Please welcome Darcie Wilde, author of the Rosalind Thorne Mysteries and other works.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day starts off cool and rain washed. I have time for a leisurely breakfast and coffee and a walk in that perfect weather. Then, a few hours to sit and read and think and write, with the rest of the day spent with family, friends and good food. A good dinner followed by a movie or a play in good company.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase/expression, or meal?
My signature phrase is pretty unprintable. I guess my signature accessory would be my hat. I love hats and generally wear one when I go out. My current favorite is a 2 tone Fedora, for summer I have a lovely “straw” pink and blue brimmed hat that I wear pretty much daily.
Which books/authors inspired or influenced you the most?
Oh, wow. What day is it? Okay. Starting where I started, which was in science fiction we have to go with the great Ursula K. Le Guin and Ray Bradbury, but also the pulp writer C.L. Moore. For mystery we have to go to Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey and Daphne DuMaurier. For romance, regency and historical, we have to go with the Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters and Georgette Heyer.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Constantly. I generally have my whole collection on shuffle. Lots of folk, old jazz and some truly embarassing pop/rock from my childhood.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
It would be a pot au creme, appearing simple and small in size, but rich, deep and highly satisfying.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I have an unnatural love of obscure 19th century novels, the folks who did not survive anywhere near as well as Austen. I was reading one titled Almack’s with an eye to using it as research for some of my romances, and I came across the concept of the “useful woman,” that is a gentlewoman in distressed circumstances who acted as a sort of secretary to her better of counterparts in return for dinner invitations, house party invitations, use of their carriage, etc. I had never heard of this concept before and I knew there were all kinds of stories in there.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
I write a lot about families behaving badly. I think that is the greatest source of dramatic tension available to either the mystery or the romance writer.
Tell us about your main character.
Rosalind Thorne was born into the aristocracy, but her father fell into debt and ran out on his family (there’s that thing about families behaving badly), and she became one of those useful women I talked about up above. She’s levelheaded and practical because she’s had to be in order to survive. She’s in and out of all kinds of houses, trusted by all kinds of people, but knows all the people who actually make things run in London high society, so when a mystery is dropped into her lap, she knows all the nooks and corners of that world to look into to solve it.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Eliza Bennett, Sherlock Holmes and…and…can I just go with Eliza Bennett and Sherlock Holmes?
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Whew. Wow. Okay, Daphne DuMaurier, Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, Alfred Hitchcock (okay, not a writer but hey…), Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Sanxay Holding.
What’s next for you?
I am just now finishing up the second Rosalind Thorne mystery, which is title A PURELY PRIVATE MATTER, and crossing my fingers that I will be able to write more in this series. I am having such a great time.
A national bestselling author of mystery and romance, Darcie Wilde writes her classically styled (not to mention stylish) mysteries as well as adventurous romances from a university town in a certain northern-midwestern state that has been known to bear some passing resemblance to a mitten. When not writing, she’s reading, cooking, hiking, swimming, climbing things, raising her rapidly growing son and trying to convince her cat — Buffy the Vermin Slayer — not to do any further damage to the furniture.