It's day four of our blog hop, and we're sitting down with Sharon Biggs Waller for a Q&A about A Mad Wicked Folly, Carey Mulligan and chickens!
Q: Could you describe A Mad Wicked Folly in 140 characters?
Q: Outside of researching the era, what was the most challenging aspect of writing A Mad Wicked Folly?
Q: What is it about the 1900s in London that piqued your interest?
Q: Do you plan on continuing to write YA historical fiction or are you going to try a different genre for your next book?
Q: It says in your biography that you were a riding instructor at Buckingham Palace. How awesome! Can you tell us about that?
The Met has something like 200 horses in various stables throughout London, so I ended up interviewing Mark.
He was working as in instructor at the Royal Mews for the Civil Service Club as a side job, and when I finally moved to London to be with him, the club found out I was a dressage instructor and asked if I would teach too. It was so much fun. The riding arena was built in the mid-1700s, and Queen Victoria used to sit and watch her children ride there.
I would wander around the stables during my breaks and look at the horses and the carriages and talk to the coachmen. I used to feed Prince Phillip’s horse, Phillipa, wine gums. I really liked her. She was a really sweet mare.
Q: What’s it like having a working farm, and having families of animals to keep you company? And how do you balance running the farm with your writing?
They make me smile and help drag me out of a funk if the writing isn’t going too well. As for balance, I’m open for suggestions! I often feel guilty that I’m not writing more or gardening more or riding my horse or spending time with my friends and family. I wish I had extra time to do everything I love in a day, but unless someone knows where I can find Hermione’s time turner that’s not possible.
Q: Victoria Darling has been described as being courageous and even rebellious, largely because of how she chooses to go against societal norms at the beginning of the novel. Did you ever do anything as rebellious?
I do know what if feels like to want something so much that you’ll do whatever it takes to get it. My parents couldn’t afford a horse so it was up to me to find a way to get horses into my life.
Q: You’ve published non-fiction articles and The Guide to Chicken Breeds before, but what’s one initial expectation that you had about publishing fiction, which turned out to be slightly different than anticipated?
Happily I can say because of SCBWI I knew what was going to happen. Also I have some friends who are published and they were great resources. I suppose I was surprised by the support I received. I was a jobbing writing before and so I was treated as more of an employee. Viking has treated me with so much courtesy and respect and I feel like an author now.
Q: Which character in A Mad Wicked Folly do you most identify with, and why?
Q: What’s the one thing that you hope readers will hope to come away with, when reading A Mad Wicked Folly?
Q: Finally, fantasy movie casts are big in YA right now. If you had a choice, who would you want to cast as Victoria, and why?
So, the fun isn't over yet: we still have an epic giveaway tomorrow! But until then, why not check out the earlier posts?
Blog hop schedule:
February 4: The Bookish Daydreamer
February 5: Reading Nook Reviews <--- HELLO! :)
February 6: Interview at all three sites
February 7: Review & Giveaway at all three sites!
About the author:
She did extensive research on the British suffragettes for her novel, A MAD, WICKED FOLLY when she wasn’t working as a riding instructor at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace and as a freelance magazine writer.
She also writes non-fiction books about horses under her maiden name, Sharon Biggs. She is a dressage rider and trainer and lives on a 10-acre sustainable farm in Northwest Indiana with her British husband, Mark.