Saturday December 14th at Noon – Carola Dunn signs Heirs of the Body
1. Where did you get the idea for Heirs Of The Body?
Always in search of good titles, I came across the phrase Heirs of the Body and decided it would work well for a story about inheritance in the peerage, where legitimacy and primogeniture rule. At that point, I realized that I had never given Lord Dalrymple an heir. Perfect!
The present (1927) Viscount Dalrymple is Daisy's second cousin. He inherited the title and estate unexpectedly, because Daisy's brother was killed in WWI. Not brought up to the position (previously a schoolteacher), he didn't give a moment's thought to the question of his successor until the approach of his fiftieth birthday.
When would-be heirs gather for the birthday celebration at Daisy's childhood home, mayhem is bound to ensue.
2. Do you have a favorite character in your Daisy Dalrymple series? And why.
Besides Daisy herself, two of my favourites are her stepdaughter, Belinda, and her Indian friend Sakari Prasad. They're both lively characters who are a lot of fun to write about.
While writing Heirs of the Body, I found Geraldine, Lady Dalrymple, developing into a much more complex and nicer person than she was in Damsel in Distress. It always amazes me how characters I've created take on lives of their own.
Daisy's mother, the Dowager Viscountess, remains a thorn in Daisy's flesh but is always entertaining to write.
3. Out of all the books you have written do you have a favorite or a least favorite? And why?
No, I don't pick favourites among my children ;-)
4. Is there any historical period you have always wanted to write about but haven’t yet?
Egypt in the 13th century and the Byzantine Empire in C 11th. They'd take an awful lot of research, though.
5. Has anyone in your family or circle of friends ever given you an idea for a story?
In a way. My sister lives near Cotehele, in Cornwall, and the first time she took me to see it I knew immediately that I wanted to set a book there. I used it in both a Regency, Smugglers' Summer, and Daisy's Mistletoe and Murder. In both, the setting is extremely important to the story.
6. What are you reading right now?
I've been reading Tarquin Hall's Indian mysteries, and also his Salaam, Brick Lane, the fascinating story of the year he spent in London's East End after returning from several years in India.
7. When you read, do you read one book at a time or several at once?
I never read more than one novel at a time. Sometimes I'll have a nonfiction book going along with a novel.
8. Do you cheat when you read? (cheating meaning you read the end of the book before you naturally get there).
With a new author, I sometimes look to make sure the ending isn't too depressing: If I want to be depressed, I just have to read the news. Rereading mysteries, I often can't remember whodunnit and I look so that I can enjoy following the way the plot is worked out.
9. What is your guilty pleasure reading?
The funnies. Every day without fail. They're consolation for the rest of the newspaper!
10. Any final words?
Not yet. I hope to last a few more years.
Don't forget to reserve your book today!