Monday, April 29, 2013

Mariel Grey - Surrender of Trust - Author Interview

Author Interview 

1. How did you come up with the title?
The title was very difficult for me. I think a title should reflect both the genre and the mood of a book. Because this story is a romance, I naturally wanted something which sounded romantic. Originally, I was going to use a different title. The editor of one imprint thought my original title was cute. In contrast, the editor of another imprint didn’t like the original title at all. I eventually came to the realization that I needed to change the title. In a relationship, we often surrender bits and parts of ourselves. Hopefully a relationship brings out the best in us and prompts us to surrender the worst parts of ourselves. I think the title I chose for the book, Surrender of Trust, fits.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are no underlying moral messages in the story. However, there is character growth. It’s always more interesting if your characters grow and evolve. It’s a story about relationships and the personal growth of individuals.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
I’m not completely sure how to answer this question because it could address two issues. If you are asking if the plot is realistic, the answer is yes. The plot line is realistic. All of the events could conceivably have happened. Some people might question one scene at a race course, but it is possible those events could have occurred as well. If your question is asking whether the book is realistic in its setting, then again the answer is yes. Surrender of Trust is a historical romance and I spent a great deal of time researching the background and details for authenticity. I researched the names of the jockeys who were racing during that period. I even tried to determine those jockeys who did, or may have, participated in a specific race referenced within the book. The scandal which involved the Prince of Wales, Sam Chifney, and his horse, Escape, at Newmarket really occurred. The races (and the racecourses) of Newmarket, the Oaks, and Derby Stakes at Epson Downs are real and still run today. The background of my heroine, Lucy Goodwin’s father is loosely based on that of the original owner of Tattersall’s auctioneer, an establishment still in existence today. The particulars of the gambling den are based on a description of one from the period. Many of the locations referenced in the book are real and survive today. The details of the attire, both that of the men and women, are authentic. The hairstyles mentioned, like the Titus, were real fashions during that time period. The particulars of the musical instruments and their makers are accurate, as are the descriptions of the china. The furniture, wall coverings, and architectural details of the buildings are faithful to the period. The meals described are modeled on real menus. Letty Lade and the scandalous women racers existed. The list goes on.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Actually, I never intended this book to become part of a series. I originally wrote Surrender of Trust to be a stand-alone title. After I completed the book, I realized it was perfect for a series, so I would have to say no. I’m glad it turned out as it did.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The research! You have no idea how difficult it is to verify small details like the names of popular haircuts of the day. I really wanted the details I reference in the book to be correct. I spent hours and hours researching small details. As I discussed earlier, there are numerous historical details sprinkled throughout the book.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I certainly learned more about the customs and norms of the day. But more importantly, my research reinforced my gratitude to be a woman living in modern times as opposed to living in that time.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have been interested in books and writing since I was a little girl. When I was in the first grade, I was having trouble learning to read. We visited my grandparents’ house and I found my father’s old Hardy Boys series. We brought those books home and my father started reading to me every night. I could never bear when my father left off reading in the story, so I’d pick the books up and try to read and sound out the words. I’d have to figure out what the words were and what they meant by the context. By the end of the second grade, I was reading those books independently. After I finished that series, I was off to read Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and Kim Aldrich books. I loved reading! I still do. Naturally, my love of books led to a love of words and a fascination with how words could be manipulated to could convey meaning and evoke feelings and imagery. Not surprisingly, I decided early on I wanted to write. I saved my allowance and babysitting money and brought a typewriter in the seventh or eighth grade so I could do just that. Then the teenage hormones kicked in and I headed down other paths in life for a while. I’m finally at a point in my life where I’m back to writing again.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There is no way I can choose just one favorite author! I read so many authors and genres and enjoy them all for different aspects. My husband and I have an entire room filled with nothing but shelves of books alphabetized by author. When the shelves become filled, we reluctantly have to part with some of the books to make room for more. We are, of course, making the transition to ebooks, which helps. Every author has a distinct voice, style, and, of course, genre. I’ll rattle off a few of the authors I like, but I’ll be leaving out probably 50 or so...

For historical romances: Stephanie Laurens and Madeline Hunter
For action, adventure: James Rollins, Jack DuBrul, Clive Cussler
Florida stories: Carl Hiaasen, James Hall
The dark side: Dean Koonz (more his older books)
For a little twist: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Steve Berry
Mystery/crime: Jeffrey Deaver, John Sanford

9. Tell us your latest news.
I’m working on the second book in my Surrender Series. Did I say working? I meant to say slaving on my second book. I hope to have it completed early next year.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your interest in me and in my book, Surrender of Trust. I hope you enjoy the book, as well as the rest of the Surrender Series. I truly appreciate your time. It's a busy world out there. I know your time is valuable and you could spend it anywhere, so thank you for spending it with me and with my work. Please feel free to contact me with your comments, good and bad. Feedback helps me become better at my craft and more responsive to my readers’ tastes. I also appreciate when you post reviews about my books on Amazon or other websites which can help other readers decide whether they might enjoy reading my book or not.

About the Book

Lucy Goodwin fears losing her individuality and independence to marriage under 1803 English law. Bereaved of her father, Lucy’s world revolves around her brother and his successful thoroughbred breeding business near London. Her security and independence are threatened when her brother is injured and Lucy is confronted by potential disgrace and scandalous allegations. Lucy's actions worsen the situation by exposing the reputation and honor of her brother's new business partner, the Marquis of Chalifour, to the potential scandal. Lucy is torn between protecting her brother and her heart, or Chalifour, the man she loves, from ruin.

Lord Philip Lyton, Marquis of Chalifour is a member of the prestigious Jockey Club. He seizes the opportunity to merge his horses with the Goodwin horses to create a superior strain of thoroughbreds. A serious injury to Lucy's brother forces Chalifour to deal with Lucy instead of her brother. Chalifour's growing sense of unease with the partnership conflicts with his growing feelings for Lucy. When he discovers Lucy has deceived him, Chalifour must decide whether he can believe in Lucy's goodness, despite appearances to the contrary. In order to extricate her and her brother from certain calamity and claim Lucy for his own, Chalifour must find a way to earn Lucy’s confidence and her heart.

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook, $8.99 paperback
Pages: 228
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: self-published
Release Date: April 7, 2013
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo

About the Author

Mariel Grey fell in love with books and writing at a young age. It began with her father's boyhood Hardy Boy series at the end of her first grade and continued from there. Mariel knew she wanted to work as a writer in some capacity before she went into high school. An essay she wrote in the eleventh grade won her a trip to Washington, DC, to meet then President Carter. Life, though, has a funny way of intervening in people's dreams, and such was the case with Mariel.

At this point in her life, Mariel is able to return to her passion of writing. Her debut book, Surrender of Trust, is the first in her Surrender Series, historical romance set in the extended Regency period. Mariel is hard at work on the second book in the series and hopes to have it completed by early next year.

Mariel currently lives in Orlando, Florida. Prior to that, she was a longtime resident of South Florida and frequent visitor to the Florida Keys, where she still maintains strong ties. After Mariel completes her Surrender Series, she hopes to delve into some contemporary romance. She figures being a longtime resident of Florida should give her plenty of fodder for some interesting and diverse stories.

Links to Connect with Mariel:
Web site

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