I'm going to try and make an author post once a month, and so today I am super happy to announce Carolyn Meyer as my guest! She has been one of my favorite authors for just about as long as I can read. Her book are what made me love historical fiction, especially the Young Royals Series. So here's my interview with Carolyn with my questions in bold:
A lot of the books that you write are historical fiction. What kind of research do you do for your projects?
I start with a quick google to get an idea of dates and major events. Next I check the library for biographies, using the on-line catalogue, and then I trot down for a quick look, check out two or three that seem likely and later buy the ones that seem the most useful. Then I begin looking for the peripheral material--what they wore, what they ate, where they went to the bathroom--and that's when the fun really begins for me. Charles Darwin was easy--all of his correspondence, including letters from his sisters and the lovely Fanny, are in an enormous database. It gets even better: in the name of research, I went to England and visited Darwin's hometown, actually visited the house where Fanny lived, saw the school where he was so miserable, the house where he grew up, the universities where he studied. For the book about Mozart's sister, there was a trip to Vienna and Salzburg. My current project, Cleopatra, is much MUCH harder. Actual details of her daily life are scant, historians disagree about most of the basic facts, and I can't seem to get the image of Elizabeth Taylor out of my mind.
Do you have a favorite spot that you’ve travelled to?
I'll back to Paris in a heartbeat. The Nile in Egypt was certainly the most exotic.
That does sound exotic. Do you have one character or time period that you enjoyed writing more than the rest?
No. They range from Cleopatra to Charley Darwin with a number of interesting characters like Shakespeare and Mozart and members of royalty in between. I must say, though, that I was getting tired of the Tudors.
Are you allowed to give us a sneak peek of any of your new projects?
(click to enlarge and to read excerpt and description on the jacket)
The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie Antoinette is scheduled for pub in spring 2010.
Wow! That cover is absolutely amazing! What is the one question no one ever asks you but you wish they would? And the answer too!
I don't think anyone has asked me if I've ever considered another career. I've been writing full time for 46 years. During the years when I was not making any money at all, I often wondered what else I could do. It's a little late to change now, but in my next life, I will be an architect. (But first I'll have to get really good at math and learn to draw.) I've always been interested in creating interesting living spaces.
Thanks so much for stopping by! It's been an honor to have you. :)
Carolyn Meyer is the author of over 20 different books including many historical fiction novels that cover topics from Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, Charles Darwin and Mozart. For more information on her and her books, check out her website or follow her on twitter: http://twitter.com/cmeyerbooks