I am delighted today to introduce you to a fellow author from my Sweetest Romance Authors group. Her pen name is Miss Mae, and she has written a wonderful little Victorian mystery that I'm excited to share with you. (She writes contemporary mysteries, too, but being me, I chose her historical title as my first Miss Mae read. :-) ) Stick around. Miss Mae has TWO giveaways to offer some lucky readers of this interview when we get to the end!
JDP: Thank you for joining us today, Miss Mae. Please tell us a little about your Victorian mystery, See No Evil, My Pretty Lady.
Miss Mae: New maid Dorcy Edwards flees the scene of where her employer’s body is found. His murder sparks a chain of macabre events. Cloistered on a remote island with five strangers, including Gareth Davenport, her late employer’s brooding, but darkly handsome heir, Dorcy encounters baffling questions with what she fears may be terrifying answers. Who cut the telegraph lines? Who left a mutilated animal carcass outside her bedroom door? What is the reason for Gareth’s black gloves and eye patch? Can he be “Jack the Ripper”, the madman suspected to be Mr. Davenport’s killer? Dorcy must solve the mystery, and soon, or her growing attraction for Gareth could be her very death sentence.
JDP: Ooooo, a Jack the Ripper story! Who can resist that? Not me! What did you find most fascinating about this time period?
Miss Mae: The time period, or Jack himself? As for the time period, there’s an allure of romance for the whole concept of “polite society” that men and women shared. The women in their long dresses, riding in horse drawn buggies while gentlemen “courted” them. It seems so simple and chaste today. And then to add England to the mix with its famous fog, cobble-stoned streets, the Brits unique way of speech -- it all rather casts a spell upon me.
With Jack, his technique is intriguing. One would assume, considering the limited medical knowledge of his day, how could he kill and leave very little blood on the body? This leads me to suspect that he was someone of extremely high intellect who knew anatomy in more depth than a mere commoner, or even the police.
JDP: A point you play up very well among the potential suspects in your story! I’m always interested in how authors research their historical novels. Could you tell us a little about how you researched the historical background for See No Evil, My Pretty Lady?
Miss Mae: The internet. I visited several sites, and spent hours reading the details surrounding the East End murders. I wanted to make sure I had the victims names correct, and the times and places of their deaths.
JDP: Can you share with us your top three favorite research books or other resources?
Miss Mae: A dictionary is with me, always. :-) The internet, where I google anything I have a question about, and of course, Wikipedia.
JDP: Are there any historical figures from the Victorian Age who particularly intrigue you?
Miss Mae: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, and I marvel at how Sir Arthur developed this character.
JDP: What inspired you to write See No Evil, My Pretty Lady?
Miss Mae: At the time this story came to me, I was enrolled in an online writing class. One lesson was to write a scene using our everyday five senses, plus we were to also add the sense of time and place. I came up with the opening scene of Dorcy and her mysterious attacker in the fog. If you’ll notice, I have all her five senses there -- the moisture on the steps railing, the sound of the trotting horse, her scent of the attacker, the sight of the burning gas lamp, etc. Those same items also set you firmly in the “time” of 1850’s London.
JDP: How interesting that See No Evil, My Pretty Lady began as a writing assignment. And I think it’s one you aced! The rich texture of the scenes caught my attention right off and kept me hooked all the way to the end. I must say, I was absolutely mesmerized by Sosby and his cigar smoke. Those scenes were so vivid. Among many others, of course.
Okay, I’ve got to ask…where did you come up with the name “Dorcy” for your heroine? I absolutely love it and it felt so perfect for the Victorian setting. But I've never heard it before. Is there a story behind her name, or was it just a random choice?
Miss Mae: When I went looking for names, I searched for "Victorian names". Dorcy was one, which actually is Irish and came from the Irish Immigrants. Darcy is actually morphed from Dorcy.
JDP: Oh, that’s interesting! I’ve heard the name “Darcy”, but we never hear the name “Dorcy” anymore. I love learning little historical facts like this. Are you working on any new projects?
Miss Mae: I’ve completed a new romantic mystery, Catch Me If You Can. Washed ashore a South Carolina beach, Lois Steinberg learns her shelter, an old plantation house, was scheduled to host a 'Catch Me' game convention. When the cook is found murdered, questions mount as quickly as bodies. Who is the villain? None of the guests know each other except for their love of the game - right? But it's not a game Lois seeks to solve. It's the saving of her life. Catch Me If You Can is currently an ebook at Smashwords. I’m awaiting the proof copy for it to, hopefully, within just a couple of weeks, become print at Amazon and other retailers.
JDP: Where can readers obtain copies of your books?
Miss Mae: See No Evil, My Pretty Lady is an ebook at Smashwords and available in other digital format at other stores (Sony, Apple, etc.) The print can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, my own eStore, or get an autographed copy straight from me! Visit my website at www.missmaesite.com
Okay, now for the giveaways! Miss Mae is offering a 50% off coupon for an e-book version of See No Evil, My Pretty Lady from Smashwords AND a $5 (= 50% off) gift certificate from Amazon for a hardcopy version of the same title. The first draw wins the e-book and the second draw the print copy, okay?
Here's how you can enter to win one of these versions of See No Evil, My Pretty Lady. Do one, two, or all three of the following. Each counts as a separate entry, so please do NOT combine entries into a single email or you’ll only be counted once!
(1) Leave a comment on this blog, then email me with YOUR NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please type “#1: Who is the real Miss Mae?” in the subject line.
(2) Visit Miss Mae's website, click on her "Profile & Email Contact" link, and tell me: Which of her titles won a 2009 Top Ten Read at MyShelf.com? Email me the answer WITH YOUR NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS to email@example.com. Please type “#2: Who is the real Miss Mae?” in the subject line.
(3) Visit Miss Mae's website, click on the "My Art Gallery" link, and tell me one of Miss Mae's artistic signatures. Then email me the answer WITH YOUR NAME AND MAILNG ADDRESS to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please type “#3: Who is the real Miss Mae?” in the subject line.
Deadline for entries is Friday, July 23, midnight PST. The winner will be announced on Monday, July 26.
And please don’t forget the NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS part. If I have to try too hard to hunt you down, your prize might become forfeit and be given to someone else!
OPEN TO USA AND INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES