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Stephanie Dray | The Inspiring Journey of Frances Perkins

Becoming Madam Secretary
Stephanie Dray




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March 2024
On Sale: March 12, 2024
Featuring: Frances Perkins
528 pages
ISBN: 0593437055
EAN: 9780593437056
Kindle: B0C7TF9839
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by Stephanie Dray:
Becoming Madam Secretary, March 2024
A Day of Fire, August 2023
The Women of Chateau Lafayette, March 2022
The Women of Chateau Lafayette, April 2021


1--What is the title of your latest release?


2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

The inspiring journey of Frances Perkins, the most important woman in American history, from her early days in New York's Hell’s Kitchen to the corridors of power in the White House where she served as FDR's most trusted lieutenant, reshaping America during its darkest hour.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

I went where Frances went.

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

I would die of happiness to get to sit in a room with Frances for just five minutes! I would also have a million questions I would probably be too shy to ask.

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

Trailblazing, Tenacious and Principled

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

I had no idea that Frances Perkins really disliked Franklin Roosevelt when they first met. Theirs is a delicious enemies-to-lovers story but in a political sense. And it was so much fun to write about them sparring. They changed each other, and together they changed the nation.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

I edit constantly while I’m writing and it’s a habit that I need to break because it slows me down. 

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

I’m a sucker for truffles. Both kinds. The earthy fungi and the chocolates. 

9--Describe your writing space/office!

The most interesting thing about my office is that it is usually filled with foster kittens. As I write this, I have four little babies napping peacefully in their pen behind me. When they wake up, there will be mayhem. Otherwise, my office is a bit spartan with just a desk, some bookshelves, and a file folder system on the wall.

10--Who is an author you admire?

So many that I find this to be an unfair question. I’m just going to pull the first one that comes to mind, and that is Lisa Scottoline, because she is absolutely brilliant and incredibly warm and generous. You can’t be in her presence without feeling the glow.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

Again, more than one! I’m going to call out Margaret George’s MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA, however, because that was the first book that formally introduced to modern historical fiction, and made me realize that I wanted to write it.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

For this book, there had been a bit of going back and forth on my pitches. I would submit one, and my publisher would pass, so when I got the call that my editor wanted to talk about BECOMING MADAM SECRETARY, I feared it was going to be another rejection. I was so guarded when she said she loved it that she actually asked me, “Don’t you love Frances?” And as my knees went weak, I gasped something like, “Of course I love her! Who couldn’t love Frances Perkins? She was amazing!”

13--What’s your favorite genre to read? 

Historical Fiction. I know it may seem obvious, but I wouldn’t write it if I didn’t enjoy reading it so much!

14--What’s your favorite movie?

Dangerous Liaisons; the one with John Malcovitch.

15--What is your favorite season?

Summer. I love pools and vacations. 

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

With lobster. 

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

I really enjoyed THE GREAT on Hulu. It was horrible history and absolutely vulgar, but totally hysterical. 

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Italian food the way my family used to make it, but since I can’t have that often, then Chinese.

19--What do you do when you have free time?

I volunteer for our local animal shelter, and help train little kittens to be good pets. 

20--What can readers expect from you next?

I’m currently working on a new book about Abigail Adams that will be co-authored with Laura Kamoie. So get your tricorn hats ready for yet another revolutionary woman!


Becoming Madam Secretary

She took on titans, battled generals, and changed the world as we know it…

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Dray returns with a captivating and dramatic new novel about an American heroine Frances Perkins.

Raised on tales of her revolutionary ancestors, Frances Perkins arrives in New York City at the turn of the century, armed with her trusty parasol and an unyielding determination to make a difference.

When she’s not working with children in the crowded tenements in Hell’s Kitchen, Frances throws herself into the social scene in Greenwich Village, befriending an eclectic group of politicians, artists, and activists, including the millionaire socialite Mary Harriman Rumsey, the flirtatious budding author Sinclair Lewis, and the brilliant but troubled reformer Paul Wilson, with whom she falls deeply in love.

But when Frances meets a young lawyer named Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a tea dance, sparks fly in all the wrong directions. She thinks he’s a rich, arrogant dilettante who gets by on a handsome face and a famous name. He thinks she’s a priggish bluestocking and insufferable do-gooder. Neither knows it yet, but over the next twenty years, they will form a historic partnership that will carry them both to the White House.

Frances is destined to rise in a political world dominated by men, facing down the Great Depression as FDR’s most trusted lieutenant—even as she struggles to balance the demands of a public career with marriage and motherhood. And when vicious political attacks mount and personal tragedies threaten to derail her ambitions, she must decide what she’s willing to do—and what she’s willing to sacrifice—to save a nation.

Women's Fiction Historical [Berkley, On Sale: March 12, 2024, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780593437056 / eISBN: 9780593437063]

Buy BECOMING MADAM SECRETARYAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Stephanie Dray

Stephanie Dray

Historical Fiction and Fantasy


Stephanie Dray is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into eight languages and tops lists for the most anticipated reads of the year. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer and a teacher. Now she lives near the nation’s capital with her husband, cats, and history books.





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