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Between the lines with M.J. Rose (Q&A w/ event details)

M.J. Rose will appear at R.J. Julia's Mystery Writers Workshop next Saturday, April 26th.
M.J. Rose will appear at R.J. Julia's Mystery Writers Workshop next Saturday, April 26th.www.mjrose.com

Today, Hartford Books Examiner welcomes M.J. Rose.

A featured guest at next weekend’s Mystery Writers Workshop sponsored by R.J. Julia Booksellers (see event details below), Ms. Rose is also the author of The Collector of Dying Breaths (Atria Books, $25.00). She has published thirteen previous novels and co-written two works of non-fiction. An international bestseller, she is also a founding board member of International Thriller Writers and launched the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. Ms. Rose makes her home in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Collector of Dying Breaths was published earlier this month, and has received high praise from both contemporaries and critics alike. Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants, noted, “Mysterious, magical, and mythical, this book is as heady as the fragrances, potions and elixirs that saturate the pages…Twists and turns abound…It had me guessing until the very end. What a joy to read!” Further, The Washington Post raved, “Rose is an unusually skillful storyteller. Her polished prose and intricate plot will grip even the most skeptical reader.”

From the publisher:

From the internationally bestselling author, a lush and imaginative novel that crisscrosses time as passion and obsessions collide

Florence, Italy—1533:

An orphan named René le Florentin is plucked from poverty to become Catherine de Medici’s perfumer. Traveling with the young duchessina from Italy to France, René brings with him a cache of secret documents from the monastery where he was trained: recipes for exotic fra­grances and potent medicines—and a formula for an alchemic process said to have the poten­tial to reanimate the dead.

In France, René becomes not only the greatest perfumer in the country, but also the most dangerous, creating deadly poisons for his Queen to use against her rivals. But while mixing herbs and essences under the light of flickering candles, René doesn’t begin to imag­ine the tragic and personal consequences for which his lethal potions will be responsible.

Paris, France—The Present:

A renowned mythologist, Jac L’Etoile—trying to recover from personal heartache by throw­ing herself into her work—learns of the sixteenth-century perfumer who may have been working on an elixir that would unlock the secret to immortality. She becomes obsessed with René le Florentin’s work—particularly when she discovers the dying breaths he had collected during his lifetime.

Jac’s efforts put her in the path of her estranged lover, Griffin North, a linguist who has already begun translating René le Flo­rentin’s mysterious formula. Together they confront an eccentric heiress in possession of a world-class art collection, a woman who has her own dark purpose for the elixir . . . for which she believes the ends will justify her deadly means.

This mesmerizing gothic tale zigzags from the violent days of Catherine de Medici’s court to twenty-first-century France. Fiery and lush, set against deep, wild forests and dimly lit cha­teaus, The Collector of Dying Breaths illuminates the true path to immortality: the legacies we leave behind.

Now, M.J. Rose reveals a few pages from the book of her life …

1) As a child, did you wear your literary lust loud and proud or were you a closet bibliophile?

Loud and proud. I used to walk and read... that's how addicted I was.

2) What book(s) were you likely to be caught keeping company with under the covers?

I used to steal books from my mother's bookshelves before I was really ready to read them and she had eclectic and popular taste so I read everything from The Valley of the Dolls and The Great Gatsby. If it was a novel - I wanted to read it.

3) What are you reading currently & what is your initial impression?

I'm reading Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers which comes out in Sept. and I am blown away by her talent.

4) What one book do you always recommend when asked?

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

5) Which of your own books would you suggest to readers & why?

The Collector of Dying Breaths - because it’s the most recent.

6) Is there a book or author that readers would be surprised to know you’ve read and liked?

I don't think so. Every book has its readers and its reasons for being beloved.

7) Who is the one author that would, or did, make you weak in the knees upon meeting?

When I met Anne Rice after decades of loving her work, I got all choked up.

8) Has there been an “I’ve made it” moment in your career?

It was getting my first agent. I was so excited that I'd achieved that goal.

9) What is your greatest literary ambition?

Just to keep writing... I have simple ambitions. :)

10) Fill in the blank: Hartford Books Examiner is _____.

Just wonderful and we need dozens more just like the HBE in other cities!

***

With thanks to M.J. Rose for her generosity of time and thought.

Ms. Rose will appear at the Mystery Writers Workshop presented by R.J. Julia Booksellers next Saturday, April 26th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Other authors will include James Benn, Roberta Isleib (aka Lucy Burdette), Daniel Palmer, Barbara Ross, and Spencer Quinn. The cost is $50/person, and includes morning and afternoon panels, lunch, and meet & greet time with the authors. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the store at 203-245-3959. The event will be held at the Madison Winter Club, located at 251 Boston Post Rd. More information can be found here.