Q&A With Eliza Knight
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Q&A With Eliza Knight
Yesterday I was able to get in contact with USA Today Bestselling author Eliza Knight thanks to our mutual friend Madeline Martin. Eliza Knight is the author of many historical romance series and recently her new novel “The Mayfair Bookshop: A Novel of Nancy Mitford and the Pursuit of Happiness,” was released on April 12th. It’s another novel to add to my TBR list. (For those who don’t know TBR is to be read list).
Q: So Eliza at what point in your life did you realize that you were called to be an author?
A: I think as soon as I could hold a crayon! I used to make little books and color scenes in them before I could write, and then when I was seven I made my own book, with a cover and everything. My teacher told my parents that one day I would be an author.
Q: What advice do you have for those who want to write? What advice do you have for those who struggle with writers block?
A: The best pieces of advice I can give are to write, write, write. Even if you only write one sentence a day, it’s better than to have not written anything at all. My other piece of advice is to read, and read a lot. Craft books, books in your genre, books outside your genre, nonfiction, etc… As far as writer’s block goes, I have mixed feelings. It depends on what the block is. If you’ve been writing thousands of words a day and then on the 5th day your brain is coming up empty, then step away and do something to refill your well. If you haven’t written in days, then maybe the scene you’re working on doesn’t work for the story. Maybe it’s because you need to add more conflict. Maybe it’s because you started your story in the wrong place, or you need to develop your characters more. Really analyze – is it burnout, or is it because you need to dig deeper?
Q: What do you like most about writing historical romance and historical fiction? Do you prefer writing historical fiction more or historical romance?
A: What I love writing about them both are the historical aspects, and the relationships my characters have with the world around them and the other characters in the story. For romance, I love watching two people struggle to fall in love and come out on the other side better for it. For historical fiction, I love to watch my characters grow and change and overcome their challenges. I don’t have a preference of one over the other. They are so different, and each have a special place in my head.
Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If you are is it part of a series you already wrote, a new series or a standalone novel?
A: I just finished the edits for STARRING ADELE ASTAIRE, which will release on June 6, 2023. It is a standalone novel, but I did come across Adele in my research for Nancy Mitford, as they traveled in the same social circles, and Adele was related by marriage to Nancy’s sister.
Here’s a little bit about the book:
USA Today bestselling author Eliza Knight returns with a story full of glitz and glam as she delves into the life of Adele Astaire, a spirited and talented woman who served up smiles and love both on and off the stage—with and without her also famous brother Fred Astaire— along with a determined young dancer with rags-to-riches dreams.
A spirited rising stage star…
Adele Astaire was a glittering, glamorous star, dancing with her brother, Fred, endearing herself to audiences from New York to London. But although she is toasted by royalty and beloved by countless fans, Adele Astaire has dreams of a loving husband and a houseful of children. And when she meets Lord Charles Cavendish, her wishes may just come true—but at what cost?
A determined young dancer …
Ever since Violet Wood could walk she’s wanted to dance on the London stage. Befriended by Adele, filled with ambition, she is more than willing to make the sacrifices it will take to becomes a star herself, and her rags-to-riches hopes are within reach. But the road to fame is never easy.
Two women with unquenchable spirit …
From the fast-paced world of roaring 20s New York to the horrors and sacrifice of wartime London, Adele’s and Violet’s lives intertwine, and each must ask themselves is fame worth the price you must pay?
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels?
A: Not yet! But there have been inquiries. Fingers crossed!
Q: If you were to collaborate with another author who would it be and why?
A: I have actually collaborated several times! In my 2019 book Ribbons of Scarlet: A novel of the French Revolution, I worked with Kate Quinn, Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie, Heather Webb and Sophie Perinot. And currently, I am collaborating with my wonderful author friend, Denny S. Bryce on our book, They Were Friends: A novel of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe, which will release in 2024. I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with some of the best authors out there!
Q: I saw online somewhere that you were in Versailles as a little girl and running through the fields of Southern France. What was it like being inside of Versailles? Speaking of Versailles did you hear that PBS will air an English show of Marie Antionette in the spring? There was also news about letters between Marie Antionette and Count Ferson and apparently they were able to confirm that their letters revealed their love affair. What do you think about that?
A: I love this question ☺ Versailles is such an incredible palace, and so are the grounds. Inside it is full of astonishing artwork and painted ceilings that are incredible feats of art themselves. The Hall of Mirrors is a sight to behold in all its gilt and crystal. The opulence of it is stunning. I think I actually prefer the gardens, the massive pond and the fountains. But that’s only because I love to be outside.
I’m interested in the Marie Antoinette show! Fun fact, she never said “Let them eat cake!” It was a rumor used in propaganda against the royal family during the French Revolution.
I had heard about the letters between her and Count Fersen, and read some of them when they were able to pull some of the redacted words through X-rays. They were definitely affectionate, and she wasn’t with her own husband, which wasn’t uncommon. I think they were at a minimum sending love letters, but whether or not it became physical is hard to say. The queen had people with her 24-7. It would have been hard to have an affair, and while the king was having plenty and no one batted an eye, but it’s different for a queen, especially since her responsibility was to carry on the royal blood line. Throughout the revolution, she was labeled a whore, and propagandist cartoons were drawn of her sleeping with basically everyone. I think part of the reason the letters were censured was not only to save their reputations but also an attempt to save the count’s life if they were found. Also, as an interesting aside, he was the one who arranged for the royal family’s escape, which ended up a failure and they were arrested.