God Save the Queen (US | UK | AUS) is about vampires, goblins, werewolves, humans and in-betweens. It’s about politics, power and loyalty, with a healthy dose of sex and blood tossed in for good measure. It’s set in a world where the Victorian Era never ended, and the Black Death ironically created an immortal aristocracy.
It also never would have been written without tea and Duran Duran.
When I was but a babe in the wilds of rural Nova Scotia, the first hot drink I remember having was not hot chocolate, but tea. Tea, it was understood, fixed everything, complimented all food groups, and had magical properties. We brewed it by the bag if we had to, but the norm was to toss a handful of leaves into a pot, add hot water and spend the rest of the day picking the bloody things out of your teeth. My mother read tea leaves. In fact, she was quite well known for it. She said the leaves in the bottom of my cup told her I was going to be a writer (she also told me they said I’d meet John Taylor, but more on him later). People came from all over to have her read their leaves. Some of them came back every freaking week, eager to hear what she saw in the bottom of their cup.
I wondered if perhaps she should buy stock in Red Rose.
My mum passed away a year and a half ago. She never did buy stock in Red Rose tea, but she passed on her knowledge of the leaves, and when I have a cuppa, I almost always think of her. I also think of her whenever I see Victorian clutter, pink Christmas tree ornaments, big hats and Grisly Adams (don’t ask). Anyway, tea remains an important part of my life and my career. I feel I must also acknowledge Mum’s love of the supernatural as well, because this apple certainly didn’t fall far when it comes to things that lurk in the shadows. My mother also made up bedtime stories for me, and sometimes we’d plot them together.