WHY I WROTE THIS NOVEL THE WAY I DID...
I originally wanted to call this novel The Wax Face because I was intrigued by the death masks that were once made to remember the dead. As I started to research death masks I came across all sorts of interesting facts. The first thing to capture my imagination was that the woman we know as Madame Tussaud was thrown in jail during the French Revolution because she gave waxworking lessons at the palace. She was jailed at the same time that the woman we have come to call Josephine of "Napoleon and Josephine" fame was jailed because of her attachment to the aristocracy. Then I learned that the king most likely had a daughter with a chamber maid who was born less than a year before Marie Therese Charlotte, his daughter with Queen Marie Antoinette. The two girls were the best of friends and looked a lot alike. The plot kept thickening! I stitched these plot threads together while reading, and reading, and reading about the French Revolution. I went to Madame Tussaud's in London and in New York City. (Some day I'll tell you the story of how I saw John Travolta in Grand Central Station and decided not to bother him for a Selfy and in the morning came across a snapshot of me with my arm around the wax John Travolta figure at Madame Tussaud's.) Although I sympathized with the Revolutionaries, I got to like the Royal Family, too. Keeping that balance was a real writing challenge.
This is an exhibit in Madame Tussaud's wax museum showing Madame Tussaud at work.
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Ages 12 and up
Mademoiselle Grosholtz is there, pacing anxiously. “Thank God!” she cries when we appear, but this is the last she speaks of my having been gone for weeks. Instead, she’s all about the business at hand. “I don’t know if we've already waited too long,” she says to Rose. “Perhaps not, though,” Rose replies, throwing off her cape. They hurry to the worktable, where a figure lies in a prone position. It’s draped with a sheet. When Rose yanks off the sheet, I stagger back into Henri. The figure on the table is Papa! I run to him and then recoil. He’s wax — only a wax image of my father. With questioning eyes, I look at Rose and Mademoiselle. What is this? What’s going on? “This is the event we've been working toward for so long,” Rose says. “We want to capture your father’s spirit, but we must know his real name. What is it?”
“Louis the Sixteenth of France, of course,” I say, too stunned to question further. “King Louis the Sixteenth.” “No,” Mademoiselle Grosholtz protests. “We need his real name in order to call to your father’s authentic spirit. What’s his given name?” I stare at her blankly. “I don’t know it.”
- Haunted Museum - The Cursed Scarab
- Haunted Museum - The Pearl Earing
- Haunted Museum - The Phantom Music Box
- Haunted Museum - The Titanic Locket
- Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters
- Faces of the Dead
- Invisible World
- The Diamond Secret
- Distant Waves - A Novel of the Titanic
- The Crimson Thread
- Night Dance
- Bar Code Trilogy
- Water Song: Retelling of the Frog Prince
- South Beach Sizzle
faces of the dead
When Princess Marie-Therese, slips into the streets of Paris at the height of the French Revolution, she finds a world much darker than she's ever known and learns of the powerful rebellion sweeping her country. Unexpectedly unable to return, she finds work in a wax museum where she becomes embroiled in a plot requiring mastery of dark magic.