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Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

August 7, 2013 – 12:48 am | One Comment

I’m back from vacation and ready to get down and dirty finding new free and amazingly bargained books for you! But first this week I have something special. I convinced super hot and crazy talented …

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Home » Deanna Raybourn, Giveaways, Guests, Interviews, Paperback Proust

Paperback Proust & Giveaway: Historical Mystery Author Deanna Raybourn

Submitted by on June 20, 2011 – 4:00 am17 Comments


It’s always a pleasure to welcome Deanna Raybourn to the Dollhouse, she was after all, one of our very first guests and she does write an awesome series with a fabulous heroine and one BadAss hero.

Her latest book, the fifth in the Julia Grey series – (read Noa’s review here) will be out tomorrow, and since, horror of horrors! Ms. Raybourn has never taken the Paperback Proust we decided it was about time to do something to change that…enjoy!




What are you reading at the moment?

DR: Justine Picardie’s biography of Coco Chanel.

Most recent splurge?

DR: I literally ordered shoes online about five minutes ago—butter yellow and gray heels to go with a dress I bought for RWA. When I was first published, I always made a point of wearing interesting shoes and now readers always want me to show my feet! I have even had readers identify me at conferences because of my shoes, so now I feel I have to up my game every time. I fear this is going to get costly…

What you appreciate the most in your friends?

DR: Loyalty and a lack of drama. I like people who are funny and intelligent and kind with a slightly warped sense of irony.

Who are your favorite heroes in fiction?

DR: Atticus Finch, Frederick Wentworth, Rochester, Darcy, Julian Kestrel.

Who are your favorite heroines in fiction?

DR: Flora Poste, Amelia Peabody, Elizabeth Bennet, Precious Ramotswe, the Provincial Lady.

What characters in history do you most dislike?

DR: I used to adore Mary, Queen of Scots, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten progressively more annoyed by he r stupidity. I’m Team Elizabeth now. I have issues with quite a few Renaissance popes and most dictators. I also have a fairly active loathing for Henry VIII.

Who are your heroines in World history?

DR: Elizabeth I, Grace O’Malley, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Katherine Swynford. I should point out that I am slightly biased with regards to Katherine Swynford—she is my 17th great grandmother.

What is your present state of mind? Focused.

DR: I am immersed in research for my next project and loving every minute of it, but I am also learning how to put it down and focus on my family when they need to be the priority. Being an author calls for a very different skill set than being a writer, and after five years of being published I am finally learning to pull them all together!

What is your motto?

DR: “Specto subitus.” Expect the unexpected. The last time I was in Las Vegas I very nearly got it tattooed on my wrist because it shows itself almost every day in my life.

What is your greatest extravagance?

DR: I am a pragmatic hedonist. I would rather buy a peony with my last dollar than something practical, but I never let things get too far out of hand. I do like to travel, so if I’m going to splash out on something, it will usually be a trip. I also think it’s important to treat yourself on a daily basis—flowers, good tea, nice chocolates, fabulous perfume—whatever makes you happy.

What is your favorite journey?

DR: Life. It’s very easy to think of travel only in terms of journeys, but I think life is utterly wasted if you don’t stop and take a look around and figure out where you’re going and if that’s really where you want to end up. That life philosophy is courtesy of Ferris Bueller.

On what occasion do you lie?

DR: I don’t. I never want to hurt someone’s feelings, so I may only tell a small part of the truth, but whatever I tell will be the truth. Life is vastly simpler that way.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

DR: Imperfection. I think being content with uncertainty or loose ends or the little messes that life tends to throw at you is the secret to it all. If there is no such thing as perfection—and I don’t think there is—then you are free to be happy anytime with the imperfection of it all. You can’t live your life on the premise that you’ll be happy when X happens or when Y is over. Life is now, it’s here, it’s untidy. Be happy with that, and you can be happy always.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

DR: Something with wings—a butterfly or a showy little bird with some fascinating plumage.

What is your greatest regret?

DR: I don’t believe in regret. I think every choice brings you to where you are. If it’s a choice you wouldn’t make again, then you learned something and that is not a thing to be regretted. If it’s a choice you’re happy with, then there’s certainly nothing to regret there either.

When and where were you happiest?

DR: Any given moment. Many times I’ll be puttering away at work or hanging out with my family or even tidying up the house and it hits me that this is happiness, those quiet everyday moments that don’t come with a trumpet fanfare. It just tiptoes in and sits with you and waits for you to notice sometimes. A good meal and a nice glass of wine in a lovely setting don’t hurt either…

Which talent would you most like to have?

DR: Singing or drawing. I think either would give me immense pleasure and I am rubbish at both.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

DR: Raising an extraordinary daughter. She will be seventeen this year and she’s an absolute delight to be around—funny, smart, and kind. Being her parent has taught me everything I know about kindness and patience and empathy and gentleness. I’m also extremely proud of sticking it out and writing novels for fourteen years before I got published, but that kind of perseverance still doesn’t compare to raising a child!

More about Deanna: A sixth-generation native Texan, Deanna Raybourn grew up in San Antonio, where she met her college sweetheart. She married him on her graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation at the age of twenty-three, she wrote her first novel. After three years as a teacher, Deanna left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time.

Fourteen years and many, many rejections after her first novel, she signed two three-book deals with MIRA Books.

Thank you so much to Deanna Raybourn for those wonderful answers!
You can find out more about Deanna and her books on her website
A chance to win a brand new copy of The Dark Enquiry is just one step away…
We asked Deanna to tell us what her most recent splurge was and what her greatest extravagance was (read more about her answer on her Blog)
Now share in the comments – what is your most recent splurge and your greatest extravagance?
We would also appreciate if you share the link on twitter!
A random winner will be selected on July 2nd winner to be announced on
Sunday the 3rd in the Week in Review post! Giveaway is International
Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
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  • Tore says:

    My greatest splurge is buying books and music and movies. Please enter me in contest.

    Reply to this comment »
  • I recently bought a bunch of books, which was definitely a splurge as I've been trying to be good and use the library. but sometimes, I just need to buy a book.

    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com


    Reply to this comment »
  • Aik says:

    My recent splurge was buying a Braun Buffel leather wallet which cost me about RM 300.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    Reply to this comment »
  • Miranda Grissom says:

    I usually splurge on books. I have too many but I love them and simply can't resist :) A great extravagance for me is the way too expensive swimsuit that I bought for the trip I'm going on in July!


    Reply to this comment »
  • Day says:

    Great answers!

    Lately i have been splurging on shipping prices:( But in the past it was designer jeans;)

    Reply to this comment »
  • Day says:

    BTW- I really enjoyed the biography on CoCo Chanel.

    Reply to this comment »
  • KittNLuv says:

    Great interview! I *Really* need to check out her books. I'm getting a bruise from Noa poking me.

    My greatest extravagance is books. I buy them every week. New ones, old ones, even when I don't have time to read. I can't help it.

    Reply to this comment »
  • debbie says:

    My favorite thing to splurge, is on little things. It may be a special jar of jam, a tea that has something unique in it, or a really good bit of chocolate.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Penfield says:

    Great interview. I agree with everyone else that I splurge on books. That can be an expensive hobby. As far as extravagence, it would probably be clothing.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Noa says:

    My most recent splurge is a pair of summer pumps in pink. I don't usually spend too much on shoes but…I had to have these.

    Books are my usual splurges but you can't have too many!

    Deanna, thank you so much for coming by and answering our questions!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Lara H. says:

    I too splurge on books. I have been trying to be good and use the library, but whenever I travel on trips for work I go all out loading up my Kindle!! And it is absolutely worth it :)


    Reply to this comment »
  • Mona Leigh says:

    Not only is Deanna intelligent and funny, but she's gorgeous, too. That's so unfair. ;)

    I'm afraid my weakness is books of all kinds.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Mona Leigh, you're too kind!

    Anytime, Noa!

    And, KittNLuv, Noa can be very persuasive. I apologize if she has assaulted you on my behalf. ;-)

    Reply to this comment »
  • spain108 says:

    Most recent splurge. Hmmm… maybe this is more of an extravagance for me, I bought a pair of sunglasses for $20, and it might sound silly to some, but I never spend that much on sunglasses! I usually go for the cheapies!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Leni says:

    I bought a small box of brownies from a bakery. Even though they were on sale I paid way too much for something I could have made myself. That's what I get for having a love for desserts.

    Reply to this comment »
  • BLHmistress says:

    My recent splurge has to be a bunch of books at one time usually I just get a couple a month but I went a bit hoggish and instead of putting them on my list just went and bought and a brand new bookcase.


    Reply to this comment »
  • Jeanne Miro says:

    Wonderful interview with Deanna! I admire her fortitude to get her books published especially while raising a child! When my boys were growing up the only time I could get anything done was between 11:00 pm until 1:00 am!

    During 5th grade our class had taken an “Aptitude” test that was based on directing us to find out what our “appropriate career” interests should be. It supposedly would help our teachers to “guide” us in the correct path for future success. It seems the tests told my teacher I should be an engineer! I can still remember her sadly looking at me and saying that maybe I should strive for something more “reasonable”!

    My one indulgent “splurge” isn’t recent it’s began that summer, June 1958, when I found the biography section at our small village library and read every biography about a women! Reading them made me realize that my 5th grade teacher was wrong.

    I didn’t end up being an engineer after all but I did become confident in myself and my own abilities and most important that I could achieve whatever I set as my own goals to do!

    Reply to this comment »