The Heiresses by Allison Rushby
Publication date: May 7th, 2013
by St Martin's Press
Genre: New Adult Historical
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In Allison Rushby's Heiresses, three triplets--estranged since birth--are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance, only to learn they can’t trust anyone--least of all each other.
When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London--a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things--by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think.
Interview with Author Allison RushbyWhere did you get the inspiration for The Heiresses?
This is extremely embarrassing, but I think it was actually from watching a Dr Phil show, years ago. I can't say too much as it will spoil the plot completely, but I saw a segment that involved a family and their genetic makeup and asked my husband (a medical specialist) about it all that evening. This led me to wondering how this family's scenario might have played out if genetic testing was not available to them, which is the case in The Heiresses, set in 1920s London.
What other novels in the New Adult genre would you compare The Heiresses to?
I think the obvious comparison is Anna Godbersen's The Luxe series, because of the historical setting and the saga-like plot. I love all her books!
What was the hardest part about writing The Heiresses?
The most difficult part was the historical research. Although I love to read historical books and watch documentaries and historical dramas on TV, I hadn't actually written anything historical before. When I started writing, I found myself stopping after every second sentence or so to research this point and that point. After a while, I realised I had to write on and put little 'x' signs where I needed to research and go back later to do all my research in one session, or I'd never get anywhere!
Luckily, I wrote The Heiresses while living in Cambridgeshire in the UK (I usually live in Australia), so could pop on a fast train and be in London in under an hour to research anything I liked. Being so close to London was an enormous bonus – from the London Transport Museum, to simply walking around Belgrave Square, it really brought the story to life for me. I even managed to crash the village set of Downton Abbey, which was a hugely exciting day, despite the fact that it snowed (Australians don't do snow well…)!
What do you feel the major differences are between New Adult and Young Adult?
For me, it's all about bridging that gap between childhood and adulthood and the more I see people discuss New Adult, the more this is firmed up in my mind. I do think people focus too much on the sexual content of books when talking about the New Adult genre. For me, The Heiresses is New Adult because of how the girls deal with the sex they are having in the book (and, to be honest, there isn't a whole lot of sex) and how it changes them from girls into women, along with all the other happenings in their new lives.
What are you writing now?
I've just finished a contemporary New Adult novel. While it's set in the present day, it's not college-based, but is about a charismatic modern artist and a young woman who becomes his muse. It's set in Paris, London and New York. My next New Adult novel will most likely be historical, though.
What are you reading at the moment?
I'm actually on a short New Adult/Young Adult reading break (might have gorged myself a little there) and am reading Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is absolutely fascinating and horrifying all at the same time.
Do you have any advice for aspiring New Adult writers?
Read widely and write what you'd love to read. I think it always shows if you're writing something you're excited about, rather than trying to write to a trend.
Having failed at becoming a ballerina with pierced ears (her childhood dream), Allison Rushby instead began a writing career as a journalism student at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Within a few months she had slunk sideways into studying Russian. By the end of her degree she had learned two very important things: that she wasn't going to be a journalist; and that there are hundreds of types of vodka and they're all pretty good. After several years spent whining about how hard it would be to write a novel, she finally tried writing one and found it was quite an enjoyable experience. Since then, she has had nine novels published. She keeps up her education by sampling new kinds of vodka on a regular basis.
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