A Bowl of Questions Featuring Whitehall

Interview with Madeleine Robins

Today we are very excited to have Whitehall author Madeleine Robins on the blog! Over a bowl of questions we learned a bit more about her and we invite you to share the wealth – after all, it’s not every day you get to meet a swordswoman and healer of books.


She who would be queen must win the love of a king—and a country.

Whitehall is set in the 17th century court of King Charles II and focuses on his queen, Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza. Her journey to find her place as the foreign wife in a court riddled with political and religious intrigue – not to mention the many mistresses of Charles the “Merry Monarch” – is a tale of perseverance only a true queen could endure. Love mingles with betrayal before a sensual renaissance of art, culture, and sex in this lush historical serial.

Released in weekly episodes, Whitehall began on May 18th and is written collaboratively by Liz Duffy Adams, Delia Sherman, Barbara Samuel, Madeleine Robins, Sarah Smith, and Mary Robinette Kowal.

Read it or learn more at SerialBox.com!

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Madeleine Robins BW SquareWhat comes to mind when you hear, “Serial Box”?

When I was a kid we went to the country every weekend. My father would make up continuing stories, the first of which was called “Breakfast in Space,” because it was a serial. Yes: it was a Dad joke, but the story was bizarre and amazing.

 

Can you describe your most recent project in one sentence?

Fourth in my series of hard-boiled alternate-Regency noir mysteries starring the redoubtable Sarah Tolerance, Fallen Woman and Agent of Inquiry. (Yes, that’s all one sentence.)

 

Where are you a local?

Manhattan. I’m a New Yorker born and bred. If cities are machines for living, New York City is the ultimate city, and the home of my heart. When I step onto the streets there I stand a little straighter, my energy level goes up, and I fall into step with the subsonic hum of the city.

 

Who is the author or book you will always recommend?

Jane Austen. Probably  Persuasion, but followed immediately by Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park. Okay, it’s a cliché, but clichés happen for a reason. She’s witty and smart, terrifyingly observant, compassionate and relentless. She’s the writer I want to be when I grow up.

 

Favorite quote or line?

“Some day I shall burst this bud of calm and blossom into hysteria.” (The Lady’s Not for Burning)

 

If you had a nickname for your writing persona, what would it be?

Mumbles. (I mutter to my keyboard.) Or perhaps Flutterby, the research procrastinator.

 

Last thing you read that made you think, “Well damn, that was cool…”

Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear. Steampunk, centered around a brothel in a city in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1800s. An lovely diverse cast of politicians whores and brothel staff, thugs and crooked cops–all with a decided LGBT slant, and the most fascinating steam technology (sewing machines you sit inside! prosthetic limbs!). It’s a love story, a rip-roaring adventure with airships and politics and espionage, told in a kind of off-hand, homespun voice that I found absolutely delightful.

 

If your soul was manifested outside of your body in the form of an animal (like in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series), what would it be?

A cocker spaniel.


Madeleine Robins has been a nanny, an administrator, an actor, and a part-time swordswoman; has trafficked book production, edited comics, and repaired hurt books. She’s also the author of five Regency romances, the New York Times Notable urban fantasy The Stone War, Daredevil: The Cutting Edge, and three Regency-noir mysteries, Point of Honour, Petty Treason, and The Sleeping Partner, featuring the redoubtable Sarah Tolerance, agent of inquiry. Sold for Endless Rue, an historical retelling of Rapunzel set at the medieval medical school of Salerno, was published in 2013. She is a founding member of the online authors’ cooperative Book View Café. A native New Yorker, Madeleine now lives in San Francisco with a dog, a husband, and a hegemonic lemon tree. She’s working on another book. MadeleineRobins.com. @MadERobins.

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