I am so happy to have Syrie James visiting The Book Tart! We have a quickie 😉 and chat books, Colin Firth and costumes. She’s just as darling as I remembered.
I’d met her briefly at a Romantic Times Book Convention in 2011 (I think). She made an impression on me then and her stories have stuck with me. She writes beautiful, haunting stories that make you think AND sigh. Take a look at her newest release Jane Austen’s First Love and then add the rest of her books to your TBR stacks.
The Queen of Tarts
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Me: Syrie! You’re here! Come in come in. Please sit down and make yourself at home. *waves towards red love seat* Can I get you anything? Tea, water, coffee, soda….
Syrie: I’m excited to be here! Thanks so much for inviting me. I’d love a nice, tall glass of ice water, if that’s not too much trouble. *sinks down onto the love seat* Wow, this is super comfy—and what a beautiful color! I so want a red velvet sofa. That’s going on my Wish List.* smiles* It’s great to see you, Kat!
Me: I’m delighted to see you again too. *sinks down on couch and passes Syrie her drink* Oh! I have a cupcake too. *scoots cupcake tray closer and swipes a chocolate one*.
Syrie: You have cupcakes?! This is rapidly becoming my favorite interview ever! *snags a chocolate cupcake, unwraps it, and takes a bite.* Mmmmm.
Syrie: No way! I remember that photo. It was so nice of you to take it! Thank you! *puts cupcake down, grabs iPad, quickly scans photos. *Look! Here it is! This was three years ago. You’re right, I was promoting Nocturne at that convention, and I remember I did a huge book signing event that day for my novel Dracula, My Love—which explains why I’m all tarted up in my black velvet Victorian outfit, complete with flowered hat.
Me: *beams* Yes! I took that photo! →
I LOVE your costumes! You make most of them don’t you?
Syrie: Yes, I make most of them—although the velvet jacket I’m wearing in this photo is a true vintage garment. I bought it while researching my Charlotte Brontë novel in Haworth, England, at an antique shop just down road from the parsonage where the Brontë family lived. I was told it’s about 150 years old and the label identifies it as being made by a tailor in Bradford, a town not far from Haworth. It’s delicately constructed with an inset boned corset and tiny hook closures. What a thrill it was to wear it! I love to sew and made all the other costumes I own, which I like to refer to as “period attire.” 😉 I now have six Regency gowns with matching reticules, an assortment of bonnets, and four feather headdresses, which I enjoy wearing to the annual JASNA AGMs. I love having an excuse to play dress-up!
Me: Wow! Thanks hon. I love knowing a bit of the history behind your costumes. Your closet must be incredible!
I’m fascinated by all the genres you write, historical, contemporary, paranormal and young adult…. What are you working on now? *licks frosting off fingers and looks expectantly at Syrie*
Syrie: I’m working with my son Ryan on the sequel to Forbidden, the YA novel we co-wrote. We’ve had so many readers plead for a sequel, which is awesome, and we always had one in mind, but didn’t have time to write it before. It’s still difficult to fit it into our schedules, but we’re making progress! Meanwhile I’m contemplating ideas for my next solo book, and busy spreading the word about my new novel, Jane Austen’s First Love.
Me: Oh! Oh! You recently celebrated a book birthday! Jane Austen’s First Love was released at the beginning of August. Tell me a bit about writing from the point of a view of a teenaged Jane and about Edward… *dreamy sigh*
Syrie: I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had writing this book! The best part is that it’s about a real life relationship Jane had when she was a teenager, with a young man the world never knew much about before. I did tons of research and discovered a trove of new information about Edward Taylor. He was rich, super smart, athletic, extremely well-read and well-traveled, and incredibly accomplished–which helps explain why Jane fell head over heels in love with him! I loved climbing into the head of a vivacious Jane Austen at age fifteen, and bringing her and Edward to life during the special summer of 1791 when they fell in love.
Me: I know you are busy writing! But…. I can’t let you leave until we play a little game. 😉
Me: Thank you hon for hanging out with me at The Book Tart, I’m so happy to help you celebrate the release of Jane Austen’s First Love and I hope you come back and play in Tartlandia again!
Syrie: Me too! It’s been a pleasure to visit you. Let’s do it again soon. 😉 * Gives Kat a big hug. *