Wednesday, November 6, 2013

HF Virtual Book Tours Interview and Giveaway: Michelle Diener, Author of Banquet of Lies

I am very excited to welcome Michelle Diener here to A Bookish Affair today.

1. What is the inspiration behind the story and characters in "Banquet of Lies?"

I had been thinking about the story in Banquet of Lies for many years,  In fact, both The Emperor's Conspiracy and Banquet of Lies had been swirling about in my head since about 2004  and when I finally seriously sat down and wrote The Emperor's Conspiracy, I found a way to connect the books through the character of Lord Aldridge, although not in a way that meant they were a series. They are connected but stand alone. Part of the inspiration for Banquet of Lies in particular came from my own love of cooking and baking, and my never-ending fascination with the diplomatic shenanigans of Europe.

2. Being a foodie, I loved the inclusion of food in this book. How did you come up with the recipes that Giselle cooks in the book?

Some come directly from my time in France, most come from recipe books of the Regency period. I had great fun looking through those. I've made all the recipes in the book, and readers who are interested can find them on my website. I'd love to hear from readers if they've made any of the dishes and how they enjoyed them.

3.  You've written several books at this point. Was the process for writing "Banquet of Lies" any different than writing your other books?

My process is slowly becoming clear to me, and it involves a lot of hair pulling most of the way through :) I usually write a brief outline and then just go for it. I try to make a certain page count a day, but sometimes I write more, sometimes less. It all evens out in the end. I always leave my work for at least a month before I do a final edit. That way I'm not too close to it to see the mistakes. 

4. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Don't be afraid to set things aside, gain some distance and then rewrite or tweak. Never expect the first thing you write to be the perfect sentence, or set in stone. Be willing to delete whole chapters if necessary for the good of the story. In some ways, being a writer is like being the most ruthless warlord ever, prepared to sacrifice the few for the good of all :)

 5. If you could bring three fictional characters to a deserted island with you, who would you bring and why?

I'd want people who were good at survival stuff, but also not too bossy and annoying, so that's a hard call. Samwise Gamgee would be one, loyal, steadfast and practical. Vosill  from Iain M Banks's Inversions. She's one of the most easy-going of his The Culture agents, she's a doctor, always a good thing, and she has all that really cool alien tech. And finally, Vasic, from Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series. Because being on a desert island is all well and good until you want to get off it. And as a top-notch teleporter, Vasic could certainly do that :)

Thanks so much for having me to visit.

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, October 21
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, October 22
Review at Historical Tapestry and The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, October 23
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Thursday, October 24
Review & Giveaway at The Lit Bitch
Interview at Linus’s Blanket
Friday, October 25
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Libraria
Interview at Historical Tapestry
Monday, October 28
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, October 29
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, October 30
Review at A Bookish Affair
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, October 31
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Friday, November 1
Review at Peppermint, Ph.D.
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

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One lucky winner will win a copy of Banquet of Lies (US only). Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below! a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I just finished The Emperor's Conspiracy, really enjoyed the novel, loved the characters, so I'm anxious to read this one.

  2. This book sounds like a great read! Thanks for the review and offering the give-away.

  3. Love the title. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Looking forward to reading this book. I have added it to my TBR list.

  5. Great interview with Michelle. I SO want to read this book.
    Thank you!


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