Susan Dennard, featuring Page Morgan
We’ve had the lovely Page Morgan on the blog before, but I wanted to have her again to celebrate her latest release: The Lovely and the Lost.
If you guys haven’t yet read her books, DO. Especially if you’re a fan of my (Sooz’s) books. The Beautiful and the Cursed will totally appeal to fans of Something Strange & Deadly. I mean, just look at those titles together!
For those of you who don’t know the premise:
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
In Paris there are no grand balls or glittering parties, and, disturbingly, the house Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson, found for them isn’t a house at all. It’s an abandoned abbey, its roof lined with stone gargoyles that could almost be mistaken for living, breathing creatures.
And Grayson has gone missing.
No one seems to know of his whereabouts but Luc, a devastatingly handsome servant at their new home.
Ingrid is sure her twin isn’t dead—she can feel it deep in her soul—but she knows he’s in grave danger. It will be up to her and Gabby to navigate the twisted path to Grayson, a path that will lead Ingrid on a discovery of dark secrets and otherworldly truths. And she’ll learn that once they are uncovered, they can never again be buried.
If that doesn’t have you hooked, then maybe reading the opening chapters will. Or–if you’ve already read The Beautiful and the Cursed, read the opening of The Lovely and the Lost instead!
Now on to the interview.
1. Okay. I have to know: where did the idea for THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED come from?
It all started with a picture of a Notre Dame gargoyle. I was struck by this image. It looks like the gargoyle has a heavy burden resting on its shoulders, right? So I did some research and found out gargoyles do have a duty: they protect a structure from evil spirits. I knew there was story potential there, and I was really intrigued by writing about a creature that hasn’t been seen much in books. It took a few years to build the mythology, develop the cast of characters, and research the setting (I’d never been to Paris!).
2. You’re right that I haven’t seen gargoyles in books, and yet everyone is so fascinated by them! Go YOU for seeing a story there! Now, are you a plotter or pantser…or neither?
I used to be a pantser, but now I’m a dedicated plotter. My outlines are extensive. Mini-novels, even. The outline for The Lovely and the Lost was just over 30,000 words! They take months to finish, but once I start writing the actual novel I love knowing exactly what I’m going to write.
3. WOW. I am really fascinated by this! That sounds so efficient! So, with regards to research, what’s your primary go-to location–online or in real life? (i.e. I can’t live without archive.org)
I’m going to check out archive.org! I use a lot of websites, but I found a great one with lots of old maps of Paris, appropriately named OldMapsofParis.com, and GentlemansEmporium.com for everything having to do with clothing, and a great collection of photographs from the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris from the Brooklyn Museum. Wikipedia is also my friend!
4. If I recall correctly, you got to visit PARISSSSS for your book. What was your favorite thing about the City of Light? (Also, our heroines would totally get along and should TOTALLY hang out there one day. We can pretend, right?)
I did visit Paris!! I wanted to go before I finished writing The Lovely and the Lost, so I took my parents and daughters and we spent a week there. It was overwhelming and beautiful and I absolutely loved it. One of my research outings was to the Paris Sewers (they are REALLY proud of their sewer system, as they should be!) and yes, we actually walked alongside a canal of rushing sewage. There’s a scene in The Lovely and the Lost where I put that experience to good use! And YES, Eleanor, Ingrid, and Gabby would be such an amazing team! I’m thinking a fan fiction contest is needed…
5. OH MY GOSH, THE SEWERS!!! This is incredible. Okay, last question: if you could meet at the pub with any author (alive or dead), whom would you choose?
I’d have to say Jennifer Donnelly, whose new book Deep Blue, just released and is on the top of my to-read list. I’ve loved all of her books, and after my friend met her at BEA and told me how genuine and nice she is, I think I’d like to spend an hour talking about writing and book over a pint of Guinness.
I love it! Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by, Page! I’m super curious about your outlining method–perhaps we can convince you to stop by again with a guest post.
To celebrate having Page on the blog, we’re giving away a SIGNED COPY of The Lovely and the Lost! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.