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Victoria Rebels Blog Tour & Giveaway – Q & A with Author Carolyn Meyer
February 19th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

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From Goodreads:

Queen Victoria’s personal journals inform this captivating first-person account of one of history’s most prominent female leaders.

Queen Victoria most certainly left a legacy—under her rule as the longest reigning female monarch in history, the British Empire was greatly expanded and significant industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military changes occurred within the United Kingdom. To be a young woman in a time when few other females held positions of power was to lead in a remarkable age—and because Queen Victoria kept personal journals, this historical novel from award-winning author Carolyn Meyer shares authentic emotional insight along with accurate information, weaving a true story of intrigue and romance.

Published by Paula Wiseman Books, January 1, 2013

Questions and Answers with Victoria Rebels’ author,

Carolyn Meyer

1. After writing about Queen Victoria, are there any leaders living today who you believe exemplify the qualities carolyn_182x228px-210she possessed? If so, who and why. If not, what made her unique?

Your question immediately prompted me to think about Hillary Clinton–even though you didn’t specify gender–for a number of reasons. Hillary has completely dedicated herself to public service, as Victoria did. She has matured into her role, as Victoria did. She has learned to navigate in a male-dominated world, as Victoria did. 

2. You stated that Queen Victoria “tries to please her unpleasable mother,” which is certainly the circumstances for many teens today. What is your advice to them?

I, too, am the daughter of an “unpleasable mother,” and my advice would be to learn how to negotiate these turbulent waters as well as you can and to retain a sense of who you are at your core. And then, finally, you must learn to forgive them. It took Victoria a long time to learn to do that–as it did me. 

3. You used Queen Victoria’s diaries to help construct some of the details for Victoria Rebels. With the Internet today, may young adults are chronicling their lives on social media sights [sites] such as Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. Do you see any benefits to going back to keeping a diary? If so, what would they be?

Yes, I do, but it has more to do with developing self-discipline and self-reflection, as weirdly old-fashioned as that sounds, and I think it should be kept private. When I was a young girl, I had a diary with a tiny lock on it, and I was always afraid that someone–my mother!–would read my most secret thoughts. Now it seems, that need for inner privacy seems to have dwindled–even disappeared–and that’s a shame.

VictoriaRebels_cover4. I saw that your favorite job is writing, rewriting, and re-rewriting. Since you write historical fiction, I’m guessing that you also enjoy the research process? What tips do you have for writers who are interested in writing historical fiction and would you stray from “facts” or construct your novel around them?

You guess right! Research is the fun part, and it’s so much easier than writing! I use a combination of research methods–public and university libraries, the internet, and, if I can, traveling to visit the places I’m writing about. I’d advise others who want to write historical fiction to continue the research right up to the final draft and to pay special attention to accuracy. I never change known facts, but when I turn up contradictory facts (as happens as you go further back in history, to the Tudor era, for instance) I go with what works best for the narrative. In many novels I’ve invented characters–a servant is often a useful tool for conveying information–but I didn’t have to make up a single soul in Victoria’s story. They are all extremely well documented; all I had to do was set the scenes.

5. I love “My Writer’s Journal” http://www.readcarolyn.com/blog.htm and noticed in your December 31, 2010 entry that you were really struggling to get past the first line of Victoria Rebel. ” I hate Sir John Conroy.” Obviously, you got past those six weeks of writing and rewriting the first five pages. What was your process in moving forward and persevering? Did something change in your thinking? If so, what was it? Assuming that you were, at times, frustrated, how did you cope?

I just went back and looked at that entry, trying to remember what was in my head two years ago. Apparently I believed I had a really good opening line, but as you’ve noted, I didn’t quite know where to go with it. Eventually I sent the first draft off to the editor (I don’t think of it as a draft, mind you; I always think I’ve finished!); to my absolute horror, she wanted me to cut most of what I had written in the first chapter. She was right, and that got me moving forward more confidently. And I managed to keep the first line.

6. Of all the places you’ve traveled, which has most influenced your writing and why?

I’ve traveled a lot, and I’ve always gained insights, but the places that have most influenced me are the ones I’ve called home–Pennsylvania, where I grew up, and New Mexico, where I’ve lived for many years.

7. Do you ever just travel for fun or is it always connected to a book you’re writing? Where are you going next?

As a matter of fact, I’ve just come back from a trip that started in Paris and ended in Madrid with no particular goals in mind except to enjoy great museums and great food and to keep an eye open for new experiences. That’s going to be it for awhile.

Many thanks to Gabrielle from Modge Podge Blog Tours for including me in this tour.

VictoriaRebelsButtonBLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

19th Interview @ WhoRu Blog
20th Interview @ The Reader’s Antidote
21st Guest Blog @ Fantasy’s Ink
22nd Character Interview with John Conroy @ Pages From My Thoughts
25th Guest Blog @ Bibliophilia, Please!
26th Guest Blog @ Books Beside My Bed
27th Top Ten: The Victorian Age @ Moosubi Reads
28th Interview @ Beauty But A Funny Girl
1st Character Interview with Fidi @ Bookcase to Heaven
4th Interview @ Gobs and Gobs of Books
5th Guest Blog @ A Dream Within A Dream
6th Character Interview With Prince Albert @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
7th Guest Blog @ Stiletto Storytime
8th Interview @ Emily’s Crammed Bookshelf
11th Interview @ Movies In My Head
12th Top Ten: Victoria’s Favorites @ Curling Up With A Good Book
13th Character Interview With Victoria @ The Mod Podge Bookshelf

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2 Responses  
Liza Wiemer writes:
February 21st, 2013 at 5:15 am

Monica Fumarolo ‏@mfumarolo, a librarian friend from Illinois tweeted this:
@LizaWiemer Just read your latest post on Victoria Rebels – you always manage to find the most interesting books! So jealous!

So, I tweeted back and explained that I spent quite a bit of time researching and reviewing to prepare the questions. Thanks, Monica! It’s important to me to give readers something special/interesting/inspiring to read.

Betsy Kaplan writes:
February 21st, 2013 at 5:20 am

The cover is beautiful. Great interview. Thanks.

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