About the Author
Megan Mulry has spent most of her life researching, traveling, and experiencing everything to do with the American/British cultural love affair. She studied nineteenth-century British fiction at university, lived in London for nearly four years, and has now written her first novel, A Royal Pain (November 2012), in which Mulry brings an American perspective and a fresh, witty voice to our never-ending fascination with British royalty.
A Royal Pain is the first in a new women’s fiction series imagining what it might be like for an average modern American woman who falls unwittingly in love with British royalty and is drawn into a glamorous and complicated world that a rare few get to experience.
Megan Mulry graduated from Northwestern University and then worked in publishing, including positions at the New Yorker and Boston Magazine. After moving to London, she worked in finance and attended London Business School. She has traveled extensively in Asia, India, Europe, and Africa and now lives with her husband and children in Florida.
Thank you for inviting me to your blog! Books, gardens, and dogs, eh? I love all three, but I can only manage two…barely. Books and dogs. And really just the one…books. Here's why.
After years of swearing I would never have a dog (too much trouble! too much commitment! the walking! the picking-up-the-poop!), exactly one year ago today I drove about twenty minutes north to the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League (http://www.hspb.org). With my two children in tow, I adopted Daphne the Parsons Russell Terrier/Schnauzer mix. My five-year-old son dubbed this fabulous newly formed breed a Trouser Mix. We got Daphne the day after my father's funeral. It was probably rash or part of my grief or something psychological that I will skate away from for now. But the thing about rash decisions is they are sometimes the ones that break us out of long-held beliefs about ourselves that may or may not be true.
I didn't think I could "handle" a dog. I cut myself off from all this infectious joy and curiosity and companionship out of fear. Now Daphne is nigh on my best friend. She follows me around like a devoted fan. If I get up, she gets up. If I go to the kitchen for a drink, she goes to the kitchen for a drink. If I am writing (like now) she finds a cozy spot on the floor or the daybed in my office and settles in for a nap. If she needs to go for a walk, it probably means I have been sitting at my desk for too long, and I need a walk, too.
It's hard for me to remember what I did before Daphne.
So it is with the book writing. When I finally worked up the courage to actually start writing fiction, it had the same rash quality. "Oh, well. This is probably the stupidest life decision I'll ever make, but here goes," I thought. And now I can't stop. This idea for what I originally thought of as Contemporary Regencies just nagged at me until I had to deal with it. I wanted all the social hierarchy and ball gowns and sexual tension—and, let's face it, the actual sex—of the Regency romance genre, but I want it now. (I confess I've always felt an embarrassing affinity for Veruca Salt.) I wanted my characters to have fast cars and private jets and sexual freedom and modern problems and all sorts of things that weren't readily available to The Ton. So I wrote it.
That's how A Royal Pain came to be. On the one hand, it was sort of a lark. On the other, it had probably been bubbling there below the surface for years and years.
As for gardening, I am appalling. I forget to water. I cut back too far. We recently sold the-house-with-the-yard and moved into a townhome. Cue: choir of angels. The sound of the weekly gardening crew on Friday afternoons is elysian. I love to look at gardens and stroll through gardens; a visit to Sissinghurst was one of my favorite weekends of all time. Maybe one day I will even be able to create and maintain my own garden. Until then, I'll be grateful for my relative competence with the books and the dog. Two out of three ain't bad.
Thanks again for having me!