This month’s author in the hot seat is Alison Goodman, the author of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club. Alison has been a wonderful guest at Monday’s debut FB Author Chat, and today I present her answers to five (slightly more weird) questions for your edification.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting the discussion thread for LADY HELEN, and we’ll shortly have a new title announcement for March! Until then, enjoy 🙂
* One curious or unusual thing about you that most people don’t know:
On a European trip, I was accidentally left behind in the middle of France. My husband and I were travelling by train to Switzerland. At the Troyes junction, I ducked back into the next carriage to use the loo…and then I heard a huge clunk. The train had split into two and I was in the back half that had stayed at the station while my husband and all of our luggage chugged on to Switzerland. I had no money, no passport or any kind of ID, plus I spoke very little French and I had the flu. To make things worse, the next train was not due for four hours —I had to rely on the kindness of strangers. Thankfully, the station manager was very kind and gave me food and a drink and let me use a load of toilet paper as tissues. Even so, without id I had to travel onward under the watchful eye of the train conductor, and I was not allowed to leave my seat for the whole journey to Switzerland!
* Something important about your writing process you’d like to share:
I write chronologically, from beginning to end, and I don’t skip ahead. That way I can build the suspense in the story – everything grows organically out of what has come before.
* Your work space – tell us about it:
I am lucky enough to have a room of my own (thanks Virginia!). It is what I call a curated mess. Printouts of 1812 newspapers are stacked against the walls, and over 40 books about the Regency are piled on my desk and bookshelves. A large corkboard sits on an easel with my index-card storyboard pinned to it, and under it is a huge piece of cardboard ruled up as a December 1812 calendar (I’m now working on Lady Helen book 3). Maps of 19th century London, Brighton and Bath adorn the walls and three hatboxes are precariously stacked on one another with bonnets and shako hats on top and parasols propped against them. Of course, I know exactly where everything is . . . sort of.
* We’re at a dance party right now, and the DJ wants to know which song gets you out on the floor for major boogies and you say. . .:
Tainted Love by Soft Cell. I am a 1980’s tragic, and I love a song about bitter, twisted love.
*Tell us some interesting tidbits you gleaned while researching your book:
In the Regency, older ladies sometimes padded out their cheeks with round cork fillers called “plumpers” to give them a more youthful appearance, and some men used pouches full of sawdust to create broader shoulders and more shapely calves!
Thank you Alison! And thanks for getting your sillies on with #LoveOzYAbookclub 🙂 (I want to go find some plumpers now…)