TCL’s Countdown Questions #18: Author Nancy Bilyeau

Typewriter Countdown Questions

An Alternative Author Interview:

TCL’s Countdown Questions.

This week I’m featuring author
Nancy Bilyeau

Here’s another author who caught my attention with her novel, “The Blue.” I found that book after reading a few very complimentary reviews, so I grabbed a copy of it back when it was on sale. I’m so glad I did (and not just because of the stunning cover), and now I hope I’ll get the ARC to her upcoming novel (see below). I’m also glad that Nancy agreed to answer my questions.

  • If you could visit five (5) places you’ve never been, where would you go and why?

1.) Montreal, Canada — I lived in Toronto for two years with my Canadian husband and suggested we visit Montreal a bunch of times, but we never did, and I’ve teased him about it ever since. I hear it has great food and music–and I’m of French descent!

2.) Rome, Italy — I am convinced that I’m destined to write a mystery set in Rome. It’s a city that calls to me.

3.) Edinburgh, Scotland — one of my favorite writers is Ian Rankin, and I’d love to visit one of the bars he favors. And I’m fascinated with the 16th century history of the city–I want to see the palace of Mary Queen of Scots.

4.) Savannah, Georgia – I’d love to see its historic houses and soak in the Deep South atmosphere. And eat fried green tomatoes and shrimp & grits. 🙂

5.) Ekaterinburg, Russia – I’ve written about the Romanovs and studied Russian history. I would very much like to see the city where they died. Also, I’m intrigued by Siberia.

  • Name four (4) foods or dishes that you enjoy so much that they’ve practically become part of your personality.

Tomatoes, chicken, avocado, smoked salmon. But the substance that I totally can’t live without: coffee.


  • There is the past, the present, and the future – if you could choose, which of these three (3) would you prefer to live in, and why?

Although I write historical novels, given the choice, I’d most like to live in the future. I’m intensely curious about what awaits us!

  • Best and worst – you choose which – name two (2) of either your best moments of your life, worst moments of your life, or one of each.

The two best days of my life were my wedding day to my husband and second, finding out I was pregnant with my son, Alex, now a college student who wants to be a meteorologist.

  • Name one (1) book you’ve read in the past year (or so) that you wish you had written, and why.

Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr. It has great suspense, rich atmosphere, wit, and emotional depth.

prussian blue


Thanks Nancy! I can hardly wait for your next book!

Nancy Bilyeau CloistersdoorwayNancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, DuJour, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at City University of New York and a regular contributor to Town & Country, Purist, and The Vintage News.

A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel and an Oprah pick, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. The third in the trilogy, THE TAPESTRY, was published by Touchstone in 2015. The books have also been published by Orion in the UK and seven other countries.

On December 3, 2018, THE BLUE, her fourth novel, will be published in the United States and the United Kingdom. A novel of suspense set in the rivalrous art and porcelain worlds of 18th century Europe, it features a young female artist turned spy.

For this novel, Nancy drew on her own Huguenot background. In 1661, Nancy’s ancestor, Pierre Billiou, emigrated from France to what was then New Amsterdam when he and his family sailed on the St. Jean de Baptiste to escape persecution for their Protestant beliefs. Pierre built the first stone house on Staten Island and is considered the borough’s founder. His little white house is on the national register of historic homes and is still standing to this day.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Nancy Bilyeau
Editor, Digital Content Provider, Bestselling Novelist
Dreamland to be published January 2020 (Endeavour Quill)
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Description of ‘Dreamland’:

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to the luxurious Oriental Hotel a mile from Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of nearby Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession.

The character of Peggy Batternberg is inspired by Peggy Guggenheim. Other real-life people who lived in the early 20th century who inspire characters in ‘Dreamland’: Harry K. Thaw, Rudolph Valentino, D.H. Lawrence, and Nathan Handwerker.

NB Countdown 18

3 thoughts on “TCL’s Countdown Questions #18: Author Nancy Bilyeau

  1. So glad I’m not the only person who wants to go to Ekaterinburg! I once met a tour guide whose brother lived there, and I went “OMG, your brother lives in the place where the Romanovs were shot!!” … and then realised that I really hadn’t put that very well 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

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