Three Quick Questions (3QQ) is an ongoing feature at Fall Into the Story that highlights some of the authors scheduled to join Nora at a Turn the Page signing. This week, we’ll meet three authors who will be at the Turn the Page’s 18th Anniversary signing on July 13 from noon – 2 pm.
Mary Blayney recently completed her Pennistan series for Bantam with One More Kiss, the fifth story about the Duke Meryon’s unconventional siblings. After writing two books for Silhouette in the late 1980s, Mary has focused on one of her favorite times in history — England’s Regency. She’s even brought the Regency to the novellas she writes for the annual anthologies with JD Robb. Her six novellas have the continuing element of Poppy’s Coin, a magic coin that changes the lives of everyone who wishes on it, whether they know they are wishing on a magic coin or not.
When she’s not writing, Mary is an experienced and inveterate traveler. Next week she’ll travel to Atlanta with Nora for the 2013 Romance Writers of America conference where they will join over 450 writers at the annual Readers for Life Literacy signing. But one of Mary’s favorite places to visit is Inn Boonsboro where she’s been frequent and welcome guest since 2009.
Onto the questions:
1. One More Kiss is the last book in a long line of stories about the Pennistan family. Each book needs it’s own particular type of research, but overall what was it like to return to the world and characters you created.? And was there something new you learned as you wrote about Jess and Beatrice?
After five books going back to Derbyshire to see the Pennistans is like checking in with old friends. I love the chance to think about and explore how their marriages have changed them and how the three brothers and one sister appear to the newcomer, Beatrice. But there was a long road to that final epilogue. Along the way it was tremendous fun to do my version of a Regency house party where more than one relationship is explored and where that perennial secondary character William Bendasbrook finally found his own happily ever after.
Something new I learned? No doubt about it. The secret behind the brilliance of Rembrandt’s drawings fascinated me and the way Jess used it to explain his love for Beatrice was like icing on the cake, an idea that came out as though I was channeling his thoughts.
2. This fall you are reteaming with JD Robb, Ruth Ryan Langan, Mary Kay McComas and newcomer Elaine Fox for the Mirror, Mirror anthology coming in late September. The stories all take their cues from fairy tales — what can you tell us about yours?
“If Wishes Were Horses” in the MIRROR MIRROR anthology is a riff on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Yes, set in the Regency and yes the magic coin is an essential part of the story as it has been in all my novellas. Goldi is the maid Martha Stepp and the “Three Bears” is Sgt Jack Tresbere, a soon to retire infantry aid looking for someone with whom to share life’s next adventure. Jack and Martha get off to a rocky start when he realizes that she is the woman sleeping in his major’s bed the night he and the major arrive at Craig’s Castle
3. You’ve been a frequent guest at Inn Boonsboro since it opened in January 2009. Do you have a favorite room? And what is the ONE thing you recommend a first-time guest do while they are at the Inn?
It’s hard to pick a favorite room. All the beds are fabulous so it’s impossible to pick using that as criteria. I love Eve and Roarke. I do believe it has the best bathroom configuration. And I love the lighting, the covered grey button and the Galahad pillow. Of all of them it’s the one where I feel like Eve and Roarke are in the room next door. But then Elizabeth and Darcy has access to the fabulous front balcony where you can watch Boonsboro pass by and the most comfortable of reading chairs. No, I have never seen the ghost, not any of them. I think they understand that while I totally accept their existence I have no need to actually meet any of them.
My biggest recommendation is to treat the Inn like home. To ask for anything you need or want and not to miss the chance to talk with other guest at the wine and cheese service You’ll be amazed at how much you have in common. Yes I’m aware that’s TWO things and not ONE.
If you would like a signed copy of Mary’s books, just click on one of the links to Turn the Page, place an order and the fabulous TTP staff will make sure Mary signs them before she finishes up on Saturday.
And if you have any questions for Mary, post them here and I’ll be sure to ask her, then post the answers in the recap of the signing weekend (scheduled for the evening of July 14).