is a 9th generation American, with ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Diana Forbes lives and writes in Manhattan. When she is not cribbing chapters, Diana Forbes loves to explore the buildings where her 19th Century American ancestors lived, loved, survived and thrived. Prior to publication, Diana Forbes’s debut won 1st place in the Missouri Romance Writers of America (RWA) Gateway to the Best Contest for Women’s Fiction. A selection from the novel was a finalist in the Wisconsin RWA “Fab Five” Contest for Women’s Fiction. Mistress Suffragette won 1st place in the Chanticleer Chatelaine Award’s Romance and Sensual category, and was shortlisted for the Somerset Award in Literary Fiction. Mistress Suffragette won Silver in the North American Book Awards and was a Winner of the Book Excellence Awards for Romance. Mistress Suffragette was also a Kirkus Best Indies Book of 2017. The author is passionate about vintage clothing, antique furniture, ancestry, and vows to master the quadrille in her lifetime. Diana Forbes is the author of New York Gilded Age historical fiction.
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About the Book:
A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton quickly draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys
Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Meanwhile a special talent of Penelope’s makes her the ideal candidate for a paying job in the Suffrage Movement.
In a Movement whose leaders are supposed to lead spotless lives, Penelope’s torrid affair with Mr. Daggers is a distraction and early suffragist Amy Adams Buchanan Van Buren, herself the victim of a faithless spouse, urges Penelope to put an end to it. But can she?
Searching for sanctuary in three cities, Penelope will need to discover her hidden reserves of courage and tenacity. During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love.
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Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?
I read novels that were written during the 19th century as well as current fiction about the 19th century. I also went on historical tours in the three cities where Mistress Suffragette takes place—Newport, Rhode Island, Boston, and New York. Last, I pored through a box of letters and photographs handed down to me from my ancestors who were living in the U.S. during the time.
Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?
I found an agent and pursued publishers through my agent.
If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?
I met the editor of the publishing company at a literary conference in Oxford, England. The editor really sparked to my story. Her passion was contagious.
Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book? Why?
Mistress Suffragette was released in March 2017 to coordinate with International Women’s Day, which is also in March.
Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?
I spent five years writing Mistress Suffragette and revising it. I wrote the full draft first, but rewrote the manuscript numerous times. Some of the rewrites were massive. Others were smaller. But all of that rewriting helped me understand the characters and their motivations really well.
Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book?
I have Mistress Suffragette bookmarks and postcards. The cover of my novel hangs in a local restaurant that I frequent. I have given several book-signing parties and other events around the novel as well.
Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book? If so, what’s the link?
What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?
It’s part of the business. Sometimes you have to send a book to an award show or (before publication) send the proof of the novel out to ask for a blurb.
What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?
I believe it’s important to have a campaign strategy. My goal is to have one distinct marketing idea per month, and I constantly test new ideas. One of the readers of my novel is trying to get it picked up by the local library. I have just succeeded in having a local book club read my novel. Another reader asked a local bookstore to carry it.
What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?
Keep talking up your book. I carry business cards for Mistress Suffragette with me everywhere I go, and I talk about it a lot. I also put a lot of energy into my Twitter feed and Facebook account. I figure that social media is something I can do on my own, and I try to have my social media accounts be fun to follow. Above all, keep up the marketing momentum.
What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?
I set up a website to keep fans apprised of Mistress Suffragette news. I set up a Twitter feed and a Facebook account. And I sent the book to various award shows. It has done very well in the award shows, and I keep my fingers crossed that it will continue to.
Do you have a long term plan with your book?
My long-term plan is to keep promoting Mistress Suffragette and also keep writing the sequel. I see it as a trilogy, and I have a lot of energy!
What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?
I want to express my gratitude to my readers and fans. It makes me so happy when someone tells me she read my novel and that it resonated with her. I also want to thank Pump Up Your Book for hosting Mistress Suffragette. It really means so much to me!