Shana Galen | The Making of the Music in THE MAKING OF A GENTLEMAN
October 20, 2010
The old adage write what you know never made sense to me. I like to write
books about Regency England, England in the early nineteenth century. I love to
describe ladies dripping with jewels and garbed in satin gowns with embellished
slippers, gentlemen in cravats and tail coats, and the sound of a coach and four
as it clops and jingles past couples strolling along Picadilly.
Iâ€™ve never been to Regency England, and even if they invented a time machine,
Iâ€™m not sure I would go. I do have a fondness for indoor plumbing! Iâ€™ve never
worn a ball gown or met a man in a cravat and Wellington boots (although Iâ€™d
like to!). Obviously, I donâ€™t know Regency England, not first-hand
But I do know something about falling in love. Iâ€™ve been married for four and a
half years to a wonderful man (even if he doesnâ€™t wear a cravat). And I know
something about being nervous before entering a party, losing someone I love,
and having to start over. My heroine, Felicity Bennett, has all of these
experiences. Felicity and I share something else as well—a love of music.
I started taking piano lessons in first grade. I remember climbing onto the
piano bench, my feet not even reaching the pedals. I remember playing scales and
practicing at home on the same antique piano my grandmother practiced on. I
remember sitting beside my mother as she played a complicated piece and
wondering if I would ever play as well as she.
Felicity, my heroine in The
Making of a Gentleman, is something of a piano prodigy. She learned from her
mother as well, but she has the uncanny ability to hear a piece once and be able
to play it. I never had that ability, as much as I wish I did. I had to struggle
to learn every piece and practice for hours. But I do know the joy and the
thrill of mastering a complicated piece and of playing it well. And I do know
the power of music.
Felicity learns the power of music first-hand when she is engaged as a tutor to
the comte de ValĂ©re. Armand has been imprisoned for twelve long years and is
unable to speak or observe social customs. Felicity is at a loss as to how to
connect with him. She soon finds that music touches him as much as she. In fact,
music might stir Armand too much! The first time he hears her play, he takes her
in his arms.
I enjoyed researching the music of the nineteenth century for The Making of a Gentleman,
and I especially enjoyed putting something I know about into a book. I was
finally able to write what I know.
What about you? Do you like to read books that touch on topics youâ€™re familiar
with? Sewing? Music? Fashion? Food?
I hope youâ€™ll pick up The
Making of a Gentleman. Visit my website for excerpts
THE MAKING OF A
GENTLEMAN BY SHANA
GALEN—IN STORES OCTOBER 2010
sense of humor, expertly blended with deep emotions, will hold readers captive
right to the end.â€ť—RT Book Reviews
â€śLively dialogue, breakneck pace and a great sense of fun.â€ť —Publishers
Twelve years in prison has stripped him of his humanity
Armand, Comte de ValĂ¨re has lost the ability to interact with polite society,
until his family hires him a beautiful tutor, and he starts to come alive againâ€¦
Saving him is her only chance to escape a terrible fate
Felicity Bennett vows sheâ€™ll do whatever it takes to help Armand fight back the
demons that have held him captive for so longâ€¦
With Felicityâ€™s help, Armand begins to heal, until a buried secret threatens to
destroy their growing passionâ€¦
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shana Galen is the
author of five Regency historicals, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorneâ€™s Bride. Her
books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the
Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houstonâ€™s inner
city, Shana now writes full time. Shana is a happily married
wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas
where she is working on the final book in the Brothers of the Revolution
series, The Making of a Rogue, which will be in stores in 2011. She loves to
hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com.
39 comments posted.
Re: Shana Galen | The Making of the Music in THE MAKING OF A GENTLEMAN
So here is a question... has anyone ever said, "you got that all wrong"? I mean about England...lol! How do you write about a time and place you have never seen or experienced???
(Michele Powell 1:21am October 20, 2010)
I like to read anything but love to learn, so reading about something I don't know about always thrills me.
(Joanne Reynolds 6:28am October 20, 2010)
I enjoy a variety of fiction subjects, but particularly historical settings.
(Marjorie Carmony 6:45am October 20, 2010)
That's thought provoking - I'd never considered that historical fiction is always written by people who don't know (first hand) of the life and times, but is instead brought more to life by the characters (and research!) put into it. It makes learning fun -
(Jl Welling 8:42am October 20, 2010)
I enjoy romance and genre, however I too like regency. I love it when I learn something I did not know before in the romance books I read, then I can tell my husband that 'yes, they are educational!'
(Barbara Hanson 8:43am October 20, 2010)
love the cover that dress is beautiful
(April Strength 8:59am October 20, 2010)
i would enjoy reading this
(Debbi Shaw 10:37am October 20, 2010)
LOL, Michele! People definitely point it out when I get things wrong. Fortunately, that doesn't happen much. I've done a lot of research and visited England, but I'm sure if a Regency person were to time-travel and read my books s/he would say, "That's not how it was!"
I like to learn new things, too. That's one reason I enjoy writing historicals, Joanne, Marjorie, Jl, and Barbara.
(Shana Galen 10:38am October 20, 2010)
(Shana Galen 10:39am October 20, 2010)
I love reading, when I am
reading I go to a different
place. all my worries seem to
be forgotten. I enjoy
Historical and Regency eras
but I like to connect with the
people in the books, its
romance that is not around
today. I really enjoy your
(Debra Yates 10:41am October 20, 2010)
(Shana Galen 12:23pm October 20, 2010)
I think it's great to read a story that has something I know about in it. Or a place I've been too.
I also like learning new things, so sometimes the subject matter is fascinating too.
(Valerie Bongards 1:46pm October 20, 2010)
I agree, Valerie! Thanks for commenting :-)
(Shana Galen 2:40pm October 20, 2010)
Congrats on your new release!
It's fun to read about something/somewhere I'm familiar with, just to see someone else's take on it, but it's also fun to learn new things while I read.
(S Tieh 3:17pm October 20, 2010)
Congrats on the new release, Shana. It is nice when you read about a topic or setting you're familiar with. I also find myself comparing what I know about the subject and what the author presents to see if there are any discrepancies.
(Jane Cheung 3:21pm October 20, 2010)
I am a mystery lover but enjoy reading historical fiction as well. Fun to learn about times we did not get to live in.
(Teresa Ward 3:46pm October 20, 2010)
I like reading about something
familiar, but also like to learn
something new. I admire how authors
can take me to a time and place so far
removed from my own (and theirs) and
make me live in that story.
(Deb H. 4:11pm October 20, 2010)
Yes, I do like reading about topics that I am familiar with: gardening, cooking, baking, canning and preserving. But, I also, like to read the romance genres and US History!
(Cynthia Netherton 4:13pm October 20, 2010)
Writing what you know adds a level of genuineness to a story, especially when you are writing a historical romance. Great premise. I can't wait to read this book!
(Julianne Long 4:24pm October 20, 2010)
I like something I'm familiar with in a book I'm reading, but I also like to learn about something I'm not familiar with.
(Sue Farrell 4:37pm October 20, 2010)
A lot of research is done writing historical novels, so we all learn something new each time we read a new book.
(Pat Wilson 5:16pm October 20, 2010)
I'm not picky I do like to read about topics I'm familiar but I also like to read about stuff I'm not familiar so I can learn something new as well
(Amanda Boyer 6:10pm October 20, 2010)
I do enjoy being able to relate to books through my interests.
(Mary Preston 6:13pm October 20, 2010)
When you take me places I've never been. Tell a story that captivates and keeps me turning the page, then you've done a good job....
(Maude Allen 6:21pm October 20, 2010)
I do enjoy when the topic touches something I enjoy. I also like some humor mixed in.
(Winnie Kowalski 8:00pm October 20, 2010)
Thanks so much for all the comments. I didn't realize how much readers like to learn new things. I'll keep that in mind as I write my next books. Thanks, Fresh Fiction, for having me!
(Shana Galen 8:13pm October 20, 2010)
I like the idea of travel and meeting new people.
(Deb Pelletier 8:30pm October 20, 2010)
I love reading a wide variety of books. They can be about new hobbies and cultural concepts, too. The memory of practicing piano and recitals comes back to me, too, along with the butterflies and sweat from worry about hitting the wrong or a new note. The pedal effect on the sound when playing piano evokes more moods. I do love hearing and learning more about the Regency time period and all their customs and costumes.
(Alyson Widen 8:40pm October 20, 2010)
I like to learn something new every day & it's such a kick to learn it in a romance book!
(Diane Sallans 8:55pm October 20, 2010)
It's great to read a great book and also learn something new at the same time.
(Brenda Rupp 9:07pm October 20, 2010)
I do enjoy reading books that have topics that I'm familiar with. I also like reading books that I can learn something from like history, myths, legends, and so on and so forth.
(Kai Wong 9:15pm October 20, 2010)
I always enjoy when a place or past
time I am familiar with is featured in a
story. It gives a personal connection
to the story and characters.
I also like books that touch on topics I
am unfamiliar with. What a great way
to learn a bit about something new.
(Patricia Barraclough 9:36pm October 20, 2010)
Taking private cello lessons many years ago, I too know the power of music. Any time my parents asked me to play for someone, I could see a change come over them while I was playing. I only played for people who would appreciate the music. lol Anyway, your blog touched me so much, and brought back so many memories, that I have to read your book. I also have a dear friend in England, so that makes your book more special to me!! I'm sure it's going to touch me more than you know. Thank you for writing it!!
(Peggy Roberson 9:43pm October 20, 2010)
I love learning a little something new about the place or time of a historical novel's setting. Always been a history buff!
(G S Moch 9:50pm October 20, 2010)
sound like a great book count
me in and i twitted you good luck with the book
(Desiree Reilly 10:16pm October 20, 2010)
I love almost all types of music and it does make the world go round. This book sounds like my kind of book. I love romance with a little mystery and would love to win. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.
(Brenda Hill 10:18pm October 20, 2010)
It is fun to read a story that has a generous helping on a topic that I love. Must admit a weakness for food and love. I generally am a fan of romance, but melt at a hero with a culinary background.
Am intrigued about your hero and his reaction to music.
(G. Bisbjerg 10:28pm October 20, 2010)
I enjoy reading books based in England and the Regency period. Thank you
(Barbara Ryan 4:00pm October 21, 2010)
Not sure if its to late I just noticed my name as a winner in
(Debra Yates 10:34am December 3, 2010)
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