1, Please could you tell us a bit about your debut novel, Madam of My Heart?
Baltimore, 1849. During a scandalous crisis, the young Irish Brianna Baird flees her home at Fells Point. With little cash and only a seamstress's trade, she braves the hypnotic streets of New Orleans. The tantalizing Madam DeSalle lures her to her brothel, then sells her to the dashing but questionable gambler, Edward Spina, who falls in love with her. In a tawdry alliance with these two profiteers, Brianna embarks on a journey through the French Quarter's debauched and glittering Voodoo world. Facing the horrors of slavery, she triumphs by gaining freedom papers for her maid Emma's enslaved husband and son. Brianna and Edward escape with them to San Francisco. There she becomes one of the most sought after madams in the gold rush parlor house trade. But will her fame and pluck be enough to save Edward from the Vigilante noose? This is the first book in the American Madams series.
2, What was your inspiration for writing Brianna's story?
I wanted to give readers a window into the world of lost women in mid-1800s America. Through Brianna’s struggles, we see so many parallels to women’s issues today, resonating in the #MeToo movement.
3, How did you research your book and how much time did you spend researching before you started writing the story?
I spent two years immersing myself in the history of the gold rush, women’s narratives from the 1800s, the history of prostitution, in addition to traveling to Baltimore, New Orleans, and San Francisco to get the lay of the land for the stories.
4, Are you an avid reader?
If so, what are your favorite books?
At present, my top two are Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale. I love the immersive qualities of those books, the way the authors capture the historical time periods as well as deep point of view.
5, Have you been writing since childhood or started writing later in life?
I have always been a writer, beginning at age five with little stories, poems, and plays. Then as a high school English teacher I wrote with my students every day. I continue to write with my adult students, and I enjoy sharing my writing with them.
6, How many hours a day do you devote to writing?
Two to four, depending on the daily business of writing and teaching. Do you write a draft on paper or on a computer? I write on the computer.
7, Do you spend a lot of time editing after finishing your first draft?
Yes, after my manuscript group provides critiques, I go over the manuscript, layering in detail, deepening setting and characterization. I have beta readers check for historical accuracy and flow. Then, my developmental editor provides two passes which we work on together.
8, Are you working on anything at the moment?
I am in the editing phase of my next novel, Madam in Silk, (The American Madams series, Volume 2). This is a riveting novel based on the life of one of the first Chinese madams in San Francisco. Can your readers look forward to a new novel? Yes, it will be released in January, 2019.
9, What advice would you give to new writers?
Go to writing conferences, take writing classes, find a network of trusted writer friends, keep at it. Above all,trust yourself and believe in your own voice.
MADAM OF MY HEART BY GINI GROSSENBACHER
Publication Date: February 6, 2017
eBook & Paperback; 476 Pages
Series: American Madams, #1
Genre: Historical Fiction/Victorian
Baltimore, 1849. During a scandalous crisis, the young Irish Brianna Baird flees her home at Fells Point. With little cash and only a seamstress’s trade, she braves the hypnotic streets of New Orleans. The tantalizing Madam DeSalle lures her to her brothel, then sells her to the dashing but questionable gambler, Edward Spina, who falls in love with her. In a tawdry alliance with these two profiteers, Brianna embarks on a journey through the French Quarter’s debauched and glittering Voodoo world. Facing the horrors of slavery, she triumphs by gaining freedom papers for her maid Emma’s enslaved husband and son. Brianna and Edward escape with them to San Francisco. There she becomes one of the most sought after madams in the gold rush parlor house trade. But will her fame and pluck be enough to save Edward from the Vigilante noose? This is the first book in the American Madams series.
“A debut historical novel that chronicles the struggles, loves, and joys of an exceptional madam in 19th-century America. Grossenbacher’s book, the first in a planned series, dramatizes the early life and busy career of a woman named Brianna Baird. Grossenbacher’s prose is both graceful and inventive. She absorbingly limns the various cities Brianna inhabits, from New Orleans and its ‘web of Creole cottages, chaotic marketplaces, and secretive balconies, simmering outside her window, ‘ to the rowdy atmosphere of frontier-era San Francisco. The occasional marvelous metaphor will surprise readers, as when ‘the truth hit Brianna like a badly aimed bowling pin.’ This isn’t just a novel for lovers of history’s more prurient corners; it’s for everyone who likes well-deployed language and intense stories. A seamier side of American history, engagingly told through one woman’s unexpected adventures.” -Kirkus Reviews, A Recommended Review
About the Author
California author Gini Grossenbacher was a successful high school English teacher until she abandoned grades and term papers, choosing to write historical novels instead. Now she leads small writing groups and coaches other writers. She loves researching the history behind her novels, and enjoys traveling to the setting where they take place. Her hobbies include needlepoint, nature walks, and Scrabble. She lives in the Sacramento Valley where she grew up, east of San Francisco.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, April 16
Feature at Passages to the Past
Thursday, April 19
Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Friday, April 20
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Saturday, April 21
Interview at Be Inspired By Books
Sunday, April 22
Review at Clarissa Reads it All
Wednesday, April 25
Excerpt at LadyJ’s Bookish Nook
Friday, April 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two copies of Madam of My Heart! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Direct Link: https://gleam.io/lN2if/madam-o