Greetings readers, writers, and history lovers of every type. My name is Sophie Perinot, and I am a multi-published novelist. Have a look in the “My Books” section of this website to discover my work.
I have three grand passions – writing, family, and history. As an author I draw upon these to write stories set against the past exploring issues and feelings so essentially human that they transcend any particular era.
When I pick up a novel I want to be diverted. When that novel takes me to
the past I also want to learn about the period in which it is set and the historical figures who people it. But most of all I seek stories and situations that resonate in my own life, giving me a better understanding of myself and others. What I desire myself as a reader I seek to provide to others as a writer. I hope that my novels will entertain, educate and elucidate.
This website is designed to supplement my books – offering you a behind-the-scenes glimpse of my writing process, extra information on settings and historical subjects relevant to my novels, and links to additional resources. If you have wandered here as a fellow writer, I hope you will find my links to writing resources and writing-centric blog entries useful in your on-going creative journey. If you visit as a reader, please be in touch. I am always interested in readers’ thoughts and reactions to my work.
Six bestselling and award-winning authors, including Sophie Perinot, bring to life a breathtaking epic novel illuminating the hopes, desires, and destinies of princesses and peasants, harlots and wives, fanatics and philosophers—six unforgettable women whose paths cross during one of the most tumultuous and transformative events in history: the French Revolution.
Ribbons of Scarlet is a timely story of the power of women to start a revolution—and change the world.
In late eighteenth-century France, women do not have a place in politics. But as the tide of revolution rises, women from gilded salons to the streets of Paris decide otherwise—upending a world order that has long oppressed them. [more]
If you’ve been to Florence you’ve seen Michelangelo’s David. If you haven’t been to Florence you’ve seen countless images of him. The David is a cultural icon and even 500 years after his creation still has the power to leave us awe struck.
Now Laura Morelli—talented novelist and PhD Art Historian—has a breathtaking new novel out about the creation of this Renaissance Art Masterwork, and I am THRILLED to welcome her to my blog today to talk about the process of creation for both her novel, The Giant, and Michelangelo’s David!
Let’s start things off with a teaser for The Giant . . . .
As a colossal statue takes shape in Renaissance Florence, the lives of a master sculptor and a struggling painter become stunningly intertwined.
Florence, 1500. Fresco painter Jacopo Torni longs to make his mark in the world. But while his peers enjoy prestigious commissions, his meager painting jobs are all earmarked to pay down gambling debts.
When Jacopo hears of a competition to create Florence’s greatest sculpture, he pins all his hopes on a collaboration with his boyhood companion, Michelangelo Buonarroti. But will the frustrated artist ever emerge from the shadow of his singularly gifted friend?
From the author of The Painters Apprentice and The Gondola Maker comes a gorgeously crafted, immersive tale of Renaissance Italy.
Laura, I have such distinct memories of the first time I stood in front of Michelangelo’s David—gape-mouthed and totally in awe. What do you think draws people to the David?
Me too! I am always amazed at the number of people who tell me that this sculpture is the thing that impressed them the most on a trip to Italy.
In fact, when my family returned from Italy last summer, I asked my four teenagers to name the top three favorite things they saw. The David was on the top of each of their lists (and I promise I tried not to influence their choices!). I think that’s amazing.
A Time Magazine article in the 1980s reported on the “emotional trauma” experienced by first-time viewers of the David. And a few visitors have even tried to disrobe before the statue, only to be quickly led away by museum guards!
I have long wondered what it was about this statue and the irreverent stone carver who made it that still has the power to capture people’s imagination–to make their jaws drop, to leave them speechless–even in our current time of multimedia overload. And even after studying it for some thirty years, I’m still not convinced it’s something that can be put 100% into words. That’s the power of art!
As a PhD art historian, how do you think the David influenced the course and direction of art at the moment of its unveiling and in the aftermath of its creation?
The David was the first colossal nude on Italian soil since ancient Roman times. Think about that… For a thousand years, no one had seen a nude male sculpture of this scale. But this David is actually a biblical hero in the guise of an ancient god, at the same time that he appears as a god in the image of a perfect man. He is both an Adam and a Hercules, both a Christian and a civic / political symbol. In short, the David seems to telescope all the aspirations and the ideals of the High Renaissance in a single work of art. I don’t think any sculptor who worked in Europe after 1504 could ignore it. Later works, like those of Gianlorenzo Bernini, would have been unimaginable without Michelangelo’s precedent.
Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. Can you share a fact or scene from The Giant which actually happened (or existed), but seems too strange to be true?
We have an amazing contemporary account of the sculpture leaving the cathedral workyard, where Michelangelo had been working on it for four years. At midnight on May 4, 1504, laborers broke the stone lintel above the gate of the workyard and began to move the sculpture slowly toward the Piazza della Signoria. They suspended the sculpture from a contraption made of ropes and pulleys, as well as greased logs to roll it forward. It took several days to reach its intended location. During that time, some boys were arrested for throwing stones at it; one of them turned out to be a relative of Lisa Gherardini—yes, the Mona Lisa (whose portrait Leonardo da Vinci was painting at the time, just a few streets away). You can’t make this stuff up!
Of course Michelangelo is not the only artist in The Giant . . . can you tell us a little bit about Jacopo Torni (or the artist he is based upon) and why you felt his story needed to be told?
As I looked for the right person to tell the story of Michelangelo’s gigante, I came across historical references to a Florentine fresco painter called Jacopo Torni, also known as L’Indaco.
The sixteenth-century art historian Giorgio Vasari tells us that L’Indaco lived “in close intimacy” with Michelangelo, and that Michelangelo found L’Indaco the funniest and most entertaining of his friends. We also know that Michelangelo invited L’Indaco to work with him on the Sistine Chapel in 1508. According to some sources, it was a friend who convinced Michelangelo to return to Florence to take on the David commission in 1501, and I like to think it was L’Indaco.
Michelangelo is one of the most notoriously temperamental artists in history, and I wondered about this relationship of seeming opposites. It is this push and pull of two creative friends, in combination with the creation of two of the most seminal works of art history—the David and the Sistine Chapel ceiling—that drew me to this story and made me want to explore this complicated friendship further.
Finally, I’d like to close out things with a Rapid Fire round:
Favorite Italian dish:Risotto alla milanese, without a doubt!
Character you’d love to write about but probably never will: A living artist.
Why won’t you? It would be so tricky, I think, to write fiction or nonfiction about a real person who is either living or recently deceased.
A piece of art that is special to you other than the David:I saw the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris when I was 12 years old, and it was a “coup de foudre.” It led me to want to pursue art history and it’s still such a special building to me.
Do you write to music or in silence? I love peace and quiet when I write.
Thanks so much to Laura for stopping by! Don’t forget to pick up your copy of The Giant readers—at Amazon, Indiebound, on Bookshop.org to support Independent booksellers, or your favorite local bookstore!
Drum roll please (okay maybe not, that does remind one of the moments before the blade falls on the guillotine—at least if one is an aristo) . . .
Here it is,cover of my next novel RIBBONS OF SCARLET–co-authored with the amazing Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Heather Webb, Eliza Knight and Laura Kamoie!!!
Are those the Market Women, members of the original WOMEN’S MARCH, marching on Versailles? Why yes!!! But my role in RIBBONS OF SCARLET was to offer the story of the only Royalist—The king’s intelligent, pious, and ultimately daring sister Princess Elisabeth, who takes a stand to defend her brother, spirit her family to safety, and restore the old order, even at the risk of her head.
As Madame Elisabeth scrambles to save those she loves, and the women of Paris march on towards Revolution and their destinies, you dear readers can march to your favorite purveyor of books and PRE-ORDER your copy of RIBBONS OF SCARLET (which will release October 1) TODAY!
Here are those handy “buy” links–
Amazon Barnes & NobleKoboIndiebound Share/Save
I am over the moon to be able to AT LAST share this BIG NEWS with you! Fall 2019 will see some new Sophie Perinot (written in conjunction with my brilliant co-authors from History 360: The Historical Fiction Collective) on sale and shelves everywhere—a revolutionary telling of the French revolution from a purely female perspective! Here is the deal announcement from Publishers Marketplace:
RIBBONS OF SCARLET, a novel about the women of the French Revolution, featuring royals and peasants, harlots and wives, and fanatics and philosophers across the political spectrum who plotted, fought, marched, and crossed each other’s paths at Versailles and on the tumultuous streets, in an attempt to defend their beliefs, open new doors for women, and create a bold and equal new world–by bestselling authors Kate Quinn, Laura Kamoie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Heather Webb and Sophie Perinot, at auction to Tessa Woodward at William Morrow by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in a good deal.
We are looking at an Autumn 2019 release. BELIEVE ME you have NEVER read anything like this. So mark your calendars and, to make certain you don’t miss the cover release or any extra snippets and goodies, if you are on Facebook, please to LIKE/FOLLOW all of our author pages!
The royal chateaux of France glitter in the summer sun. Glamorous courtiers stroll in the gardens. But at any court ruled by Catherine de Médicis and riven by on-going religious war there will always be shadows . . . and death.
Wondering if you should bother to open my AUTHOR NEWSLETTER when it pops up in your mailbox? Or whether you should SUBSCRIBE?
Look at this Mini-View lineup! In just in the first three issues of my author 2017 newsletter readers will hear from:
NYT bestsellers: Allison Pataki and Sarah McCoy; USA Today bestseller Jennifer Robson, as well as authors Anna Belfrage; Leslie Carroll; Eliza Knight; Meghan Masterson; Stephanie Thornton; and Ellen Marie Wiseman.
And that’s just for starters. HEAR SOME OF THE TOP TALENT IN HISTORICAL FICTION talk about topics like: dangerous historical women, writing about society’s outsiders, surprising things historical women did, the men who populate history and how they would cast their book as a TV mini-series!
How long have I known Mindy McInnis, Edgar Award-winning author of YA fiction? Too long for me to fess up. But let’s just say we knew each other before we were agented let alone published!
Mindy runs an awesome blog for aspiring writers called Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, and a pod-cast of the same name which features interviews established authors taking about the nitty-gritty of the road to publication. TODAY I AM HONORED TO BE HER FIRST “ADULT” AUTHOR ON THE PODCAST (though I am not sure the label adult is entirely apt for me 100% of the time).
Interested in how I landed my agent, what my submission process was really like, why I tend to hop around from era to era when writing? Have a listen!!!