Archive for September, 2010

The Cave: A Place to Write

Friday, September 24th, 2010 | The Writing Life | No Comments

I think writers need not just physical space in which to work…a desk, a chair, a table, a computer, hopefully a quiet room…we also need space in our own minds to clear the path for our stories to come to us. How we clear room in our lives for that space is different for everyone. Some writers, like Richard Bach, author of The Bridge Across Forever, find space in everyday life, listening for the shower fairy, the garden fairy, the walk fairy. Though the Muse is generous with me in daily life, I find that a writer’s retreat is the best way for me to work on a new idea, a time when I am alone in a quiet place for a few days.Retreats allow me to enterthe cave so that I can work on whatever ideas are waiting for me.A few days alone in a quiet space is a luxury, one I am always grateful for.

Out of the Darkness

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 | The Writing Life | No Comments

As much as I love quotes from Eleanor, like Monday’s blog, today I find myself delving into a new world brought by characters I do not know very well yet. It is fascinating, because when I started working with Eleanor, she had been a character in my novels for years. So I already knew a great deal about her when she joined The Queen’s Pawn as the second narrative voice. And after writing To Be Queen, I feel that I know her that much better. So many layers of complicated emotion and thought…Eleanor issomeone that Icould write about for the rest of my life and neversee all there is to know about her.

And now, for the first time in years, I am beginning to work with four new characters, none based on real people in history, justchracters who came to me with their story, hoping I can write it for them. I have no idea whether these new characters will stay long enough to write a novel…novel writing is an odyssey in itself, and the characters always have to be willing to work as long and as hard as I do. If we manage to write enough to begin another book, I hope to do them justice. When the dead come to us out of the darkness of the past, the least we can do is try to hear them.

When New Characters Come Knocking

Friday, September 17th, 2010 | The Writing Life | 4 Comments

Iwonder how other writers feel when they are deep intoa project, fully commited as I am to Eleanor, and as they work, a new set of characters show up like refugees from a burning building who want to tell their story. A new idea has arrived, and I am listening, making notes and thinking through the intricacies of the story. As I wait for notes on my latest Eleanor synopsis, it is exciting to go down a different path, into unexplored country. I wonder what I will find there.

How do other writers feel when new ideas come in the middle of a project? Do they feel overwhelmed? Confused? Or just happy that the Muse is still speaking to them?

The Cloisters: Where I Outlined The Queen’s Pawn

Friday, September 10th, 2010 | The Writing Life, Video Blog Entries | 2 Comments

I love this place…I have more than a few videos on my blog of The Cloisters in New York. I just can’t get enough…

Eleanor and Alais in Germany & Turkey

Friday, September 3rd, 2010 | The Writing Life | 3 Comments

I am thrilled… The Queen’s Pawn has been picked up not just in Germany, which is amazing enough, but now it will be available in Turkey. I love that bothGermans and Turks will soonread a bit about Eleanor. Sherode through both the Empire ofGermany and through Constantinople (now Istanbul)on her way to the Second Crusade. Eleanor was not much of a crusader..she and her lords from Aquitaine and Poitou spent most of their time avoiding battle, but she was a huge fan of Turkish baths, as we will see in To Be Queen.

Alais, as far as we know, never got farther fromParis than Windsor and Bath, butno doubt Eleanor will look after her as they travel to beautiful and exotic foreign lands.

In my next blog entry, I will explain how foreign sales happen, and how mine took place. A little information for the curious, and for those of you working to be authors who will someday have this experience yourselves.So tune in Monday…and we will explore how my foreign sales happened, and what you can expect when your agent gets you a foreign deal.

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