dress and jacket in a high-waisted empire style. I think the mood of the cover is spot on, though, and it looks like Suzanne. At a recent reading I did, a long-time reader of the series came up to me and said “this is exactly how I picture Suzanne.”

  143. Excellent point, Maria. I love, love, love the cover for The Paris Affair, but the ensemble does look more late 19th century. Early 19th century women did wear short spencer jackets over narrow dresses (Suzanne wears an outfit similar in color and fabric to the one on the cover) but the lines would be different, both the dress and jacket in a high-waisted empire style. I think the mood of the cover is spot on, though, and it looks like Suzanne. At a recent reading I did, a long-time reader of the series came up to me and said “this is exactly how I picture Suzanne.”

  144. Excellent point, Maria. I love, love, love the cover for The Paris Affair, but the ensemble does look more late 19th century. Early 19th century women did wear short spencer jackets over narrow dresses (Suzanne wears an outfit similar in color and fabric to the one on the cover) but the lines would be different, both the dress and jacket in a high-waisted empire style. I think the mood of the cover is spot on, though, and it looks like Suzanne. At a recent reading I did, a long-time reader of the series came up to me and said “this is exactly how I picture Suzanne.”

  145. Excellent point, Maria. I love, love, love the cover for The Paris Affair, but the ensemble does look more late 19th century. Early 19th century women did wear short spencer jackets over narrow dresses (Suzanne wears an outfit similar in color and fabric to the one on the cover) but the lines would be different, both the dress and jacket in a high-waisted empire style. I think the mood of the cover is spot on, though, and it looks like Suzanne. At a recent reading I did, a long-time reader of the series came up to me and said “this is exactly how I picture Suzanne.”

  146. Fascinating point, Artemisia. It’s true, there’s a difference between forgiving and continuing a relationship with the person in question. In a lot of situations the latter may not be possible or desirable. I think Suzanne thinks that if Malcolm knew the truth about her, he would certainly distance himself from her (emotionally if not literally) even if he could, as you say, drop the baggage and get on with his life.

  147. Fascinating point, Artemisia. It’s true, there’s a difference between forgiving and continuing a relationship with the person in question. In a lot of situations the latter may not be possible or desirable. I think Suzanne thinks that if Malcolm knew the truth about her, he would certainly distance himself from her (emotionally if not literally) even if he could, as you say, drop the baggage and get on with his life.

  148. Fascinating point, Artemisia. It’s true, there’s a difference between forgiving and continuing a relationship with the person in question. In a lot of situations the latter may not be possible or desirable. I think Suzanne thinks that if Malcolm knew the truth about her, he would certainly distance himself from her (emotionally if not literally) even if he could, as you say, drop the baggage and get on with his life.

  149. Fascinating point, Artemisia. It’s true, there’s a difference between forgiving and continuing a relationship with the person in question. In a lot of situations the latter may not be possible or desirable. I think Suzanne thinks that if Malcolm knew the truth about her, he would certainly distance himself from her (emotionally if not literally) even if he could, as you say, drop the baggage and get on with his life.

  150. Fascinating point, Artemisia. It’s true, there’s a difference between forgiving and continuing a relationship with the person in question. In a lot of situations the latter may not be possible or desirable. I think Suzanne thinks that if Malcolm knew the truth about her, he would certainly distance himself from her (emotionally if not literally) even if he could, as you say, drop the baggage and get on with his life.

  151. I’ve come back and am posting for the third time (sorry!) because one of the comments by Cara/Anrea resonted so much with me:
    “Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.”
    I grew up reading my mother’s old (and old-fashioned) children’s books, written before and during WWII, and those books gave me a strong sense of honour and morality. Real (contemporary) life was a bit of a shock! – the concept of honour seemed to be unknown. It occurs to me now that this is probably one reason why I moved onto historical novels and still love them so much now – those concepts of honour and morality shine out more clearly.

  152. I’ve come back and am posting for the third time (sorry!) because one of the comments by Cara/Anrea resonted so much with me:
    “Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.”
    I grew up reading my mother’s old (and old-fashioned) children’s books, written before and during WWII, and those books gave me a strong sense of honour and morality. Real (contemporary) life was a bit of a shock! – the concept of honour seemed to be unknown. It occurs to me now that this is probably one reason why I moved onto historical novels and still love them so much now – those concepts of honour and morality shine out more clearly.

  153. I’ve come back and am posting for the third time (sorry!) because one of the comments by Cara/Anrea resonted so much with me:
    “Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.”
    I grew up reading my mother’s old (and old-fashioned) children’s books, written before and during WWII, and those books gave me a strong sense of honour and morality. Real (contemporary) life was a bit of a shock! – the concept of honour seemed to be unknown. It occurs to me now that this is probably one reason why I moved onto historical novels and still love them so much now – those concepts of honour and morality shine out more clearly.

  154. I’ve come back and am posting for the third time (sorry!) because one of the comments by Cara/Anrea resonted so much with me:
    “Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.”
    I grew up reading my mother’s old (and old-fashioned) children’s books, written before and during WWII, and those books gave me a strong sense of honour and morality. Real (contemporary) life was a bit of a shock! – the concept of honour seemed to be unknown. It occurs to me now that this is probably one reason why I moved onto historical novels and still love them so much now – those concepts of honour and morality shine out more clearly.

  155. I’ve come back and am posting for the third time (sorry!) because one of the comments by Cara/Anrea resonted so much with me:
    “Duty and honor does seem to resonate a little more forcefully in historicals because it was such a lynchpin for all of the moral code. Modern day choices are more ambiguous, which is not to say the concepts don’t figure into the characters—it’s just, as you say, more nuanced.”
    I grew up reading my mother’s old (and old-fashioned) children’s books, written before and during WWII, and those books gave me a strong sense of honour and morality. Real (contemporary) life was a bit of a shock! – the concept of honour seemed to be unknown. It occurs to me now that this is probably one reason why I moved onto historical novels and still love them so much now – those concepts of honour and morality shine out more clearly.

  156. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  157. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  158. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  159. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  160. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  161. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  162. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  163. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  164. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  165. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  166. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  167. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  168. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  169. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  170. Don’t apologize for posting, HJ! It’s wonderful to have you following and joining in the conversation. I too grew up on a lot of “older” books, which I think is one reason I can think fairly easily in historical terms. At a recent event for The Paris Affair, an audience member asked if I’d ever considered writing contemporary novels, and I said I wasn’t sure my voice would work well in a contemporary setting. I naturally seem to create historical characters, dealing with the issues of their time – though I think those issues often have contemporary resonance.

  171. Hallo Ms. Grant,
    I realise I am joining the discussion a bit late in the game, as foresaid on my first comment under the Regency Dresses conversation,… but I couldn’t pass up the chance to show my support of this novel, which had me at first glance over on Ms. Willig’s blog a month ago now, I think!? Oh I am crossing my fingers my library is able to acquire it as I put it in for purchase!! 🙂 After reading the reasonings behind why you choose the era of the story’s setting, lends me to realise that this is not only going to be an intricately knitted narrative, but one that will excell in historical perspective if not lament on the difficulty spies had in knowing whom to trust or rather, when to trust in a world thrust into such upheaval and disarray!
    I tend to appreciate the sociological twitchings in stories myself,…understanding why people make the choices they do, and understand what provoked their actions, in an effort to draw a measure of empathy but also, one of curiosity out of approaching their life from outside the comfort zone most of us reside. There is a lot of food for thought inside those internal moments where someone is making a choice that can not only alter their own destiny but the lives of others at the exact same time.
    Will the prequel novella and subsequent novellas be available in print!?
    Oh dear,… yes, I have struggled in forgiving not only a character that made what I thought a grievious mistake or miss step, but rather, I sometimes find it difficult to shift forward if the revelation of said choice is nearly impossible to separate from the story I was so wrapped up into that it left a bit of an aftertaste in my mouth that was hard to move past! I cannot give a ready example, but on occassion, I do notice that either the writer shocks me to the absolute core, or a character does something or says something that makes me want to shout or lash out! Furrowed brow, squinched eyes! Oy.
    I can say, I am ever more eager to read The Paris Affair! Rock on! And, may the muse be with you always! 🙂

  172. Hallo Ms. Grant,
    I realise I am joining the discussion a bit late in the game, as foresaid on my first comment under the Regency Dresses conversation,… but I couldn’t pass up the chance to show my support of this novel, which had me at first glance over on Ms. Willig’s blog a month ago now, I think!? Oh I am crossing my fingers my library is able to acquire it as I put it in for purchase!! 🙂 After reading the reasonings behind why you choose the era of the story’s setting, lends me to realise that this is not only going to be an intricately knitted narrative, but one that will excell in historical perspective if not lament on the difficulty spies had in knowing whom to trust or rather, when to trust in a world thrust into such upheaval and disarray!
    I tend to appreciate the sociological twitchings in stories myself,…understanding why people make the choices they do, and understand what provoked their actions, in an effort to draw a measure of empathy but also, one of curiosity out of approaching their life from outside the comfort zone most of us reside. There is a lot of food for thought inside those internal moments where someone is making a choice that can not only alter their own destiny but the lives of others at the exact same time.
    Will the prequel novella and subsequent novellas be available in print!?
    Oh dear,… yes, I have struggled in forgiving not only a character that made what I thought a grievious mistake or miss step, but rather, I sometimes find it difficult to shift forward if the revelation of said choice is nearly impossible to separate from the story I was so wrapped up into that it left a bit of an aftertaste in my mouth that was hard to move past! I cannot give a ready example, but on occassion, I do notice that either the writer shocks me to the absolute core, or a character does something or says something that makes me want to shout or lash out! Furrowed brow, squinched eyes! Oy.
    I can say, I am ever more eager to read The Paris Affair! Rock on! And, may the muse be with you always! 🙂

  173. Hallo Ms. Grant,
    I realise I am joining the discussion a bit late in the game, as foresaid on my first comment under the Regency Dresses conversation,… but I couldn’t pass up the chance to show my support of this novel, which had me at first glance over on Ms. Willig’s blog a month ago now, I think!? Oh I am crossing my fingers my library is able to acquire it as I put it in for purchase!! 🙂 After reading the reasonings behind why you choose the era of the story’s setting, lends me to realise that this is not only going to be an intricately knitted narrative, but one that will excell in historical perspective if not lament on the difficulty spies had in knowing whom to trust or rather, when to trust in a world thrust into such upheaval and disarray!
    I tend to appreciate the sociological twitchings in stories myself,…understanding why people make the choices they do, and understand what provoked their actions, in an effort to draw a measure of empathy but also, one of curiosity out of approaching their life from outside the comfort zone most of us reside. There is a lot of food for thought inside those internal moments where someone is making a choice that can not only alter their own destiny but the lives of others at the exact same time.
    Will the prequel novella and subsequent novellas be available in print!?
    Oh dear,… yes, I have struggled in forgiving not only a character that made what I thought a grievious mistake or miss step, but rather, I sometimes find it difficult to shift forward if the revelation of said choice is nearly impossible to separate from the story I was so wrapped up into that it left a bit of an aftertaste in my mouth that was hard to move past! I cannot give a ready example, but on occassion, I do notice that either the writer shocks me to the absolute core, or a character does something or says something that makes me want to shout or lash out! Furrowed brow, squinched eyes! Oy.
    I can say, I am ever more eager to read The Paris Affair! Rock on! And, may the muse be with you always! 🙂

  174. Hallo Ms. Grant,
    I realise I am joining the discussion a bit late in the game, as foresaid on my first comment under the Regency Dresses conversation,… but I couldn’t pass up the chance to show my support of this novel, which had me at first glance over on Ms. Willig’s blog a month ago now, I think!? Oh I am crossing my fingers my library is able to acquire it as I put it in for purchase!! 🙂 After reading the reasonings behind why you choose the era of the story’s setting, lends me to realise that this is not only going to be an intricately knitted narrative, but one that will excell in historical perspective if not lament on the difficulty spies had in knowing whom to trust or rather, when to trust in a world thrust into such upheaval and disarray!
    I tend to appreciate the sociological twitchings in stories myself,…understanding why people make the choices they do, and understand what provoked their actions, in an effort to draw a measure of empathy but also, one of curiosity out of approaching their life from outside the comfort zone most of us reside. There is a lot of food for thought inside those internal moments where someone is making a choice that can not only alter their own destiny but the lives of others at the exact same time.
    Will the prequel novella and subsequent novellas be available in print!?
    Oh dear,… yes, I have struggled in forgiving not only a character that made what I thought a grievious mistake or miss step, but rather, I sometimes find it difficult to shift forward if the revelation of said choice is nearly impossible to separate from the story I was so wrapped up into that it left a bit of an aftertaste in my mouth that was hard to move past! I cannot give a ready example, but on occassion, I do notice that either the writer shocks me to the absolute core, or a character does something or says something that makes me want to shout or lash out! Furrowed brow, squinched eyes! Oy.
    I can say, I am ever more eager to read The Paris Affair! Rock on! And, may the muse be with you always! 🙂

  175. Hallo Ms. Grant,
    I realise I am joining the discussion a bit late in the game, as foresaid on my first comment under the Regency Dresses conversation,… but I couldn’t pass up the chance to show my support of this novel, which had me at first glance over on Ms. Willig’s blog a month ago now, I think!? Oh I am crossing my fingers my library is able to acquire it as I put it in for purchase!! 🙂 After reading the reasonings behind why you choose the era of the story’s setting, lends me to realise that this is not only going to be an intricately knitted narrative, but one that will excell in historical perspective if not lament on the difficulty spies had in knowing whom to trust or rather, when to trust in a world thrust into such upheaval and disarray!
    I tend to appreciate the sociological twitchings in stories myself,…understanding why people make the choices they do, and understand what provoked their actions, in an effort to draw a measure of empathy but also, one of curiosity out of approaching their life from outside the comfort zone most of us reside. There is a lot of food for thought inside those internal moments where someone is making a choice that can not only alter their own destiny but the lives of others at the exact same time.
    Will the prequel novella and subsequent novellas be available in print!?
    Oh dear,… yes, I have struggled in forgiving not only a character that made what I thought a grievious mistake or miss step, but rather, I sometimes find it difficult to shift forward if the revelation of said choice is nearly impossible to separate from the story I was so wrapped up into that it left a bit of an aftertaste in my mouth that was hard to move past! I cannot give a ready example, but on occassion, I do notice that either the writer shocks me to the absolute core, or a character does something or says something that makes me want to shout or lash out! Furrowed brow, squinched eyes! Oy.
    I can say, I am ever more eager to read The Paris Affair! Rock on! And, may the muse be with you always! 🙂

  176. Thanks so much for the lovely comments, Jorie – so sorry I didn’t see them until now. I hope you enjoy The Paris Affair – do let me know what you think! So far there are now plans to publish His Spanish Bride and subsequent novellas in print, though I certainly hope they are someday. If it helps, you can download a free Nook or Kindle app that let’s you read ebooks on your computer, tablet, or phone. As a writer I am fascinated by your description of being stopped in your tracks by a character’s action. On the one hand, as a writer one doesn’t want to pull a reader out of the story. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool to think of a reader being so wrapped up in the story that they have that reaction to a revelation. Much food for thought, and I’d love to hear what other writers following this discussion think.

  177. Thanks so much for the lovely comments, Jorie – so sorry I didn’t see them until now. I hope you enjoy The Paris Affair – do let me know what you think! So far there are now plans to publish His Spanish Bride and subsequent novellas in print, though I certainly hope they are someday. If it helps, you can download a free Nook or Kindle app that let’s you read ebooks on your computer, tablet, or phone. As a writer I am fascinated by your description of being stopped in your tracks by a character’s action. On the one hand, as a writer one doesn’t want to pull a reader out of the story. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool to think of a reader being so wrapped up in the story that they have that reaction to a revelation. Much food for thought, and I’d love to hear what other writers following this discussion think.

  178. Thanks so much for the lovely comments, Jorie – so sorry I didn’t see them until now. I hope you enjoy The Paris Affair – do let me know what you think! So far there are now plans to publish His Spanish Bride and subsequent novellas in print, though I certainly hope they are someday. If it helps, you can download a free Nook or Kindle app that let’s you read ebooks on your computer, tablet, or phone. As a writer I am fascinated by your description of being stopped in your tracks by a character’s action. On the one hand, as a writer one doesn’t want to pull a reader out of the story. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool to think of a reader being so wrapped up in the story that they have that reaction to a revelation. Much food for thought, and I’d love to hear what other writers following this discussion think.

  179. Thanks so much for the lovely comments, Jorie – so sorry I didn’t see them until now. I hope you enjoy The Paris Affair – do let me know what you think! So far there are now plans to publish His Spanish Bride and subsequent novellas in print, though I certainly hope they are someday. If it helps, you can download a free Nook or Kindle app that let’s you read ebooks on your computer, tablet, or phone. As a writer I am fascinated by your description of being stopped in your tracks by a character’s action. On the one hand, as a writer one doesn’t want to pull a reader out of the story. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool to think of a reader being so wrapped up in the story that they have that reaction to a revelation. Much food for thought, and I’d love to hear what other writers following this discussion think.

  180. Thanks so much for the lovely comments, Jorie – so sorry I didn’t see them until now. I hope you enjoy The Paris Affair – do let me know what you think! So far there are now plans to publish His Spanish Bride and subsequent novellas in print, though I certainly hope they are someday. If it helps, you can download a free Nook or Kindle app that let’s you read ebooks on your computer, tablet, or phone. As a writer I am fascinated by your description of being stopped in your tracks by a character’s action. On the one hand, as a writer one doesn’t want to pull a reader out of the story. On the other hand, it’s pretty cool to think of a reader being so wrapped up in the story that they have that reaction to a revelation. Much food for thought, and I’d love to hear what other writers following this discussion think.

Comments are closed.