I’ve been tagged by the talented historical thriller writer Nancy Bilyeau (author of The Crown) in a blog game called The Next Big Thing. The game involves authors answering questions about their work in progress (aka WIP). So I am “it” for the moment, and I am off to the 16th century to talk about the mother-daughter story I am writing. Come along! Will my WIP be the next big thing? I sure hope so, but only readers can make that decision.

Here we go. . . my answers to the OFFICIAL “Ten Questions for The Next Big Thing”:

1. What is the working title of your book?

Daughter of de Medici

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

Young Marguerite de Valois as painted by Clouet

It sprang from the intersection between two strong personal interests. First, I have been fascinated with the Valois royal line since I read Alexandre Dumas’ book La Reine Margot as a teen, and I’ve been particularly obsessed with the oft maligned Marguerite de Valois, youngest daughter of Catherine de Medici and Henri II of France. Second, I have a preoccupation with the relationships that shape women’s lives—especially formative female-to-female relationships. Daughter of de Medici unites those two interests by exploring the sacred, complicated and oh-so-seminal mother-daughter relationship with Marguerite de Valois and Catherine de Medici as main characters.

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Historical fiction. I just can’t imagine writing about the present.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would cast Keira Knightley to play Marguerite as she has both the beauty (Marguerite was often called the loveliest woman in France) and the depth for the role. If Keira was busy I’d cast Natalie Portman. I’d want Virna Lisi to play Catherine de Medici because she did a breathtaking job in that role in Patrice Chéreau’s 1994 film La Reine Margot.

As for the men in Marguerite’s life, I would cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Henri, Duc de Guise (Marguerite’s first love) or Robert Pattinson if Benny is deemed too old. I’d choose Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Marguerite’s older brother Henri, Duc d’Anjou (future Henri III of France) and Nicholas Hoult as her younger brother François, Duc d’Alençon. I am genuinely stumped on casting Henri de Navarre (Marguerite’s husband and the future Henri IV of France). I am sure the moment I post this I will think of THE perfect casting but for now I’d probably choose Jesse Eisenberg or Anton Yelchin.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Not really a synopsis—more of a tag line: “Every mother-daughter relationship is fraught with peril. Her mother was Catherine de Medici.” Continue reading »

Fall is in the air. Cool weather is around the corner and you know what that means—curling up in comfy chair with a good book.  If you’re like me “good book” is basically a synonym for “historical novel.”  So, in honor of the many lovely hours of autumn reading to come I am participating in the “Partial to the Past Historical Fiction Giveaway Hop,” hosted by Holly of Bippity Boppity Book.

The Hop, dear reader, is your chance to enter not one but TWENTY separate book giveaways.  It’s a historical fiction lover’s dream. All the wonderful bloggers and authors participating in the hop have goodies to share. For example, Holly at Bippity Boppity Book is giving away a 3 book prize pack including Outlaw by Angus Donald, The Eagle and the Raven by Pauline Gedge and the just-released The Second Empress by Michelle Moran.  While Judith Starkston is giving away four copies of her novel, Rubies of the Viper.

I am offering a fantastic threesome of books all by “Book Pregnant” authors and all signed — my own historical debut, The Sister Queens (click on the title for an enticing description of the book), Nancy Bilyeau’s historical thriller The Crown, and Anne Clinard Barnhill’s At the Mercy of the Queen.  To enter use the rafflecopter below then hop on over to other hop-stops (listed below the entry form) and enter to win MORE fantastic books.  Who knows, you could end up with a phenomenal autumn TBR pile for free :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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