WIPjoy #8

If you like ______, you’ll like my book!

Well, if you enjoyed Brynnde, you’ll probably enjoy Faebourne. Basically, if you like historical fiction with a touch of fairy magic to it, Faebourne should work for you. Still, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s like Outlander or Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It’s not nearly so epic in scale and there’s no time travel. Faebourne is lighter than any of that, and sweet—a classic fish-out-of-water story with all the humor therein.

WIPjoy #7

If your story was represented by one item, what would it be?

A fox. There is a fox in the story, a pet fox named Aloysius. I think he represents the fun and slyness and oddity of Faebourne.

And here is your friendly reminder to PLEASE vote for Brynnde in the Creme de la Cover contest! We’re neck-and-neck with the next closest book, so every vote is very important. Spread the word! (If Brynnde wins, we’ll celebrate with prizes for two randomly selected newsletter subscribers. Don’t get my newsletter? You can sign up via the button on my Facebook page.)

WIPjoy #6

Slowly but surely, the WIPjoy continues . . .

Name something in your WIP for each of your senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, touch.

Uh . . . I’m not entirely sure what I’m being asked to do here. Give an example from my WIP for each of these senses?

I haven’t gotten very far in the writing yet, so I’m going to abstain from giving away anything here. I can tell you that sight is a big factor—see the previous WIPjoy in which we get Duncan’s first look at Faebourne. The sound and feel of the carriage ride after Duncan is abducted, the smell and taste of the food at dinner, the needle sharp teeth of a pet fox in Duncan’s toe . . . That’s enough to be going on with for now.

WIPjoy #5

Now back to your irregularly scheduled WIPjoy.

Share a line of description.

Gray stone stretched to either side as far as Duncan could see; he had to turn and lean out of the coach to find the ends of the house. It was gloriously carved, almost gothic. High above along the roofline Duncan spied figures whose forms suggested angels. The place might have been a church as easily as an estate.

Okay, so it was more than one line, but this is the main character’s first look at the Faebourne estate, so it’s a key moment.

WIPjoy #4

Share a song that inspires you for this story.

Um . . . Maybe something by October Project? I mean, nothing immediately springs to mind, which is kind of weird since I usually do use songs for inspiration. Maybe the Waterboys’ take on Yeats’ “The Stolen Child”? It simply uses the poem:

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Listen to the Waterboys sing it here.

WIP Wednesday

I’m taking WIPjoy at my own pace. For today I’ll break and give you a new snippet of Faebourne. In this scene, Duncan has been left alone to dress himself before breakfast.

He was peering under the bed in search of appropriate footwear when the door opened once more and Richard entered. Duncan rose from the Lotto carpet to find Richard’s gray eyes surveying him sternly. “I just, erm…” Duncan said and held out a foot.

Richard’s eyebrows rose in comprehension. “You haven’t any. Yet.”

“I beg your pardon?” Duncan asked. “I can hardly go down to breakfast in my stockings!”

“No one here will take offense, I assure you,” Richard told him. “Just do be careful of Aloysius; he nibbles toes.” With that, he turned on his heel and marched out of the room, leaving Duncan no recourse but to follow or starve. Shoeless either way.

WIPjoy #3

Share a visual that goes with your WIP.

I’ve been trying to find photos of places that could pass as Faebourne, which is a gothic kind of mansion set in the wilds. I can find gothic mansions, and I can find wilds, but seldom both (without it looking like a horror novel). I’ll be relying on a good cover artist to meld the two.

I found this on Pinterest, so if you know the photographer and can give proper credit, please do let me know:

At the very least, the gates here give the impression of Duncan’s imprisonment, and there is a lot of greenery about. When Duncan first sees Faebourne he notes the way the trees encroach upon the house. Everything about Faebourne is wild and strange—the house, the grounds, and the people.

And if you’re excited about Faebourne please take a look at Brynnde, which you can read for FREE via Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited!

WIPjoy #2

Describe your main character for us.

Duncan Oliver is not the hero you picture on most romance covers. In fact, the first paragraph of Faebourne says it all:

Duncan Oliver was in every respect an unremarkable gentleman. He was not tall, though also not any shorter than would be deemed respectable. He was not rich, though again not particularly in want. And though he rode well, he was not especially keen on sports or gaming. To summarize, Duncan Oliver was the kind of man easily overlooked by the world. To this he had become accustomed and resigned.

Duncan has dark hair and eyes. He is handsome, but not in a chiseled way. I picture him with a somewhat pointed chin and delicate features. He’s expressive and has a dry wit, even as he tries to figure out a way to escape . . . Or not. His very uninteresting life has taken a decidedly interesting turn, and he’s not quite ready to go back to his tepid existence. But the thing about Faebourne is: once it takes hold of you, you might never leave.

WIPjoy #1

I’m a bit late starting this, but I’m going to be taking you through my WIP Faebourne, which is another Regency romance akin to Brynnde. In fact, this being the first WIPjoy post, let me introduce Faebourne properly.

This is the story of Duncan Oliver, a damoiseau in distress. (Well, he’s not French, but what exactly is the opposite of “damsel” or “damoiselle”?) He’s been abducted by the Milne brothers and taken to the Milne family estate of Faebourne. Duncan isn’t sure why he’s there, but there are plenty of strange stories about the Milnes to fuel his imagination. Some say the Milnes come from a line of fairy blood. Some say they’re simply crazy and it runs in the family.

Richard and Edward Milne have a lovely young sister named Adelia, rumored to be a changeling, and she may be the strangest of them all . . . Duncan finds himself torn between the desire to escape and the odd fascination he develops for Faebourne and its inhabitants . . .

Quarterly Check-In

The first quarter of 2017 is just about over. The writing goals I set for the year are below. Accomplished goals are in green.

  1. Publish Brynnde
  2. Finish and submit Changers: The Great Divide
  3. Finish Hamlette
  4. Write another Sherlock Holmes story

I published Brynnde on February 9, and it’s been doing pretty well. Big blog tour coming up for it starting April 17, too.

As for the other goals . . . Sigh. I do keep trying to get back on track with The Great Divide (Changers 2). I’m about halfway done with it, but life keeps throwing stuff at me and halting my progress. Perhaps this is my challenge, my lesson for the year: perseverance.

I brought the first chapter of Hamlette to my critique group a couple weeks ago, and they really liked it. That’s something at least.

And the finished recording for my Sherlock Holmes audiobook should be ready any day now, too. So maybe I won’t have a new story out just yet, but there will be an audio version of the existing ones!

Small steps.

I’ve also started work on another Regency novel titled Faebourne. Not sure yet which of these projects is going to take precedence if/when I get the time to really sit down and focus and write. I feel an obligation to finish Changers 2, but it’s like dragging a mule through deep mud at the moment. In other words, not fun and fairly exhausting. And while writing is my job, I also do best at it when I’m enjoying it. I think you can tell the difference between something written by an author who was feeling the work and one who wasn’t, and I don’t want my books to fall into the latter category.

So we’ll see. I’m really hoping to get Changers 2 done by the end of April, May at the latest. It’s taking me far too long to finish. But my heart may yet carry me in a different direction. And part of being a writer is to follow where the heart leads.