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Monday, July 13, 2015

Guest Post - Anna Lee Huber II

Anna Lee Huber is the RITA and Daphne awards-nominated author of the national bestselling Lady Darby Mysteries, including A Grave Matter, Mortal Arts, and The Anatomist’s Wife. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she majored in music and minored in psychology. She currently resides in Indiana with her family and is hard at work on the next Lady Darby novel. Book 4, A Study in Death (my review here), will released on July 7th, 2015.

Visit her online at is the second interview we have been honored to have with Ms. Huber.  The first interview is here (click here.)

Anna Lee Huber
For this blog post, I decided to toss it over to my readers and find out what they would like to know about me and the Lady Darby series, and here are a few of the questions they asked.

What is your favorite part about writing the Lady Darby series?

I would have to say it’s the characters. Whenever I think I know them completely, they will surprise me and reveal another facet to themselves. It’s fun to explore them, to put them in new and often difficult situations, and to watch them continue to blossom as fictional beings.

Do you have a favorite character?

Oh, my goodness. You want me to choose?! Well, Lady Darby and Gage will always be favorites, that’s a given, but there are a few secondary characters I am particularly fond of. Bonnie Brock is so much fun to write. His role was initially supposed to be minor, but he stole the scene and my imagination from the moment he walked on the page. I adore Alana, because everybody needs a big sister like her. Lord Marsdale from The Anatomist’s Wife is a delightful rascal, and will be coming back at some later date. Another amusing addition to my cast in A Study in Death is Lady Bearsden. The words that emerged from her mouth made me laugh out loud more than once. And, of course, William Dalmay from Mortal Arts will always hold a special place in my heart, probably for obvious reasons.

What is the hardest part of writing this series?

Getting the psychology of my characters correct is particularly important to me, so I spend a lot of time and effort on it, and it sometimes forces me to go to dark places inside myself I don’t really want to go. I would say that’s probably the most difficult part of writing this series. The willingness to dig so deep to find the truth of a person.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Everywhere. Truly. Anything and everything is fodder for ideas. History, books, TV, movies, people-watching, travel, you name it. Setting also heavily influences my stories, which is why I prefer to set my novels in various locations and not confine myself to one city. I have lists and lists of interesting places I want to take my characters.

Any fictional characters from other books you feel particularly attuned to? Any fictional crushes?

I’ve always identified with most of Mary Stewart’s heroines. They’re smart, logical, slightly out of the ordinary women. I would also say I identify with Elinor in Sense and Sensibility. As far as fictional crushes, well, who isn’t a little in love with Mr. Darcy?

I'm interested in servants' roles and responsibilities. What is the difference between a majordomo, a butler, a valet? What about an abigail? I get confused as to which are different terms from different time periods and which are actually different positions.

There are a number of different sources online who can explain this better than I can, truly. Briefly, I can clarify that a majordomo is more of a man-of-all-business, carrying out a variety of duties that extend beyond the purview of one household. It’s a sort-of catch-all term and position. A butler is the head servant of usually one particular household. Carson on Downton Abbey is the perfect example. A valet handles a gentleman’s attire and appearance—draws his bath, helps him shave, mends his clothes, etc. An abigail is a lady’s personal maid, but it goes beyond that. She is oftentimes more of a servant-companion, desired as much for her company as the tasks she performs.
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Thank You Ms. Huber for that wonderful interview!  We appreciate your visiting us today.  Keep writing those great books.

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Ann Summerville said...

I stopped by your blog today.

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