LUCY BURDETTE: No, we're not talking about George Alexander Louis. Our Red Rhys's 31st mystery novel and 7th Royal Spyness book is out today and we couldn't be more thrilled.
When I asked her how she'd like to celebrate HEIRS AND GRACES, she said:
"Champagne. Caviar. A few banners across Times Square in NY--maybe a parade. Nothing overboard..."
So here's the champagne...
and the caviar...
and the parade...
and if one of you readers makes it to Times Square today, check to see if the banner is up please?
While we're sipping on champagne, we have a few questions for you Rhys!
Heirs and Graces starts out like this:
"One thing I should have learned about my mother was that I could not count on her. After all, she bolted from the family home, abandoning my father and me when I was two. and by the time she resurfaced again in my life she had worked her way through a global list of men. These included an Argentinian polo player, a French race-car driver and an English mountaineer."
You plunge the reader instantly into the life and mind of Lady Georgie. Tell us a bit about how you get into her skin, especially after spending the last six months with another character?
RHYS BOWEN: I've come to know her through six books now and I think the first person voice really helps me. She and Molly are so different that I start writing in that voice and instantly I'm in the right head and the right world. Both of those women came to me clearly from square one. The moment they opened their mouths to talk I knew who they were.
LUCY BURDETTE: Heirs and Graces is delightfully funny, without making fun of the characters or light of the murder. As you write, are you consciously thinking about how to be funny?
RHYS BOWEN: I'm really not. I don't sit at my computer and think 'what can this person say that might be funny?" Obviously the secondary characters I choose are designed to satirize the British class system so they say things that do poke fun at the aristocracy and the British way of life. Queenie, Fig, granddad are all a little over the top and thus fun to write. But it's the clash of characters that produces the best humor--the wild Australian and the proper duchess in this book, for example. Georgie and Queenie. Georgie and Fig.
LUCY BURDETTE: The grand estate Kingsdowne Place feels so real--real enough that our own Deb Crombie said "The perfect fix between seasons for Downton Abbey addicts." Is your setting based on something that actually exists?
RHYS BOWEN: Kingsdowne Place doesn't exist but its physical setting is somewhere I know well. I grew up about two miles from Eynsford in Kent and used to play in those woods and that valley all the time. The house itself is a mixture of various stately homes I have visited. But this book is the closest I have come to revisiting my childhood. I lived in a big old house nearby, not nearly as grand as Kingsdowne. I looked out on apple orchards as far as the eye could see. Today they have been replaced by houses. So sad.
Hooray for HEIRS AND GRACES! Reds, you can buy the book wherever books are found. And it's also available as an audio book from Audible with a delightful reader who brings it to life.
And Rhys will of course check in all day to answer your questions and have another glass of champagne!
And we are giving away 2 arcs to lucky, loyal commenters--Rhys's HEIRS AND GRACES and Julia's upcoming THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS!