Shana Galen Interview, Author of The Making of a Gentleman
SG: I read mainly romance, and I particularly like historical and straight contemporary romance. I enjoy books with humor and adventure, stories that take me away to places I’d never normally experience, whether it’s a Regency ballroom or small town America. I also read quite a bit of young adult literature. I used to teach middle school and was always looking for new authors in hopes of finding books to recommend to the kids—at least that was my story!
MBA: How did you get started reading/writing and who or what was your greatest influence?
SG: My greatest writing influence was Julie Garwood. I started reading her historicals when I graduated from college, and when I’d read them all, I decided rather than stalk her and force her to write more quickly, I would write my own. That was in January 2000. I worked on that book, which later became When Dashing Met Danger, for several years. I think I made every mistake a new writer can make with a book, but after going to lots of writing workshops and reading tons of craft books, I molded the story into something publishable.
MBA: What kind of planning and research goes into your writing of a historical novel?
SG: I don’t plan very much. I tend to have a vague idea of a few key plot points and just make up the rest as I go along. Depending on the subject matter of the book, I may or may not do research in advance. For my Misadventures in Matrimony series I did very little research ahead of time. It’s set during the English Regency, a period I’m quite familiar with because of all the research I did when I began writing. With that series, I looked up facts and information as I needed to know it.
For my new series, including The Making of a Gentleman, I did quite a bit of research on the French Revolution before I even began. I didn’t know much about the period and wanted a general overview. Even though the majority of The Making of a Gentleman takes place in England after the Revolution, the research I did beforehand helped me to add depth and detail to the story.
MBA: What are some of your upcoming projects?
SG: The third book in the Sons of the Revolution series, The Making of a Rogue will be out in April 2011. It’s the story of the third brother, Bastien. He’s a pirate known as Captain Cutlass, but his plans to settle an old score are disrupted when the daughter of an admiral in the British Navy tries to kill him as revenge for the death of her fiancé in a sea battle. It’s a swashbuckling story that takes the reader from a seedy tavern in France to battles on the high seas to a pasha’s palace in Gibraltar and thence to the ballrooms of London. It was a really fun book to write!
And I’m finishing up a book that will be out in Fall 2011. It’s tentatively titled Lord and Lady Smythe and is about married in name-only nobles who also happen to be England’s preeminent—but currently unemployed—spies. When both are contacted about the same mission, their secret identities are accidentally revealed to each other and more than just the competition heats up.
MBA: Do you feel a deep connection to your characters and why?
SG: I do. I don’t see how it can be otherwise when I spend so many days, weeks, and months writing about them. And even when I’m not writing about them, I’m thinking about them, trying to imagine how they’ll react in the next scene and going back over previous chapters to make sure all the emotions and reactions were in character.
Armand, from The Making of a Gentleman, was one of the most difficult characters I’ve ever written. He is imprisoned as a child for twelve long years, and at the start of the novel, doesn’t speak or interact with people. I tried to imagine what it would be like for him to grow up in a cold, windowless cell, isolated from everyone he knew and loved. I wanted a happy ending for Armand more than I’ve ever wanted it for any of my heroes.
MBA: If you were President or someone powerful what would you wish most to happen or change in the world?
SG: I think children and animals as the most vulnerable members of our society. They can’t speak for themselves and are wholly in our power. If I were President or someone powerful, I would strengthen child abuse laws, implement programs to help parents, and make child care more affordable. I would also pass laws that imposed severe punishments for abuse or neglect of animals, and I would develop programs to end pet overpopulation. I feel very much like a politician now!
“Galen’s signature sense of humor, expertly blended with deep emotions, will hold readers captive right to the end.”
—RT Book Reviews
“Lively dialogue, breakneck pace and a great sense of fun.”
Twelve years in prison has stripped him of his humanity…
Armand, Comte de Valère has lost the ability to interact with polite society, until his family hires him a beautiful tutor, and he starts to come alive again…
Saving him is her only chance to escape a terrible fate…
Felicity Bennett vows she’ll do whatever it takes to help Armand fight back the demons that have held him captive for so long…
With Felicity’s help, Armand begins to heal, until a buried secret threatens to destroy their growing passion…
Shana Galen is the author of six Regency historicals, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. Shana is a happily married wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas where she is working on the final book in the Brothers of the Revolution series, The Making of a Rogue, which will be in stores in 2011. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com.
The wonderful Danielle from Sourcebooks is offering 2 copies of THE MAKING OF A GENTELMAN. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. No PO Boxes please. If you’d like to win a copy of this great book please comment here and visit Shana’s website at http://www.shanagalen.com/ and Sourcebooks at http://www.sourcebooks.com/ and tell me one thing you found on both sites you didn’t know before. *hint at Sourcebooks they have some great books they are offering for free or less than $3 in ebook format!* And we’d love it if you’d visit the review post for THE MAKING OF A GENTLEMAN at https://mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/the-making-of-a-gentleman-by-shana-galen-a-review/ and tell us what you think of the review. Good luck to all. The giveaway will run until Oct 11th 2010. If you’ve won the book in another contest please notify me and don’t ask for double books. Please allow 6-8weeks for book delievery after your information has been sent to the publisher. The book will be coming from the publisher.
Thank you Shana for being our guest today!