Blog Tour: Interview with M. J. Rose

     I am very honored to get the chance to interview best-selling author MJ Rose about her latest book, Tiffany Blues. The book recalls the story of Laurelton Hall, where Mr. Tiffany would invite artists, sculptors, and others to stay and create there over the summer. Mr. Tiffany loved beauty in all things, and he surrounded these incredibly talented artists with inspiration. In this interview, Ms. Rose speaks about her inspiration for the story, how she researched it, and her love and passion for the arts. Thank you, Ms. Rose, for this interview!



You've been fascinated by Louis Comfort Tiffany since you were a child. Why was this the right time to write about a novel about his artist colony?


I think because of politics, we're all suffering one way or another a bit more than normal these days... No matter your leanings, I think everyone would agree we're been exposed to a lot that is ugly and difficult to deal with. Louis Comfort Tiffany believed in and was obsessed with beauty. Noticing it in nature. Creating it. Nurturing it. He said “The expression of beauty. That has been my quest.” I always admired that about him. And I felt that we could all use a little more beauty in our lives as well  a reminder to pay attention to the beauty around us. That was Louis Comfort Tiffany's raison d'être. And so  it seemed like the perfect time to try and help share his quest.


With so many historical figures incorporated in Tiffany Blues, how long did you research the novel?


I read a lot of source material including newspapers and magazines from the period as well read full length books and worked with several amazing historians. I love doing the research and spend far too long lost in another time.


How difficult was it to merge the fictional situations and characters to the real history? 


Since I had done the research before I did any deep plotting of the novel, it wasn't that difficult. I used a lot of the facts to construct the fiction.


What were some of the more surprising facts about Louis Comfort Tiffany did you encounter in your research?


I knew very few facts about the art colony Tiffany created at Laurelton or thosewho attended before I did my research. I was surprised and so impressed with how much he cared about the artists who applied and who were awarded places during the summer. hI was really moved and inspired by the first hand accounts of how well those who attended were treated by Tiffany, how much attention he paid to them, how nurtured they felt and how much their time at the colony meant to them. I hope that came out in how I painted his character in the novel.


How true to the real history do you feel the need to be in your historical fiction? How much liberty do you take with your stories?


I try to make every effort to recreate the times as they were but it is fiction after all. I do as much research as I can but I do take liberties and when I do I try to explain the important ones in the author's note. For instance, I created a grandson for Mr. Tiffany, in this novel, named Oliver. In real life, Tiffany had grandchildren but not one named Oliver, not one whose story this is. I changed that  in deference to Tiffany's real descendents  


Your fascination with the arts is evident. If you could have studied at Laurelton Hall, what would you have liked to be? Painter, sculptor, something else?


I did study painting for years- from the time I was a really little girl and through college. In fact I have a BFA -- I never studied writing. And I still dabble in watercolors.  So I would have definitely painted at Laurelton. I'd have given anything to hop into a time machine and spend a summer there. But make no mistake, there is no chance that I could have won the prestigious Tiffany prize.


It seems like so much emphasis is put into science and math in out schools and de-emphasizing music and art. Do you think the arts are in danger of being lost in today's world? 


Very, very much so. I think the arts feed our imagination and together they feed our souls. Dreamers need the tools -- be it paints, pencils, film, pianos or guitars, or microphones, or marble.  And we need desperately need dreamers. Their passions bring such joy and delight, empathy and understand to us all. I am so desperate to spread the word about how detrimental it is to children to deny them the chance to explore they talents in the arts. Mr. Tiffany would be horrified. 



Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose

Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-1501173592
Genre: Historical Fiction



Synopsis: New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

    But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

     As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

     Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.

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Praise for Tiffany Blues

    “A lush, romantic historical mystery with a unique setting. Tiffany Blues explores an interesting lost bit of American history and gives us a heroine to root for.” —Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale

     “A fascinating novel about a young, struggling artist mentored by the celebrated jeweler and stained-glass creator Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany Blues brings together an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York and an inspired fictional story about Jenny Bell and the terrible secret she’s hiding.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World

     “The New York Times bestselling author of The Library of Light and Shadow crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel—a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion about a young painter whose traumatic past threatens to derail her career at a prestigious summer artists’ colony run by Louis Comfort Tiffany of Tiffany & Co. fame. “[M.J. Rose] transports the reader into the past better than a time machine could accomplish” —The Associated Press

     “M.J. Rose must have plunged her pen into a vale of tears, radiance, and crime to write this novel. Tiffany Blues melds a tragic mother-daughter relationship, the shimmer of Tiffany’s creations, the jolting life of artists and their shocking jealousy, in a captivating story that illuminates how far we’ll go for love. MJ Rose broke this reader’s heart and then, as though using the ancient art of Kintsugi, healed me by sealing the future with golden veins of hope.” —Randy Susan Meyers, International Bestselling Author

     “Intriguing… [Rose’s] best creation yet.” —Publishers Weekly

     “Intricate plotting, sensuous descriptions… captivating. A lush, mesmerizing story.” —Kirkus

     “Rose keeps readers spellbound… with a touch of Gatsby-esque flavor and opulence and a research-rich mix of facts and fiction.” —Library Journal – Starred review

     “Rose’s talent for delivering believable characters and plot shines in her latest novel…Readers are in for a treat and the jaw-dropping climax well have them enthralled.” —RT Book Reviews

     “A stunning look at the Jazz Age, told in M.J. Rose’s inimitable style.” —PopSugar 25 Best Summer Books



About the Author

     New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

     Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com

     Her most recent novel THE LIBRARY OF LIGHT AND SHADOW (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick.

     The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers.

     Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield.

     For more information, please visit her website and her blog, Museum of Mysteries. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a Louis Comfort Tiffany glass paperweight from the Metropolitan Museum of Artder! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 7th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

  Tiffany Blues 

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