Are you tired of the same old, same old? Well, here’s a book with a unique twist--a Bridget Jones like character spiraling back in time to the days of Camelot. I was so intrigued that I asked Marianne Mancusi how she pulled it off in A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur’s Court (Dorchester, May 2005)
Where did you get the idea for A Connecticut Fashionista in King Authur's Court?
I liked the irreverent, pop culture laden voice of chick lit, but wanted a book that would stand out in the already flooded market. And I've always been a huge fan of Arthurian legend - read every book I could get my hands on. So I thought - why not combine the two? Send a snarky, outspoken fashion editor back in time to relive Arthurian legend.
Lancelot, your hero, sounds yummy. Can you tell me a little more about him?
Obviously Lancelot is a legendary hero in many, many books. But what always bugged me when reading them is that he's supposed to be this perfect knight, yet he always falls for the wrong woman (Queen Guenevere) which leads to not only his destruction, but the destruction of the entire kingdom of Camelot. I never really understood why this painful story of infidelity (especially when Arthur is such a strong, wonderful character) would go down in the ages as one of the world's greatest romances. So I wanted to explore that theme in the book. What really happened that night when the two lovers were caught together. Hopefully readers will like what I came up with.
I see you have a very demanding day job as an Emmy Award-winning television producer for the NBC affiliate in Boston. How do you find time to write?
It takes a lot of discipline and is not always fun. I wake up two hours early in the AM to write before work. I can't write after work - too creatively exhausted! But doing it first thing in the morning seems to work for me. I also try to give myself realistic deadlines and stick to them so I'm never writing in panic mode. I am hoping someday that I will be able to write full time.
Was it difficult to sell Fashionista?
A little bit, mainly because some editors aren't willing to take chances on new things. The Chick Lit people were afraid their audience wouldn't be interested in a fantasy setting. The time travel people were afraid their audience would not like the voice of a chick lit heroine. So I got a lot of "tis neither fish nor fowl" comments. But luckily Dorchester is a wonderful publishing house that is willing to take a chance on books that are different. Books that don't fit a certain mold. From the very beginning that's where I saw this manuscript ending up, and I'm very glad they agreed with me. :)