Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An Interview With Michaela MacColl

I hope you are enjoying learning more about Prisoners in the Palace! Today on the blog is an interview with the author, Michaela MacColl. If you haven't already, don't forget to click on the giveaway link at the end of this post.

You have a background in history. Was being an author something you always dreamed of?

I fell into history accidentally through literature. I was reading a fabulous edition of Russian fairy tales when I needed to declare a major. I ended up designing an independent program that looked at the end of the Russian Empire and the beginning of the Soviet one from many different disciplines. To the extent that I thought about the future, I saw myself as a professor. However, two years of graduate school killed that dream! I found that to get a PhD, you had to take all the fun out of the history. Happily, I found a way to put it back in!

One of the surprises I found in your author's note was the existence of Inside Boy Jones (although portrayed differently in your book). What fascinates you the most about Inside Boy?

The 1830’s in pre-industrial England were a grim time for the poor. The very limited social safety net, poor houses, had been dismantled by a thrifty government. Instead, they put the burden on the local parishes. If you were born in Surrey, it was Surrey’s job to take care of you if you were indigent. (Sound familiar?) Of course the parishes weren’t equipped to do this and a lot of people ended up desperate.

Inside Boy is a quintessential London Cockney, who lives by his wits, both in real life and in Prisoners in the Palace. He’s found an ingenious way to let the monarchy pick up his bed and board. I found the idea of a clever character who was intimately familiar with both the streets of London and the drawing rooms of the Royal family fascinating. He has a unique perspective and specialized skills that my heroine, Liza, is quick to make use of.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

It’s a tough question, because I like my creature comforts! However, if I had to choose, I would probably pick Elizabethan England. To see Shakespeare performed as it originally was or to see the Spanish Armada sink – that would be a blast! And if I could fast forward, I think I would love to visit Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Crystal Palace.

My BFF and I plan to one day tour the castles in Europe. Have you ever been so lucky to visit?

I lived in France for almost four years with my husband, first in the south of France and then in Paris. We had just gotten married and we didn’t have kids yet. We traveled every weekend – Portugal, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany – we went everywhere and toured as many castles as I could bully my husband into visiting. My favorite isn’t a castle, it’s the Abbey at Mont St. Michel in Normandy – put it on your list! Twice a day, the sea sweeps in and cuts it off from the mainland. Very romantic and spooky!

For Prisoners in the Palace I went to London to visit Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle. It was so important to the final book’s credibility. Of course, I had to rewrite huge chunks that I had already written to reflect what I saw.

Are you working on anything new?

I’m putting the finishing touches to my next novel, tentatively titled “Beryl Above Africa” (I’ m almost certain that this will not be the title!). It’s about Beryl Markham, who was one of the premier female aviators of the 1830’s. She grew up in Colonial Africa when it was just being settled. Beryl was raised by the African tribe who worked for her father and she learned to hunt lion and was mauled once. She grew up to be the first to fly the Atlantic from East to West. Although she crashed, she survived to write a wonderful memoir called West Into the Night.

Thanks so much for stopping by Michaela! Don't forget you have a chance to win a copy of Prisoners in the Palace or one of 5 bookmarks:) Click here to enter!

Cross-posted at: He Followed Me Home...Can I Keep Him? on 27 October 2010.


Burun Estetigi said...

Good efforts. All the best for future posts. I have bookmarked you. Well done. I read and like this post. Thanks.burun estetigi

Yüz Germe said...

Thanks for writing in such an encouraging post. I had a glimpse of it and couldn’t stop reading till I finished. I have already bookmarked you.
Yüz Germe

burun estetigi said...

I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have bookmarked you to check out new stuff you post
Burun Estetiği

estetik said...

Thanks for sharing such useful information. The information provided is very very niche and this information is not available so easily.

Storage Beds said...

I have impressed your site,thanks for sharing.. Living Storage specialise in home storage furniture. Our designs offer you the perfect solutions to creating that extra bit of storage space and provide invaluable concealed storage areas to keep your rooms neat, tidy and organised.
Storage Beds

estetik said...

Wow, nice post,there are many person searching about that now they will find enough resources by your post.

Burun Estetiği said...

It's a creativity site.thanks for sharing.. Video-endoskopik yöntemle, tamponsuz Burun Estetiği bilgileri, estetik burun ameliyati,Burun Estetiği ,rinoplasti operasyonu Op. Dr. Yakup Avsar tarafindan anlatilmaktadir.
Burun Estetiği

Christy Burleson@Online PhD Degrees said...

I like the quote of the moment, it is a great example of young adult work. I like the use of humour on this piece. I love history so the interview was fascinating to me. I particularly enjoyed the description of pre-industrial England and how that worked into Prisoners in the Palace.

estetik drew said...

Thanks for sharing such useful information. The information provided is very very niche and this information is not available so easily. Therefore I thank the writer for the useful input.


شركة اوائل المثالي said...

شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالجبيل

Post a Comment