Posted by Tobi-Dawne
In the brief teaser I tacked onto yesterdays blog post I let you know there would be a special interview today, and I’m not going to disappoint! I had the chance to ask author TJ Brown a few questions in regards to her new release Summerset Abbey and the series it kicks off. So, let’s jump right in!
TD: Was there a certain event or idea that inspired the book?
TJ: I have always loved the Edwardian period, but after Downton Abbey aired, I really wanted to write something in that period. I told my agent, we should pitch an Edwardian and she asked me what I had in mind. 5 weeks later I had a contract for a three book Edwardian series!
TD: I know this is your first foray into historical fiction, did this pose any particular challenges or did you find it was a natural fit for you?
TJ: It actually isn’t my first foray into historical fiction. Six months prior to getting the Summerset Abbey contract, I got a contract for a young adult series set in the 1920’s. So even though it won’t be out until June (Born of Illusion, June 15th!), I wrote it before the Summerset Series.
I honestly never thought I would be a historical writer, even though I love history and reading historicals. I just thought I had a more modern voice and the research intimidated me. But I had this idea that wouldn’t go away and once I wrote Born of Illusion I was hooked. Of course, Summerset is in a different time period, but before I started writing it, I figured that I had done so much research for the twenties, surely ten years prior couldn’t be that big of a difference could it? Was I ever wrong. 1914 England was a whole different world than 1924 New York. I had to start the research all over again! And I love it!
TD: Can you tell me a little about your process?
TJ: Usually, I start with a concept for a plot. Just a sketchy idea. Then the characters’ come. It’s rather like putting together a puzzle. And then my plot constantly changes and develops as I write. I’m not quite a seat of my pants writer, but the Summerset books have been unusually organic for me.
TD: How many books do you foresee in this series?
TJ: I am contracted for three but I have an idea for a fourth that my editor likes. Nothing is set in stone yet, and it may not happen, but I do have a fourth Summerset book in mind. We’ll see! But four for sure.
TD: Do you have a favourite character or is there one who resonates more with you than the others?
TJ: Victoria. In all of my books I have at least one over the top character and in Summerset Abbey, Victoria is the one. She is smart and imaginative and she says almost everything that comes into her mind. I adore her. Even though all girls are featured, Bloom in Winter is her book, and I had such an awesome time working on it!
So there you have it folks! TJ Brown on her new book, Summerset Abbey, her process, and on writing historical fiction. Now all that’s left is to drop a few details. 😉
Summerset Abbey is available at:
- Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1451698984/simonsayscom
- IndieBound – http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781451698985
- BAM – http://www.booksamillion.com/ncom/books?isbn=1451698984
- S&S – http://books.simonandschuster.com/Summerset-Abbey/T-J-Brown/9781451698985
Summerset Abbey 1913: In a sprawling manor on the outskirts of London, three young women seek to fulfill their destinies and desires amidst the unspoken rules of society and the distant rumblings of war. . . . Rowena Buxton Sir Philip Buxton raised three girls into beautiful and capable young women in a bohemian household that defied Edwardian tradition. Eldest sister Rowena was taught to value people, not wealth or status. But everything she believes will be tested when Sir Philip dies, and the girls must live under their uncle's guardianship at the vast family estate, Summerset Abbey. Standing up for a beloved family member sequestered to the "under class" in this privileged new world, and drawn into the Cunning Coterie, an exclusive social circle of aristocratic "rebels," Rowena must decide where her true passions-and loyalties-lie. Victoria Buxton Frail in body but filled with an audacious spirit, Victoria secretly dreams of attending university to become a botanist like her father. But this most unladylike wish is not her only secret. Now, Victoria has stumbled upon a family scandal that, if revealed, has the potential to change lives forever. Prudence Tate Prudence was lovingly brought up alongside Victoria and Rowena, and their bond is as strong as blood. But by birth she is a governess's daughter, and to the lord of Summerset Abbey, that makes her a commoner who must take her true place in society-as ladies maid to her beloved "sisters." But Pru doesn't belong in the downstairs world of the household staff any more than she belongs upstairs with the Buxton girls. And when a young lord catches her eye, she begins to wonder if she'll ever truly carve out a place for herself at Summerset Abbey.
For more check out TJ at http://tjbrownbooks.com/
Now, as if that alone doesn’t make one heck of a blog post, I still have more for you! That’s right… we’re still in the middle of the January Photo Challenge – and I’m not one to give up on a challenge. So here we are. 😉
The challenge today was to photograph water. Easy peasy, right? Yep. Here’s the girl, immersed in the stuff:
Let’s hope tomorrow is a LITTLE more of an actual challenge…
Something I’ve bought? Well… I guess there’s at least a little bit of thought to go into that one. 😉
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