Maid of Secrets is the first book in the Maids of Honor series and is our featured free read this week, available until 10/24! In the Maid of Honor series, we meet five intrepid young female spies in service to Queen Elizabeth I. One of the most intriguing of those spies is Sophia Dee, niece to the Queen’s astrologer. In light of her story, Maid of Wonder, which just went on sale in paperback this week, author Jennifer McGowan tracked her down for an official Maid of Secrets interview!
Hi Sophia! Thank you so much for agreeing to stop by! Before we get started… Just curious, did you see this interview coming?
Hello! I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to speak with you. And yes, I had a feeling that I would be asked questions over the course of these few weeks. I might seem rather quiet to start, but don’t let my reticence fool you! I’d share more about myself, if only I wasn’t so, well… odd.
First off, many readers consider you to be the most mysterious Maid of Honor. Tell us something about yourself that we don’t already know from the book.
Hmmm…how about this: when I was still quite young and a ward of my uncle, I could tell if someone liked me or not almost immediately upon meeting the individual. I assumed everyone could do this, and so I thought nothing of it—until the day one of Uncle’s friends came to visit and nearly ran into me without looking, dropping his papers in his haste. When we made eye contact, I immediately screamed and ran from the room, so powerfully could I feel the man’s fear and hatred of me. Uncle said he was just distressed that I’d made him clumsy, but I knew it was more than that. Later I learned that the man was an agent for the Church, who’d heard rumors about my supposed gift. I think he rather thought it was more of a curse.
Well, everyone is eagerly waiting for your psychic skills to manifest so that you’ll be the greatest asset to England. How does The Sight work? Has it ever bothered you?
I can tell you this: you’ll learn a great deal more about my gift in Beatrice’s story, Maid of Deception. It is the most basic of things, really, how it all works—you’d think I would have stumbled on its process earlier! But sometimes the simplest discovery can be the most profound.
However, as to whether the Sight bothers me—yes. I can tell you it does. I know I may seem tedious at times, fainting or showing nerves or hiding myself away. But it’s only because the power that I feel building inside me is so great, it seems that it will spill out of me entirely unless I am very careful. And until I can fully understand it, I shall always be a little afraid.
Who’s your favorite Maid of Honor? *Shhh I won’t tell anyone, pinkie promise*
Ah! That’s a hard question, but I must say it’s Jane. Although all of my fellow spies are smart and resourceful and strong, Jane among all the others is at peace with who and what she is. She is resolute and unflinching in her self-regard. And her sorrow is so deep, it is etched into her very bones. I know well that her story is not yet complete—and I cannot tell you whether it will end happily—but mark my words: Jane will find that she is capable of more than even she believes.
Okay, I now have a few rapid-fire questions for you. Favorite thinking spot?
The Cloisters— the benches they have there make for excellent thinking!
Truth or Dare?
Worst dress you had to wear?
The white “serving girl” dresses the Queen prefers her Maids to wear—I am already so pale, they make me look like a ghost.
What I really saw when I held the hand of my betrothed…but completely refused to believe. If you’ve read Maid of Secrets, you know the secret!
Thanks so much for dropping by, and I’m sure many will love to read Maid of Secrets! *Whispers* Do you foresee Jennifer writing more books for the Maids of Honor series? Pretty please?
Thank you so much for having me here with you today!