Montmartre, Paris, 1857, Desperate to find her missing mother, San Francisco’s Celeste Bazin arrives in her native France only to take up with the captivating Carlo di Rudio and a band of revolutionaries who wish to overthrow Emperor Napoleon III. If she acts as a courier for the group, they will take her where rumor says her mother has been living. She journeys with the ruggedly handsome Odeon de through checkpoints thick with imperial guards, secret agents, and devious spies. The further she travels the more she realizes the power of her mother’s secrets and the web of possible lies that entangle her. Only when she joins the plot to assassinate the emperor does she realize the impact of lies and the depth of love that has no national boundaries. Book #3 in The American Madams series.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Gini Grossenbacher whose book Madam in Lace captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love historical fiction but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Gini Grossenbacher will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Gini Grossenbacher!
In addition to teaching writing groups, and editing and publishing the work of her fellow authors, author Gini Grossenbacher loves traveling to the settings for her historical novels. MADAM IN LACE is set in France and received a Reader’s Favorite Five-Star review and the 2022 Independent Publisher Silver Medal for Best European Fiction. Chinese American MADAM IN SILK was the Runner Up in the 2020 National Indie Excellence Awards for Historical Fiction. Her debut novel, a tale of Baltimore, New Orleans, and San Francisco, MADAM OF MY HEART, won the 2018 Independent Publisher Silver Medal for Historical Fiction. She is currently celebrating the launch of her debut poetry collection, GLIMPSES. In addition, she will be publishing her new historical women’s novel late next year, 2023. When she is not writing, Gini enjoys hanging out with her bossy Cairn terrier Murphy and trying new restaurants with her husband.
Now, how wonderful does Gini Grossenbacher sound?! Gini Grossenbacher is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Gini Grossenbacher’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write it?
Madam in Lace.
In 1857, San Francisco’s Celeste Manon is unable to locate her long-lost mother who is a madam at a brothel in Paris. When Celeste goes looking for her, she meets a band of revolutionaries plotting to assassinate Emperor Napoleon III. In exchange for acting as their courier, they will help her find her mother. Meanwhile, she falls for two men who could not be more opposite; she must decide between them while unraveling the path of her mother’s secrets against the tension-filled backdrop of unrest and revolution.
Celeste emerged as one of my readers’ favorite characters in the New Orleans brothel scenes from Madam of My Heart. There we heard the backstory of her poor young life in Paris and reasons why her mother sent her to live in America. Celeste tugged at me, begging for me to write her story, so I was compelled to do so.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
Follow your own path. Do not compare yourself to others, whether they are more or less accomplished than you. Write the book that is in you and find a nurturing writing community to lift you up.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
It must grab the reader and not let them go. Great novels immerse the reader in the story.
What is your writing process like?
I do lots of preplanning, what I call prewriting before I ever plan the synopsis of the story. I write, write, write, about my characters and their lives long before the story opens. Then, I follow my synopsis and break it into scenes, following the story arc to the climax and resolution of the story. I also travel to the locations of my novels to layer in setting details before, during, and after the rough draft is complete. Then I have critique groups beta readers, and a developmental editor check the novel, followed by a copyeditor and proofreader. It takes a lot of time to put a novel together, with much more information than the reader ever sees.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
My novels are set in the Victorian era, and when planning my series ten years ago, I spent nearly two years studying that time period: social customs, dress, expected behavior of men and women, first-hand historical accounts, diaries, and academic histories. I have several shelves of books in my bookshelf dedicated to my research, and I consult them regularly before, during, and after drafting a new novel. I also make personal contact with historians and historical societies across the globe.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
I write each week along with my students in my writing classes, on my own several times a week, and at group writes, such as “Shut Up and Write” or Nanowrimo. I set deadlines for novel completion in stages, and I try to stick to them.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I review books for the Historical Novels Review Magazine, and so I encounter many newly published historical authors from diverse backgrounds. I am fond of Heather Webb and Allison Hong Merrill. My traditional favorites would have to be Amy Tan, Zora Neale Hurston, J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee, Jane Austen, and Emily Dickinson.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I will have another historical women’s novel published by the end of 2023.
It’s official book lovers, I am obsessed with Gini Grossenbacher! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,