Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Grosvenor Square by Katherine Ann Meyer

Welcome to Author Katherine Ann Meyer.

Bio:

Katherine has been telling and writing stories since she was old enough to pick up a pencil. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and enjoys bringing her knowledge of 18th-and 19th-century British and American cultural history into her work. She currently resides with her husband in Central Texas.


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabine-Publications/102530009823967


Interview:


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

I have a feeling most people would choose to go into the future, but I would definitely choose to go back to the past.  The hardest part for me would be deciding which era to visit!  I think I love every period of history, especially prior to the 20th century.  I would love to take a tour and visit them all!


If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

I’m going to go with the assumption that the five people can be from any era.  I love to have lively discussions around the dinner table, so I would invite individuals who not only represent my interests, but also whom I think would be able to keep up an interesting conversation:  Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Dolly Madison, Franz Liszt, and Lady Hamilton.


If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?

Assuming my basic needs for sustenance and shelter were taken care of, I’d want to have an unlimited supply of paper and pens for writing, a solar-powered MP3 player loaded with my favorite classical music, and…a friend or family member for company!


What is one book everyone should read?

The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s on many junior high reading lists; this story contains very adult themes.  It’s a perfect book in terms of relating a compelling, mind-bending narrative while introducing intensely important themes that will have you questioning your deepest beliefs. It’s also my favorite book to recommend for reluctant readers of any age.  It’s almost impossible to put down.


Please tell us in one sentence only why we should read your book.

Grosvenor Square

will immerse you in an era of beauty, charm, and gentility, and it will keep you thinking long after you’ve read the book.


Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 

Yes!  I am currently working on another historical fiction novel.  This one takes place during the early years of the American Revolution and is about a Patriot spy.  I love Colonial America and am excited to finally be working on a story set during that period!


What inspired you to want to become a writer?

I always tell people that I write because I can’t paint.  For as long as I can remember, I have had a desire to share with others the images and stories in my imagination, and if I could simply share by painting or drawing those images, I would.  As it is, I have absolutely no talent when it comes to the visual arts, so I must paint those images with words.   


Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

I suppose the most rewarding aspect has just been the validation from readers; hearing their reactions and knowing that they were drawn in by my story and characters is tremendously rewarding.


If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I’d probably choose one of my favorite childhood books — The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  It really stirred my imagination then and still does!  An orphaned English girl, a mysterious manor house harboring long-buried secrets, a hidden garden, a tragic and romantic connection to the past …. What girl wouldn’t want to be part of that?  I see some of the same elements in one of my favorite classic novels for adults, Jane Eyre.


What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?I would pass on the best piece of advice that was ever given to me:  It is well-known that popular advice for authors is to write about what you know, but it is far more important to write about what you love.  You will be living day in and day out with the world and characters you create, so it’s important that you love that place and those characters. If you don’t love them, you can’t expect your readers to.


If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?

This is a very difficult question for me!  I always have a hard time choosing my favorite historical period.  There are two that are constantly vying for the title of “favorite” with me:  18th-century America, and early 19th-century England.  I suppose if I have to choose just one, I would choose early 19th-century England, the period popularly called the “Regency” era.  I love the fashion, architecture, art, and social customs of that time. 

Who are your favorite authors of all time?My favorite book of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.  In terms of pure storytelling, it’s sheer brilliance.  I also love The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and A Room With a View by E.M. Forster.  Those two, along with Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, portray heroines whom I absolutely love.  Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of my favorite American authors.  I love The House of the Seven Gables.  I think it’s the perfect American novel.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

Well, I suppose that I could find at least one trait in common with any fictional character or living person.  All of my characters are purely products of my imagination, though; none are based upon anyone in my real life.  Each one of the main characters was drawn very deliberately and meant to evoke specific images, emotions, or reactions from the reader.  So, while I could undoubtedly find similarities between myself and my characters, I really feel that those similarities would be entirely coincidental.

If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?

Anything by Oscar Wilde.  He’d be certain to write something clever and witty along with his signature!


Which authors have influenced you the most? 

George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss was one of the first classics I ever read.  Although I was only a teenager at the time, and I haven’t read it in many years, I think it had a profound influence over me, in terms of guiding my future reading choices and also in influencing me as a writer.  I really absorbed certain elements of that book — tragedy, romance, the dynamics of sibling relationships, beautiful prose — and I even think that the exploration of familial relationships in Grosvenor Square might, on a very high level, be traced back to that original experience I had with The Mill on the Floss.  I also think that Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park had tremendous influence over my writing in the past decade or so.  I loved her heroine, Fanny Price.  She was a breath of fresh air to me, utterly different from the typical “feisty heroines” that have become almost a cliché.  I loved Fanny’s gentle femininity, her vulnerability, her sincerity, and of course her integrity.  I felt liberated after reading Mansfield Park; I felt as if I had been given permission to create heroines according to my own standards, who need not conform to any preconceived notions of what a heroine “should” be.


How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I prefer small, quiet celebrations.  I celebrated the book’s release with my husband and a few close friends.


In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?

Charles Dickens, the master of character creation.


What are your favorite places to travel?

My travels have provided a great deal of inspiration for my writing.  I’ve been very fortunate in having had the opportunity to travel all over the world from the time I was very young.  I still travel every chance I get!  Italy is my favorite place.  I love the beauty of the mountains, the sea, the countryside, and of course I love the art, architecture, and history there.  I also love the East Coast of America, for many of the same reasons. I have to admit, I have seldom visited any country or region that I didn’t find fascinating.  When I travel, I like to stay in one place long enough to really get to know the people and the culture there.  Some of my other favorite places are Scotland, Romania, Morocco, and of course EnglandLondon in particular never loses its appeal for me.  It is not a coincidence that

Grosvenor Square

takes place there! 

Grosvenor Square

Amid the genteel charms of 19th-century London’s elegant Mayfair district, the Hathaways take up residence in Grosvenor Square. With an increasing fortune, refined upbringing, and fashionable social circle, the close-knit family seems assured of a bright and comfortable future. But their idyllic world is disrupted by the arrival of Jasper Munroe, a distant relation who touches off a series of unsettling events that will change their lives forever. The Hathaway siblings — spirited Lorna, gentle Tom, and beautiful Rosamond — are led down divergent paths of self-discovery, both virtuous and destructive, as each learns about love, loss, and the price of preserving the ties that bind.
In a story of beauty and philosophy, romance and heartache, betrayal and redemption,
Grosvenor Square explores the intricacies of human relationships and raises significant questions about the extent to which lives are shaped not only by individual choice, but just as compellingly, by the influence of others. Stylistically reflective of the Victorian novelists to whom it pays tribute,Grosvenor Square reveals a poignant narrative embedded with a relevant social commentary.

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of Grosvernor Square
Open to US only
Ends 9/18/11

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