History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

06 August 2012

Welcome, Mary Wine!

A Lady Can Never Be Too Curious
by Mary Wine
Available Now!

Beneath the Surface of Victorian Life Lies a Very Different World...

Hated and feared by the upper classes, the Illuminists guard their secrets with their lives. Janette Aston's insatiable quest for answers brings her to their locked golden doors, where she encounters the most formidable man she's ever met.

Darius Lawley's job is to eliminate would–be infiltrators, but even he may be no match for Janette's cunning and charm...

A Lady Can Never Be too Curious is set in the Victorian era, 1843. Is there a particular reason you chose that year?

I just wanted to begin this saga during the early years of this period. It was a time of turmoil and change.

How did you become interested in this time period? What you love about it?

I’ve always loved this time and the years which follow. Making historical garments is one of my passions. The bustle is my preferred era but last year I needed to make an early Victorian dress. This was before the cage crinoline. Constructing the taffeta petticoat for that dress was quite an undertaking. Here I am in it for the Victorian fashion show hosted by Deeanne Gist. That skirt is held out by only a petticoat.

What do you like least about this period? Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around?

Lack of women’s rights. It was a bit of a challenge to make my heroine seek out her adventure when the reality of the period was that women simply did not have the same rights as men.

Anything you flat-out altered or “fudged”? If so, why?

This is a Steam Punk story so there are lots of creations from my imagination. The place I think I fudged the most on was Janette’s open minded views on relationships. Upper Society daughters were raised to be very demure. Not that there weren’t wild ones in the bunch.

Any gaffs or mea culpas you want to fess up to before readers get their hands on the book? I know I always seem to find one after the book has gone to press. *sigh*

Well, we are writing fantasy…aren’t we? The first encounter with the hero is a major …ah…stretch…because Janette is very bold and that would never have happened with a young lady of the time.

Tell us a little about your hero. Something fun, like his favorite childhood pet, or his first kiss.

Darius is very dark. He didn’t want to give up his secrets but he was once rejected by another lady of high society. Being an Illuminist, he was ‘beneath’ her. He dose spend a fair amount of effort on trying to get Jannete to walk away because he’s just not interested in having anything to do with another ‘lady’.

What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your head?

All of my books tend to take over my mind, I think my muse claims Attila the Hun as her patron saint. In this case, I was thinking about Steam Punk in general and the few books/movies I’d encountered in the gene. My brain began thinking…what’s the power source? Where is that steam coming from? That was it, my muse was off on a trail that led to Deep Earth Crystals and Illuminist secret societies.

Did you have to do any major research for this book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn’t already know?

A fair amount. I feel it’s important to get the setting correct.

What/Who do you like to read?

Isobel Carr [Aww, I swear that was with no prompting!], Shannon Butcher, Lucy Monroe and a host of non-fiction historical books.

Care to share a bit about your writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?

I am completely insane. That doesn’t really clear anything up, does it? I often sew something between books and during that time, I tend to get a grasp on the outline of the next book.

What are you planning to work on next?

My next work is a Highlander book. It’s the third book in a set, which began with ‘The Highlanders Prize’, will see the second book releasing in Oct 2012 ‘The Trouble With Highlanders’ and this one will finish up the set.

The follow up to ‘A lady Can Never be too Curious’ is on the editors desk and has been titled ‘A Captain Can Never be too Bold’. Look for it in May 2013. So the world can’t end because you see, I have a book releasing after December.

Thanks so much!

Mary Wine
Twitter: @MaryWine_author


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