Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Great Chalfied Manor by Derek Harper
Creative Commons
I've been tagged by acclaimed author Nancy Bilyeau (whose novel The Crown has been well-received in the historical fiction world) in a blog game called The Next Big Thing. The game involves answering questions about my work-in-progress or a piece that I would like to be come the next big thing! After the questions, I will tag five more authors.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

1.) What Is the title of your book?

For the Skylark

2.) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was always so intrigued and in awe of Charles Dickens' character, Miss Havisham. I wanted to write a story about a reclusive woman like her. I had no idea what would happen in the story when I started, but within a page or so, her adult twins, Dante and Evangeline came into being. It turned out to be them I loved. They had been raised on an estate in isolation and have psychological consequences of that situation. The story took off.

Walter O Briggs House
by  Andrew Jameson Creative Commons

3.) What genre does your book fall under?

Historical Suspense. It might end up in YA.

4.) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Evangeline: I cannot find someone in the right age. Perhaps a younger Emily Blunte.

Dante: Dan Stevens If he could look 21....

Lady Charlotte: Rachel Weisz (yes, she is old enough at 40)

Molly: Gemma Arterton in blonde hair

Becker: Brendan Coyle (yeah!)

Hampton the butler (antagonist): Hugh Bonneville

5.) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Yikes! One sentence? Querying skills condensed even more?

Twenty-one year old Evangeline goes from content and happy secluded with her dear twin-brother Dante on a strangely functioning estate since birth to distraught and panicky as life normalizes when the world encroaches upon the estate and threatens to pull them apart.

For information on writing a "log-line", see Kristen Lamb's Blog. Kristen is the author of We Are Not Alone- the Writer's Guide to Social Media.

6.) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I do not plan to self publish the book. I may query agents or will go with a small publisher.

7.) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? And read the intro.

I have been working on it for fifteen months. This is the beginning of the prologue:

"Rules of the House were reviewed on Sunday mornings. The sound of distant church bells meant meetings in a study under the stern watch of nobles in frames. Twenty-one year-old Evangeline and her brother Dante were always on time. Lady Charlotte read out a number, and one of the twins would recite the corresponding Rule."

8.) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Great Expectations

9.) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Miss Havisham made me do it. :)

10.) What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Evangeline goes from content and happy in her strange circumstances to distraught and panicky as they normalize. Dante, her beloved twin and only friend, wants to break the Rules, go through the gates and see outside the estate. He even falls in love. Evangeline feels she must keep him for herself. She withdraws even more, sitting for days with her mother in the tower. And then everything goes wrong.

You can meet the twins HERE.

Pitzhanger Manor Gates
by P.G. Champion  Creative Commons

Thanks to Nancy Bilyeau for sending you here! I will nominate five others. I do have to have their consent, so please return to see the rest of my list. Each of these will put up their posts as they can get to it.

David William Wilkin
M.M. Bennetts
Sandra Byrd
Deborah Swift
Sue Millard

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pretty Proposals of the Millenium

I invite authors and readers to join me in sharing pretty marriage proposals from historical fiction novels published since January 1, 2000. Please put the proposal as a comment below.
Please name the title and author of the book.
I will start with the proposal of Mr. Gabriel Hughes to Miss Emma Carrington from The Companion of Lady Holmeshire, my debut novel.

Gabe assisted Emma to rise, and they moved from their stiff dining chairs to a down-stuffed, white sofa. Gabriel stared off into space as he transferred himself, nearly speaking twice once they sat. Emma sorted her prepared expressions of regret, searching for one to mercifully stop him before words appeared that could not be unsaid. She raised a finger to signal her wish to talk just as he cleared his throat and spoke. “Miss Carrington, you have but recently met me, I am quite well aware.” Having at last raised the courage, he went on to make his case, grateful to have spoken in time to stop her preventing it. “I am horrified at myself for being forward in this matter,” he said, “but you see, I am more troubled that someone else may appear, someone who does not love you as well nor would treat you as well, before I feel it more appropriate to take the opportunity. Therefore, you see, I must declare my feelings today and hope you will understand my haste in the matter. I have seen for myself and have heard that you are an admirable woman. You are certainly beautiful in every way—in face and form and outstandingly in manner. In the few weeks I have known you, I can barely eat unless I am fortunate to be with you, or hardly sleep at night for visions of your smile. I am a barrister. Therefore I am well able to support you in comfort on my earnings alone. Besides, I have been left a truly charming country cottage and some considerable income to manage the house through the estate of Her Late Majesty the Queen Caroline of Brunswick. My foster parents, as well, have left me a pleasant home here in Town, which is where I dwell for much of the year. It is not so grand as this Belgrave mansion, but I can entertain comfortably in it; that is, when a hostess may be found.” He fumbled with his pocket watch, not wanting to forget any vital part of his preamble or fail to pour it out before she could decline. The remaining words, if said, might prove a great temptation to her. “As a barrister, my wife would attend the royal court; therefore, you would spend as much time as you wish with your friends during the Season. All other wishes of yours would be given the greatest consideration. I should dislike, very much, to ever decline your request. I wonder, then, dear Miss Carrington, if you would make me ever so happy and become my wife?” He put up a finger to stop her from replying and added, “I felt great urgency, indecorously, in making this request, but I shall give you as much time as you wish to reply. I shall assume that until you give a reply you are considering the matter. Please be assured of my lasting faithfulness and love, and do consider my words.” Emma could have been easily swayed, kind-hearted as she was and not wanting to hurt him. She had listened intently, watching his face and how it gradually raised as he gained confidence. His eyes had lifted from overseeing the wringing of his hands and had settled with a hopeful gaze into hers. He surveyed every motion of her face, the direction of any turn of the corners of her mouth and the leaning of her body to ascertain her thoughts.

The proposal can succeed ...
Or fail.

Please leave only proposals appropriate for a general audience. You may include a link to the book.

Thank you for sharing it!

The Companion of Lady Holmeshire