Allison Pataki recently published the NY Times Bestselling novel The Accidental Empress, set primarily in Vienna and Budapest. This is a post she wrote for The Huffington Post while traveling in Austria and Hungary researching the novel.
When you drive across the border from Austria into Hungary, you barely know that you’ve passed an international boundary. This took me by surprise the first time I made the two and a half hour drive from Vienna to Budapest. The softly sloping green landscapes of eastern Austria seamlessly become the softly sloping green landscapes of western Hungary without any passport checkpoint, stern-faced guards, or even a well-marked sign.
ALLISON PATAKI is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical novels The Traitor’s Wife and The Accidental Empress. She graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years writing for TV and online news outlets. The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write The Accidental Empress by her family’s deep roots in the former Habsburg empire of Austria-Hungary. Allison is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization, ReConnect Hungary. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and is a member of The Historical Novel Society.