The Next Big Thing – Banquet of Lies

I was invited to join in the fun of The Next Big Thing meme by fellow MM co-blogger, Edie Ramer. It is a wonderful way to learn about upcoming books, and I can’t wait to read the answers to the four authors I’ve tagged to participate next Wednesday on their blogs. I have two awesome authors from Australia, Harlequin Mills & Boon author Leah Ashton and MIRA Australia author Rachel Johns, who writes outback Aussie romances. The two wonderful US authors participating are the wonderful and amazing Therese Walsh and Jennifer Estep. Therese’s women’s fiction novel The Last Will of Moira Leahy garnered a great deal of interest, and Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing career has gone from strength to strength. All four posts will be up next Wednesday, December 12th, and I can’t wait to read what they have to say.

But first, it’s my go, and given the interest from reviewers and readers on whether there will be a sequel to my newly released novel, The Emperor’s Conspiracy, hopefully they’ll be happy to read my answers on Banquet of Lies:

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?

Banquet of Lies is the title for now. I’ve really grown to like it, so I hope it sticks!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I love writing about characters who are out of their comfort zone (as most of my readers will agree :)) and Banquet of Lies is no exception. The book follows directly after my latest release, The Emperor’s Conspiracy, and this time, my character is an upper class woman who is in hiding, and because of her love of cooking, and a background that allowed her to become an excellent cook, she poses as a cook in the house of a nobleman in London. There is a lot of food in this book, which suits me fine, as I love baking and cooking.

What genre does your book fall under?

Historical fiction with a strong romantic element (and a lot of suspense, which is sort of a given in my work).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

A younger Audrey Tautou, just as she was in Amelie, for my heroine, Gigi, and Jonathan could be played by a younger Jude Law. (Sorry, I haven’t watched a lot of movies lately, and I don’t have any younger actors to offer up :))

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Eek, now you’re asking!

A young woman with a document that could turn the tide of the Napoleonic Wars goes into hiding while she desperately searches for someone she can trust.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My agent is the wonderful Marlene Stringer of Stringer Literary, and the book will be published next year by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took about 6 months. Then another two months of reworking.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

My books aren’t about women who are amateur sleuths, like the heroines of Deanna Raybourn and Tasha Alexander, but they have a similar mix of history, suspense and romance.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I love exploring power relationships. In this novel, Gigi, my main character, has to come to terms with the change in her power from being part of the upper class to being in the lower class. And the tension of walking a line when she is attracted to the nobleman in whose house she is hiding, pretending to be a cook, and he is attracted right back.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I love food. I love baking and cooking, and as my main character is working as a cook, so there is food in this book. The very best of French cuisine 🙂 .

Thanks for joining me, and I hope you’ll join Leah, Rachel, Therese and Jennifer next Wednesday to see what they are working on.

And my question to you is, what about you is a bit different? The one thing friends and family know you for?

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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15 Responses to The Next Big Thing – Banquet of Lies

  1. Thanks for tagging me Michelle – your book sounds fab. Now I just need to remember to post my own blog next week 🙂

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Michelle, I loved Banquet of Lies (and I hope that title sticks, too). My favorite parts are the food and the interaction between the heroine and the house staff. Your details are incredible, and you brought the scenes to life. Of course, her interaction with the hero was also wonderful. I think this will be The Next Big Thing. 🙂

    • xx Edie. Thank you. I really enjoyed the below-stairs interactions, as well. They popped for me as I wrote them. I loved writing about the food. Some friends of mine have been asking me for some time why I never have food in my books when I bake and cook as much as I do. Now I have!

  3. Misty Evans says:

    Congrats on the new book, Michelle! I so love those covers.

    I think friends and family know me for different things. My family definitely knows me for my baking…it’s one of my hobbies. My friends know me for my friendliness (at least I hope so!)

  4. Michelle,
    Banquet of Lies sounds fantastic — great title and a fascinating premise!!
    Thanks for giving us something new and wonderful to look forward to… 😉

  5. Amy R says:

    Fun post, Michelle! And I look forward to Banquet of Lies. Something different about me that I am known for? I am the peacemaker in the family so that is how I am known to them. As for my friends, I often hear people tell me they admire that I am willing to be real and open with them about my own feelings, failures, struggles and successes. I hope I can hold onto that. I am not a competitive person by nature so I never feel the need to “fake” who I am. Thanks, Michelle!

  6. Thanks for thinking of me for this, Michelle! The timing is great, as I actually have updates about my wip and can share them on my dusty personal blog. 🙂

    I *adore* the title “Banquet of Lies,” and your description here is tantalizing. I just finished reading The Emperor’s Conspiracy last weekend, as you know, and I loved it. Can’t wait for your next works!

  7. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Love the title. I haven’t read many historicals lately, as I’ve been reading a lot of YA at the moment instead. My daughter is going through my historical collection right now. It’s nice to know there is always another group of readers coming up behind.

    And food in books is a good thing! I also love cooking and baking 🙂
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …It’s here! Garden of Sorrow is live!

  8. Thanks, Dale.

    I know you’re a baker. 🙂

  9. Pingback: The Next Big Thing | Rachael Johns

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