Posted by Ing on 10 January, 2012 // ★★ 35 Comments ★★

Good morning ATPT peeps.  I have a special guest this morning for you all.  I would like to introduce you to debut author Cecilia Grant.  Cecilia’s debut novel A Lady Awakened has been getting some fantastic buzz in the romanceland.  I definitely recommend this book for any historical romance lovers.  It’s must for 2012.

Now enjoy this little Q&A session that Cecilia had with herself! 🙂
 Questions Nobody Asked Me: I Run My Own Interview

I’ve been blog-touring since December 1 to promote my debut historical romance, A Lady Awakened, which was released December 27. I’ve talked about themes of the book, my journey to becoming a published author, junk food I can’t resist, and mortifying music on my iPod – plus I’ve struggled to find fresh answers to the prompt “Tell us about your book.” It has been an adventure.

As the Pages Turn is one of my last blog-tour stops, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer a potpourri of questions that no interviewer asked me, but that I might ask if I were interviewing an author. Acknowledging the potential for self-indulgence, here we go.

Can you give a line or two from the book that absolutely typifies your heroine, and another that typifies your hero?

Typical Martha POV, Chapter 12:
    Little Carrie had much to say of the kitten, who was apparently equipped with a full repertoire of such antics as were common to kittens and delightful to those who cared for that kind of thing.

Typical Theo POV, Chapter 2:
    She […] looked at him, and looked away, just as she would if she’d been foolish enough to gaze straight at the sun, or at one of those gods a mortal could not bear to behold. Apollo, or someone. Mercury. Whichever was the broadest-shouldered, and most generously equipped.

What about sample lines for the hero and heroine of your next book? Here are typical Will and Lydia of A Gentleman Undone. Dialogue this time:

Typical Will, Chapter 12:
    “I’ve already admitted I desire you. I just…” Confound it, would she even understand? “I want to be better than this. I don’t want to be the kind of man who ruts with someone else’s woman in the hallway of a gaming hell.”

Typical Lydia, Chapter 16:
    “Compromise is but an over-nice way of saying neither person gets what they want. Do that again. This time use your tongue.”

Do Martha and Theo appear in A Gentleman Undone?

Yes, Martha and Theo both appear in several scenes of my next book (hero Will is Martha’s brother). A Gentleman Undone is set in the spring of 1816, so you’ll get a peek at how they’re doing a year and a half after the events of A Lady Awakened.

Which of the characters in A Lady Awakened would you say is most like you?

I‘m afraid it might be Theo’s father, Sir Frederick – he’s sort of a manifestation of my secret fears about my own parenting style. I suspect I’m entirely capable of correcting a kid’s grammar while s/he’s trying to tell me something important and heartfelt.
What’s a food you just won’t eat?

Any kind of arthropod. Lobsters, crabs, shrimp, crawfish – they just look like great big bugs on a plate. Even if you un-shell them and mush up the meat and hide it in ravioli or something, I still have that mental image of the legs and antennae and carapace. Ick.

Question for commenters: What questions would you like to see asked in author interviews? And what’s a food you won’t eat? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a copy of A Lady Awakened.

Blurb: Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate—and housemaids—from a predatory brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes… for a fee. Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all… love?

To read an excerpt click HERE

Purchase Links:

About Author:

Cecilia Grant always knew she’d do something with that English degree. After waiting tables, composing software Help files, and answering the carpool-lane-violators hotline, she’s delighted to be writing stories. Cecilia makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her fellow-writer husband, two bookish children, and un-literary cat and dog.

Giveaway Details:

  • Open to US & International residents where Book Depository ships
  • Two copies up for grabs

  • MUST leave an e-mail address in the comment

  • Giveaway ends Jan. 18th

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  1. First, thanks for this giveaway!
    Second, hmmm.. who or what inspired you to write or finish writing this book?:)or what served as your inspiration?:)
    Third, ugh. I hated eating liver and brain things after our lab experiment in 2nd year HS..>.< damn experiment!=))

  2. I’ve always wondered what the author imagines they might be doing in an alternate reality, sort of a if-I-weren’t-a-writer-I’d-be but with a universe more of options; leading a dinosaur hunting party on Sedna for example …
    I can’t imagine ever being able to eat a balut.

    emi3mle at yahoo dot com dot au

  3. Dee

    This sounds like such a great story and I have it in my cart for the next batch of purchases.

    Question for an author would be: how long do you write each day? Do you revise as you go or just put it out there and revise later? And, did you have it all envisioned when you sat down even if it wasn’t outlined, or did you just see where the story took you? What’s your favorite part of writing historicals?

    As for foods: no fried liver for me (gagging at the thought of some childhood dinners), cooked onions, any peppers or heavy meats. I’m indifferent to fruit. But, in contrast to several other posters, I love oysters. Was dubious about trying them but a fancy dinner at a noted oyster bar converted me. Mmmmm. Want some now.

    Inddee @ gmail dot com

  4. Congratulations to Cecilia on all her success with her new book. I enjoy reading about any extra information an author gives me about a story like an idea of what the setting might look like. One food I have never eaten is liver. It looks hideous when I see it in the store.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  5. Di

    I always like to know where the author got the basic premise for the book. Did they read something, like a historical fact, or news story, or visit someplace?
    I won’t eat peanut butter!
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  6. I loved the excerpt, and absolutely love the cover of this book. The green is great. Very sexy, but not overly sexy.
    Foods I will not eat are seafood of any kind. Just gross to me.
    I do have a couple of questions. What is your favorite genre to write? Also if you you were stranded on an island and could only take 5 items, what would you take? And lastly is you could choose 5 people(dead or alive) to have dinner with who would you choose? Those are some of my favorite questions to ask authors.
    Thanks for the chance to win. This book looks great and would love to win and read.

  7. Lynne

    Would love to win a copy of your debut book. Questions i would love are : do you base any of the characters on people you know, what is your favorite author to read and what made you want to write romance novels. Food I won’t eat: sauerkraut

  8. A Big Congrats on your Debut book. I wish you much success. I enjoyed the interview and would love to ask where the idea came from that started the words rolling in A Lady Awakened ?
    I’m putting it on the top of my TRL. Love the whole idea behind it. Thanks for this opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  9. Congratulations on your first book!
    I am definitely a historical romance lover and I love the cover.

    How do you come up with character names and place?

    I don’t eat sushi and anything was raw.

    Thanks for giveaway and makin international.

  10. I’d like to know about the decision to write stand alones or series.

    I will NEVER eat oysters.

    Loved the self-propelled Q&A.


  11. Congrats on your new release! It sounds fantastic and I absolutely love the cover… gorgeous colors…
    I don’t eat sushi either…
    Thanks for the contest!

  12. Congrats on being published Cecilia!!! The questions I’d like to see asked in author interviews are what is the writing proces like for you, do you plot the storyline, character etc or is it more of an ad lib you know where you’re starting and where you want it to end and the middle part just works itself out as you write? I hope that made sense. What motivates you to keep on writing because we all know writing is not the easiest job in the world? Are your characters based on people you know or are they figments of your imagination?

  13. Congrats on the new book…FAB cover! I would like to ask if your deadlines ever limit your creativity? Do you sometimes read your books later and think…I should/could have spent more time on…yadda, yadda and made this better…it feels rushed? And the food I won’t eat…chicken gizzards…YUCK!

  14. ML

    I always like to learn about the writing process eat writer has, how do they come up with ideas, what is their typical writing day like, do they research-sort of the behind the curtain day in a writer’s life. Fascinates me!

    I will not eat frog’s legs, tripe, red meat, pork. I tend to stay away from most meats. I can’t ever see myself eating caviar or snails or octopus either.

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  15. Best wishes on your book! I know authors tend to get inspiration from all kinds of things, so I was wondering what’s the strangest inspiration for a story that you’ve had? As for food, liver and raw oysters are just inedible ( and that includes foie gras).

  16. Congratulations on the awesome success of your debut, Cecilia!

    I would love to know if you were born a creative writer, or if you were inspired and discovered a talent for your craft?

    As for a food I won’t eat – cherries. I don’t know what it is about them, but they make me gag, lol. That’s just about the only thing that I won’t eat…so weird!

    Thank you for the giveaway chance, and I hope 2012 brings you every happiness and golden opportunity!

    Gena Robertson

  17. Congrats on your new book… I wish you lots of sales..

    Where do you go or what do you do when inspiration stumps you..

    One of the foods I do not eat is asparagus. I don’t like it’s taste. no matter how you dress it up. Ane yellow beans too..

  18. What a great bunch of questions, and what an interesting selection of won’t-eat foods! “Fungus and mold have no place at my table” – words to live by.

    Skimming through, I see a few questions I can answer (some I don’t know the answer to):

    Are any characters based on people I know? Not in this book. I’ve done that before, though, and interestingly, those characters tend to be kind of flat because I keep trying to match them to the real-life person instead of letting them develop in their own direction.

    Do I hear characters’ voices in my head? Some yes, some no. A supporting character, the laborer-wife Mrs. Weaver, was probably the one I heard most vividly in this book.

    Is there anyone I’d be embarrassed to have read my books? Oh, lord, yes. My mom. My dad. My underage daughters. Anyone I have to face across the table at Thanksgiving. Co-workers. My dentist. I’ve always been private about my writing (which makes it weird I pursued publication, I know), and writing romance sort of ups that exponentially.

    Did I get to pick the cover of my book? No, I had no input into that. I know that a lot of publishers give the author a questionnaire (hair color, possible settings, etc.) before putting a cover together, but that didn’t happen in my case. Which I don’t mind, because Bantam obviously knew what they were doing – the cover is breathtaking.

    (I should clarify that I guess I did have some input, because they sent me the picture and asked for my feedback, but my feedback was just “OMG it’s stunning!”)

  19. Congrats for your new book. I would love to read it so thanks you a lot for the international opportunity to win it. I really appreciate

    So a question for an author…i’m practical so how many books are scheduled for the serie ( if it’s not a stand alone of course^^;;)
    Would you like to do a promotion of your book(s) in europe once?

    As for the food… sea food….i’m totally allergic to it ( oh and cheese).

    all the best


  20. I looooove historical romance!
    GASP! You don’t like lobsters, crabs, shrimp?! oh my… they’re AMAZING!

    I won’t eat veggies. I choke on them mostly. And I feel sick when I eat them. I tried eating salad… Eek.

    I always ask authors the following:
    -did u get to pick the cover of your book?
    -how do u come up with character names?
    -if you’re using a pen name, how did u choose it?

    email: cruz042 at

  21. Congrats on the book. It looks great and I would love to win a copy. Some questions I would ask authors:

    1. Is there anything you need to have to write? Food, drink, music, etc
    2. Where is your favorite place to write?
    3. Is there anyone that you would be embarrassed to have read your books? (this would be more for spicy stories but also the love scenes for all authors)

    Something that I will never eat is mushrooms. I just hate them!
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  22. Amanda

    Chicken fried steak. If you want chicken, eat chicken. If you want steak, eat steak. Don’t confuse the two.

  23. I love the cover ~ the art department helped your debut hugely with that one :-). My question is what triggered the plot of your book? How did your “muse” clobber you with the story? I always wonder how an author came up with the idea for the books story.

    The foods I dislike are cooked spinach and hard boiled eggs. My mother taught me to take a small bite of whatever food I didn’t like at a guests table. I was asked to dinner for the first time at a boyfriend’s home, his mom served a family favorite–hard boiled eggs AND spinach together. I took my bite and it was noted. Next time I stayed for dinner (unplanned) she served it again of course. I was told I could skip it, lol. glittergirl54 at ymail dot com

  24. When you are writing do you hear the characters’ voices in your head? Lord knows I do when I read. 🙂

    I loathe mushrooms and blue cheese. Fungus and mold have no place at my table.

  25. Congrats on the new book. A question I would ask is who is your favorite author? A food I won’t eat is liver or brains. Yuck!


  26. Thanks everybody for stopping by!

    LadyVampire2u – I’ve been asked that question, about my favorite authors, and I always try to sidestep it because it’s so hard for me to make a short enough list. I will say that I’m really looking forward to having 3 Sherry Thomas books in 2012, though!

    And yuck, animal brains & reproductive organs. I wouldn’t eat those either.

    Natalija – They eat horse meat in Italy? I did not know that!

    Character names: I always wonder that too. I actually talk a little bit, in an interview I’m doing tomorrow, about the process of naming A Lady Awakened‘s hero.

    ClaudiaGC – I like to know the “How I started writing” stories too. In my case a friend of mine was forming a writing group, and I joined as more of a social thing but got sucked into the writing.

    Maria D. – Eww, oysters. Even when they’re fried & not slimy, you still know they were slimy so they’re hard to enjoy.

    I love your questions! My answers:

    1. Partial to the 1-lb dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s.
    2. Coffee.
    3. Are you talking about preference in men? I like both, but I did marry a blonde.

    Maris – I love brussels sprouts & like okra, but yeah, mutton has a kind of musty taste to me. Plus: poor little lamb 🙁

    How long does it take to write? For me, longer than I’d like. A Lady Awakened took 2 years; my next 2 books have taken about a year each. Would love to break that 1-yr barrier.

    I love hearing what an author’s favorite scene or passage is. I’ll have to think about that a little… the answer seems to vary day to day.

  27. A question I would ask is:
    How long does it take you to write a book? What’s your favorite scene or passage in the book?

    Food I would not eat: brussel sprouts, okra and mutton.

    Thank you for sharing an excerpt of your book. Looking forward to reading it.


  28. Good self interview. If I was going to ask questions I might ask:

    1. Favorite candy to snack on while writing or in general?
    2. Coffee, Tea or pop?
    3. Blonde or brunette?

    A food I won’t eat…oysters – just hate the slimy things…lol

    A Lady Awakened sounds interesting. Thanks for the blurb and the giveaway!

    junegirl63 at gmail dot com

  29. Congratulations on your first book!
    I love the colours of the cover!

    I really would never eat innards, no matter what. Besides that I really like to try everything at least once.
    I’d love to know what inspired authors to try their hand at writing. Is it something they always wanted to do or did it just happen?

    Thank you for the giveaway!
    claudigc at msn dot com

  30. Great post! My Goodrieds friends read this book & they really liked it. There are so many books out there that I guess it’s diffucult to come up with something so great. Brava to Cecilia Grant, you really did it! I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s on the top of my wishlist.

    I always love to read interviews where authors tell how they came up with characters’ names. I guess it’s like naming your own child 🙂

    I live in Italy, and there is just one thing in all that gorgeous delicious cuisine I will never try – horse meat. I have no problems with other kinds of meat, but eating horse is just barbarism.

    natalija (dot) shkomare (at) gmail (dot) com

  31. Congratulations on your brand new book! Looks and sounds fabulous.
    What I like to ask an author is who their favorite authors are? And who they would like to do an anthology with? As for a food I would not eat… something not typical like the brains of an animal or their reproductive organs. Yuck!

    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

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