Meet This Author: Shelley Noble

Q: How did you get started writing historical novels?

A: That moment when two parts of your life collide (In a good way). I was writing contemporary women’s fiction and amateur sleuth mysteries, and I had been studying for fun, pre-Broadway theatre in the Gilded Age, when I had an opportunity to write a historical mystery. And though actresses do often people my novels, it was the period that stole my heart. And from historical mysteries it was a short leap
to historical fiction.

Q: Which type of trope do you enjoy writing the most?

A: Writing in several genres, I’ve found that whether light-hearted or serious, my stories embrace the idea of something lacking and the search for that thing that makes us whole.

Q: When did your idea for your latest novel, The Tiffany Girls, start to form?

A: I was working on my latest Gilded Age mystery, A Secret Never Told, and was down the rabbit hole of research on early psychoanalysis, when an article on an exhibit of Tiffany lamps randomly appeared in the feed. I couldn’t resist, so I took a break to read about the little-known women who created and executed much of the famous stained-glass lamps and windows of Louis C Tiffany. I was hooked. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Q: Who are the main protagonists inside of The Tiffany Girls?

A: My two fictional protagonists are Emilie Pascal, a French artist, on the run from her art forging father who finds sanctuary among the female artists known as the Tiffany Girls. And Grace Griffith, stained glass window maker by day, and pseudonymous political cartoonist by night. But the real stars of thebook are Clara Driscoll and the women of the Tiffany Glass Company.

Q: What themes will readers find inside of your latest book?

A: The turn of the 20 th Century was the time of the “Modern Woman.” An explosive time when women were redefining their place in society, embracing new possibilities—and none more so than with the Tiffany Girls, who chose work instead of marriage, independence risking ostracism, and demanding rights they’d never contemplated before.

Q: Which character did you enjoy creating the most?

A: Each character holds a special place just for what he or she brings to the story. In The Tiffany Girls, it was the boarding house where Emilie, Grace and several other girls lived under the mothering of Mrs. Bertolucci, or Mrs. B, that took on a life of its own, where the girls could feel safe and dream and argue and where they found a home.

Q: How would you describe your writing style?

A: That’s a hard one. A combination of Classical and cinematic, maybe. I like description that adds to the ambiance of the story, lots of interior monologue as the characters develop. I use several Point of View characters to get a full rounded view and use scenes that cut from character to character to insure (I hope) a rich and satisfying read.

Q: For aspiring writers in genre, what is your advice for them?

A: Study the craft, not just at the beginning but throughout your career. Learn the business. And always
be ready to reinvent yourself.

Q: Do you outline your novels or just dive into writing them?

A: I spend lots of time researching and playing around with possible characters and group dynamics. Computer files, stacks of papers, notes in notebooks and scraps of paper grow past manageable levels. And as things start to connect, I start adding “possibles” to a storyboard. A real one, a big sheet of Lucite on my office wall and color coded post-it notes. Easy to rearrange and I just have to swivel in my desk chair to see the whole story laid out before me.

Q: Tell us, readers, what other projects you are working on, if any.

A: I’m currently writing my next historical novel about Daisy Harriman and the first women’s club in Manhattan. Lots of amazing characters with minds of their own.

Q: What fun facts did you learn while doing research for your novel?

A: All sorts of fascinating tidbits about bathing suits, Christmas trees, home remedies, and the intricacies of glassmaking. Telephones and aeroplanes. Ice farming and newsboys. And the amazing 1900 Paris Worlds Fair. I’ve been sharing some of them on my Facebook page with great period photos for everyone to enjoy.

Q: Where can readers find you and your books online?

Author’s Bio:

Shelley Noble is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Whisper Beach and Beach Colors. Other titles include Stargazey PointBreakwater BayForever Beach, Lighthouse Beach, and four spin off novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, she lives at the Jersey shore and loves to discover new beaches and indulge in her passion for lighthouses and vintage carousels. Shelley is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.

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