Monday, January 7, 2019

The Red Tower Stories

Happy New Year!

"The Governess's Peculiar Journey" is now available for pre-order at Amazon and other e-booksellers! It's the end of the long writing process and the beginning of the marketing process.

However, here, I want to talk about writing the books, the how and why of the two Red Tower stories. The first, as you may know, was The Earl's Peculiar Burden. It took shape as I began to think, a few years ago, about how modern and amazing the Regency era in England would look to someone from several centuries earlier.

Most time-travel stories involve either someone from our current time traveling to the past, or someone from the past traveling to the present. In my time-travel story, I didn't want to involve the present day at all.

In the Red Tower stories I have taken the Regency era in England as my 'present day' and I bring characters from other eras to the Regency. So, in the first book, Ysmay of Scarsfield travels from the 1200s to the Regency and finds it a place of unimaginable advancement and wonder. 
This is how I see Ysmay when she first arrives from the Middle Ages. (Wikimedia Commons)
But in this new, second book, Avice Palsham, a governess from 1865, finds the Regency old-fashioned and she has a Victorian preconception of the era as immoral and uncouth.
This is how I visualize Avice in her 1865 garb. (Perov 'guvernanka kupe' [detail] from Wikimedia Commons)
It has been fascinating to imagine the characters' views of the Regency era in which they find themselves. To make those views authentic though took a lot of research. Fortunately, as you know, I love research, and because I have been reading English history for a long time, I had the books I needed right in my research library. 
A portion of my 'research library'
For a general overview, in writing both books, I referred to "The Culture of the English People" by N. J. G. Pounds and "A Social History of England" by Asa Briggs among other titles. For the Victorian era, I looked at "The Victorian Scene: 1837-1901" by Nicolas Bentley, and others (I must admit to having a lot of books on the Victorian period). The Medieval period is excellently described in the books of Frances and Joseph Gies written in the 1970s and 80s, including "Life in a Medieval Village" and "Life in a Medieval Castle".

It has been fun writing the Red Tower stories. There will probably be more, and who knows, one may include someone from our present-day travelling to the Regency. I will never say it will never happen! But time travel may have to wait a while--other Regency tales are swirling, there are characters who want their stories told.

If you ever wish to discuss writing in general, or in particular, please contact me. If you have a research question or problem you need help with, I would be glad to try and assist you. Also, you may notice that my blog has a brand-new look; I would love to know what you think of it.

'Til next time,