It’s the time of the month when I usually do the Beautiful People link up. But it’s also the time of the year when we take a break to talk about books. In particular, books we’re about to start writing.
This book I’m about to write is tentatively titled A Brigand, No Longer. It’s a sequel to Girl of the Rumours. There may or may not be another book coming after it. I really didn’t want to write a trilogy, but I cannot fit all of my ideas into one more story.
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
It was probably about a year ago that I came up with an interesting twist to Girl of the Rumours that would leave a couple of characters in a very interesting situation. That twist is not the same anymore. It actually involved a character, who has changed a lot of the course of the first draft (sometimes she was a young woman looking after her brother and sister, now she is their mother). Also there were too many coincidences in the story. Anyway there still seems to be some complex situations, and I wanted more room to play with some themes and relationships.
Describe what your novel is about!
Joane, the former lady brigand, is having trouble adjusting to her new circumstances. It’s clear that she was meant to live out in the wilds and most people agree. So when shes hears that her former followers are forming into small warring factions and generally causing trouble, there is a strong urge to run away and get them back into line. But she knows her duty lies elsewhere. And that’s about what I can write from the little I know. It’s vague, but I can’t give away spoilers for the previous book. Many other characters make a return though. And Arthen and Leisa marry.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
I’m really not sure how to answer this one. I don’t even no how to describe it as a room. But it’s more town than forest. Formal garden terraces, people sewing uniforms, an apothecary shop. A strategy planning map, arrows through windows, making bandages. Mocking laughter, a burning village, a formal dance.
Introduce us to each of your characters!
I really can’t do this very much. I’m not yet sure how much to let out about who continues. But I’ll describe Joane and a few fairly minor characters.
Joane doesn’t smile much, she’d rather stare daggers through you. She can take charge of a room, but is in her element outdoors. Her black curly hair is too short to stay up well and she always has a weapon hidden about her.
Lady Naida Harly is a small, sprightly old woman. There’s always a twinkle in her eye that says she understands you even when you don’t say a word. But she’s also ready to make you talk about it, and extremely hard to say no to.
Marcon Keresh is the second son of the Noble of Whern. He’s slight pretentious, means fairly well, but thinks he knows how things should be done. (Also I didn’t know he existed before I started writing this)
How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
I fill in things like this, throw random ideas around and try to organize them into something useful. And I’m getting writing books from the library again.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Putting Joane into many uncomfortable situations. Letting my characters grow more. Figuring out who Marcon is. Having father-daughter relationships.
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
It takes place in a city much more than the first book.
There will be some opulent surroundings at times.
It’s summer, so lots of heat and the early harvest.
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
She’s trying to save her old followers from themselves, and help people survive a war. A new leader among the brigands and a lot of stubbornness and fear all round is making it difficult.
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I really hope she becomes more humble, trusting and forgiving.
What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
One theme is learning to trust, when things seem out of your control. Also learning to obey when when another path makes more sense. And being willing to live with people who ridicule you.
I want people to feel glad that they read it. And encouraged. Certainly encouraged.