In her enthralling, richly imagined new novel, Brandy Purdy, author of The Ripper’s Wife, creates a compelling portrait of the real, complex woman behind an unthinkable crime.
Lizzie Borden should be one of the most fortunate young women in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her wealthy father could easily afford to provide his daughters with fashionable clothes, travel, and a rich, cultured life. Instead, haunted by the ghost of childhood poverty, he forces Lizzie and her sister, Emma, to live frugally, denying them the simplest modern conveniences. Suitors and socializing are discouraged, as her father views all gentleman callers as fortune hunters.
Lonely and deeply unhappy, Lizzie stifles her frustration, dreaming of the freedom that will come with her eventual inheritance. But soon, even that chance of future independence seems about to be ripped away. And on a stifling August day in 1892, Lizzie’s long-simmering anger finally explodes…
Vividly written and thought-provoking, The Secrets of Lizzie Borden explores the fascinating events behind a crime that continues to grip the public imagination—a story of how thwarted desires and desperate rage could turn a dutiful daughter into a notorious killer.
1) What does a day-in-the-life of an author look like?
At the moment, I’m sorry to say, pure exhaustion. I’m a caregiver for a rather difficult elderly father, not one but two houses are being built across the street and the construction crews starts around 8:00 am and go until after dark, and I am racing to meet deadline on my current book after falling behind due first to a bad cold and then an eye infection. I write at night, there are just too many distractions during the day, I go till my eyes give out, and then I sleep until about 1:00 pm if I can, unless I have errands or appointments or I get woken up and can’t go back to sleep (which is happening a lot lately). After I get up I have a cup of hot chocolate (I hate coffee) with my cat Tabby, and we play if she is in the mood, then I go online, answer emails, take care of any other business I have online like Facebook, blog or website updates, ebay, bills, shopping etc. and do what I need to around the house. After my father goes to bed I have my dinner, try to relax a little, and then I start writing and go till I give out, usually between 4-6 am. During my breaks, or if I hit a snag in the story, I play with Tabby and color, do word search puzzles, watch a little tv, or read. As a rule, if I get stuck I never sit and stare at the screen, I get up and do something else; what I need will usually come to me naturally if I don’t sit and worry or obsess about it. As much as I love to, when I’m working on one of my own books, I try not to read books as I get too easily caught up in the story and I can’t focus on my own if I’m wondering what is going to happen with someone else’s characters, so I tend to restrict myself to short stories and magazine articles when I’m working.
2) Describe your writing area.
I write at a desk surrounded by vintage photographs and postcards of classic movie stars I have collected, at the moment they are mostly of silent film actor Robert “Bobby” Harron, Dennis Morgan, a popular leading man in the 1940s, and 1930s platinum blonde Jean Harlow since these are my favorites. I love fragrance so I have a wax warmer and choose different scents of wax cubes to suit or lift my mood; right now I have Orange Buttercream Cupcake. I switched to wax cubes after a jar candle I had scared me almost to death when the glass suddenly cracked while I was sitting right next to it. And I must have a drink, usually a can of Rock Star Fruit Punch Energy Drink or a cup of hot chocolate. Sorry no photograph this time around, my digital camera finally gave up the ghost and I haven’t gotten around to replacing it yet.
3) What is your favorite part of being an author?
Being able to be creative, and to work at home, and keep my own hours. I love anything creative, but I’ve never been very good at crafts, but with writing I get to do so many things, I get to tell stories, I get to design, color, and embroider, with words, and I get to explore so many different situations and personalities. I’m much too shy to be an actress, besides I don’t have the looks or talent, but writing in first person is very like being an actress, I have to get into the character’s head and become that person while I tell their story, and I just love doing that, even when it gets a bit scary like getting into the head of Jack the Ripper in order to recreate his diary. That was a dark experience indeed!
4) What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
I honestly have no idea at all and that’s a scary thought for me.
5) If you could have dinner with any of your characters, who would you choose, why, and what would you be eating?
I think I would choose Amy Robsart, telling her story in THE QUEEN’S PLEASURE meant a lot to me, and I’d like to see how close I got to the real Amy. As for the menu, a banquet of comfort foods and I would bake a red velvet cake from scratch, which I love to do.
6) If you could write from anywhere in the world, where would you write from?
At home. Sorry to be so boring, but I’m a creature of habit, I have to be in familiar surroundings, or I can’t settle down and do what I need to. I’ve tried a few times taking my laptop and writing in hotel rooms or when I’ve been asked to house sit but I never get anything done, my nerves just feel too unsettled.
7) What are you currently working on?
I hope you don’t mind but I’d rather not say right now, I don’t like to talk about works in progress too much, I’m afraid I’ll jinx it and this one has already had problems enough with illnesses, lack of sleep, and other disruptions. But I will say it’s a new era and setting for me, something I haven’t done before. I’m really excited about it and hope my readers will like it.
About the Author
Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), THE QUEEN’S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR), THE QUEEN’S RIVALS (THE FALLEN QUEEN), THE BOLEYN BRIDE, and THE RIPPER’S WIFE. An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her on Facebook as Brandy Purdy aka Emily Purdy.
Blog Tour Schedule
Thursday, January 28
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf
Monday, February 1
Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, February 2
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Wednesday, February 3
Review at Broken Teepee
Thursday, February 4
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, February 5
Review at The True Book Addict
Monday, February 08
Review at Brooke Blogs
Wednesday, February 10
Review at A Literary Vacation
Thursday, February 11
Review A Book Geek
Friday, February 12
Review at History From a Women’s Perspective