If you haven’t noticed, I’m definitely on a mini-hiatus of sorts as I try to get myself together to prepare for the start of college (meaning reading all five of my September 3rd book releases before September 3rd).
But, I’m still excited to share with you this interview with debut author Samantha Hastings about The Last Word–a historical romance set in Victorian England where a girl tracks down the ending of her favorite serial novel after the author dies.
Add in some spice and romance, and you have The Last Word! It came out a couple weeks ago and I’m really excited to share more info about it for those of you who haven’t heard of it!
Plus, stay tuned till the end for something exciting . . .
Hi Samantha! Thank you so much for joining me on my blog today to talk about your debut, The Last Word. It just released recently and before we begin, will you tell us a little about the story, Miss Lucinda Leavitt, and serialized novels in 1861 Victorian London?
The Last Word is inspired by Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters. Most Victorian novels were initially published in weekly or monthly periodical installments, or serials. Hence, the term serialized novels. Which means that it took years to read your favorite stories. When I read Wives and Daughters for the first time, I didn’t know that Gaskell had died and I was terribly disappointed to not get to read the end of the story. Gaskell wasn’t the only Victorian author to die before finishing a serialized story, Charles Dickens died leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood truly a mystery.
I love reading historical fiction novels–was there anything in particular that attracted you to writing about 1861 Victorian London? I totally love this time period and there’s such a distinct culture, that it makes me really excited to pick up The Last Word!
I have been obsessed with 19th Century England since I was a teen. What I love about 1861 in particular, is that it’s the height of the crinoline cage fashion (large hoop underskirts). It’s also a time where women were advocating for more rights underneath the law. Unfortunately, Lucinda would still be considered her father’s legal property and if she married, all of her money would become her husband’s. The societal restrictions on what women could do were tighter than a corset and Lucinda chafes against them.
In the summary it reads “Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer” and this line was a huge hook for me! I love spunky female protagonists, and Lucinda seems like no exception. How do you feel the time period helped or hindered Lucinda’s character, and if she grew up in our modern time, do you think she’d act differently?
Lucinda is a gifted mathematician and she is definitely hindered by the time period that believes that the only place for a wealthy woman is the home. She longs to work for her father’s business and use her amazing skills. If she grew up in modern times, I don’t know if she’d be an accountant or a computer programmer. She’d definitely be in a profession that uses lots of math.
Mr. David Randall sounds like such a swoony love interest. He’s working with Lucinda to track down more information about her favorite serial novel after the author died. I know Lucinda and David both discover truths about themselves throughout the novel–without spoilers, is there anything you can tell us about how David’s truths influence the story?
David is the sort of character I believe that all teens can relate to. He is constantly worried that he’s not enough. He’s also trying to live up to his parents’ high expectations and discovering what he truly wants from life. Another thing I think everyone goes through.
Finally, something a little more fun! I know Mrs. Smith dies before completing her novel, but if she hadn’t died and Lucinda had a chance to meet her, how do you think Lucinda would react? I know in Lucinda’s place, I’d probably be fangirling, haha!
Lucinda would probably ask her a million questions and assume that they were already the best of friends. I think she would look for similarities between her favorite characters and the real life author.
Ahh omg I’m excited for some swoony romance–and I definitely did not know that about David, so it’s really nice to hear! So many people (myself included) get that feeling of questioning whether you’re enough and it’s nice to see this on the page.
And ahaha Lucinda is like my total opposite–the first time I met an author I loved in person I was super shy and quiet, unfortunately! But with each interaction I like to think I’m getting better!
Keep on reading for more info about The Last Word and something cool . . .
More About the Book
The Last Word by Samantha Hastings
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Swoon Reads
1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.
David is a successful young businessman, but is overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.
Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.
More About the Author
Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey-sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. THE LAST WORD is her debut novel.
Eeep! Hold onto your purses because Samantha and I have a giveaway for you!
If you’re just as excited for The Last Word as I am (which translates to VERY), don’t miss out on this international giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a copy of The Last Word!
The same rules as every week applies–ends before next Wednesday EST, and you can get an extra entry on Twitter. Good luck! And check out the buy links in the “More About the Book” section if you’d like to purchase a copy and not leave it up to chance!