Here at BookPage we are loving debut romance novelist Nina Rowan and her new book A Study in Seduction. If you are a romance enthusiast with a little bit of closet nerd inside of you, then this novel is the perfect fit for you.
Rowan expertly casts secretive mathematician Lydia Kellaway in the role of the leading lady, who may have met her match in complicated nobleman Alexander Hall. In our recent Q&A, Nina Rowan had much to say about how she created such a character and her real life inspiration for Lydia Kellaway:
Lydia Kellaway is an advanced mathematician, yet you admit that you are terrified of math. How did you manage to write about advanced mathematical concepts so convincingly?
I sought help. Lots and lots of help. I did a great deal of academic research and vetted the details with mathematicians. One of the most interesting things I discovered is how drastically the study of mathematics has changed since the Victorian era. Also, my husband is a research scientist whose brain somehow comprehends things like advanced calculus and flow density, so I forced him to
. . . er, I mean, he graciously volunteered to review all of Lydia’s calculations and the mathematicians’ discourse.
Tell us about Sofia Kovalevskaya, your inspiration for Lydia’s character. How did you discover her in your research?
I’ve always been interested in Russian history, and I knew I wanted this book to be set during the Crimean War because of the story possibilities and the conflict between Great Britain and Russia. One day I was just surfing the internet, looking up information about both 19th century Russia and Victorian women. Aside from Her Majesty, I found the histories of women writers, poets, travelers, scientists, nurses and artists. I was fascinated by Sofia Kovalevskaya, a Russian woman who had an early talent for mathematics and eventually sought a university education at a time when many such doors were closed to women. Sofia persisted and eventually became the first woman in Europe to earn a doctorate summa cum laude and a full university professorship. She unfortunately died at the age of 41 of pneumonia, but her ground-breaking work paved the way for future discoveries in mathematics.
Check out the rest of the interview at BookPage.com. Will A Study in Seduction make it onto your romance reading list?