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Tuesday, 07 August 2012 08:19

Author Interview: Juliana Gray

Written by Jennifer Porter
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ALadyNeverLiesRNN interviews author Juliana Gray whose debut historical romance, "A Lady Never Lies," is out today. Jennifer highly recommends this book. It is a fantastic read with a beta hero and an unforgettable heroine. To help spread the word, RNN is giving away two copies of "A Lady Never Lies."


Q: A Lady Never Lies is the first book in a trilogy set in the 1890s.  Much of the plot revolves around the hero's quest to build (and race) a horseless carriage. What type of research did you do to support this part of the story?


A: I've always been interested in antique automobiles. When I was growing up, I adored K.M. Peyton's Flambards series, which takes place in the years around the First World War and contrasts the technological development of the twentieth century with the traditional English country habits and traditions; I also watched The Great Racea wonderful screwball comedy about a New York-to-Paris car race in 1910—over and over again with my sister. As a result of these obsessions, I had picked up a lot of information on the subject throughout my life, and when I decided to set this trilogy at the dawn of the automobile era, I couldn't resist drawing my characters into this fascinating world. I had a few books on the subject already, which I re-read, and when I needed specific information I turned to the internet. I tried not to delve much into technical details, however; I wanted to keep the focus very much on the plot and the love story between Finn and Alexandra.



Q: Finn, from A Lady Never Lies, is a unique character. He is rich and handsome, but is an untitled hero who was born out of wedlock. He is also a bit nerdy. Can you tell us a bit about what you see in him that makes him a worthy romance hero?


A: You know, while I totally understand the bad-boy allure, I do have a hard time with the idea that unpleasant men who treat women as objects can be rehabilitated into faithful husbands.  And romance is so full of bad boys that while many of them are attractive and complex and well-drawn, it's too easy to fall into cliches and end up with someone interchangeable. So from the start, I wanted Finn to be a good guy who treats women -- when he has them -- very well. He's absolutely brilliant, because I love the sight of a genius falling in love: here's someone whose brain can solve the mysteries of the universe, and he's head over heels with one particular woman who drives him crazy. But Finn is a practical genius, too. He's the kind of guy who can fix your clock and change your tire, and he's made a colossal amount of money with his inventions. He's your classic quiet leader, the type who keeps his men calm before the battle and never swerves from his duty. He's loyal and faithful, he's tall and handsome, he's single-minded and ambitious, and oh, by the way, he's amazing in bed! (It's his inventive streak, you know.)



Q: Lady Alexandra is almost Finn's exact opposite. She is a society maven, is outspoken and is a force of nature. How did you come up with her character? And what makes her a great complement to Finn?


A: Honestly, I did not come up with Alexandra's character! She just showed up on the page, taking charge, full of wit and charm and a bit of bluster, too, because she's intensely vulnerable beneath it all. She's always thought she wanted one thing in life, which is money and security and social approval, and when she falls in love with Finn she's taken aback, and really rather scared, because he represents the opposite of what her life has been about. While he has loads of money, he doesn't have a title, and he keeps himself busy not with the gentlemanly arts but with his machines. He has a true nature, he's living his passion, and that attracts Alexandra irresistibly because it's what she's really been yearning for all her life: the substance behind all the glitter. Meanwhile, Finn is dazzled by Alexandra, but he also sees that beyond her dazzle she's an incredibly intelligent and resourceful woman, the rare woman who can actually challenge him and be a genuine partner to him. He's the sort of man who craves a companionate marriage as well as a passionate one, and until now he hasn't found a woman he can let into his workshop, literally as well as figuratively. At the end of the book, once they sort everything out, you know they're going to have the most amazing adventures together.



Q: What does the romance genre mean to you? Why did you decide to write romance?


A: To me, this genre is a place where romantic love and heroic behavior are celebrated rather than sneered at under cynical eyebrows. It's all about bringing out the best in people, in renewal and rebirth into that better person lurking within us, because that's what true love demands: that we are unselfish, that we strive for virtue and heroism because the loved one deserves it from us, and because, in the end, that's where happiness lies. Yes, there's a fantasy element there, because who among us can really live up to that ideal, but that's the point of human storytelling—giving us something to strive for. I write romance because I love an immersive, satisfying read, and that's the experience I want to create for readers.


Q: The three books in your series all take place at roughly the same time—at the same time as events unfold in A Lady Never Lies. This gives readers a hint of what comes next. Can you give readers a glimpse of books 2 and 3?


A: I had enormous fun putting together the second and third books, in which we find out that  certain events and characters in A Lady Never Lies aren't quite as they seem! In the next book, A Gentleman Never Tells, Lord Roland Penhallow and Lilibet Somerton are drawn back into love after giving each other up six years before, but Lilibet has a dreadful husband tracking her down, and Lord Roland has a few dashing secrets of his own. The last book, A Duke Never Yields, brings together the cynical Duke of Wallingford and Alexandra's unconventional and hilarious younger sister, Abigail (and if you think Alexandra is a force of nature, wait until you get to know Abigail!).


A big thank you to Juliana Gray for stopping by today. To learn more visit Juliana's web site at http://www.julianagray.com/.


RNN will choose two commenters to win a copy of Juliana Gray's "A Lady Never Lies." To enter leave a comment on this post letting us know what intrigues you about this book. The giveaway will be open unti Friday, August 10, 2012 at midnight EST. The winners will be chosen at random. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents.

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 20:45
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