Thursday, October 19, 2017

Five Secrets from Author Hannah Meredith

I love 5 Secrets because you just never know what you're going to find out about a on and meet Hannah Meredith.

Thanks L.A. for hosting me on your blog. I suspect this is just a bit weird rather than a secret. I gave up writing at a desk years ago. Instead, I use a laptop and sit in a big rocker-recliner. The ability to easily change positions really saves my old back. I have to be very careful if I’m tired, however. It is too easy to doze off, in which case I wake up to pages and pages of D’s or K’s. I guess the letter depends on which hand is lying the heaviest on the keyboard.

Hi, Hannah, please tell us Five Secrets we may not know about Song of the Nightpiper or you, but will after today!

1) Although I used to write fantasy short stories, I’ve been trying to concentrate on historical romance set in the 18th and 19th centuries. But the characters of Faulk and Anlin kept yammering in my mind. They were most insistent and wouldn’t get out of my head until I put their story on paper. They came complete with a quasi-medieval world where magic was possible. And so, Song of the NIghtpiper is a fantasy romance—and perhaps one of the truest stories I’ve written.

2) Magic has been disappearing from the two bordering countries of Fallucia and Rennic. Antagonists for centuries, each country blames the other. Both warp their societies in an effort to protect the magic that is left. Since the hero and heroine of this tale are from Fallucia, it would have been logical to make the Rennish the enemy. To a degree, they are, but I tried to temper this by showing Rennish society developed from good intentions that produce bad results. It is a case where the cure is worse than the disease.

3) In a word where status is inherited, Faulk started life as an orphan of unknown parentage and through hard work raised himself to the position of knight. He’s now the consummate warrior, battle-hardened and shrewd. But he’s retained a soft core that longs for love and acceptance. This dichotomy is apparent immediately. His ambition brings him to a tournament where he can win a fief of his own and marriage to the daughter of one of the Lords of High Places. The daughter, Anlin, should just be a means to an end, but he is hopeful a relationship can be forged.

4) Lady Anlin is a poor candidate for any sort of relationship. Years of slavery in Rennic have left her emotionally damaged, but she will do what is necessary to placate her new husband so he will accompany her on a quest to find her half-Rennish son. Her strength lies in her determination and her ability to admit her world view might be skewed. I found her a difficult but rewarding heroine to write. Her innate love for her child is tested when she finds someone very different from the little boy who was taken from her.

5) As I frequently do, in Song of the NIghtpiper I’ve placed competent people in positions where they are incompetent. I think this more clearly illuminates character and shows the difficulty of the choices they must make. Faulk and Anlin are two very average people who are confronted by extraordinary circumstances. While this takes place in an imaginary world, I hope it gives the reader insight into the world in which we now live.

In a world where Magical Talent is prized above all, Lady Anlin and Sir Faulk lack any ability—yet the unlikely alliance of this disillusioned knight and determined woman will reshape nations and challenge long-held beliefs through the magic of love. 

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Take Five and Meet Author Caroline Warfield & Her Holiday Novella, Lady Charlotte's Christmas Vigil

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Caroline Warfield. Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Lady Charlotte’s Christmas Vigil?
Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, L.A. 
As is often the case, I was inspired by travel. We were in Venice a few years ago and had enough time to ramble around side streets and little canals. Since I write mainly 19th century historical romance I started wondering whether I could put English Regency characters in Venice. A stop in a little bookshop answered my question when I found, Venice and the Veneto with Lord Byron—everything I needed to know about Venice and English visitors 1816-1818. My imagination was off like a shot.
If you were not a writer, what vocation would you pursue?
I began life wanting to join the Foreign Service, but marriage and children intervened. At this point in my life I can’t imagine doing anything else, although I’m strongly drawn to church work.

Do you prefer to read in the same genre you write in, or do you avoid reading that genre?  Why?

My answer to what I read is usually, “historical.” I mean historical anything: mystery, romance, historical fiction, and just plain history. I do a lot of beta reading for friends and I still read historical romance, particularly by favorite authors, but lately I’ve been leaning toward historical mysteries.

How do you create internal and external conflict in your characters? I find conflict often the hardest to create when I start planning a book.

Ever since I read James Scott Bell’s Writing from the Middle, my process has begun with the question, “What is the mirror moment?” “The moment when the character looks in the mirror and makes a decision that changes the direction of the story. To do that I have to know who the characters are, so I begin with forms for the hero’s journey and a character outline. Once I know what drives them and what in the situation sets up internal conflict, I look at the 3-4 key turning points in that journey. Then I write. I Can. Not. Plot. Nothing kills it for me more than over planning.

If you could live during any era of history, which one would you choose?

Aside from a general lack of hygiene and antibiotics, I would probably choose Tudor England. It had an abundance of intelligent interesting women.

Give us a brief summary of Lady Charlotte’s Christmas Vigil:

It's 1818 and Byron is in Venice.

Lady Charlotte clings to one dream—to see the splendor of Rome before settling for life as the spinster sister of an earl. But when her feckless brother attempts to mimic his idol by swimming the Grand Canal, he falls ill, stranding her in Venice halfway to the place of her dreams. She finds the city damp, moldy, and riddled with disease.

As a physician, Salvatore Caresini well knows the danger of putrid fever. He lost his young wife to it, leaving him alone to care for their rambunctious children. He isn’t about to let the lovely English lady risk her life nursing her brother.

But Christmas is coming, that season of miracles, and with it, perhaps, lessons for two lonely people: that love heals the deepest wounds and sometimes the deepest dreams aren’t what we expect.

Venice, Christmas, a handsome Italian doctor... her life is about to take an interesting turn.

Launches October 20.

Pre-Order Links:

Traveler, would-be adventurer, former tech writer and library technology professional, Caroline Warfield has now retired to the urban wilds of Eastern Pennsylvania, and divides her time between writing and seeking adventures with her grandbuddy and the prince among men she married. 

In her newest series, Children of Empire, three cousins torn apart by lies find their way home from the far corners of the British Empire, finding love along the way. 

Find Caroline: