Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blog Tour: Maid of Secrets Interview with Jennifer McGowan

Today, Mistress of the Maid of Secrets, Jennifer McGowan, is answering all my questions about one of my favorite historical periods- the time of the Tudors- as part of the official blog tour!

JM: Thank you, Gabrielle, for hosting me today! I love your site and your apparent ability to not need to sleep—ever! You always seem to be doing SOMETHING cool.

So allow me to jump right in to your questions…  

GC: What first intrigued you about the Tudor court?

JM: I fell in love with Elizabethan England while I was in college. It wasn’t quite a minor for me, but I based a senior project on the time period, exploring how Elizabeth changed the face of international affairs with how she managed both her own countrymen as well as monarchs from every major world power at the time. She practically oozed power and determination, and I simply never forgot her. One of my favorite tongue-in-cheek business books of the time was “Elizabeth I: CEO” which showed how Elizabeth would have handled typical corporate issues today. 

GC: Why tell your story from the perspective of a spy? 

JM: With the Maids of Honor series, I wanted to explore the glittering world of Tudor royalty with the sensibilities of individuals who are both caught up in the excitement… and enmeshed in the danger of it. My spies all have reasons why they must serve the Queen, and each of the five girls contributes her service with some reluctance. Their unique position as a secret sect within the Queen’s court gives them a birds-eye view into the greatest intrigues of the court, however. They see it all—and then must decide what to do about it.  

GC: Do you have any other favorite time periods?

JM: YES! Regency England and the years immediately following that time period. I am in LOVE with the manners and aristocracy, the balls and fetes, the politics and architecture and all of it. I even have dreamed up my own Regency-set series, but I currently don’t have the time to research that era fully. And given how many avid fans there are of the time period, I’d have to get those details right to even have a chance with readers!

GC: If you lived in the Tudor Court which would you most likely be - a spy, an eligible courtesan or a princess?

JM: Ha! What a great question. I think I would most likely be a spy. I do not have the social graces to truly excel as a courtesan, and I would tire quickly of the monotony of being a member of royalty. It looks wonderful—and there are many wonderful things about it to be sure!—but there is great responsibility to keep up the “face” of the monarchy. I just would have to cut loose every once in awhile, I fear.

GC: What are you working on now and can you tell us something about it?

JM: Yes—I’m currently at work editing MAID OF DECEPTION, which is Beatrice’s story. Unlike Meg, Beatrice does not have a fondness for Queen Elizabeth. In fact, maid and monarch square off against each other at every possible opportunity. 

In Beatrice’s tale, which is due out in late Summer, 2014, the oldest and most sophisticated of the spies must save her family from deadly political blackmail, help the Queen outmaneuver her closest advisors, and decide whether or not she’s capable of giving away the one thing that she has determined never to share: her heart. It’s a darker, more twisty and more romantic tale in some ways than Meg’s adventure, but it’s also uniquely Beatrice.

A few fun things:

Learn the official “story behind the story” of Maid of Secrets, here

Find out which of the Queen’s spies is your perfect sister spy; take this quiz

Thank you very much for inviting me, Gabrielle!! It’s an honor to be here today. 

Win Maid of Secrets:
Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril. 

For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

Hardcover, 416 pages

Expected publication: May 7th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Jennifer McGowan writes Young Adult romance full of swash and buckle. Her first novel, MAID OF SECRETS, debuts in Spring, 2013 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Age: Royal Secret
Came From: A small town in northern Ohio
Became a Maid of Honor: After bringing her tale of spygirls to the noble city, and winning the favor of the great house of Simon (& Schuster).
Special Skill: Matrix-like reflexes, superior strength, fabulous wit… okay, ah – we’ll get back to you on that.


Jennifer McGowan said...

Gabrielle, thank you so much for hosting me today at Mod Podge Bookshelf! I'm honored to have your site as a stop on the tour!

LMcLendon said...

I haven't read Maid of Secrets but I hope to when I win it :)
I have been introduced to the Jewel Romance Historical Fiction books recently. I love this genre :)

Sel said...

Such a fun interview! Great questions, Gabrielle :) I would love to one day read Jenn's regency-set series when she writes it, for it will surely be awesome down to the tiniest detail!

Glad to have you on the tour, Gabrielle ;)

Chelsea Pitcher said...

What a great interview!!! So excited this book is out!! :)