More About the Author
The granddaughter of children's author Lillie V. Albrecht (author of _Deborah Remembers_, _The Spinning Wheel Secret_, and three other historicals), Susanne Alleyn definitely doesn't write for children, unless, like her, they have found guillotines, high drama, and the French Revolution fascinating since the age of ten or so.
Susanne was born in Munich, Germany. After studying acting and singing, and earning a B.F.A. in theater from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Susanne eventually came to the conclusion that, as an actor, she was quite a good writer, and that looking for an agent or publisher was still easier on the nerves than going to auditions. (She can, nevertheless, still sing a high C when requested.) Having been unwholesomely fascinated by the French Revolution since, at age 9, she read the Classics Illustrated comic-book version of _A Tale of Two Cities_, she set out to write about it. Her debut novel, _A Far Better Rest_, a reimagining of _A Tale of Two Cities_ (what else?) from the point of view of Sydney Carton, was published in 2000. Her latest book is _A Tale of Two Cities: A Reader's Companion_, a heavily annotated edition of the classic.
Though a longtime fan, she had never considered writing mysteries, however, until she suddenly found herself creating a historical mystery plot suggested by an actual series of murders committed in Paris in the early 1800s. Police agent Aristide Ravel made his first appearance in _Game of Patience_ (2006) and returned in _A Treasury of Regrets_ (2007), both set in Paris in the Directoire period of 1796-97. Prequels _The Cavalier of the Apocalypse_ and _Palace of Justice_, the third and fourth mysteries in the series, followed in 2009 and 2010. Susanne intends to cover the entire Revolutionary period in future Aristide Ravel novels.
Her sixth historical novel, _The Executioner's Heir_, is the first of two (non-mystery) novels about real-life Charles Sanson, eighteenth-century executioner of Paris, who has a small featured role, at a much later period of his life, in the Ravel novel _Palace of Justice_. She is currently working on the sequel to _The Executioner's Heir_, but she promises to write more Ravel novels when Charles Sanson's story is at last out of her system.
In a foray into nonfiction, Susanne's book _Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders_ (2012), a writer's guide to avoiding errors and anachronisms in historical fiction, was written during a burst of exasperation over "historical" authors who under-research and give us medieval peasants eating potatoes (which are from South America) or Victorian heroines who think and talk like Valley Girls.
Susanne and her three cats live in New York State. She speaks French very badly. Visit her author website at http://www.susannealleyn.com and her (occasional) blog at http://www.susannealleyn.com/blog.htm .