I have a very special treat to share with you today!! An interview with author of 10 Maisie Dobbs mystery novels and the brand new, stand-alone novel The Care and Management of Lies, JACQUELINE WINSPEAR!! Read what she had to say about the writing experience, her inspirations, and her brand new novel!!
Q: Maisie Dobbs is a strong, independent female character. Was there someone in your life that inspired Maisie's character?
A: No, there’s no one in my life that inspired the character – rather I wanted to reflect the extraordinary generation of women in Britain who came of age in the Great War. They were the first generation of women to go to war in modern times in very significant numbers – and after the war so many had to forge a life alone because so many men had been killed in the war. That generation blazed a trail, and have inspired me since childhood.
Q: Your mystery novels are continually nominated for and winning awards. What has the experience been like for you?
A: Very rewarding you could say! Of course it’s wonderful when your work is enjoyed by a very broad range of readers, however, the fact is that you have to get up the next day and write, and as a writer I want to stretch myself and ask how I can be a better writer.
Q: There are 10 Maisie Dobbs novels right now for readers to enjoy. You've also said that Maisie will be returning in 2015. What drew you to writing mysteries and what keeps you writing them?
A: When I wrote MAISIE DOBBS I did not set out to write a mystery – I simply wrote a story that was in my head. Many booksellers did not shelve the book in the mystery section, instead putting it with historical and literary fiction – it was more “cross genre” given the emphasis on the back story. Then it seemed there were more stories to tell, but for me the focus is the main character and companion characters – they are the true mystery.
Q: You have a new standalone novel, THE CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF LIES, being published in about a month(from the time of the interview). What can readers look forward to in this new book?
A: It’s not a mystery and it’s not part of the series. Set in the opening months of the Great War, it juxtaposes life at the battlefront with life at the home front.
Q: Some of the Maisie Dobbs novels and THE CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF LIES are set in war time. Particularly, the First World War. What draws you to write novels set in this time period?
A: In answer to this question, here’s a excerpt from the “About” page on my website:
Jacqueline's grandfather was severely wounded and shell-shocked at The Battle of the Somme in 1916, and it was as she understood the extent of his suffering that, even in childhood, Jacqueline became deeply interested in the "war to end all wars" and its aftereffects. As an adult her interest deepened to the extent that, though she did not set out to write a "war" novel, it came as no surprise that this part of history formed the backdrop of Maisie Dobbs and other books in the series. The unique and engaging character of Maisie Dobbs is very much a woman of her generation. She has come of age at a time when women took on the toil of men and claimed independence that was difficult to relinquish. It was a time when many women remained unmarried, simply because a generation of men had gone to war and not come home.
"The war and its aftermath provide fertile ground for a mystery. Such great social upheaval allows for the strange and unusual to emerge and a time of intense emotions can, to the writer of fiction, provide ample fodder for a compelling story, especially one concerning criminal acts and issues of guilt and innocence. After all, a generation is said to have lost its innocence in The Great War. The mystery genre provides a wonderful vehicle for exploring such a time," explains Ms. Winspear.
Buy Maisie Dobbs on Amazon.com!
Buy The Care and Management of Lies on Amazon.com!
There you have it readers! The Writing Experience, Maisie Dobbs, and The Care and Management of Lies from Mrs. Jacqueline Winspear herself!
A special thanks to Mrs. Winspear for agreeing to do an interview with See Lizzie Read!
Keep checking See Lizzie Read here and on Facebook for more interviews, reviews, and more!!
Until Next Time,