Interview with Cassandra Flemming, lead female character in the book, “The Clever Courtesan,” Book 1 in the Lady of Keys series.
1 Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a tiny village in England. My mother died giving birth to me and I’ve never known my father. I was raised by the Sisters in the St. Francis Orphanage.
2 Where do you live now?
On the English coast, near the White Cliffs of Dover
3 What’s the difference between the two towns?
Growing up, I was just an orphan. The villagers felt bad for me but I was no one. Now, as a Lady of Keys, I have my own money. I’m a Lady of means.
4 What is your favorite season?
I love summer. When I can pull Lord Maddox away from his work, I love spending nights skinny dipping with him under the moonlight.
5 What is your favorite vacation spot?
I’ve never been on a vacation. I’m always working in some way or another.
6 Where would you like to travel?
I’ve recently spent some time at French Court. I would like to see Paris.
7 What is your favorite city?
I’ve only been to London once, as a child. The whole orphanage went to visit the a Cathedral with the nuns.
8 What have you learned from Lord Maddox?
All of my lovers have taught me things about money, power and high society England. Lord Maddox has taught me what it means to fall in love.
9 What is the first thing you notice about someone?
As a Lady of Keys, it is my job to size up everyone in the room or at a party. I’m always asking ‘Who is the richest or most powerful person in the room?’ The first thing I look for is a quality of their jewels.
10 What is your favorite breakfast?
When I was in the castle in France, sometimes the servants would bring us cakes and pastries for breakfast. My favorite are these little cakes with sugared almonds on top. The cake is actually called the Nipples of Venus.
11 What is your favorite meal?
Lord Maddox gave me a falcon as a gift. At first I thought it was a stupid thing to give a Lady. Now, I like going out and hunting with him. Together, my falcon and I hunt and kill rabbits. Our cook makes rabbit stew simmered in red wine. It’s delicious.
12 What is the favorite thing you own?
My own money
13 What do you aspire to be?
If I could, I would like to own my own land and titles. It’s a rare thing for a woman in England.
14 What is your favorite song?
“Will Ye Go Lassie, Go?” It’s a song about a man asking the woman he loves to go walking with him up a mountain to pick wild flowers.
15 Do you like to sing?
No. But I’ve taken lessons and I can play the lute.
16 What other instruments would you like to learn?
Very wealthy Ladies learn to play the harp. I hope someday I can learn to play one.
17 Who is your best friend?
I don’t really have a best friend, really. But I am grateful to my Lady-in-Waiting, Lilly. She saved my life in a fire and I owe her a great deal for being so brave and helping me.
18 What have you learned from Lilly?
People rarely surprise me. I usually have them figured out in just a few moments. Lilly has taught me that there are still good people in the world.
19 If you got a tattoo, what would it be?
A Lady of Keys would never brand herself in such a way. One Keeper of Keys pleasure might be a complete disappointment to the next Keeper.
20 What is your guilty pleasure?
I love beautiful clothes. I love the way that silk feels on my skin. I love dressing up in the latest fashions.
21 What is your hope for the future?
Now that I have found a man who truly loves me, and I him, war is at our back door step. I hope that in supporting the Prince’s coup, the mad king of France can be overthrown. Then, Lord Maddox and I can see if our love can last.