Its 4th Feb, 2014..... so it is now my turn to host Allison Pataki's The Traitor Wife about to release on Feb 11 for the day...... Read ahead for an interesting Interview with the author and an amazing Giveaway.
About the Book-
Everyone knows Benedict Arnold—the infamous Revolutionary War General who betrayed America and fled to the British as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot; a charming and cunning young woman, who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.
Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as Military Commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former lover and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.
Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress’s affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor’s Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.
About the Author-
The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America based on the rich Revolutionary War history of her hometown in New York State’s Hudson Highlands.
Allison spent several years writing for television and digital news outlets prior to transitioning to fiction. The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America is Allison’s first novel.
Allison lives in Chicago with her husband.
Some Itsy-Bitsy Links for you fellas-
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Find The Traitors Wife -
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Now for the Interview-
Q: What is the best part of writing for you?
Losing track of the time. That’s when you know that you are really absorbed into the plot, characters, and scenes you are creating.
It’s so wonderful to look at the clock and think, wow, that many hours have passed? On those days, it feels more like play than work.
Q: How do you research for a book before you begin the writing process?
For me, the goal of the research is to absorb as many facts and contextual details as possible. The research is what enables you to imagine – and then recreate – the time period, the characters, and the day-to-day reality of how life back then might have felt and looked.
For The Traitor’s Wife, the first step involved going to the places where the characters lived and interacted. So, the first stop was Philadelphia, since that was where Peggy Shippen’s story began. That was where Peggy met and fell in love with both John Andre and then Benedict Arnold. Philadelphians do a tremendous job of honoring and sharing the city’s history, especially the central role played during the Revolutionary War.
The next stop was spending time near the Arnolds’ home in upstate New York, where they lived while Arnold was commander of West Point. Unfortunately the Arnolds’ actual home no longer stands, but West Point is an incredible resource. That area of the Hudson River Valley, known as “the cockpit of the American Revolution,” is similarly commemorative of its history. There is a lot to be learned there.
Reading is a huge part of the research. I enjoyed tracking down biographies of all the principle characters. And I read about the related events that occurred, about the architecture of the period, about the wardrobe and the diet.
And then, the goal is to just find other ways to absorb details that will help recreate the historical context. The feel of the time. I visited Colonial Williamsburg. I watched the John Adams miniseries by HBO. I read a lot of David McCullough. I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where they had exhibits on Colonial-era furniture and clothing. Similarly, the New York Historical Society offers rooms full of Colonial-era furniture.
The research allowed me to put together not only the plot, but also the picture in my head of what Peggy and Benedict Arnold’s world might have looked and felt like.
Q: How would you describe your book in 5 words? Also for yourself too.
I hope that The Traitor’s Wife is:
Q: The cover of the book is really awesome. Did you have any inputs on it while its conception stage?
Thank you! I like it very much as well.
And yes, I was so fortunate that my editor at Howard Books/Simon & Schuster gave me a large role in conceiving of
the cover. I was able to weigh-in on everything from the model’s look to the title font to the size of the colonial flag waving in the background.
One thing I felt really strongly about was that the Hudson River, and the small glimpse of West Point, had to be apparent in the background. That was the grand prize at stake!
Q: Something….anything you can tell us about THE TRAITOR'S WIFE that we don’t know yet?
It takes place right across the street from where I grew up. When Benedict Arnold was the commander of West Point, he lived in what is now my hometown, on the banks of the Hudson River. I have played in his backyard.
And that’s how I discovered the story of Peggy Shippen Arnold just a couple of years ago. While walking my dogs on the nature trail now known as “Arnold’s Flight,” I stumbled on a historical marker describing Peggy and Benedict Arnold. I hadn’t known that Benedict Arnold had been married. And I certainly hadn’t known that his wife – a beautiful, intelligent, and charming woman – had played such a huge rule in his treason. I was hooked!
Q: What advice would you like to give budding authors or those who want to start writing?
Do it! If you feel impassioned to write and you have a story that you are inspired by, then write it. Write it, and edit it, and rewrite it, and edit it some more. Stick with it.
And be forgiving of yourself along the way. The first stuff you write is not going to be great. It might not even be good. Mine certainly wasn’t. But keep at it. Seek the input and advice of people you trust, and people who want to support you and help you grow as a writer.
A Kindle paperwhite! The giveaway is open internationally provided Amazon.com ships to you.
Tour Schedule Recap:
Tuesday, January 21st - Fire & Ice
Wednesday, January 22nd - Sofia Loves Books
Thursday, January 23rd - Little Miss Drama Queen
Friday, January 24th - Book - A - Holic
Monday, January 27th - The Most Happy Reader
Tuesday, January 28th - Evie Bookish
Wednesday, January 29th - Books Besides My Bed
Thursday, January 30th - Crossroad Reviews
Friday, January 31st - Reading Reality
Monday, February 3rd - Curling Up with a Good Book
Tuesday, February 4th - Le Grande Codex
Wednesday, February 5th - Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, February 6th - Supernatural Snark
Friday, February 7th - Rose's Book Corner