Wednesday 25 April 2018

Author’s Inspiration ~ Mary Jean Adams #History #HistoricalFiction @Maryjeanadams

Please give a warm welcome to historical fiction author, Mary Jean Adams.

Author’s Inspiration

God Bless the Peacemakers

When Mary Anne Yarde invited me to write a post for her blog on where I got my inspiration from for my books, I was honored to be asked. At a high-level, the answer is pretty simple. I love both history and romance novels, and writing historical romances gives me a chance to indulge in two of my favorite pastimes. In fact, the inspiration for most of my novels comes from reading rather dry historical accounts and then imaging the interpersonal relationships happening behind the scenes. Being an American and unable to keep all of those titles straight, I write American Historical Romances set during the American Revolution. (Though I do love a good Regency!)

Having accepted the invitation, I started thinking about which of my novels had the most interesting inspiration. Undoubtedly, Le Chevalier, my first novel, ranks right up there. One of the inspirations for my hero was the real-life le Chevalier D’Eon de Beaumont, a cross-dressing French military officer. (There were suspicions that he was actually a woman, but an autopsy upon his death confirmed that he was at least anatomically male.) My hero is not so ambiguous, but he does flee France dressed as a woman.
Le Chevalier is my tribute to the French who helped us win the Revolution by providing money when we most needed it. (They also provided manpower, but other than the Marquis de Lafayette and a couple others, their human resources were… somewhat lacking.)

Cupid’s Arrow was inspired by the differences in the American and French Revolutions. Willing Love was inspired by a Founding Father who was also (allegedly) one of our greatest smugglers, John Hancock. I got my knowledge of ships for Caution to the Wind from watching Horatio Hornblower and reading the Aubrey/Maturin novels.

Those might all make interesting subjects for a blog about how I get my inspiration, but I’ve taken a different tact in my current the manuscript. I’m currently working on a new series called The Peacemakers, that addresses an issue that’s been bugging me.

Americans tend to make a big deal out of the whole patriotism/Founding Father’s thing. Those who get into history may even act as though they were born in the wrong time. If only they had been around in 1774, they’d be sitting right next to Sam Adams at the First Continental Congress, debating how to respond to the Intolerable Acts ­– a set of punitive laws passed by Parliament after the Boston Tea Party, most notably the closing of the Port of Boston and taking away Massachusetts right of self-rule. Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech doesn’t hold a candle to what they would have said. Online quizzes like Which Founding Father Are You? are also very popular with this crowd. (I got John Adams.)

But what we have to remember is that roughly half of the population in the American colonies were not Rebels. Some wanted nothing to do with politics. Some were on the other side. It’s not unlike American politics today where Thanksgiving dinner can become a bit of a battle ground.

As I do my research, I can’t help but wonder which side I would have been on. Would I have been one of the “Daughters of the Revolution,” like Abigail Adams or Mercy Otis Warren? Or would I have been more like Peggy Shippen, daughter of a prominent Philadelphia family with Loyalist ties and the wife of Benedict Arnold. (I always suspected her of being responsible for his attempts to sell West Point to the British!)

I’m not sure I know the answer to that. I’m not sure anyone does. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, and no one really knows what they’ll do in any given circumstance until they are in it. That uncertainty is the inspiration behind my new series. The Peacemakers is focused on men and women who inhabit that middle ground. Sometimes they are Loyalists. Sometimes they are Rebels. But, above all, they realize that we are family, and after the dust has settled, we just might need each other again.

Happy reading!

Mary Jean “MJ” Adams

Mary Jean Adams
I read my first romance novel in seventh grade, and I've been hooked ever since. While other kids struggled to figure out what to write in their English journals, I tried my hand at a soap opera. I can still remember the "inappropriate" my English teacher wrote across the top of the page in red ink. Trust me, my seventh-grade imaginings were nothing like the romance novels of today!

I like to think my novels harken back to the traditional historicals of the 70s and 80s, but without some of the less appealing baggage, e.g., annoyingly all-too-perfect heroines. My heroes are strong, but with a softer side that they aren't afraid to share. My heroines are determined women with a mind of their own. I hope you enjoy reading about their lives as much as I enjoy bringing them to you.

Today, I live in Fargo, North Dakota with my husband, two kids, two cats and a tank full of ugly fish. (They’re ugly but they’re peaceful. I have enough conflict in my life, and I don’t need to watch fish constantly trying to kill each other.) To answer the main question everyone wants to know – No, Fargo is not like the movie. That was actually set in Minnesota. They just called it Fargo because it sounds cooler. Nevertheless, in the twenty years I’ve lived here, I have learned to say “Uf ‘da” and “You betcha” like a native, so maybe, just maybe, the movie has some resemblance to reality even if no one has stuck their spouse in a wood chipper. That I know of.

Le Chevalier

Alexandra Turner lives in a world turned upside down. The British are preparing to invade Philadelphia. Her parents are dead from smallpox. Her twin brother, Reid, is more interested in the revolution than he is in his sister.

When the Chevalier de Mont Trignon enters her life, she has no reason to trust the mysterious foreigner. She is drawn to him even as she realizes how little she knows about the elegant yet enigmatic man. Can she trust him with her life? Can she trust him with her heart?

The Chevalier de Mont Trignon, in the service of the King of France, has sailed to America to gauge the Americans' chance for freedom for himself -- and to escape the boredom of the Parisian Court. Enthusiasm for the American cause reignites his passions, as does Alex Turner, a beautiful tavern owner determined to discover his true identity. Keeping her near him and keeping her safe while keeping her curiosity at bay is the truest test of his skills as a chevalier.
In the dangerous world of revolutionary America, where people aren't always who they seem to be, will the chevalier be Alex's salvation or her ruin?

1 comment:

See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx