Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I am Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of two historical mystery series plus several internationally bestselling historical novels. The Tuscan Child and In Farleigh Field have sold over one million copies between them and my work is translated into 24 languages to date. My Royal Spyness mysteries are comedies featuring a minor royal in the 1930s while the Molly Murphy novels are about the immigrant experience in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century.
I was born and raised in UK, married a fellow Brit whom I met in Australia, and have lived in California for many years.
What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
There is a different
story behind each one. The inspiration for the Royal Spyness stories
comes from the aristocratic family into which I married, plus my own
childhood memories. The same was the basis for In Farleigh Field—a
thriller set in WWII. The Tuscan Child was inspired by my
summers teaching a writing workshop in Tuscany.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
wrong. Not doing good research. Writing a book copying another writer
because his book sold well.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
With over 4000 reviews for some of my books I have to be prepared for a few bad ones. Sometimes I just have to laugh because the writers are so ridiculous. Being anonymous gives people a feeling of power. But a bad review from a respected source? I’ve never had one.
How has your creation process improved over time?
As one writes (and I’ve written 45 historical mysteries to date) one becomes aware, observant, picks up threads of conversations, notices small things that will bring a scene to life.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The best part of creating a book is having finished it. The creative process is still always a roller coaster of ups and downs. I also love the research part ahead of writing the book.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
Every book I have
written is a story I have wanted to read but the book didn’t exist,
so I wrote it. A writer can only write to please herself.
What are your plans for future books?
My next book is about Queen Victoria and the time she spent in Nice, France. The research was such fun. After that a book set in Venice.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I love to travel, to snorkel, to play the Celtic harp, to sing