ALH Anna Lee Huber

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The Next Big Thing
December 18, 2012

There is a game of tag taking place between authors.  It's called The Next Big Thing, and this week, I'm "it."  The lovely and talented Susanna Calkins tagged me in her blog dated 12/10/12.  Drop by her blog to learn more about her debut A Murder at Rosamund's Gate (releasing April 23, 2013), and her follow-up, From the Charred Remains

And now it's my turn to run the gauntlet of questions...

1)   What is the working title of your next book?

The Anatomist’s Wife released in November. My next book is the second novel in the Lady Darby mystery series, titled Mortal Arts, and releases in September 2013.

 2) Where did the idea come from?

Mortal Arts takes up the story of Kiera, Lady Darby two months after the events in The Anatomist’s Wife.  While researching the period, I became interested in the treatment, or lack thereof, of sufferers of what we now call PTSD, as well as other psychological disorders. Psychology was still unknown and unstudied in 1830, and most of the people who suffered from disorders such as PTSD were shunned, called cowards, or locked away in crude lunatic asylums. I wanted to explore this and how it might affect Kiera, who is still recovering from own trauma.    

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It is a historical mystery with strong romantic elements.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

For Kiera, Lady Darby, I would cast Abbie Cornish. For Sebastian Gage - Rupert Penry-Jones.







5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

While journeying to Edinburgh, Kiera, Lady Darby, is urgently called to a home north of the city, and must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend—and save the marriage of another.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My novels are published by Berkley Publishing, a subdivision of Penguin.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?

About 6 months.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

My series is similar to the Lady Julia Grey novels by Deanna Raybourn and the Lady Emily novels by Tasha Alexander, but it has more of gothic feel similar to the novels of Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Daphne du Maurier.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I began writing the Lady Darby series because of my deep love for historical mysteries. Mortal Arts in particular is inspired by all of the brave men and women who have fought in all wars, in all times and in all places, who suffered from PTSD. They suffered in silence; their cries for help often went unanswered and their courage was sometimes called into question. I wanted to honor their bravery and sacrifice. 

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

There is a strong connection to art in this story, and the development of the relationship between Kiera and Gage continues.

On December 26th, be sure to drop by my friend Kim Boykin's blog, as she takes her turn at The Next Big Thing, and learn about her debut novel, The Wisdom of Hair, which releases March 5, 2013.

And on January 2nd, return here to read a guest post by another friend of mine, Marci Jefferson.  Her debut novel, The Duchess of Richmond will release in early 2014.

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