Kelly asked: How do you pick the historical figures whom you write about?
It varies from book to book. I occurred to me that almost everyone has heard of Madame Tussaud, but few people know her story. The more I learned about her in my research, the more I knew that I wanted to write about her.
Misha asked: According to your bio, you have travelled to India. Can I ask which historical sites you visited there?
Vivien asked: How much research did you have to do for this novel? Did you have to research multiple things?
I immersed myself in many months of research, poring through historical newspapers, memoirs of Marie's contemporaries and tomes of non-fiction.
TheGirlOnFire asked: The French Revolution is a very interesting time period. Do you think the was an era you would have wanted to live in?
It was a very dangerous time, a time in which the smallest misstep could cost an innocent person her life. People were beheaded for wearing the wrong colors or style of hat. As much as it captures my imagination as a writer, I do not think I would want to live in that time.
Elysium asked: Which wax figure is your favourite?
My favorite is the wax figure of Shakespeare in the London museum. I felt it was the closest I could ever come to standing beside him. I think it was that feeling that made Marie, in a time before photographs and television, so popular. That's what makes Madame Tussaud still so impressive today.
Rachel asked: Would you like to have a wax model made of yourself?
I am not sure I would ever see myself in that pantheon of celebrities. I am just happy to visit the museum and enjoy.
Terry asked: Have you started working on a new book yet and if so can you disclose the topic?
I am working on a book about Napoleon's second wife, Marie-Louise. When Napoleon conquered Austria, he demanded that Austrian princess Marie-Louise marry him as a political alliance. She came to Napoleon's court as another of his spoils of war. The book follows her struggles living with this complicated and often cruel man and how she finds the strength to survive and find happiness.
Amanda asked: Why do you enjoy writing about history?
I studied history and I have always loved other times and places. It is a way of taking yourself out of the world that you know and imagining alternative realities, ones that really existed. In what I do, I seek to understand the people and the motivations that made history, what's beyond the dates and facts.
Michelle Moran was born in the San Fernando Valley, CA. She took an interest in writing from an early age, purchasing Writer's Market and submitting her stories and novellas to publishers from the time she was twelve. When she was accepted into Pomona College she took as many classes as possible in British Literature, particularly Milton, Chaucer, and the Bard. Not surprisingly, she majored in English while she was there. Following a summer in Israel where she worked as a volunteer archaeologist, she earned an MA from the Claremont Graduate University.
Michelle has traveled around the world, from Zimbabwe to India, and her experiences at archaeological sites were what inspired her to write historical fiction. She is the international bestselling author of Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen, and Cleopatra's Daughter. Her fourth novel, Madame Tussaud, was released on February 15, 2011.