On Research, Fashion & Prinny: An Interview with Lauren Willig for HNS

To mark the publication of bestselling author Lauren Willig’s newest novel in her popular Pink Carnation historical espionage series, I talked with Lauren about research, inspiration, and the secrets of her success.

JQ: The Passion of the Purple Plumeria is the tenth full-length book in your Pink Carnation series. What’s your secret to keeping a long-running series fresh?

LW: For me, keeping the series fresh is all about the characters. Even though the books are interconnected, each features a new set of protagonists, which means that I get to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes: rooting around in peoples’ heads. I love taking different sorts of characters and trying to figure out what makes them tick. There’s nothing like dropping them into drastic situations to discover what they’re made of. My heroes have ranged from a French lawyer to a displaced English duke to a bumbling, Regency-era Bertie Wooster (without a Jeeves), while my heroines have run the gamut from ingĂ©nue to forty-something chaperone. As long as I’m intrigued and entertained by my main characters, I hope my readers will be as well.

Not to mention that there are so many quirky and ridiculous historical events out there, just begging to be incorporated into a novel. The Napoleonic Wars are a gold mine of “Seriously? That really happened?” Getting to play with all those “truth is stranger than fiction moments” is one of the joys of writing this series for me.


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