A friend’s success is always a great occasion to celebrate but when there are two friends there is double partying with masses of enthusiasm to share and experience. So, are you ready to join me and my friends in our party?
Prue Batten and Lucinda Brant are not only two dear friends whom I met by chance in the blogosphere, but honestly also two of the best new writers I discovered thanks to my blogs, whose books I most appreciate. I was incredibly happy when I heard they had been both nominated and were among the finalists in the Readers Favorite 2012 Award Contest and I decided to organize a small celebration for them, inviting all the readers to join us.
Have you read Prue’s A Thousand Glass Flowers or Lucinda’s Autumn Duchess? They are awesome readings and have been nominated respectively in the Fantasy and Historical Romance categories of the contest.
Join us in our chat and celebration with your own questions or comments. You’ll be not only welcome but will also have the chance to win an e-book copy of either A Thousand Glass Flowers or Autumn Duchess. Don't forget to add your e-mail address to be warned in case you win! This giveaway is open internationally and ends on August 10th.
MG Welcome again to my little corner of the blogosphere, Lucinda and Prue. I look forward to the day we can have a real chat in front of a mug of coffee or a glass of wine in Italy or Australia but, meanwhile, I am so glad to have the chance to enjoy your friendship and company online. First of all congratulations on your respective nomination as finalists in this contest! How excited are you about it?
Prue: I am over the moon. There were only five fantasy finalists from a myriad entries, so even if I get no further than a finalist, A Thousand Glass Flowers will win a medallion and notoriety.
Lucinda: Excited!!!!! The exclamation points give you a good indication. To receive a 5 star review from Readers Favorite was wonderful enough but for Autumn Duchess to go on and be one of five Historical Romance finalists is truly an honor.
MG Now, please Prue, could you briefly introduce Lucinda to our readers, as your friend and as writer?
Prue: Lucinda … gosh, how do I introduce you?
As a writer, I would say she is the closest I have read to Georgette Heyer, a great new historical romance writer with tremendous verve and sparkle in her narratives.
As my friend? She is someone with whom I can be completely honest about those mad, bad days when no writing will emerge and with whom I can share successes without feeling egotistical.
MG And now it’s your turn to introduce Prue, Lucinda.
Lucinda: Prue is a natural born storyteller. I am in awe of the way she weaves words into truly magical landscapes.
We clicked from the word go. I think it is because we have the same sense of humor, we laugh at the same things, and we can be completely honest with each other, which is important in true friendship. I wish we had met thirty years ago!
MG How would you present Prue’s A Thousands Glass Flowers, Lucinda, in about 50 words?
Lucinda: The words ‘magical’, ‘exotic’ and ‘evocative’ spring instantly to mind. A Thousand Glass Flowers is beautifully written and has a depth and scholarship to its world-building. To quote the book description “this is a story of legend, love, and clashing ideals. A story of murder, regret and revenge… a story that journeys across a world too hauntingly like our own.” It is also very romantic.
MG Indeed it is! And now would you do the same for Lucinda’s Autumn Duchess, Prue?
Prue: My favourite Brant novel, without doubt. To quote the product description on Amazon:
‘A beautiful duchess mourns for her beloved.
A sun-bronzed merchant returns to claim a birthright.
Disparate souls in need of love and renewal.
Paths cross and the journey begins...’
I love the way Lucinda handles the duchess’s struggle with and emergence from deeply seated grief as the power it can have over individuals has been an important theme in my writing.
MG I know the two of you have become friends in real life after meeting by chance on line. Could you tell us how that happened?
Prue: Lucinda might have to correct me, but I am fairly sure it was via your blog Fly High. I remember reading an interview you did with Lucinda and I thought, oh, another Australian, and I think I might have left a comment. I bought Salt Bride, which hooked me from the get-go and I think I then contacted Lucinda to say I had enjoyed it and that I was planning on reviewing and would she be interested in allowing me to interview her for the Big Red Chair on www.mesmered.wordpress.com. The rest is history…
Lucinda: It was! You brought us together, Maria. Thank you. Then I sat in Prue’s Big Red Chair for a literary grilling. Finally, I discovered Prue was from Tasmania—my favorite Australian state, and where I intend to retire—and on one of my yearly visits, we finally met up. I’ll never forget that day.
MG: I'm so glad to hear I contributed to your friendship, that makes me really happy. How do you carry on your friendship living one in New Zealand and one in Tasmania?
Prue: Many emails…
Lucinda: And the occasional phone call! Some things are best said via phone. And I love to have a laugh with Prue. The best medicine for a cold, miserable day.
MG Lucinda, what do you most appreciate in Prue’s writing?
Lucinda: Prue’s ability to create extraordinary landscapes and draw the reader into such an exotic ‘other’ world and hold you there.
MG And what is it that you like best in Lucinda’s Georgian novels, Prue?
Prue: The veracity, the description, the smooth narrative. And I’m insanely jealous of the lusciousness of the Georgian era about which she writes.
MG Apart from your passion for writing, what else do you share?
Prue: Love of Tasmania? Pinterest? (have a look at http://pinterest.com/pruebatten and http://pinterest.com/lucindabrant ) And pretty perfect opinions of our dogs!
Lucinda: I agree with that, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously, either.
MG: Not as an invitation to plagiarism but as a sign of your appreciation, which of Prue’s gripping heroes would you choose as the protagonist of one of your novels, Lucinda? Why?
Lucinda: Well, I’d have to say Guy of Gisborne—a complex, rather enigmatic and very swoon-worthy hero.
MG And who among Lucinda’s fascinating Georgian gentlemen would you like to meet, Prue?
Prue: Two of the lesser characters. I adore Plantagenet Halsey in her crimances. And Tam Fisher, who also figures in her crimances, is fascinating. A servant who wishes to rise above the social strictures of his time and who has the necessary dedication and interest to accomplish it. In addition, I find his development within the apothecary’s science compelling.
MG What is the most exciting aspect in being a writer? The most frustrating?
Prue: Being on the crest of the wave of indie writing is the most exciting. The most frustrating is being one’s own agent and publicist. One never has confidence.
Lucinda: I am so fortunate to be able to write all day for a living. It means I spend my days in the eighteenth century. How exciting! Most frustrating? Not enough hours in the day. I have so many tales I want to tell.
MG What is the personal quality each of you most appreciate in the other?
Prue: Lucinda has the really dry wit for which Australians are famed. I love it. And I admire the immense success she has engendered.
Lucinda: Aw, Prue, you say the nicest things! And stolen my line! I was about to say the same of you. Prue has a great sense of fun and energy about her. She is also very supportive of me, and of my writing. There is no ego there.
MG What are you like as readers? What are your favourite genres?
Prue: I’m dreadfully slow. Favourite genres are hist.fict, hist. romance and hist. fantasy.
Lucinda: When I’m writing I read only historical non-fiction and biographies —all about the eighteenth century of course. For leisure, between books, I read Italian-set detective novels, Andrea Camilleri is a favorite, and classics such as Trollope, Austen and James.
MG Any good title/author to recommend us?
Prue: Anna Elliott both as a hist.fict (Georgiana Darcy’s Diary) and hist. fantasy writer (The Avalon series).
Lucinda: About the Georgian era, anything written by Professor Amanda Vickery. And when I finish writing my latest novel, I intend to read Merit and Mercenaries by A Lady. It’s very much in the style of Jane Austen. I’ve read the Prologue and first chapter and can’t wait to get back to it!
MG What are you both working at these days?
Prue: Book Four in the Chronicles of Eirie (hist.fantasy) and Book Two in The Gisborne Saga (hist.fict/romance)
Lucinda: Due to popular demand, I’m writing the sequel to Salt Bride. I’m also working with a wonderful translator to have all my books published in Italian. The first will be Salt Bride, as La Sposa Di Salt Hendon. It is due out any day now. I am also writing the third book in my historical mystery series, Deadly Peril.
MG Your books in Italian, Lucinda? That's great news! It'll be exciting to see them on the shelves entering bookshops on my errands in Rome. Now, any common project? What about a journey to Italy?
Prue: Being in Tasmania when Lucinda moves here. And Italy? You never know.
Lucinda: Ditto to that! We can’t wait to make the move to Tasmania! And Italy is definitely on the cards – to see you, Maria, to visit Tuscany, the birthplace of my father, and to visit my translator, Mirella.
MG Now it’s time to toast to your success. To future greater goals for both of you. Cheers!
Prue: MG, this has been so very nice, and having been involved with us both independently, it’s very special for you to have done this for us as writers.
Lucinda: Thank you so much, Maria! We so value your friendship and support.
Prue’s novel A Thousand Glass Flowers is currently a part of Amazon’s KDP Select program and is only available exclusively as an e-book through Amazon. However it will be in print by the end of the year and available through all bookstores, both actual and online ( http://amzn.to/MfYiDK or http://amzn.to/JTa5nP )
For points of sale of Lucinda’s novel Autumn Duchess go to http://lucindabrant.com/autumn-duchess.php