Tea Time with The Duke of Reichstadt

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dofr2There are so many benefits to having tea with dead guys. The first being, they are amazing listeners. The second, they don’t mind if you drink all the tea. The third, they give you an intimate peek into your novel, and more particularly, the role they play in your novel. Plus, in my mind, the Duke of Reichstadt is much like Harry from The Picture of Dorian Gray which equals a lot of witty, sarcastic angst.

None of my research confirms his Oscar Wilde-like tendencies, but none refute it either. This is why I love the fiction element of historical fiction. I need a character who can provide comic relief and a bit of palace perspective. Enter The Duke of Reichstadt. His real life was tragic, but in the novel, he’s master of his own destiny. I like to think that I’m giving him a chance to be someone he may have wanted to be, or the person he was but couldn’t express. Real historians will tell you that’s a bunch of artsy hogwash, and to be fair, they have a point.

That doesn’t change the fact that the Duke and I, Franzie as I like to call him, had a wonderful tête-a-tête this morning about Anneliese and what she wants, what he wants from her, and the bargain they will make. It all made for a heady wordgasm. Now if you will excuse me, the kettle is whistling Dixie and Franzie is skewering my gluten free pastry options. Tea round two is about to commence.