Tuesday Book Club: Shehanne Moore’s The Writer And The Rake

I’m on the record as generally not being a fan of time travel historicals. Much of the time they seem a bit ‘betwixt and between’, satisfying neither contemporary nor historical romance lover in me.

One big huge exception is the amazing Shehanne Moore who writes big, fantasy worlds with unconventional characters and the most entertaining dialogue I’ve ever seen.

I’m thrilled to welcome her once again to my Tuesday Book Club.

What were you like at school?

Shehanne Moore. A wonderful author, incredibly talented and with such an amazing smile!

Now Elizabeth do you really want me to tell you? (You know I do! – EEC) At primary I was very, very good and I learned lots. At secondary I learned lots too, just not the same things. My education was furthered by lots of trips to town and even ones I never intended to take. Like the time my partner-in-skiving-crime pal and me had to join the swimming group on its way down the road, having been caught bonnie skiving off. That day my education was furthered by learning how to play it well cool till we spied a bus coming towards us and were able to nudge to the back of the line, and nip across the road and catch it. We were very glad about this as we didn’t have costumes or towels—in fact we weren’t actually in that group at all–but we were confident we would think of something given the pool was a 30 minute walk.  Let’s just say being flung out of classes when I was there to be in a class was a sort of way of life.

  What inspired you to write?

I have always wanted to write. When I was little I had very bad chest problems and spent a lot of time reading. I read everything I could put my mitts on from an early age.  It was another world to be in  and I loved that an author could give you that world, that place of escape.  I remember reading that RL Stevenson spent a lot of time ill as a child, when I read his Treasure Island at aged eight and I thinking I would love to do this. He went from where he was then to doing this. It’s possible.

Which writers inspire you?

Oh, I am a huge fan of so many and I guess it depends on where you were age-wise when you read them. I remember devouring Anya Seton  at age 15. I have read so many of the classics, Tolstoy, Hugo. I love Les Miserables. Dickens—what a man with characters. I am especially inspired by the hard boiled school of writers, like James M Cain. Horace McCoy. (All oldies I am afraid.) They kept it so tight and Cain fair could write about women.  I adore F. Scott Fitzgerald’s prose. Somerset Maughn—very tight again. I often reread F Tennyson Jessy’s  Pin to See the Peepshow because although a lot would be red penned today, she created this fabulous social history of the run up to ww1, of how it was to live in London at that time. She created this beast of a central character with lots of nice snide observations like wishing a bomb would drop on her husband.  I love Margaret Mitchell.  And yes, Kate Furnivall  has become a friend but I do remember picking up her first book way back and starting to read it in the Tesco car park and thinking, how great to see a historical like this out there.

Hee hee, I bet you are sorry you asked (Never! I think we’re kindred spirits, I love the classics and getting to know great historical authors – EEC). But I am a huge fan of historical and very much looking forward to reading your Dark Heart when it comes out. It looks wonderful. (Thank you! – EEC)

What inspired you to write this story?

Well, the fact I got an email the week before Christmas, not last one, the one before, from my ed, asking for that book, after I talked myself out a corner—she’d  wanted stone circles for the time travelling and I thought NOOOO–in The Viking and the Courtesan, wasn’t just  kind of plenty inspiring, it was code to me for, stop opening your blabby big mouth.  I never planned on this series, which is about different members of a time travelling dynasty.  But I thought…ok… I actually used a situation one of my daughters had been in for years as the backdrop to the modern bit. I had thought about a book from that situ but I know if I could write contemporary, so I left it. I have my heroine doing what I told my daughter to do about that situation, which she wouldn’t.

How much research do you do?

I kind of have a lot of history at my fingertips. I also read a lot off biographies and have studied history fairly extensively. Social history too which is a very different thing.  I don’t believe in hitting a reader with painstaking detail. I figure they can go read a history book for that. But I will put the flavour i.e. women were shaped differently in 1765, so I have the heroine who is from the present day having trouble with the shoes and clothes and flagging that up in her thoughts. Or I may have a character doing something in a scene in a book, say like lighting a tinder box. I obviously research that and fit in action tags with the dialogue.

Also I try to be on my turf where possible. I set the present day bits of this current book in my home city and across the water in a place I lived in for nigh on 30 years, so I knew the wee details, like how everyone calls it ‘the village ’when it’s not a village.

Or I squirrel places I have been to, away for later use, like the church in Coxwold, the monk’s cell at Mount Grace Priory. (It sounds wonderful! – EEC)

You will never have as much fun reading a time slip historical than with Shehanne Moore’s The Writer and The Rake.

Can you give us a blurb to let us know what the story is about?

1765 had bugger all to recommend it.

He saw her coming. If he’d known her effect he’d have walked away.

When it comes to doing it all, hard coated ‘wild child’ writer, Brittany Carter ticks every box. Having it all is a different thing though, what with her need to thwart an ex fiancé, and herself transported from the present to Georgian times. But then, so long as she can find her way back to her world of fame, and promised fortune, what’s there to worry about?

Georgian bad boy Mitchell Killgower is at the center of an inheritance dispute and he needs Brittany as his obedient, country mouse wife. Or rather he needs her like a hole in the head. In and out of his bed he’s never known a woman like her. A woman who can disappear and reappear like her either.

And when his coolly contained anarchist, who is anything but, learns how to return to her world and stay there, will having it all be enough,  or does she underestimate him…and herself.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

She uhm… well she gets drunk and chain smokes. I think that’s pretty special (Er well sort of ) for a gal in 1765. Also she’s a writer…I am sure I am amongst friends here when I say I think that is pretty special.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

I see Mamie McCoy. She has the right polished veneer, the looks that are sometimes stunning and sometimes quite ordinary, the right cool, but I always feel she is at her best when she gives you the glimpse underneath the facade, the woman who has found life a battle but won’t show that to anyone.  As you can see Brittany is.

But she’s also quite vulnerable underneath. And  it is something Mitchell clocks from very early on. Despite the barriers he puts up it gives him an understanding of her, even if he doesn’t want it.

What book/s are you reading at present?

Believe it or not I am reading an excellent historical mystery, The Thief Of Hearts  by an Elizabeth Ellen Carter. Don’t know if you have heard of her, or not (Who? – EEC). I’d have had it finished if I hadn’t had so much to do but it’s great to dive back into it. And I am also going to start Dark Rosaleen a book about the Great Famine in Ireland.

What writing project are you working on next?

I am working on a book I started before I was asked to write this one, called O’Roarke’s Destiny. It’ a historical rom obvi and it’s about a battle royal over a house. On the surface anyway. I am also busy on revamping an actual Historical fiction called The Ladies of Fetter Lane.  tag line, their loves, their lives, their deaths. And mulling over another Time Mutant series book about Malice, heroine of the The Viking and the Courtesan’s daughter, aptly named Remain.

Tell us something unique about you that they wouldn’t guess from just looking at your photograph?

I am really very nice. (But we already knew that! – EEC)

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?

I do have a trailer and here is the link.  (this is the embed code Elizabeth I am providing both)

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/tjmwT6orlr8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

(This is the ordinary youtube one )

 

What is your favourite positive saying?

‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.’

What is your favourite book and why?

OOH, that is so hard because as I said before certain books appeal at certain times in life, places we are at and ages we are. I remember year ago my mum saying how it wasn’t possible to have that and I have come to think she is right. I love so many for so many different reasons.

What is your favourite quote?

AHHHHH. Was that a quote?  Probably not. I quote my Nan , now long gone, a lote. She always said, ‘what’s afore ye winnae go past ye.’

What is your favourite movie and why?

Now that..that is Gone With The Wind. I don’t give a flying proverbial how there’s all this stuff about it being racist. If it is then it’s important to remember that THAT  was how people thought at that time and learn from it. We all need mirrors held up to us. The world wouldn’t be in half the mess it is if we learnt from our mistakes.  I saw it first at 14 when it was on a special anniversary tour and my mum took me. I have never tired of it, no matter how many times I have seen it.  The cinematography for its day was amazing. The condensing of the book writing wise was amazing. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh were stupendous. Her and Olivia De Havilland were so young and beautiful when they made that film and look at the performances they turned in.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Buy Links Loving Lady Lazuli.

His Judas Bride

 

The Writer and The Rake- http://amzn.to/2oaacuf

The Viking and The Courtesan – http://amzn.to/2n5q11T

 

Would you like to share an excerpt from your book?

Of course. This one is from not long after Brittany arrives in 1765 and is convinced she’s dead.

“Wife? Mitchell?”

As Christian spoke, Brittany strove to look composed, serene. She’d fallen down the rope, somehow broken that vase, nearly broken her neck, except she couldn’t break her neck. She’d already been murdered by Sebastian. These things were bad enough. Had she mentioned that Mitchell Killgower was transfixed with horror?

She is not—”

“But she is very, very nice, Aunt Christian, the mother I never had, so we are all getting along . . .getting along quite famously in fact.”

Brittany struggled to her feet, dug in her pocket, fished out her fags. What a bloody awful thing it was being dead. Even her fag was so bent, getting it between her lips was such a mammoth task, it took three attempts. Five if she counted keeping her hand steady enough to ping her lighter and suck long and hard, wreathing herself in delicious, such needed smoke. She sucked even harder, while she considered her next move. It wasn’t biting her nails, or being pushed into the carriage. She’d a new slant on the carriage. The fag was just what she needed to find her cool and face down whatever these things were. She’d already come to think, ‘ghoul one’ and ‘ghoul two.’ Mitchell made it ‘ghoul three.’

“Are you sure your new mother is nice, dear, only . . . only she looks . . . Well, I really don’t know what to say.”

“Believe me, darling, the feeling’s mutual.”

Mitchell‘s eyes were icy as polar caps. “May I say, for the benefit of those who are hard of hearing, this woman is not—”

“Your wife?” The uncle’s shining, silver cravat pin nearly pinged from his cravat. He grasped his cane so tightly his knuckles were white as his hair.  “I should sincerely hope not. You know our terms and conditions on that. If this is the best you can do, then we should redraw our will now. Unless you’re going to try telling us she’s Fleming’s wife?”

“Well, Uncle, now that you come to mention it. At sixteen, it is about time. Half the boys in the county, if not the country, are already—”

“Oh, really? Mitchell . . .” Brittany took a deep breath and pinged her fag beneath the withered hydrangea. The afterlife wasn’t what she’d thought. If this wasn’t heaven, or hell, then it was some sort of place of atonement. Look at all these ghostly shrubs and trees for a start and those stone dragons poking out of the walls.

Ghosts did wander the face of the earth. These must be the ones with unfinished business who’d managed back. She wouldn’t rest till she’d done whatever it took to do that and make Sebastian’s life hell. Mitchell would know the way. Whatever this was about, put out her hand to the weary traveller and he’d owe her big time. Besides why should she suffer all these stinging cuts to her pride? She was the perfect homemaker. Look at all these rugs and pot plants she’d bought for Sebastian’s. The ones he’d thrown at her when there were rows.

“All right, you win. So you were right. Your aunt and uncle can’t take a joke, but are you really going to let them talk to me like this? We both know I was locked in that room by . . . by a certain person and that person wasn’t you, my dearest. With hardly any clothes to speak of too? All for a joke? Hmm? Fleming, what do you have to say? Let’s hope it’s interesting?”

“No, I never. How would I do that?”

“Very, very easily, darling. Don’t lie to your great-uncle. It’s so unbecoming when he’s such a nice man.”

“You mean, Fleming, you never had any clothes on either?”

Fleming flushed scarlet. “Uncle. They took my clothes. They put me out wearing a bed sheet.”

“But, you just said to your great aunt that your new mother was very nice. Well? Which is it to be? Are you lying to me, boy?”

“She . . . she is nice, Uncle Clarence. But, I didn’t lock her in my room. How could I?”

 

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Showing 6 comments
  • Shehanne Moore
    Reply

    Hugs for this and all your kind words. have finished both these books I was reading and will get reviews this week. Don’t worry re which will be which when it comes to the 5 star and the 3 star one xxxx

  • Catherine Cavendish
    Reply

    You and I share a love of history as you know, Shey. I love that you write about the detail of social history – the fact that women were a different shape back then and as for the shoes! I always cringe when I visit a museum and see some of those desperately uncomfortable objects on display. Loved the book and looking forward to the next one!

    • Shehanne Moore
      Reply

      me to re the shoes Cat. I couldn’t get my feet in these and they are only four and a halves. Women must have had feet the size of mice. You are so kind. Next one will be jewel thieves…. Looking forward to yours too xxxxxxx

    • Shehanne Moore
      Reply

      I thought I had replied my darling Cat but I don’t see the comments. We do love history and I think the devil is in the social detail. The little bits of life at that time. I only have four and a half size feet but I could NOT have worn their shoes. You are a darling as aye. Need to get the 20 quid in the post !! Should have news on Splendor soon.

  • Noelle Clark
    Reply

    Stupendous interview, ladies! Shey, your unique style of writing, and your fantastic stories, make you stand out from the crowd. Don’t ever change. xxxx

  • Shehanne Moore
    Reply

    OMG Noelle, (The 30 dollars is on the way doll. Mr has just left for the post office.)If I changed it would save me a lot of money LOL!! Seriously you are way way WAY too kind. Unfortunately for all the eds I have run ins with, I am just me…… xxxxxx

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