Tag Archives: romance book

Interview with Madeleine Marina Mitchell, Author of The Open Doorway

Today’s interview is with Madeleine Mitchell, author of The Open Doorway.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview Questions:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Madeleine Marina Mitchell.  I live in Manchester, UK.  
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2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The title of my book is The Open Doorway, and the genre is Historical Romance.
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3) What is the book about?

The Open Doorway is an historical time travel romance set against the American Civil War and the Lincoln Assassination.

Twenty eight year old Leigh Boswell is on holiday at Gettysburg with her abusive husband, Daniel.  At the Slaughter Pen on the Gettysburg battlefield, she encounters the Shawnee storm goddess, Kokumthena, in the guise of a child.  The storm Kokumthena summons launches Leigh back in time to the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg.  Here, she meets Lewis Thornton Powell, a young Confederate soldier who carries her to safety at the expense of being captured by Union Troops. Thus, begins a two year adventure for Leigh where she’s forced to work as a nurse in the horrific field hospitals of Old Dorm and Camp Letterman.  After being taken under the wing of Confederate sympathiser, Maggie Branson,  she travels to Baltimore where she helps Maggie engineer Powell’s escape from a Union hospital. Fate and circumstance take her deep into the Virginian countryside where she’s adopted by Daniel’s ancestors; the Chandlers, befriends a psychic slave, Minnie, and survives the burning raid of Loudoun Valley. Once more her path is crossed by the enigmatic Powell with whom she seems unable to escape a mutual destiny.

Tormented by her knowledge of the future, Leigh is driven to the sprawling metropolis of Washington DC in a desperate bid to change history and stop the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; but as her nightmare unfolds, she finally uncovers the terrible truth about the man she loves. 

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4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I was reading a newspaper one day and saw an article about the Lincoln assassination conspirators.  There were photos of the executions and a mug shot of Lewis Thornton Powell in chains on the ironclad, Saugus.  Something about his photo and the expression on his face that wouldn’t let me go.  I’d never heard of Powell, and decided to do some research on him.  Lewis Powell has mostly been portrayed as a mindless killer, but I really felt there was more to this young man.  So,  I read his biography – Alias, Paine – written by historian, Betty Ownsbey.  Thirty years of dedicated research by Ownsbey uncovered a very different person from the one depicted in fiction and film.  I decided to write about him myself, weaving him into the story as the love interest of the main character.  The novel is as much his story as Leigh’s but I wanted it to be viewed through her lens so the reader can better identity with her struggles in that era.  By this time I was in touch with Betty Ownsbey, who became my technical adviser on the novel.  Along with other historians, she very kindly helped me with details about the trial and execution of the conspirators, the etiquette and society of that time, and shared all her own research about Powell with me.  Most events in the novel took place.   All I can say is, thank God for Google Maps.   I’ve ‘walked’ every inch of Washington DC and Gettysburg!  
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5) How long did it take you to write it?
Two years, one of which was pure research.   I knew nothing at all about the American Civil War, and even less about Lewis Thornton Powell.  The editing took months out of my life!  I can’t remember which writer said… “Writing your novel is easy.   Editing it is the real work.”   That’s so true.  
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6) Did you learn anything from the project?
That anything is possible.   With hard work, and dedication, and dogged passion for writing, one can write a piece of work to be proud of.   I also learned the importance of asking for help when you need it, and that people, including other writers,  are usually very generous in that department.  I also set up and run the official Lewis Thornton Powell website. 
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7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?
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8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
My tips are don’t give up.  Never think you’re not good enough. Always be open to learning.   Always ask for help if you need it – you’d be surprised how many people are up for caring and sharing with your research, and beta reading etc.  It’s vital to get a good editor if you don’t have the skill and ruthlessness to edit your own work.   The Open Doorway was originally 180K words.   I had to cut it to 143K.    Cover artwork is so important and yet often out of the financial reach of many authors.   Sites like Wattpad and DeviantArt are home to many excellent and affordable artists.  Wattpad also has a great forum attached to it that offers endless tips and advice, along with getting yourself a reader following.  Goodreads is the same.   Most importantly, believe in yourself and your writing, and never compromise your creativity to please others.   Your work is unique to you.  
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9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I read all kinds of stuff. I’m a prodigious reader.   Horror. Romance. Historical.  Sci Fi.  Non-fiction. Biography.   I’m not keen on Fantasy or chick lit.   
Yes, I’m open to reading new authors and reviewing their work.  I do that all the time over on Wattpad.  
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10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
That’s a hard one.  I have many.   I recently read The Terror by Dan Simmons – over a thousand pages and a great read.  I learned so much about the great sailing ships of the 1800’s and it was a real page turner.   I think my absolute favourite is Shogun by James Clavell.  It has everything from romance and adventure to gritty violence and great characterisation.  It’s a relentless novel with many twists and turns and political intrigues set against the backdrop of feudal Japan.  I tend to favour writers who’ll give me a good gritty read, and I think this is reflected in my own work.  I once tried to write for Mills & Boon but got rejected because all my work was “too dark”!
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The Lord Poet by Megan M. Franks

Meet Lord Edmund Troy, a carefree aristocrat and renowned poet in Victorian-era London. Idolized by the masses for his charisma and dashing good looks, he finds himself in the sights of wealthy socialite Agatha and her cousin Catrina.

Agatha appears to be the quintessential match for Lord Troy…until he becomes more acquainted with Catrina. Drawn to Catrina for her love of literature, Lord Troy finds himself in unusual territory as he yearns for her. A quiet and intelligent book lover, Catrina is thrust into the middle of their relationship despite her continued efforts to remain focused on following her dreams of becoming an author.

In a twist of events, Lord Troy and Catrina find each other in close contact when she is required to stay with him at his manor; their growing relationship stimulated by a series of truths and mistruths.

Complicating matters, Sam—Lord Troy’s most trustworthy longtime friend—and Imelda—his closest female confidante— weave themselves in the life of the Lord and end up intermingled in a web of sex, lies, and deceit.

Will Catrina unravel secrets too disastrous to rebury, or yet, will she be able to untangle herself from the deceptions and follow her dreams to success?

 

 

 

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Starfish – A Rock Star Romance by Lisa Becker

 

“I’m absolutely smitten. I fell in love with everything about it.” Diana, Goodreads reviewer

“I found the story to be sweet and entertaining as well as funny and suspenseful at times. And when you learn why it’s called Starfish you will be smiling with me” I Scream Books Blog

Ambitious graduate Marin Collins accepts a four-month internship at a prestigious public relations firm to work on a tech account, but her plans are derailed when she’s assigned to go on the road with touring rock band Kings Quarters, hailed by Rolling Stone as the next big thing.

Enter Brad Osterhauser, the reluctant rock star who would rather be coding computer games than penning Grammy-nominated songs.

Traveling by bus, city to city with a group of practical joking bandmates and a greedy manager, Marin and Brad forge a friendship and forbidden romance over a shared love of Seinfeld episodes, stolen moments and Red Vines.

But when Marin’s accused of betraying her company and the band, will Brad come to her defense or believe she was disloyal to him for the sake of her career?

Told in alternating perspectives of Marin and Brad, Starfish is a contemporary romance of unexpected love, the redemptive power of music and hogging the bed.

 

 

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