Mimi Matthews Interview
Samantha: Your characters are always so loveable! I
know it’s hard to pick a favorite, but do you have one in this book?
Mimi: It’s really hard to choose! I love Julia and
Jasper, of course, but I also have a soft spot for Daisy Blunt.
Samantha: I adored Goldfinch Hall as a setting in
Yorkshire. It’s damp, creepy, and deliciously gothic! What was your inspiration
Mimi: I’m a huge fan of gothic fiction and Victorian
sensation novels. Remote, creepy houses often play a part in those stories.
It’s always fun to include one of them in mine.
Samantha: Julia’s invalid parents remind me of Mr.
Woodhouse in Jane Austen’s EMMA. How did you make them both comical and
Mimi: Their hypochondriacal quirks make them comical,
a bit in the vein of Austen characters like Mrs. Bennet or Mr. Woodhouse.
However, the power they hold over Julia makes them sinister. They’re capable of controlling her future and
taking away her bodily autonomy. Truly scary!
Samantha: Novel-reading and whether or not it is a
healthy pastime for delicate young ladies is discussed many times in your book.
Do you have a favorite novel or two?
Mimi: I have so many favorites! I love Wuthering
Heights by Emily Brontë. I also love Venetia by Georgette Heyer.
Samantha: You mentioned THE BLUE CASTLE by L.M.
Montgomery as an inspiration for this story. What do you enjoy about that
novel? And how does it relate to your new book?
Mimi: I love the sweetness of The Blue Castle
and the way the heroine gains strength once she’s apart from her family. I
can’t reveal what it was that inspired me in the story without spoiling one of
the secrets in BELLE, except to say that it’s something that is itself inspired
by the tale of Bluebeard’s Wife.
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