WIPjoy #16

How would you describe your setting?

Most of the action takes place at Faebourne, which is an old, gothic house surrounded by forest. In fact, Duncan notices how unnaturally close to the house the trees are. However, though somewhat spooky from the outside, on the inside Faebourne is elegant and comfortable. The place is strange, and so are its inhabitants, but not particularly menacing. At least, not at first glance . . .

WIPjoy #15

From the MC: Your favorite music?

We’ll ask Duncan Oliver, the hero of Faebourne:

Anything soft and mellow, really. Maybe a bit of harp music? I find the pianoforte can be jarring unless the player has a light touch. Alas, so many young ladies attempt to showcase their abilities by going quite the other direction. And—just between ourselves, you understand—very few of them sing as well as they seem to believe. ::shudder::

Revisiting Goals

Okay, so a lot has happened since my last check-in with my yearly goals. For the record they were:

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

(Accomplished goals are in green.)

Well. I did publish Brynnde, and though I didn’t write a new Sherlock Holmes story I did (a) compile my three existing stories into one collection, and (b) have an audiobook version produced as well. And I’ve started on a new Sherlock Holmes story, too, but that’s been sidelined for the moment due to other priorities.

In fact, I need to reorganize my goals. I’m bumping Hamlette up to #1 current project because I have a due date of September 30 and a solid chance at representation for this particular book. So now all my focus is bent in that direction. With Brynnde done and off the table, here are my mid-year goals:

  1. Finish and submit Hamlette to the interested agent
  2. Finish and submit Changers: The Great Divide to Evernight
  3. Finish and publish Faebourne
  4. Finish the new Sherlock Holmes story

I don’t honestly expect to finish all three before the end of the calendar year, but whatever doesn’t get done by then will loop to 2018. It’s so nice to have definite focus, though, and clear priorities. And a deadline. I work well with those, but not when they’re self-imposed. I really need others to hold me accountable. Thank goodness for my critique group!

WIPjoy #14

From a side character: what gives you joy in life?

Michaels, Duncan’s valet, has volunteered to answer this one.

Michaels: I enjoy being in town, where we can gossip and be on the inside of all society’s flow of information. Being in the country is so dull by comparison. I like to be where the bustle is . . . And where there are better chances for stealing kisses from cute maids in neighboring townhouses.

WIPjoy #13

From your antagonist: what’s your deepest regret?

Hmm. Let me ask Richard, since he’s the most antagonistic of the characters in Faebourne.

Richard: I would not say I regret anything. Perhaps . . . Perhaps I am a little bit sorry I never gave Edward and Adelia more opportunity to venture out in the world. But I was only keeping my promise to our mother and following in the footsteps of our father. If it was good enough for our parents, then surely it is good enough for us.

WIPjoy #12

Yes, yes, I’m still slowly making my way through this list.

Share a line from the MC about food.

Duncan doesn’t talk about food (at least not so far), but he does think about it.

And then as though from thin air a footman appeared at Duncan’s elbow to set a heaping plate before him. Toast with jam, eggs and ham crowded the china.

“I hope it is to your liking,” Adelia said.

“It looks and smells delicious,” Duncan told her as he waited for the others to be served. A second footman came around with tea for the gentlemen, though he brought hot chocolate for Adelia.

Well, I guess he says something.

Years ago, when I was in high school, I used to write a kind of ongoing soap opera that got passed around before the notebook would be returned to me so I could write the next chapter. And I’ll always remember that one of my classmates said, “You never write about what they eat.” Now I worry I’ve since overcompensated by writing too much about food! I know in Manifesting Destiny I write about it a lot. But I’ve yet to hear anyone complain. (Please don’t start now!)

WIPjoy #11

From a side character: what’s the most pain (physical or emotional) you’ve been in?

George Fitzbert has volunteered to answer. He is Duncan’s best friend, if Duncan has such a thing; Duncan mostly keeps to himself, an awkward outsider in the world.

So, George, what is the most pain you’ve been in?

George: It’s rather constant, actually. A persistent pain of the heart at not having found the love I crave. Not that I’ve lacked opportunity! Many a miss has thrown herself at my head over the years of London Seasons. Alas, while I can understand the need to marry and progenerate for the sake of my family name . . . If I may be delicate, let us just say my heart leans in a different direction.

As the author, I have a sneaking suspicion where you’re going to end up, George, and I think you’re going to enjoy it.

WIPjoy #10

From the antagonist: happiest memory?

Who is the antagonist in Faebourne? The whole Milne family? The brothers did abduct Duncan, after all. I guess that makes them antagonistic.

All right then, we’ll ask Richard Milne first.

Richard: I remember being happy as a child. I have not been happy since.

Um . . . okay . . . Edward Milne?

Edward: I was happy just the other day when we had fresh strawberry jam for the toast at breakfast. I do so love when there’s fresh jam!

Uh-huh. Well, then, how about Adelia?

Adelia: My happiest memory is of Duncan coming to stay at Faebourne. It really is just so lovely to have company.

Even company you have to kidnap?

Adelia: Sometimes people don’t realize they want to be somewhere until you make them go.

Right . . .

WIPjoy #9

From the MC: Most awkward memory?

Duncan Oliver: Almost all my memories are awkward, I’m afraid. It’s why I mostly keep to myself. I do enjoy parties and the company of others, but I’m not very good at it, you see. I suppose that first meeting with the Milne brothers is a fair example. To feel so cornered and confused . . . Well, that’s my natural state, but their own strangeness made it double!

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.