Monday, April 28, 2008
With pomp and fanfare and circumstance, enter Marissa Doyle!
April is a VERY VERY VERY VERY busy month for the Class of 2k8 with FOUR, yes, count them, FOUR book launches. Last, but certainly not least, is Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle.
2k8: Okay, Marissa, give us the scoop on Bewitching Season. What's it about?
Marissa Doyle: In 1837 London, young daughters of viscounts pined for handsome, titled husbands, not careers. And certainly not careers in magic.
Shy, studious Persephone Leland would far rather devote herself to her secret magic studies than enter society and look for a suitable husband. But just as the inevitable Season is about to begin, Persy and her twin sister Pen discover that their governess in magic has been kidnapped as part of a plot to gain control of the Princess Victoria. Racing through Mayfair ballrooms and royal palaces, the sisters overcome bad millinery, shady royal spinsters, and a mysterious Irish wizard. And along the way, Persy discovers that husband hunting isn’t such an odious task after all, if you can find the right quarry.
So, let us give you the 411 on Marissa. She's been obsessed with history since seeing The Six Wives of Henry VIII on Masterpiece Theatre when she was nine. Her first (uncompleted) novel was begun when she was thirteen, and of course was a Tudor time travel. Several history-soaked college years ensued, followed by several years dedicated to motherhood…and now she’s back into the history again. Some people never change.
2k8: How'd Bewitching Season come to be? What's the story behind the story?
Bewitching Season is the result of a serendipitous writing prompt. My local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter decided to do a just-for-fun writing exercise: any member who wanted to participate had to take the sentence, “Oh my God, you’ve killed him!” and write the first few paragraphs of a story using it as the opening. The point was to show that even with the same first sentence, all our stories would differ in subject and voice. So after I forced myself to stop thinking about references to Monty Python (“Lovely plumage, the Norwegian Blue!”), I got a picture in my head of a girl in long skirts standing over a boy lying on the floor. Who was she, and what had happened? Well, she’d been practicing her magic, and her little brother had gotten in the way…or had she been practicing on him, and he decided to play a trick on her?…and it went on from there.
The royalty part came in because I was reading a biography of Queen Victoria while the above was going on. I was at the part of the book that told of Victoria’s years of struggle against her mother’s household comptroller, Sir John Conroy, who had ambitions of becoming the power behind the throne when Victoria became queen. But Victoria loathed him, and as it became clear that she would probably become queen in her own right and not require a regent, he got desperate and actually contemplated locking her up and forcing her to promise him a position as her Private Secretary. And again, it just popped into my head: what if Sir John had resorted to magic to try to subdue the Princess, and my young witch had to rescue her?
2k8: Well, Marissa, with thoughts like those, this is going to be one interesting week!