Friday, August 30, 2013

Blog Tour Interview: The Arrangement by Mary Balogh

Please join me in welcoming one of my favorite historical romance authors, Mary Balogh, to the blog today! (And pardon me if I go all fangirl on you.) It is truly an honor to have Mary here talking about her brand new release, the second novel in her Survivors' Club series. Check out my Q&A with Mary and enter to win a copy of The Arrangement! (Check back Monday for my review :)

A mesmerizing story of passionate awakening
and redemption, Mary Balogh’s new novel
unites a war hero consigned to darkness with
a remarkable woman who finds her own
salvation by showing him the light of love.

Hello, Mary! Thank you so much for taking the time to appear on my blog!

It is my pleasure, Jenny!

In The Arrangement, the hero, Vincent Hunt, was blinded in battle. What were the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of crafting this blind character?

He was very young--only 17 when he was blinded. I had to imagine what that would be like, in the early days and then later, when he fully realized that he would never see again, never again be able to do the things he had done before. This was Regency England. There were not the aids then there are now--braille writing, for example. It was a challenge to keep him realistic and believable, to make a hero of him, someone who moved past his disability to create an active, meaningful life for himself, without self-pity or bitterness. And someone capable of loving without being dependent upon the woman he loved. And actually the challenge and the rewards were the same thing much of the time--taking the challenges and watching him find a way of overcoming them.

Sophie Fry is an orphan dependent on the kindness of relatives in The Arrangement. In what ways does Sophie illustrate the limitations and restrictions placed on women during this period in history?

When Sophia's father died in a duel when she was in her teens, she was powerless. She was at the mercy of her relatives, who took her in, but grudgingly, without love or any commitment to making her life a happy one. When she finally got thrown out after she had thwarted their matchmaking plans for Vincent, she was destitute. She would probably have ended up on the streets if he had not married her. And once she did marry him, she became his property and was at his mercy. Those were the facts for women of that era. Of course, women could and did do much to improve their lot in life if they had the character for it--and it helped if they were in the care of a man who respected them and gave them much freedom. Sophia started with an essential quality--she had a satirical eye and a sense of humour. When she married Vincent, she made a deal with him so that she would have theoretical freedom after one year (divorce was out of the question). But during that year she set about making life meaningful and comfortable for both herself and him. Sophia was a fighter, a survivor. When she had the chance, she took charge of her life and her world. And this is what all good heroines do!

How do you keep coming up with fresh, compelling story lines and characters book after book? Where do you draw inspiration?

I really believe I was born to write, as others are born to create great music or excel at some sport or find the newest cure for some deadly disease. It is my gift. I have always written stories. They come to me when I want them. I have no idea where they come from. Sometimes I look back on a book I wrote some time ago and wonder how on earth I came up with that particular plot. This makes the writing process sound easy. It is not. The ideas have to be wrestled out bit by bit as the story progresses. Often the binding idea does not come to me until I am almost finished writing and I have to go back to rewrite and incorporate the new understanding into everything I have written. And it makes all the difference. Characters will always be fresh and different from others even if there are some similarities among them--just like real people! For even if two of my heroes are former military officers similarly wounded and maimed in the Napoleonic Wars, for example, their lives and personalities will be different, as will their families, what happens to them and around them, their heroines. No two people are identical (even twins!), just as no two of my fictional characters are.

Thanks, Mary! Keep on coming up with
those wonderful stories and characters for us!

And now for the giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of
The Arrangement!
Simply leave a comment on this post with your email address.

This giveaway is open only to US residents and ends at 11:59pm, Friday, September 13, 2013. (Ooohh, Friday the 13th!) Winner will be selected at random.
Thanks, and good luck!

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected. Check out my sidebar for more great giveaways!

The Arrangement is on a blog tour!
Click here to view the tour schedule.


  1. This novel sounds so interesting and unusual with a blind hero. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. Mary's comments on the writing process are always interesting. She's an all-time fav of mine, Jenny, and I'm really looking forward to reading this book. It's great she stopped by your blog! This is a big deal!

  3. I love Mary's books and would love to win this one. How lucky you are to have her on your blog!! ella at ella quinn dot net

  4. Mary Balogh is one of my very favorite authors whose books drew me into the genre. I wouldn't blame you in the least for going 'fan girl.' LOL. I haven't had the chance to pick up the book yet and would love the opportunity to win it. Barb Bettis bbettis1 at hotmail dot com

  5. I've read everything Mary has written...except this one. Oh, she is one of my all-time favorites as well. Beautiful prose. Thanks for the lovely post.

  6. I loved The Proposal and look forward to this book. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the giveaway. nisethusfarATyahooDOTcom

  7. Mary Balogh's novels are wonderful. Thanks for this great giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  8. An informative and interesting interview. The is a lovely giveaway which interests me very much. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. Wow, you had me with the blurb. I love this part, "...unites a war hero consigned to darkness with a remarkable woman who finds her own
    salvation by showing him the light of love." Sigh...

    castings at mindspring dot com

  10. Thanks for the interview. I like Mary's books and look forward to reading this one.

  11. I like the summary for The Arrangement. I agree with Cheryl C 's comment. "...the novel unites a war hero consigned to darkness with a remarkable woman who finds her own
    salvation by showing him the light of love." What's not to love about that?

    funmail07 at gmail dot com

  12. Thanks for featuring Mary for the tour!

  13. Mary Balogh writes such good stories and this looks like another one.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com


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