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 for it?
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 sinister?
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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