I am beyond excited to welcome best-selling author; Marguerite Kaye to the blog for an exclusive chat. This author interview is amazing (if I do say so myself) and I am incredibly excited to share it with you all.

Interview

Hi Marguerite, welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals, I am seriously thrilled to have you visit for a chat!!

Thank you so much for inviting me, I’m delighted to be here. I’m cat sitting for my sister at the moment, so you actually have Simba too!

Hello Simba!!😺 Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in Argyll on the West Coast of Scotland, and I am so fortunate to have the most amazing view that I post a ridiculous amount of pictures of it on social media. I am the eldest of seven, one of four sisters, all of us extremely opinionated in a very loving kind of way! I love to garden, mostly edible things, because I love to cook, and I am forced into loving to work out because I love to eat. I am also a mad keen dressmaker, and if I could have been something other than a writer, costume design would have been my dream job. Oh yes, and I write historical romances.

It’s no secret how much I adore your books, The Earl Who Sees Her Beauty is incredibly moving and easily one of my favourites. For those who have yet to be introduced to your writing, can you tell us a little about your latest book?

LADY ARMSTRONG’S SCANDALOUS AWAKENING is the second of my REVELATIONS OF THE CARSTAIRS SISTERS duet but you don’t have to have read the first. It’s set in the mid-Victorian period, when photography was really taking off, making image, and manufactured ideals of beauty really easy to push. I really do think the pressure on women to conform must have been enormous – like social media is today – and that’s where I started with this book, making my heroine, Mercy, a society beauty. What if you’re nothing but eye candy, I thought, and no-one ever sees past your face and figure? And what if you ‘failed’ in your duty to your husband, to provide him with an heir?

Poor Mercy! It’s not giving too much away to tell you that I killed her husband off in the first chapter, but I also gave her a few enormous hurdles to overcome. She’s ostracised from society, and she’s started to believe the press her dead husband put out about her, that she’s not only barren, but it’s her fault. Mercy is down but she’s not out. She’s ready to show the world that there’s a very different woman behind the beautiful façade, but how to do that? Along comes self-made Scottish engineer, Jack Dalmuir…

If you could have one of your books made into a film, which one would it be, and who would you love to play your characters?

I think that I’d have to go for A FORBIDDEN LIAISON WITH MISS GRANT. Firstly, because it’s set in Edinburgh, one of my favourite cities. Secondly, because it’s also set during the visit of King George IV, and there’s so much colour that could be filmed: the arrival of his yacht at Leith Docks; the procession from Holyrood Palace to Edinburgh Castle; the various balls he gave and banquets he attended – imagine the colour, the costumes, the fun you could have with George and his ridiculous tartan outfits. There’s also a scene right at the start of the book, a burning of a Highland village during the Clearances, that I think would make a really dramatic opening to a film.

When I’m writing a book, I always have an image for the characters in my head, though I don’t like to make too much of it, because one person’s drop-dead gorgeous hero is another’s sap. (I found this out recently when I posted my image of my latest hero, and almost everyone hated it!) But in my head, Grayson Maddox, who is my Glaswegian ship-builder hero (yes, another self-made Scot) was George Clooney in his silver fox phase, and my heroine, Constance Grant, was Emily Blunt.

I love this book, I can really see George and Emily as Grayson and Constance! When not writing, or making delicious looking soup (you must all follow Marguerite on social media for soup ideas, I love them!) what do you like to do to relax?

I’m one of those annoying people who can’t sit still and do nothing. I find it really hard to switch off from whatever book I’m immersed in, so to relax I have to do something that forces me to concentrate. That’s one of the reasons I love dressmaking, and why I try to push myself trying out new techniques all the time (my mum taught me to sew when I was very young, but technology is moving at such a pace I can hardly keep up). Gardening is another pastime that helps me to switch off. I do read a lot, but when I’m in work mode, aside from research, I find my mind drifts away from fiction or worse, I start to edit what I’m reading, and unwittingly destroy whatever book I’m trying to enjoy.

As a reader I’m a huge fan of a series, I’m currently loving your latest Revelations of the Carstairs Sisters, but I have to ask; which do you prefer writing, a series or a standalone story?

I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question before. I love creating worlds, and I love having secondary characters who keep popping into other books – Lord Henry Armstrong, my current heroine’s father-in-law is one. I also love having themes running through a series – beauty and image in the case of REVALATIONS OF THE CARSTAIRS SISTERS, for example, which is also a theme which is central to HER HEART FOR A COMPASS, the first book I co-authored with Sarah, Duchess of York.

But I think on balance that these days I prefer stand-alone. I like being unfettered by previous plots or characters, and I like being able to jump time periods too. At the moment I’m loving the Victorian period, but not having to stay there, being able to jump forward or back for my next book is a really exciting prospect.

If you could have a holiday home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Paris! No competition.

Most authors can never answer this next question, but I am going to ask it anyway, do you have a favourite character from your books, mine is currently Jack Dalmuir from Lady Armstrongs Scandalous Awakening (I adore this man!!) Who’s yours?

I always love my most recent hero the best, so I’m going to agree with you on Jack. I love a self-made man, I love a Scot, but what I love about Jack most of all is that from the very first time he meets Mercy, he listens. He sees past her face, he gets her. How could you not love that!

As a well-respected author what three tips would you pass on to today’s aspiring authors?

That’s the most difficult question you have asked! I know I’ve written 50 plus books but I still feel like a complete newbie in lots of ways, and there are days (lots of days) when I can’t quite believe I’ve published one book. I’ll have a go, based on what I tell myself when I’m at that stage of the book where I am convinced it’s total rubbish and I’ll never finish it (which happens with every book):

  1. If you are bored writing something, then your readers are going to be bored reading it.
  2. If you are stuck with a scene, and you’ve been tinkering with it for ages, and it still doesn’t seem right, then that’s because it’s not right. Put it away. Have a radical rethink. Don’t be afraid to delete.
  3. You need to write your way into your characters. You need to get to know them. You need to understand what makes them tick. For me, that means that the first 10-20K words get re-written at least three times, until I get it right. In other words, re-writing is good.

Your stories are all set either in the Regency or Victorian era, which I love!! Would you ever consider writing a story set in a different era?

Definitely, though moving forward in time rather than back. I’ve dipped my toe into the water of the First World War and the Roaring Twenties, and would definitely go back there. At the moment, I’m researching the Edwardian era and thinking about that.

You have recently collaborated with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York on the gorgeous; Her Heart For A Compass, I am not alone in wanting to know if there are any more projects between yourself and Sarah planned for the future?

Definitely. We really are great friends now, and have such fun working together. We’ve just finished our second book, A MOST INTRIGUING LADY, which follows on from HER HEART FOR A COMPASS in that it still concerns the Buccleuch family, but it’s a very different type of story. I think the release date will be confirmed soon. As to what’s next – more on that another time!

Squeal!!! Super exciting, I honestly cannot wait!! If you were hosting a dinner party, which three people (dead or alive) would you invite?

Oh no! Way too difficult, so I’m just going to answer off the top of my head:

  1. Marian Keyes
  2. Liza Minelli
  3. Duke of Wellington

Top of head answers is always the best! Finally, a quick question just for fun; What are your favourite snacking foods?

If I say I don’t snack, that makes me sound so gooood, but I don’t tend to eat between meals. If Kettle Chips had no calories, I’d go for them every time though.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to chat with me today, Marguerite, it’s a huge pleasure having you (and Simba) visit the blog today.

Thank you so much for having me, it’s been an absolute pleasure, though I think Simba found me a bit boring, he’s fallen asleep on my lap.

Frankie xx

About the Author

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Marguerite Kaye is a prolific historical romance author hailing from Argyll’s West Coast. She is a voracious consumer of books, Scotland’s world-class larder, and the occasional cocktail.

Social Links

Website / Twitter / Instagram

About the Book

Lady Armstong’s Scandalous Awakening.

Be swept into a world of passion and emotion in this sexy Victorian romance!

Hers was a body of marble…

Until he brought it to life

After her tyrannical late husband ruined her reputation, Lady Mercy Armstrong is longing to reinvent herself. The perfect opportunity presents itself when rebellious self-made man Jack Dalmuir has a daring proposition—a fake dalliance that will change society’s view of her! Only, cavorting with the handsome Scotsman ignites a passion that could change both their lives forever…

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