Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Interview: Brandy Purdy

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1. What do you read when you aren't writing?

Anything and everything that grabs my attention. I am a true book addict, all it takes is “ooh that sounds interesting!” and if I’ve got cash or credit it’s coming home even I can’t get around to reading it for six months or more. I read everything from literary classics to modern day chick lit with cute plots. I love biographies and true crime and books about classic films, archaeology, unsolved mysteries, and medical discoveries, and always a good mystery or thriller. I can’t wait to read the new Jodi Picoult, I love her books the way she puts the characters in such difficult, thought provoking situations where there are no easy answers, but I’m further behind than I would like to be on my current work in progress because of a medical situation involving my father’s eyesight, so it’ll have to wait until I catch up. One thing I’ve definitely learned, life doesn’t stop just so you can write a book or read one.

2. What was your inspiration for The Ripper's Wife?

The actual Ripper Diary which surfaced in 1993. Controversy still rages as to whether it’s authentic or not. I’ve been fascinated by Jack the Ripper since 1988 when my mother gave me a paperback book by Donald Rumbelow that was published to mark the 100th anniversary of the murders, and when the diary came out I was at the bookstore waiting for them to unlock the doors the morning it was released so I could pick up my copy. I honestly don’t have an opinion about who the Ripper really was, my novel isn’t an expression of a pet theory, I just remember thinking as I was reading the transcript of the diary all those years ago that the story would make a great novel and I wanted to be the one to write it.

3. Did it feel different shifting from the Tudor Period to the Victorian, when writing this book?

To be honest, it felt WONDERFUL! As fascinating as the Tudors are, I’ve always been a person who loves variety. I enjoyed writing about the Tudors, and the challenge to find fresh ways to tell the stories, and I particularly loved giving Lady Rochford and Amy Robsart Dudley voices when their own have been lost to history, but it’s very nice to be able to have a change and mix things up a bit.

4. Do you think that they actually have found the real “Ripper?”

I have my doubts. I once read a remark by a Ripperologist, I can’t remember who, and I’m paraphrasing, but he said something like on Judgment Day when the question is asked, “Will the real Jack the Ripper stand up and speak his name?” We’re all going to look blank and say Who? I tend to think that’s true. And I’m not sure I really want the mystery to be solved, though I keep reading the books that claim to do just that. People have been trying to name the Ripper since 1888, I think it would feel a bit strange to conclusively stamp it “Case Closed” and not have it to wonder and argue about anymore. I think without the air of mystery he would become just another serial killer, not that understanding his mind and motives wouldn’t be interesting too, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

5. Why do you think Jack The Ripper has had such longstanding appeal in books, tv and film?

I think it’s a combination of the time and place combined with the elusiveness and brutality of the killer. The sheer audacity of the crimes, the risks he took, these crimes were, with the exception of the last, committed in the open, outdoors, there were people about, sometimes sleeping in houses overlooking the yards or courts where he killed, or on the streets on their way to work, policemen on patrol, the lighting conditions were poor and it takes time to butcher a human body the way those poor women were, yet he struck then vanished like a phantom. I think that’s why he still haunts us. And just think what it was like for the prostitutes back then, they didn’t have the means to stop what they were doing, they had to keep working, knowing that this madman was abroad and he could have looked like anyone--a gentleman, a doctor, a priest, or some benign grandfatherly type, there’s even a theory that he was a she, a deranged midwife--someone they instinctively felt safe with and thought they could trust. Just imagine the horror of finding out, too late, that they were wrong. What a horrible way to die.

6. What's next for you?

If all goes well (fingers crossed) look for a novel about Lizzie Borden next year. This is another book I’ve wanted to write for years, I’m excited by the challenge of giving Lizzie a voice and trying to get inside her head. No title or release date as yet, but I’ll be posting details as I have them on my blog and Facebook page so I hope you’ll decide to follow me there. I’m also, as my time permits, working on my first non-fiction book, a biography of silent film actor Robert “Bobby” Harron. It’s a project very dear to my heart and also a very challenging one--I’m a very shy person and I’ve had to step outside my comfort zone and contact complete strangers while doing my research and also to face the occasional insult and rebuff. It’s definitely been a learning experience, but it’s worth it.

Please join Brandy Purdy and HF Virtual Book Tours for The Ripper's Wife Blog Tour from October 27-November 14.

The Ripper's Wife 

Publication Date: October 27, 2014 | Kensington Books | Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

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A suspenseful, spellbinding novel of love, jealousy, and murder, The Ripper's Wife re-imagines the most notorious serial killer in history through the eyes of the woman who sealed his fate.

"Love makes sane men mad and can turn a gentle man into a fiend."

It begins as a fairytale romance--a shipboard meeting in 1880 between vivacious Southern belle Florence Chandler and handsome English cotton broker James Maybrick. Courtship and a lavish wedding soon follow, and the couple settles into an affluent Liverpool suburb.

From the first, their marriage is doomed by lies. Florie, hardly the heiress her scheming mother portrayed, is treated as an outsider by fashionable English society. James's secrets are infinitely darker--he has a mistress, an arsenic addiction, and a vicious temper. But Florie has no inkling of her husband's depravity until she discovers his diary--and in it, a litany of bloody deeds...

Praise for the Novels of Brandy Purdy

"Recommended for readers who can't get enough of the Tudors and have devoured all of Philippa Gregory's books." —Library Journal on The Boleyn Wife

"Purdy wonderfully reimagines the behind-the-scenes lives of the two sisters." —Historical Novel Reviews on The Tudor Throne

"I love Brandy Purdy's books, she does thorough research into the lives of the people in the Tudor era and it shows in her writing style. Very descriptive, engaging characters makes The Queen's Rivals a page turning novel. If you are a fan of the Tudor era like I am, then this book is a must." -CelticLady's Reviews on The Queen's Rivals

"The writing is inviting, intense and flawless, rich with the flavor of English country life as well as court life. The political machinations, the tragedy to befall the Dudley family and the mystery surrounding Amy's death were weaved to captivating detail and the end result is a mesmerizing work of historical fiction that puts Brandy Purdy on my "must read" list." -Psychotic State Book Reviews on The Queen's Pleasures

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About the Author
Brandy Purdy is the author of several historical novels. When she's not writing, she's either reading or watching classic movies. She currently lives in Beaumont, TX. Visit her website at http://www.brandypurdy.com for more information about her books. You can also follow her via her blog at http://brandypurdy.blogspot.com/ where she posts updates about her work and reviews of what she has been reading.

The Ripper's Wife Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 27
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, October 28
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Wednesday, October 29
Review at Kinx's Book Nook

Thursday, October 30
Review at Book of Secrets

Friday, October 31

Monday, November 3
Interview & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf

Tuesday, November 4
Interview at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, November 5
Review at JulzReads

Thursday, November 6
Review at History & Women

Friday, November 7
Review at A Book Geek

Monday, November 10

Tuesday, November 11
Review & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Wednesday, November 12
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee

Thursday, November 13

Friday, November 14



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