Sunday, July 26, 2009

Will the Real Courtesan Please Stand Up?

Yesterday I got a call from my mom.

She's reading VEXING THE VISCOUNT and she was fascinated by the journal my heroine Daisy uses to learn about men. It's the memoirs of the French courtesan, Blanche La Tour, a woman who has plenty to remember!

Anyway, my mom wondered if there really was a Mlle. La Tour. I suspect she wanted to read the actual journal rather than rely on the excerpts from it at the start of each VEXING THE VISCOUNT chapter. She thought the courtesan sounded wise and witty and a little sad. She wanted to know more about her.

Imagine my chagrine when I had to admit there was no Blanch La Tour--other than the one who lives in my head! I had released my "inner courtesan" to create this rather naughty mentoring character. And the only parts of her ficticious journal in existence are the snippets "quoted" in VEXING THE VISCOUNT.

Mom was shocked. She totally believed there had been a living, breathing Blanche in the 18th century and I had somehow unearthed her memoirs. (I chose to take this as a compliment, but then I also have to square with the idea that my mother now knows I have a French courtesan in my head!) All I could do was point her to my website, where I talk a bit more about Blanche and a courtesan's lifestyle. All I know is the result of careful research (in the library!) I promise!

Is there something about you you'd rather your mom not know?


Patricia Barraclough said...

I'd give anything to let my mother discover my little secrets, but she died in 1971 at 47. I was 24. She missed my adulthood.
I think the biggest shock for her would be that I'm reading "racey" romance novels and paranormals. My nickname was 'Mother Patricia" when I was in high school and college. I was naive. I think my husband would have appreciated it if I had started reading them sooner;-)

EmilyBryan said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Patricia. Even though my mom lives an 18+ hour drive away, I'm blessed to be able to visit with her by phone several times a week.

My DH has lost both his parents and I know not a week goes by but what he wishes he could talk to them.

JennJ said...

Hi Emily first off let me say I love your books! You are an amazing author.

I love the story Emily! Now your mom is sitting there with her eyebrows raised huh LOL!

You know I wondered if there was a real Blanche myself while I was reading Vexing the Viscount so she wasn't alone. You should do a book about her sometime that would be very interesting! I'm going to go read more about her on your site!

Nynke said...

I must confess, during you blog tour before VtV came out, I first thought the quotes might be from a real Blanche la Tour, too :). And I was a tiny bit disappointed that they weren't, and there were no more memoirs... I'm that big a suspender of disbelief, I guess, and you were that convincing :)

I guess there's not a lot I'd keep secret from my mum, but there is a lot I'm not actually willing to talk about with her in detail. And most of that is love-life-related... But that's normal, right? :)

EmilyBryan said...

JennJ--Thanks so much for those kind words.

I have thought about doing the story of Blanche or someone like her. Some of the operatic heroines I've sung were courtesans so I feel an afinity for those women who made their own choices and paid for them. But if I told that story, I doubt I could make it a romance. Their lives were fascinating and exciting, but very few of them could claim an HEA ending.

Nynke--I'll let my mom know she wasn't alone. I'm just glad that I made the character live for you. It means I did my job.