September v- Ashley Brooke Book Club - Author Interview vertical copy

Our Book Of The Month Author!

Today I’m thrilled to share with you an interview with this month’s Ashley Brooke Book Club pick, American Royals author Katharine McGee! I had the honor of meeting Katharine (here’s proof!) last week at my friends Grace & Becca’s Book Club Tea in New York City.  And I have to tell you that she is even sweeter and kinder in person!!

To be honest, I was totally fan-girling hard over the idea of meeting Katharine, so it was such a fun afternoon chatting books and all things Royals. She is the absolute real deal and I cannot wait for you to find out more about her as we hold our breath for book two! Eek!


Lightning Round Q&A:

What are you reading right now?:

         KATHARINE : I just started The Kiss Quotient, which I’m excited about!

What was your last Amazon purchase?

KATHARINE : Gold sharpies (for my book signings!) and the ebook of American Royals. It sounds silly, but I always buy my own ebooks so that I have the final manuscript for reference. You’d be surprised how many times I have to go back to check the name of a minor character.

What’s your Starbucks order?

KATHARINE : Iced soy latte. In Houston I can’t bear to drink hot coffee!

What is your guilty pleasure?

KATHARINE : Reading a book in the bathtub is truly the ultimate indulgence.

Who is your favorite celebrity or fictional character?

KATHERINE : Outlander was the first “real” romance novel I read, in high school, and I’ve been in love with Jamie Fraser ever since.

What is your current online obsession (website, Instagram account, etc.)

KATHARINE : I recently subscribed to Caroline Hallemann’s weekly newsletter and I absolutely love it! She’s the Royals reporter for Town & Country magazine, and always links to interesting and thought-provoking pieces about pop culture or royal news. 

What is next in your Netflix queue?

KATHARINE :  I’m currently loving Succession on HBO! Also, I’m counting down down the days until Season 3 of The Crown.

Okay, Let’s Chat “American Royals”


KATHARINE : I’ve always read a lot of historical fiction, especially books about royalty: I can’t get enough of the Tudors or the Stuarts or Louis XIV’s Versailles. But it wasn’t until William and Kate got married in 2011 that the seeds of American Royals were planted in my mind. I actually watched the wedding with friends at a bar! We wore festive hats and drank mimosas (even though it was 6 AM!), and the moment the newlyweds kissed, it felt like all of New York broke out in cheers. I remember marveling at how invested Americans felt in the fairy tale of it all even though we don’t have any royals of our own. Which got me to wondering… how would the world be different if we did have a royal family?

No spoilers but the book ends with a bit of a cliffhanger–was this always the plan or did the ending evolve as you wrote it?

KATHARINE : I knew that ending since the very first draft! I have a terrible tendency to write cliffhangers, which probably comes from watching too much Game of Thrones 😉 I love a good hour-long drama, and I always try to write my novels as if they’re TV shows. That is, I want to tell a gripping and compelling story about characters who are flawed, but whom you can’t help loving anyway. I approach the final chapter of each book like a season finale—ending on a surprising, even shocking moment that leaves the reader hungry for more.

Which Washington prince or princess is your favorite?

KATHARINE : I love all the characters, but I do feel especially protective toward Beatrice. Probably because I’m also an oldest child, and tend to follow the rules rather than acting spontaneous.  

We love hearing how our favorite books come together. When and where do you write? 

KATHARINE : I have a wonderful home office, complete with a whiteboard on one wall, and a massive bookcase that’s currently overflowing with books! I try to be at my desk for a full work day unless I am traveling. Inevitably I take a few breaks—to go for a run outside, or grab coffee at my neighborhood coffee shop—but it’s important to put in the hours even when the writing is difficult. As my college professor used to say, it’s better to write something than nothing, even if you write a scene that you’re going to cut later. The more you write, the easier it gets. There’s something about the blank page that is just so intimidating! 

Horizontal - September's Ashley Brooke Book Club - American Royals

What Page are You on?

Okay, now that you’ve read the interview… spill it! What page are you on?! Have you started, finished, or just ordering today? I’m dying to know your thoughts. I fell in love with this book and I hope you did too! 

And for those of you who are literally devouring books left and right, this is for you! Below are three of our favorite books that are similar to this month’s selection. So if you are enjoying this month’s book, you will most likely enjoy these three as well…


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  1. Like Katharine, I love and am intrigued with all things Royals! I devoured this book and am obsessed! I love how each chapter was told from a different character’s perspective so you saw the life surrounding the Washingtons from every angle. CANNOT wait for book two, so many questions I need answered!!

  2. Katharine sounds like my kind of lady. Your tea party looked like so much fun, and she seems like such a lovely person. I had tagged her in my IG story after I finished reading, and she sent me a note via DM saying how glad she was that I enjoyed the book. How many authors take that time? Pure class. An excellent book/author pick!
    I finished last week and OMG IS IT NEXT FALL YET?! It was so good! I loved loved LOVED the world building. It walked the perfect balance of reality and fantasy. I’m looking forward to seeing what different details I notice the second time I read through. And I am so excited for Book 2.

  3. From royals and Outlander to iced coffee and Succession, I feel like Katharine and I would get on quite well 🙂 Can’t wait to start reading the book this weekend!

    briana |

  4. I read the whole book on a business trip (six flights in a week!) and when I finished the book on my last leg home I freaked! I could tell we were going to get a cliffhanger when my kindle said I was 90% finished and we had nothing wrapped up, but I got to the end and it was all I could do to not scream “WHAT?! OMG!!” on the plane. Cannot wait for the next book!

  5. I finished this book very quickly and I’m absolutely obsessed! The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the cliffhanger ending because I have to wait a whole year to read the next one!

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