Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat - Triskele Books giveaway week Day 6

Welcome to an awesome week brought to us by Triskele Books:

Day 1 - Complicit by Gillian Hamer
Day 2 - Tristan & Iseult by JD Smith
Day 3 - Tread Softly by JJ Marsh
Day 4 - Gift of Raven by Catriona Troth
Day 5 - The Open Arms of the Sea by Jasper Dorgan

Triskele Books Day 6

Jasper interviews Liza Perrat.

Spirit of Lost Angels
by Liza Perrat
Paperback, 378 pages
Published June 2, 2012

Spirit of Lost Angels is a compelling story set in the turbulence of 18th century revolutionary France which follows the extraordinary life, loves and fortunes of the remarkable heroine, Victoire – from rural peasant squalor to the vitality and dangers of Paris in revolution.

What were the attractions of setting your story in 18th century revolutionary France?
In the late 18th century, the world was changing fast. Pre-revolutionary France was a time of great turmoil at all levels of society, as people were, finally, questioning the old regime. I wanted to explore what led the people to revolt, and how this affected the mass of the population: the peasants and the poverty-stricken. More particularly, I hoped to show how women were affected by this conflict; how they reacted, struggled and fought, and how they changed in the face of this great upheaval.

Victoire is a very strong, brave and resolute young woman. Creating her must have been both exhilarating and exhausting. She was part of you while you were writing her, does she still live in you now that you aren’t?
Not really, perhaps only in that Victoire is an ancestor of the present novel’s heroine, and a predecessor of the heroine of the next one. So, just keeping in mind family traits, professions and character, to carry over to preceding and following generations. But generally, once a novel is done with, it’s time to immerse myself in the next protagonist.

There must have been a great deal of research to so expertly bring the times, places and people of 18th century France to life on the page, but you manage to wear such research very lightly. What’s your secret?
Oh that’s lovely of you to say so, Jasper, and many of my “beta” readers were kind enough to point out instances where the narrative did stray into “history lesson”. I then tried to weave all those areas more into the narration.

One of the many interesting themes of the book is the fight for new political and governance rights for the people interlaced with the emerging fight for women’s rights as championed by Mary Wollstonecroft, who appears in a cameo role in the narrative. Mary is obviously a heroine of yours but are there problems in introducing real and well documented historical people into a historical fiction?
Definitely. The writer must try to adhere, as much as possible, to what we know about a particular historical figure, as well as imagine how and why that person may have behaved in such a way. It’s a fine line.

If you had the choice to live in any historical time and place, when and where would it be?
I’d love to go back to 14th century rural France, but only for a day, to see how it really was. Then, before I caught the plague, smallpox or tuberculosis, I’d like to quickly return to the clean comforts of the present day.

What are you writing now?
I’m about a quarter of the way into the third novel in this series––Blood Rose Angel––which explores the same family as the first two books, in 14th century rural France.

Which favourite book on your shelf demonstrates a real sense of time and place?
Ooh, that’s a hard one; that goes for so many of my favourite books. But what comes first to mind is Kate Grenville’s Sarah Thornhill and The Secret River. I really felt I was back in early 19th century colonial Australia.

Spirit of Lost Angels is available now.
See Liza’s list of Indie-friendly book reviewers in the Triskele blog Toolbox.

Liza Perrat has visited Colorimetry - for an interview and a follow-up Guest Post on Writing Historical Fiction.

Liza's website
Follow Liza on Twitter @LizaPerrat
Find Liza on Goodreads
Liza is offering an e-copy giveaway of Spirit of Lost Angels.

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