Title: All Is Fair
Author: Dee Garretson
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 22nd 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Lady Mina Tretheway knows she’s destined for greater things than her fancy boarding school, where she’s being taught to be a proper English lady. It’s 1918, and war is raging across Europe. Unlike her father and brother, who are able to assist in the war effort, Mina is stuck sorting out which fork should be used with which dinner course.
When Mina receives a telegram that’s written in code, she finally has her chance to do something big. She returns to her childhood home of Hallington Manor, joined by a family friend, Lord Andrew Graham, and a dashing and mysterious young American, Lucas. The three of them must band together to work on a dangerous project that could turn the tide of the war.
Thrilled that she gets to contribute to the war effort at least, Mina jumps headfirst into the world of cryptic messages, spycraft, and international intrigue. She, Lucas, and Andrew have to work quickly, because if they don’t succeed, more soldiers will disappear into the darkness of war.
1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
I am definitely a seat-of-the-pants writer. I start out with a basic idea but the details of the plot don’t come to me until I’m actually writing. That means I have to backtrack a lot to make sure the new elements I come up with fit into the bits I’ve already written. It’s not the most efficient way to write but it’s what works for me. I wish I was better at planning and outlining!
2. Do you edit as you go, or wait till you're finished before you edit? How many times would you say you go over it yourself before having another set of eyes look it over?
I always edit as I go. It’s tied in to not working from an outline like I described above. I’ve never really counted how many times I go over something before I show it to a beta reader. Maybe 7 times? I don’t like to let anyone read my work until it feels semi-polished.
3. Are you part of a writers group that gets together and helps each other with their writing?
I am part of some writer’s groups but it’s more to connect with other writers and a way for me to give back to the writing community to help those just starting out. I don’t really use the groups as beta readers for my own work because of the deadlines I work under. I do have some trusted readers who help me with my stories.
4. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
Usually it’s a place, an object or something I read about a particular time period that sparks an idea. I’m particularly fascinated by looking at a setting, like a house and thinking about what was there before it was built, who built it and who lived in it. All of those people would have had their own stories, and if I don’t know them, I can make up a story about that place.
5. For the historical parts of your book, how much research did you do for the novel to try to be accurate?
I’m obsessed with research. It’s hard to limit it, because I’m not just doing the research on the big events. I want to research how ordinary people lived and that involves reading many different sources. Every time I find something interesting it leads me down a different trail. I’m very lucky to live in a city with an excellent library, which is an enormous help.
6. What are your favorite:
Books/authors/genres: I like a wide range of genres except I don’t read many with contemporary settings unless they are mysteries or thrillers.
My favorite books are ones I reread: Pride and Prejudice, Dune, Harry Potter, Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes books, and Elizabeth George’s Amelia Peabody series.
I am a huge Lord of the Ring fan. I don’t know how many times I’ve rewatched the extended editions of the films, but they are one of my go-to movies when I am stressed out and need to relax.
I’m also a big Star Wars fan. I keep a little R2D2 figure by my writing area to remind me that not all communication is through words.
I really love adventure shows of any time period, historical dramas and mysteries, and science fiction
Music- It depends on the day! I can’t listen to music when I work or when I read for pleasure, so that limits the amount I listen to. My tastes jump all over the place. I particularly like 1940s music, reggae and classic rock from the 1970s.
I’m afraid I’m the typical writer-coffee and chocolate. And pizza at the end of a long day of writing, though I do love to try new foods when I have the chance. For every book I write, I research what food would work with the story even if I don’t include much of it in the actual finished book.