Here today on What’s Hot’s we are hosting a very special character interview with Beatrice Knowles as part of the Maid of Secrets Blog tour! For those of you who haven’t already read Maid of Secrets, here’s the synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril.
For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.
A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…
Enter the giveaway below to win your own copy of Maid of Secrets!
An Interview with Beatrice Knowles, Maid of Deception
I’m so glad, Laura, that you had the presence of mind to want to interview me. Who better to feature on a “What’s
Hot” site?? And in truth, I am not only the eldest of the spies, along with Jane… but I am by far the most well-trained. This does not mean my fellow spies in the Maids of Honor are not skilled, but only I have grown up in the courts
of Kings and Queens.
It is my sincere pleasure to answer your questions. Shall we begin?
What is your favorite part about Queen Elizabeth’s court?
My favorite part of the Queen’s court is simply that: it is a royal court. It is a rush and tumble of courtiers and ladies, all of them scheming, all of them planning, all of them trying to gain the advantage. I am most in my element in a place such as this, where I can see and be seen, and turn everything to my advantage.
What do you REALLY think about your fellow Maids of Honor?
Well, I cannot be completely frank, as I have to work with these young women. And they all truly do try, except Meg of course. Meg is aggravating to the extreme. But as to the rest: Jane is a cipher—she is not as cold as she would have us believe… she is even colder. Though I daresay she has good reason. Anna, I cannot help but adore despite her lack of guile… she is truly a genius in every way—except with boys. Then she is hopeless. And Sophia? Ah, she is a puzzle. But I feel sorry for her, verily I do. She has not yet found her way, and until she does so, she will always be at risk.
What is your least favorite part about being a spy?
Undoubtedly, my least favorite part is the endless rounds of studies. I mean, truly. I know how to read, I know multiple languages. I know dance steps from six different countries. I can embroider, and feed a houseful of guests. I even can throw a credible punch. Do I really need to spend half my life stuck in an airless room learning international politics and the histories of every royal family across the continent? I think not. Now Meg? Yes. She’s an imbecile. She could study for the rest of her life and still not know enough to fill a thimble. But me? I’m done with studies. I want to live.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is also my most worst, I have to say. It started out tremendously well – we were at my family home, Marion Hall. My father and mother had just worked their way deep into the overgrown labyrinth behind our house, with me trailing behind. In the middle of the labyrinth was a lovely, untouched circle of soft grass, with a tiny, burbling spring in its center—like a natural well. It was magical and perfect, and I’d never seen my parents happier. My mother even took a long
drink from the well, and she and my father danced around with joy.
After that, however, my mother fell ill almost immediately, and she was never the same again. I am convinced to this day that it had something to do with that stupid well… and with my father.
(You can read more about the labyrinth in my story, Maid of Deception, out in 2014!)
If you weren’t a spy, what role would you have in Court?
Well, of a certainty I would be in a role that is much the same as what I am now—the belle of every ball, the center of every conversation, the focus of every courtier’s attention. It can be a trying existence, but I do my best to stay strong. If court were not the center of my world, though, I’d have to say I’d be terribly bored. There are some girls who could be happy living quietly in the countryside; alas, I am not one of them.
Thank you again, Laura, for hosting me. If any of your readers would like to find out which of the Queen’s spies is their perfect sister spy, they can take this quiz on Jenn McGowan’s Facebook page. If they’re very lucky, it will be me: http://on.fb.me/ZPEgEoMany thanks to Jenn, sorry Beatrice, for giving us an interview! 🙂
Jennifer McGowan writes Young Adult romance full of swash and buckle. Her first novel, MAID OF SECRETS, debuts in Spring, 2013 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Age: Royal Secret
Came From: A small town in northern Ohio
Became a Maid of Honor: After bringing her tale of spygirls to the noble city, and winning the favor of the great house of Simon (& Schuster).
Special Skill: Matrix-like reflexes, superior strength, fabulous wit… okay, ah – we’ll get back to you on that.
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