Tuesday, July 5, 2022

#Interview with Louise Hare of Miss Aldridge Regrets

Readers, do we have a bookish treat for you! Today we’re talking about a historical fiction meets whodunnit mystery that you won’t be able to put down: Miss Aldridge Regrets! And to join the conversation is the lovely author, Louise Hare! Welcome to the blog!

Lexi: The combination of elements that make up Miss Aldridge Regrets is so fantastic. There’s the fierce world of Broadway, racial and class tensions, adultery, betrayal, and the murder! What aspect is your favorite?

Louise: How do I choose just one?! I do love a good betrayal though, and there are several to enjoy in this novel. I loved writing Lena’s relationship with her best friend Maggie. They have a strong bond but they’re also keeping quite huge secrets from one another and watching those little white lies unravel is quite fun. 

Lexi: Mysteries, by default, pull at our imaginations and beg for answers. Did you know the ending when you started out writing this book?

Louise: I thought I did. I’m more of a pantser than a plotter but this time around I did do a rough plan. Except that I got to the end and realized the murderer wasn’t who I’d thought it was… I hate first drafts and love editing. Once I have the initial version I can identify everything that’s wrong with it and fix it – I love fixing things! There have been about four or five different endings for this novel but I’m really happy with how it ends now. 

Lexi: In the book, Lena, is the nightclub singer who escapes police scrutiny by accepting a job and boarding the RMS Queen Mary. Lena is quickly pulled into the Abernathy family, and whoa are they an interesting bunch, when one of them is killed in a similar way to the murder she was suspect in! It seems bad luck follows our dear main character. Does Lena ever have a breakdown moment?

Louise: Lena’s basically in denial for most of the novel! She is an actress, albeit one who hasn’t had a lot of success, but when she boards the ship she knows she has to put on an act just to fit in. When things go wrong she almost doubles down on that. But even before the events in the novel, she’s been ignoring so many problems in her life rather than facing them head on: her father’s death, the fact that her former lover is married, the problems that her best friend is dealing with. She doesn’t have a breakdown moment as such, but meeting Will on the ship is a turning point. He seems to see her as she is and doesn’t fall for her act. 

Lexi: The 1930’s is such a fun time to read about. The glamor, the prejudices, the danger of the times. There are so many period details you give and that really brings Lena’s story to life. How did you find so many details?

Louise: I’m very lucky to live in London, not too far from the British Library which is an amazing source of information. They have copies of every book published in the UK, either in physical or digital form. They even had copies of the Ocean Times, the Queen Mary’s daily newspaper, from 1936. I also read lots of fiction from the period – Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers. The Abernathys were inspired by those wealthy families that F. Scott Fitzgerald writes about. A sort of amalgam of Anthony and Gloria Patch, and Tom and Daisy Buchanan. 

Lexi: Cheers to your debut, Miss Aldridge Regrets and here’s to eagerly waiting for your next release! Thank you for stopping by today, Louise!

Louise: Thank you so much for having me!

About the Book

Miss Aldridge Regrets
by Louise Hare

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 5th 2022 by Berkley Books
The glittering RMS Queen Mary. A nightclub singer on the run. An aristocratic family with secrets worth killing for.

London, 1936. Lena Aldridge wonders if life has passed her by. The dazzling theatre career she hoped for hasn't worked out. Instead, she's stuck singing in a sticky-floored basement club in Soho, and her married lover has just left her. But Lena has always had a complicated life, one shrouded in mystery as a mixed-race girl passing for white in a city unforgiving of her true racial heritage.
She's feeling utterly hopeless until a stranger offers her the chance of a lifetime: a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary bound for New York. After a murder at the club, the timing couldn't be better, and Lena jumps at the chance to escape England. But death follows her onboard when an obscenely wealthy family draws her into their fold just as one among them is killed in a chillingly familiar way. As Lena navigates the Abernathy's increasingly bizarre family dynamic, she realizes that her greatest performance won't be for an audience, but for her life.

With seductive glamor, simmering family drama, and dizzying twists, Louise Hare makes her beguiling US debut.

About the Author

Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including This Lovely City, which began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common.

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