How delicious that is, to take a blank sheet and type those words at the top. We are launched. Though every other word on that page may end up being changed, the fact, the very shape of Chapter One will remain, stable and solid, the ‘O’ round and satisfied, promising hundreds of words to follow.
Crafting those following words is where the real work is, but right now, at the dawn of a new manuscript, everything is possible.
The furry denizen at our house like to ‘help’ when we work in the office. He’s very good at going to sleep on top of the CPU and then falling off, scrabbling desperately as he goes down, upending folders of manuscript as he goes. Once he hits the floor he wants to do a wild kitty rebound leap, but the papers slip out from under his paws, and the laughter of his humans is just too, too much.
He’s also very good at making sure the pages come out of the printer. Sometimes before they are completely ready!
One of the best things about writing Historicals is doing research. I’m sure this is also why some people don’t like writing this genre, but for us it’s great fun to come home from the library, arms full of titles like A Time for Tea, A Viceroy’s India, Curry – A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors, A History of the East India Company… you get the idea. While at times some of these references might be slow going, I’m avidly gathering up information because you never know what odd little detail will end up adding color to the book, suggest a new plot twist, or even give rise to a whole new story! I’ve been keeping bibliographies of all the books we’ve used to research our stories. My favorite so far is a book we found while researching for PASSIONATE. Interlibrary loan served us up a not-often-read (the spine was quite fresh!) copy of The Tunisia of Ahmad Bey: 1837-1855. Perfect~
We sat down today with books from the library and began researching the next story. We know who we want to write about (well, at least one of the two main characters) but we are still searching for just the right place and historical event to support the love story. It’s fun to twine the characters into events that were important at the time, but all-but-forgotten today. This is one of our favorite parts of the writing process, the part where everything and anything is possible. Who will these people be? What forces will oppose them? And, most important of all, how will love triumph in the end?
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there is more new territory to explore as we learn how to make the blogging software work and study the arcane lore that will allow us to bring advance copies of Passionate into the hands of reviewers who will like the book and tell others about it.
I have seen the end. Yes, and also the middle and the beginning. Each comma, comma splice, and period, each paragraph and page. It is finished, it is done and over. My eyes are so very tired. Time to sleep, perchance to dream (for a week at the very least).
Now the manuscript is out of our hands. It has grown up and gone away to college with a suitcase of folded clothes and a pre-paid phone card, “just in case.” Good luck little book.
Write when you get
Novel 2 almost due at the editors. Ready or not, here it comes. This weekend will be a frenzy of edits and tweaks trying to make the story its very best before we unleash it on the unsuspecting Hilary. I’ll be working with pen and clipboard. Anthea will be glued to her seat in front of the computer. We both have the feeling this story is going to be really, really good (which is a big relief since I, at least, often wrestle with the worry that the story is going to be really, really, bad).
Just two more days: on our mark, get set, go……..
Thanks for stopping by. There should be lots of changes here in the next few weeks (days? minutes?) as we get the on-line home of Anthea Lawson up and running.
Things you should know: Novel #1 will be out on October 7! Here is a peek at the cover. As our editor says: “That man is in the book.” And so is that palm tree in the upper right-hand corner. It is in Tunisia where the hero, James Huntington, leads artist Lily Strathmore and her eccentric and lovable family on a botanical expedition to search for a fabled bloom. The story takes place in England and abroad, and just like you, it is sensual, spicy, adventurous, and of special value.