Mary Hooper is the author of Fallen Grace, a young adult historical novel set in Victorian England, which I recently reviewed. She has also written many other historical novels for young adults. To learn more about Mary Hooper and her books and to see the book trailer for Fallen Grace you can visit her website.
Fallen Grace is about a rather unique topic. What inspired you to write a historical novel for young adults about the Victorian funeral industry?
I have always been rather morbidly interested in the whys and wherefores of Victorian funerals; the mourning rites, the wonderful cemeteries and statues, the rituals to be gone through. (I loved the US TV show SIX FEET UNDER!)
What kind of historical research did you do while writing the novel?
I read lots of books, especially Mayhew's LONDON LABOUR AND THE LONDON POOR which deals with real people on the streets speaking in their own words.
Your young adult historical novels have been set in several different historical eras. If you could go back in time for a day (with guaranteed safety, of course!) what place and time would you like to visit?
I would be a favoured courtier of Charles II in one of his magnificent palaces. The Restoration (1660) was a pretty fun time in England - as long as you were rich, of course.
What are some of your own favorite books and authors?
You can't beat Dickens!
Can you tell us anything about your next book?
VELVET is set in 1900 and is about a poor girl who works in a steam laundry. After a mishap, she loses her job but is asked to go and work for a medium. She soon discovers, however, that there are more to this particular medium's visitations than meet the eye.