So today, we are on the blog tour for The Witches of St Petersburgh by Imogen Edwards-Jones. I cannot wait to read and review for you here on the blog at a later date. But today Imogen stops by for a natter.
♥ Blurb ♥
Brimming with black magic, sex and intrigue, a gorgeous historical novel for fans of Dinah Jefferies and Santa Montefiore.
The Russian Empire is on the verge of collapse. Revolution is in the air. The starving stalk the streets of St Petersburg and yet the Imperial Court still commute between their estates and organise their lavish balls.
Two sisters arrive in the city. Princesses from Montenegro; they are famed for their wild beauty and mystical powers. Initially ridiculed and outcast as the daughters of a provincial ‘Goat King’, they react in the only way they know how. They befriend the isolated Tsarina Alexandra and, using their gifts, they help her in her increasingly desperate quest to give birth to a son and heir. The circle closes. The girls are the gateway. Gurus, clairvoyants, holy fools and charlatans all try their luck. Then in one last, doomed, throw of the dice, the sisters introduce Rasputin into the Russian Court…
Based on the true story of the lives of Princess Militza and Princess Anastasia of Montenegro during the dying days of the Russian Empire, The Witches of St Petersburg is a tale of love, lust, power and betrayal at the heart of the Romanov Court.
♥ Author Info ♥
She is author of some 20 books including the well-received travel book – The Taming of Eagles – about the first 100 days of the collapse of Communism, (after which she went on to present the BBC Radio 4 documentary– Bucks in the USSR). Her novels include My Canapé Hell, Shagpile, The Wendy House and Tuscany for Beginners. She has co-edited Big Night Out (the celebrity collection of short stories with contributions from Kate Moss to Bob Geldof, in aid of the War Child charity) and In Bed With a collection of erotic short stories with contributions from Fay Weldon and Esther Freud. She has also ghosted various memoirs for TV personalities.
She was responsible for the hugely successful Babylon series, which includes the Sunday Times best sellers Hotel Babylon, Air Babylon, Fashion Babylon, Beach Babylon and Pop Babylon. The series has sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone, been translated into some twenty different languages worldwide and made into two BBC Primetime TV shows.
♥ Interview ♥
- Where did the inspiration come from for your current book?
I sat down with a very dear friend one night In Moscow in 1992 and over a strong bottle of vodka and even stronger pickles he told me the story of the Black Princesses, two young and beautiful young princesses from Montenegro who married in to the Russian Court at the turn of the last century and who through their obsession with the occult, black magic and the dark arts eventually introduced Rasputin in to the Court of the last Tsar Nicholas II.
- Do you have a special ritual that you do when you finish writing a book?
I have written 20 books now and I always finish the same way, I text my friend, author and writer, Daisy Waugh ‘finished’ in a very childish way and then I have a giant lie down and a large glass of red wine, no matter what time of day it is!
- What has been your favourite read of 2018, so far?
Lullaby by Leila Slimani – set in Paris, part thriller, part detailed psychological profile of the modern bourgeois family, where the lawyer mother is stalked by guilt for leaving her young children behind with the nanny who sounds too good to be true, because she is indeed too good to be true. So good I bought it twice!
- Could you, please share with us a photograph that tells a story?
This is one of the few photographs of the so-called Black Princesses – Militza and Anastasia– they are dressed up to go to one of the many 100s of parties they attended in their lifetime. I love it as it shows them together and also how different ‘great beauty’ was on those days as they were considered the gorgeous it girls of their generation.
- If you could pick three books that have influenced your life, what would they be and why?
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – I was down to study Spanish and Portuguese at university but I loved this book so much I change to study Russian instead
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov – sublime, brilliant, it makes you see that in order for there to be good there must also be a little bit of darkness in the world.
Laughter in the Dark – Vladimir Nabokov – a small, lithe tale of total unkindness, it stay with me and repeats on me like onion soup.
- If your book had its own theme song, what would it be?
Lara’s Theme from Dr Zhivago – was there ever a piece of music that said Russia more vividly?
If your book was made into a movie who would you like to play the main characters?
That’s easy – Rachel Weiss for Militza and Michael Fassbender for Rasputin – I watch that!
- Do you have any questions for your readers?
Yes, do you believe in the powers of good and evil? Do you believe that your life is preordained? Do you believe you change your fate?
- Lastly, if you could say something to your reader before they start your book what would it be?
I hope you love reading it as much as the love I put into it! It was 8 years work!
♥ Buy Link ♥
♥ Candle Info ♥
This month I am over the moon to be rep for the wonderful Bookworm Candles & Co.
You can purchase November’s candle of the month “Book Blogging” for £5 from the site.
Use code BLOGGERS20 for a 20% discount.
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