Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes
Brilliant and sassy Elizabeth Trumpet fantasizes starring on the London stage, but to become an actress in 1803 is tantamount to losing her virginity in the most debasing way.
After watching her mother die and her father lose his mind, the courageous sixteen-year-old must find a way to save her family. She scores her first acting job as a fencer - the deadly skill she learned from her brother training for the military. Blessed with talent and a rare singing voice, Lizzie pursues her career, learning from theatrical characters high and low.
When reckless actor Jonathan Faversham sets eyes on Miss Trumpet, he knows he's found the partner of his life. But Faversham carries ruinous baggage from a dark past. Entangled in lust and ambition, Lizzie gives him her heart and they reach the heights together. Until Lizzie gets more applause than he.
From the magnificence of Regency palaces and the Theatre Royal Covent Garden to the sun-baked pyramids of Egypt and the arms of a real-life Samson, Lizzie is never far from trouble. As her brother rides to glory with Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars, great events threaten her survival. Danger lurks behind stage curtains, when a madman sets fire to take her life and she lifts a sword in revenge.
Will this once innocent girl, with her rise to stardom, be remembered for her art? Or for her shame?
Authors: Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
PURCHASE LINK: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=504&osCsid=lttu08e9b0tn4o9atai669umu5
Hello, Susan and Bill Hayes. Thanks for joining us today.
(1) Your new release sounds amazing. How long did it take you to research and write? We spent a total of seven years on TRUMPET, traveling the world from Waterloo to Egypt. In London we spent long hours researching in the library of the London Theatre Museum, actually holding the newspaper clippings and playbills of Sadlers Wells, 1803.
(2) Do you have a set idea of how your work will turn out before it’s complete? Always having an ending in sight, we still covered eighteen years of very eventful British history in this story. Whew!
(3) Can you tell us about your muse? Does he/she have a name? Can you always call upon your muse to help you? Our muse calls us to put bottoms in chair, face to the keyboard, shoulder to the wheel. Months spent waiting for inspiration to fly in the window are months wasted. Work is our ethic. Of course we love it.
(4) How did you come up with the title for the book? Trumpet is the heroine’s family name, a fine old name having nothing to do with brass bands. It is the Anglicized version of Trombetta, her father’s Italian heritage transformed to fit into British society of the period.
(5) If the heroine in TRUMPET was a cocktail, what would she be and why? A rum fizz, tall and richly flavored. Because this lady is both.
(6) Did you listen to music when you were working on the book? Yes, Mozart and Handel. Of course we often listen to them, but during the final edit we noticed the combination of background music and our dialogue was very moving.
(7) Who has the best line in the book and what is it? My dears, many of our characters are actors. They are loaded with good lines! Think of the egos, the grasp on unreality that show business invites. We read all our dialogue aloud to make sure it’s natural and sparky. Like the best soap opera (which is where we come from), the story is full of tears, spice and plenty of laughter. And, dare we say it? Wit.
(8) What is your desk area like? Our desks are piled with papers, books are stacked knee high on the floor. Cascades of photos teeter in every corner, all snapped by us in museums. You see, in those portraits of people, long forgotten, we have found the faces of our characters.
(9) What current advertisement on TV do you love or hate? We love to read and enter other worlds. TV adverts interrupt the best drama, destroy concentration and generally ruin the mood of any show. We, unlike the audience TV favors, are not perpetually in a mood to buy. (However. If there is a dog in the commercial, Susan will always watch).
(10) What is your favorite alcoholic beverage? Champagne for Bill. Beer for Susan.
(11) What would you say is your one addiction? Chocolate.
(12) How many cities have you visited and which was your favorite? Hundreds, truly hundreds. Remember we are two mature actors who toured for business and traveled for pleasure, with a big family spread all over the place. Not to sound predictable, but we love Rome, Venice and—for downright delirious pleasure—London. Susan feels at home in Sarasota, Florida, too. However we’ve lived happily in Los Angeles, basking in the sun and sampling the guacamole for more than forty years.
“Elizabeth, you must perform. I will teach you a style of acting that is revolutionary. You have seen my work. You understand the art I worship.”
She took a step closer. “Since I was a child, watching my father on stage, I longed to be there with him.” Jack watched Lizzie struggle to go on. “You have just described the dream of my life. There is nothing I want more, but…Mr. Faversham—Jack…I am not free.”
He reached for her hands and pulled her down beside him on the stump. “Explain why you are not free.”
In a long and tearful soliloquy, Lizzie told her story of the past year. She was too candid for propriety and too wrought-up by his presence to withhold anything. In this soulful state, she was so beautiful and vulnerable that Jack had to fight to keep his hands off her.
“You need, as in a play, an ailing uncle to leave you a great inheritance,” Jack suggested with sympathy.
“Indeed, I have just been offered ‘protection’ by a gentleman.”
“It must be Dampere, the creature! I guessed as much! That’s why I broke in upon your privacy in such haste. Listen to me, Elizabeth. I promise you a weekly income, not of shillings, but of pounds. From the sound of it, your first concern is caring decently for your family. Join me and you will be able to provide for your father and aunt and whoever else you are carrying on your lovely back.”
The emotional girl looked at him as though he were a god.
Jack turned on his serpent-of-Eden charm. “Why take up with that toad Dampere? Come with me and live your passion while you keep your reputation. I can turn you into a real princess, Pocahontas—a princess of the stage.”
That did it. Dazzled, Lizzie said something irrational that meant yes: “The honor…do all I can…prove your faith.” It was the grateful garble of a person saved.
Satisfied to have gotten his way, Jack sealed the bargain by taking her head in his hands and kissing her full on the mouth. “Gad, we’ll be good; I know it.” He bowed and strode to his hired horse. “I have urgent business in the city. Be glad, Elizabeth. I certainly am.”
He leaped into the saddle and cantered away. Actually, he was off to a backstage intrigue at Covent Garden. Waiting in his dressing room, another would-be actress, of no performing ability whatsoever, was ready to audition what talent she did have on the chaise lounge.
Lizzie watched Faversham until she could see him no more. A freshening breeze lifted the leaves of the oak tree. She touched her tingling lips and thanked God for escaping a sordid life. He is my savior. Now I won’t have to do as Octavia does.
We have autographed copies of our memoir "Like Sands Through the Hourglass" and my CD "This Is Bill Hayes" as prizes for our giveaway. Two names will be drawn randomly from this blog stop!