Thursday, July 23, 2020

Suzanne Allain Interview - Mr. Malcolm's List

Photo Credit: Jonathan Allain 2019

Suzanne Allain is a screenwriter who lived in New York and Beijing before returning to her hometown of Tallahassee, Florida, where she lives with her husband. She makes frequent visits to Los Angeles for work, but one of her most memorable trips was to London to see her script MR. MALCOLM’S LIST: OVERTURE being filmed.


What inspired you to pen your first novel? 
I wrote my very first novel in seventh grade, a historical romance of around 70 hand-written pages. An eighth-grader read it and offered to be my agent, so I know it must have been good. (Though unfortunately she ended up having very few connections in the publishing world.) I tried again when I was laid up from a car accident in my twenties and that novel, INCOGNITO, was eventually published in 2001.

Tell us your latest news. 
It was recently announced that Sam Heughan (OUTLANDER) and Constance Wu (CRAZY RICH ASIANS) are attached to star in a film based on my book Mr. Malcolm’s List!

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? 
Jane Austen and P.G. Wodehouse. Jane Austen introduced me to a world that I knew I wanted to spend more time in, a world of wit and humor and romance. And P.G. Wodehouse is one of the most hilarious writers I’ve ever read. He plays with the English language in such a fun way, and his characters are just so quirky and quintessentially British.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
One person said she had a smile on her face the entire time she was reading it. That’s exactly what I want: To give readers a fun escape from the real world.

In your new book; MR. MALCOLM'S LIST, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it. 
It's a historical romantic comedy of manners. Here’s a two sentence summary:

The most eligible bachelor of 1818 London, the Honorable Jeremy Malcolm, has a list of requirements for a bride. When a young woman arrives in town and begins meeting every qualification Mr. Malcolm isn’t sure whether he’s found the perfect woman, or the perfect hoax.

What part of Jeremy and Selina did you enjoy writing the most? 
Their conversations. I always enjoy writing dialogue and they had a few fun exchanges.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book? 
It’s been so long I can’t remember. There were far fewer distractions when I wrote Mr. Malcolm’s List, because I don’t think Instagram and Twitter had been invented yet. (I wrote it in late 2001 early 2002.) I’m having a much more difficult time with my current work-in-progress, and it’s definitely social media and my news feed that keep sucking me in.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know? 
I know a lot of old English idioms that I use in conversation thinking that they’re currently in use, and my husband gives me a puzzled look and tells me: “That is not a real expression!” So then I google it and find it is a real expression, but from a previous century.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 
I would introduce Julia Thistlewaite to Emma Woodhouse from Jane Austen’s Emma. They’re both so controlling and think they know everything. It would be interesting to see which one ended up dominating the other.

  • 1. It takes place in 1818, which was a far better year than 2020.
  • 2. You would like to know the correct way to address the younger son of an earl.
  • 3. You need a break from twitter.
  • 4. You need something to tweet about.
  • 5. You don’t want to get on a plane (or a time machine) but you would like to travel to 19th century England.
  • 6. You’d like a romance that you, your daughter, and grandmother can all read without blushing.
  • 7. There’s ballroom dancing.
  • 8. And horse-drawn carriages.
  • 9. The cover’s gorgeous.
  • 10. It’s guaranteed to make you giggle.
What according to you is your most treasured possession? 
Wow, I don’t know. Possibly my engagement ring? I honestly don’t care too much about material possessions.

Best date you've ever had? 
I was living in New York City and my boyfriend and I had broken up, but we said if we ever started dating again we would just get married because we were already best friends. I was sick one weekend and he brought me some chicken soup and the next day we ended up going to a restaurant in the West Village and then walked and talked and sat on a stoop in Soho and people watched. On our subway ride home I turned to him and said: “Was that a date?” and he said it was. Then I asked: “Does that mean we’re getting married?” and he said yes. Later he formally proposed, we got married about 6 months after that, and we just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go? 
Probably to the time I moved to New York City when I was 22, the year before I got married. That was a pretty amazing time and I wouldn’t mind re-living it.

If you wrote a journal entry today, what would it say? 
Worked on an interview for Jean of Jean Book Nerd.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of? 
I’m afraid of sounding stupid on social media, so I delete far more tweets/posts than I actually send.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer? Watching my short film script MR. MALCOLM’S LIST: OVERTURE being filmed. You can watch it on my web site or on YouTube.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an arrogant bachelor insistent on a wife who meets the strictest of requirements--deserves his comeuppance.

The Honorable Jeremy Malcolm is searching for a wife, but not just any wife. He's determined to elude the fortune hunters and find a near-perfect woman, one who will meet the qualifications on his well-crafted list. But after years of searching, he's beginning to despair of finding this paragon. And then Selina Dalton arrives in town…

Selina, a vicar's daughter of limited means and a stranger to high society, is thrilled when her friend Julia invites her to London. Until she learns it's part of a plot to exact revenge on Mr. Malcolm. Selina is reluctant to participate in Julia's scheme, especially after meeting the irresistible Mr. Malcolm, who seems very different from the arrogant scoundrel of Julia's description.

But when Mr. Malcolm begins judging Selina against his unattainable standards, Selina decides that she has qualifications of her own. And if he is to meet them he must reveal the real man behind...Mr. Malcolm's List.

You can purchase Mr. Malcolm's List at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SUZANNE ALLAIN for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Mr. Malcolm's List by Suzanne Allain.


  1. The last movie I saw at the cinema was Frozen

  2. Frozen 2 for me! This sounds like the perfect book for me! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I haven't been to a movie theater in over 15 years. I have no idea what I saw.

  4. "What was the last movie that you saw at the cinema?" Hmm, maybe "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

  5. I think it was Inheritance. It was creepy and I didn't like it.

  6. It's been too long, I can't remember.

  7. OMGoodness It's been so long since we've been to the movies I can't remember..something before quaranteen.

  8. I went to see the Downton Abbey movie.

  9. I don't remember! It was last year sometime!

  10. Wow it has been years....I’m going to go with 2011 and The Grey (that wolf movie)

  11. The last movie I saw in the movie theater was The Rise of Skywalker.

  12. I'm not sure. I haven't been to the movies in years. I think it was "Throw Mama From the Train"