Today I am interviewing Marie Brennan, author of the new fantasy novel, Within the Sanctuary of Wings, the fifth and final book of The Memoirs of Lady Trent series.
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DJ: Hey Marie! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with the series, what is Within the Sanctuary of Wings and then the Memoirs of Lady Trent about?
Marie Brennan: The series as a whole is about a lady adventurer and dragon naturalist in a setting based on our own world in the nineteenth century. Each book describes a particular expedition she went on to study dragons in different regions, eventually building up to an explanation for why she’s one of the most famous people in the world. The foreword to the very first book mentioned a great discovery; this is the book where that discovery happens!
DJ: What were some of your influences for The Memoirs of Lady Trent?
Marie: I’d read a fair bit about the Victorian period for With Fate Conspire, the final book of my previous series (the Onyx Court), so I very much had that in mind. In particular, there’s a tremendous number of fascinating women intellectuals and adventurers who fed into my conception of Lady Trent — Mary Kingsley, Freya Stark, Gertrude Bell, Isabella Bird, and more. I suspect some of Elizabeth Peters’ heroine Amelia Peabody crept in there, too, though I haven’t read any of those books in years.