I’m delighted to be joined by Amanda McCabe today. She is answering my #AuthorInTheSpotlight questions and chatting about her novel A Manhattan Heiress in Paris. Thanks to Rachel for having me as part of the tour.
Welcome Amanda. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
Hello, and thanks so much for hosting me today! I’m Amanda McCabe, and I write historical romance and mysteries (a few different time periods, because I am a history junkie! Regency, Victorian, the Tudors, and now the 1920s). I live in New Mexico with my husband, along with two mischievous recue dogs who love to “help” with my writing by standing on the manuscripts
What inspired you to start writing?
Reading!! I’ve always been addicted to escaping into the pages of a story, where I can travel anywhere and be anyone. I was amazed when I discovered I could MAKE those worlds, too. (In the 4th grade, I wrote a very-very short story about a teacup, which won a local school prize, and was even more hooked on writing)
Tell me about your journey to publication
It started when I was a kid, and we would visit my grandmother in the summers. She was also a big reader, and would buy boxes and boxes full of books at garage sales and used bookstores, wherever she could find them, and store them in her coat closet. I could sit in there and read for days! Gothic romances, Heyers and Cartlands, classics like Austen and the Brontes, I loved it all. Which led to a part-time bookstore job in college, and a trip to a book convention where I met editors and learned about the publishing world. When I came home, I procrastinated in writing my term papers by penning a historical romance (I did eventually pass! And sold the manuscript, too…)
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
I really, really loved writing “A Manhattan Heiress in Paris”! It has so many of the things I love in life—Paris, jazz, soulmates who find each other, and 1920s fashion (as well as a peek at famous inhabitants of 1920s Paris like Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds). Here is the blurb:
Step into the roaring 1920s Parisian music scene
For a secret Parisian affair…
New York darling Elizabeth Van Hoeven has everything…except freedom. But now Eliza’s traveling to study piano at the Paris Conservatoire and falling for jazz prodigy Jack Coleman in the process! A love like theirs is forbidden back home, and as they make beautiful music together under the Parisian lights, Eliza and Jack face a difficult choice: the life they’ve always known, or the possibility of a life they never could have imagined…
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I have to confess—I am terrible at titles! Whenever I come up with something, it gets changed, so now I don’t really try. This was my editor’s idea, after the delightful movie “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” came out. (And Eliza IS an heiress who goes to Paris!)
How do I celebrate publication day?
There is a tiny local bar I love, which is housed in a renovated turn-of-the-century building and decorated with Art Deco chandeliers and murals. It’s rumoured it was a speakeasy during Prohibition, which I am not sure about, and the bartender makes a great French 75, so I will probably meet some writer friends there and pretend we’re in my story for an hour…
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I just started a new series! Going from the 1920s back a few decades, it’s a Regency set in Bath, England (one of my favourite cities) centred around 3 friends who run a matchmaking agencies—and find their own perfect matches in the process. It’s so much fun! And a great reminder that dating is never easy, even pre-Internet…
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
Oooh, that’s a tough one! It totally depends on the friend and their tastes and interests, but I’ve found that it’s hard to go wrong with Austen. Each of those books has its own distinct tone and characters, there’s bound to be something for everyone. (Even my husband, who is not a big reader, loved “Pride and Prejudice” when I urged it on him! My own first Austen was “Emma,” and I still have a soft spot for her…)
What are you reading just now?
Research! I always seem to have a history book on the night-stand. I’m also reading the mystery “Murder at the Mena House” set in Cairo in the 1920s, which I’ve loved as a setting since I found Agatha Christie so long ago.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
Is it cheating to say “The Complete Works of Shakespeare”???
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
Ever since having so much marvellous fun watching “Bridgerton,” I’d say any light-hearted Regencies! The gowns and courtly intrigue, sigh. I’d love to see some Heyer books as movies.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I’m on Facebook (AmandaMccabeBooks) and Instagram (amandamccabeauthor). I’ve also started dipping my toes in TikTok, which is fun but I am definitely still learning! (amandamccabeauthor)
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
Another tough one! I think I would love to be Emma Woodhouse, “handsome, clever, and rich”—and with a Mr. Knightley, too!
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Manhattan-Heiress-Paris-Mills-Historical-ebook/dp/B0BCHK5PCJ/
US – https://www.amazon.com/Manhattan-Heiress-Paris-Amanda-McCabe-ebook/dp/B0B3DYDW9D