Good morning everyone. Today Coffee Time Romance has the pleasure of speaking to Leah Marie Brown. Welcome Leah, please relax in our cozy recliner, and slip on the blue fuzzy bunny slippers, and share some hot soothing tea or coffee. Karenne has been gracious enough to prepare some fresh brownies and cookies for our interview this morning. So please enjoy, and allow us the opportunity to learn more about Leah Marie Brown.
Leah, first off, I want to express how much I love your website. I like the way you have everything so elegantly designed. You have led a very interesting life, with your travel and everything.
Thank you very much. What a kind thing to say.
Why not start the day by asking, if a reporter wanted to walk through your shoes for a day, what would they see?
In my fantasy, the reporter would arrive just as my sweet, elderly Scottish housekeeper parted my bed drapes and served me a pot of Belgian hot chocolate and fresh croissants. After sharing my chocolate and pastries with the reporter and answering a few of her questions, I would excuse myself to get dressed in some fashionable ensemble (preferably Dior). Then, I would retire to my library for several hours where I would work on my next bestseller and answer correspondence from my legion of adoring fans. In the afternoon, I would take fencing lessons, play tennis, and get a massage by a muscular French masseuse who, amazingly, looks a lot like James Purefoy or Ryan Gosling (depending on my mood).
My reality is less thrilling. Thanks to a frighteningly accurate internal body clock, I wake every morning (regardless of where I am or when I went to bed the night before) at 5:00. I spend an hour updating my Twitter Account (@18thCFrance) and working on posts for my blogs (Titillating Tidbits about the Life and Times of Marie Antoinette and On Life, Love and Accidental Adventures), unless the wicked, wily Facebook or Pinterest lure me away. At 6:00 I wake my children for school (as they are morning-loathing teenagers, this is a process that requires all of my concentration). After my daughter leaves for school, I give my son his homeschool assignments and then settle down to work on my novel or articles. I spend my afternoons running errands, volunteering, and cleaning the house. After dinner, I exercise and then try to answer emails or do a little more writing. I curl up in bed with a book around 10:00. This process repeats itself five times per week.
If you would, Leah, why not tell readers about your blog on Titillating Tidbits about the Life and Times of Marie Antoinette? It is quite interesting the way you are weaving everything together and allow the reader to learn more. It is as if the audience is transformed right into the era along with you.
What a wonderful compliment. Thank you.
Several years ago, I operated a website called Let Them Eat Cake. It was one of the first English websites dedicated to Marie Antoinette and it won multiple awards and was referenced by Professor Dena Goodman in her scholarly book Writings on the Body of a Queen. The site demanded so much of my time that my writing and family life began to suffer, so after a few years I took it down. My blog, Titillating Tidbits, started as a way for me to repost some of the articles that had been on that old website. I enjoyed writing about Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI again and decided to keep posting. I try to write the posts using an easy-to-read, conversational style.
I believe you recently had a book release, Silence in the Mist. Would you like to enlighten the readers on this story?
Françoise Després is a daring counter-revolutionary spy who has vowed to fight the blood thirsty revolutionaries who are destroying her home and way of life. Sebastien de Brézé is the spy hunter tasked with hunting her down. He becomes determined to capture her body and soul. For months, Françoise and Sebastien play a delicious game of cat and mouse, arousing each other’s passions and admirations. When Françoise is captured and brutalized by a ruthless revolutionary leader, Sebastien must decide whether to stay true to his military commitments or save the woman he loves. From the misty forests of the Vendée to the dark, perilous streets of RevolutionaryFrance. SILENCE IN THE MIST is a dazzling tale of intrigue, danger, and desire.
Although this novel is a historical romance, some of the main characters and plot points are based on real people and events. Françoise Després, my heroine, is based on a real counter-revolutionary spy who escaped capture and inspired her compatriots with her zeal. An educated and religious woman, she fought the revolutionaries because she opposed their methods.
What does the future hold for Leah, with any upcoming releases that you would like to share?
I have a manuscript that is being considered by a publisher in London and another in New York. I am working on a my sixth novel, a historical romance involving a British spy on a mission to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte, and my first non-fiction, about the Life and Times of Marie Antoinette.
Can you describe your work station to us?
I have a small (emphasize small) office off my bedroom with a large window that looks out on a forest of aspentrees. My drapes and chair cushions were made using toile fabric I purchased during a trip to France. It has Marie Antoinette with the Petite Trianon in the background and I adore it. On the walls hang several framed 18th Century lithographs of various places in France and one huge bulletin board (also covered in the toile fabric) where I pin notes and visual cues for my WIP (works in progress). The wall behind my desk is all bookshelves, which are filled with books pertaining to France.
If you could change anything in the world, what change would you make?
Wow! That’s a tough question to answer. I would either end all wars or homelessness. Or maybe I would return society to a more innocent time, when sex, drugs and violence were not featured on every television show, movie and song. Then again, affording every human being good medical care would be a good one too. (I guess it is a good thing a Genie has not suddenly appeared and offered to grant me one wish to change the world).
In your spare time, what do you do for relaxation and fun?
I love reading, photography, watching movies, and traveling with one of my best friends, paranormal author, Cindy Miles. I like to spend time with my family and playing with my schnoodle, Molly (I have written about this remarkable little dog on my other blog, On Life, Love and Accidental Adventures). I also make 18thCentury inspired Christmas ornaments, which I sell on Etsy
Name three things you look for in the other person.
Character: Honesty. Loyalty. Intelligence.
Physically: Broad shoulders, strong chin, handsome eyes
I think it's fascinating how you have traveled to many places with all your discoveries. Of all the places you have visited which area would you love to holiday for thirty days and just relax?
Another fabulous question. France is always at the top of my Travel Wish List, but I rarely relax there. The minute my feet hit French soil, I want to go, go, go. I would love to spend a month in the south of France, at my best friend’s mother’s house, just watching the sunflowers turn their faces toward the sun or riding my pink beach cruiser along the coast, but I know I would not remain relaxed. I would want to explore ancient villages and castles. I am planning an all women trip to Tuscany but I don’t think I will be relaxing much on that trip either. Europe invigorates me. I guess my answer would be Kauai. It’s the only place I have been where I completely unwind and just be. Swim, eat, and swim. Love it there.
If you had the choice to either go skydiving for the day, or either spend the day river rafting down the Grand Canyon which would you choose?
Easy. Rafting through the Grand Canyon. Jumping out of a perfectly safe airplane makes no sense to me.
What is your favorite food, snack or dessert that you could eat all the time?
Homemade tortilla chips and salsa or queso.
If a genie gave you three wise wishes, what would you wish for?
Happy, healthy lives for my family and friends.
A successful career writing novels that move people.
To live each day as if it were the last, without regret.
You wake up one morning to learn you are an astronaut about to make a journey into space. What planet do you wish to go and see?
I would visit Neptune because it is a very pretty bright azure blue.
I cannot thank you enough for being our guest, Leah, you, indeed, are a great storyteller. I look forward to all your stories and blogs that you have planned for the future.
Thank you! This was such a fun interview. You ask fantastic questions.