March 18, 2013

Author Interview: Mary Hart Perry

Please welcome to Feed My Need, the fabulous romance author, Mary Hart Perry!

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing when I was a young mother and my then-husband was in the Air Force, stationed in Italy. We were living in a remote part of the country, in the south, where there was very little to do but read and eat. (Great food! But you can't eat all the time. That's disastrous!) The base library was woefully limited in choices of books, so I started writing my own stories and got hooked. 

What was the hardest part of writing your book? What is the easiest?

Oh, the hardest is definitely the first draft. That's brutal. I'm never happy with it, and it's such hard work getting the basic structure down. But once I have that--I love the rest of the process. Revision is FUN!

What music do you listen to while you write?

I know this will sound nerdy to the extreme but...I love listening to violin concertos while writing. The great thing about them is that there are no lyrics, no words sung, to distract me from the words I'm putting on the page. And they are inspiring music that feels right for the era in which I'm writing--Victorian England.

What inspires you?

I'm inspired by the strength of human beings to strive for justice and to survive against all odds. And by the love they show each other. So much in the news today is troubling and difficult to understand. But it's the stories of bravery and self-sacrifice that most move me.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Ha! Well, I'm not sure you would call them talents. But I love to bake and I often treat my students at The Writer's Center in Washington, DC to cake, cookies or pastries as we work on our writing craft together.
What are your current projects?

I'm so excited that my most recent novel featuring daughters of Queen Victoria is coming out. Seducing the Princess is the second novel in the series. The first, The Wild Princess, has been very popular with readers of romance, historical fiction, and mysteries--because it (both books actually) contain all these elements. And I've had a lot of young-adult readers tell me how much they enjoyed the first book. 

Currently I'm researching and writing the third novel for the series. It will be even more intense than the first two. I can't say much about it yet, but one of the princesses will come face-to-face with Jack the Ripper, a serial killer who terrorized all of London.

What book are you reading now?

I'm reading Vampires in the Lemon Grove, a collection of wonderful short stories with sophisticated and very appealing fantasy. It's by Karen Russell, and she's a marvelous writer.

Quick: Vampires or Shapeshifter? Why?

Oh, definitely Shapeshifters. Although I don't write either vampire or shapeshifter stories, I love the idea of a character who can alter their appearance at will. What a great tool to be able to use in a story, morphing your characters into a variety of beings!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes, don't give up. Today is the time to be writing, perfecting and publishing your work. There are so many opportunities for getting your writing read and growing your fan base. When I started out, if you didn't get published by one of the big-name publishers, you simply didn't exist as a writer, as far as book stores and libraries and the reading public were concerned. Today new writers are springing up daily, many of them publishing their own work and launching very exciting careers. So write a lot, write well, and don't hide your stories away in a closet. Let the light (and readers) shine on them.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you...thank you...thank you for loving my work. I'm thrilled that so many of you enjoy my romantic thrillers. I have the best fans ever!

Seducing the Princess

Mary Hart Perry’s acclaimed series of romantic Victorian thrillers continues with Seducing the Princess, inspired by the life of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter Beatrice. Painfully shy and lonely, convinced she is unattractive and unloved, the dutiful Princess Beatrice finally accepts that she will never marry and vows to devote herself to the queen in Victoria's waning years. In fact, her mother has secretly discouraged suitors for Beatrice’s hand. Just when she has all but given up on love and happiness, she meets Henry Battenberg, a dashing nobleman from the Continent who matches wits with the aging Victoria and risks his life and liberty to woo Bea.

But Henry isn't the only man interested in being welcomed into Beatrice's bed. The timid princess has become the target of a cruel plot hatched by her nephew, the madman destined to become the last Emperor of Germany. Wilhelm II sends a ruthless agent, a charming Scot, to seduce the naive princess and spy on the queen. How can the sheltered princess hope to fend off a man capable of murder, and perhaps worse, to get what he wants? But Beatrice is not without her own allies--her older sister Louise and Louise's American soldier-of-fortune and lover, Stephen Byrne. Will Beatrice discover which of the two men pursuing her she can trust, before it's too late? Drama, romance and peril chase the royal family from Buckingham Palace to a storm besieged castle on the Isle of Wight.