Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Book 2: The Juicy Details

Okay, so I promised Rhonddalyn I'd post the dirt about the new Book 2.

Originally, as some of you know, the Master Plan was to write Book 2 from the POV of a character who is a baby in The Murderess's Tale. It would start 15 years later, 1401, in Florence, and follow THAT young girl's trip to England to search for her real father, and tie up some intentionally loose ends from TMT.


Based on some astute agent comments on TMT, I wanted to make sure that I included some real-life famous people (much better commercial draw, don't ya know), and of course I wanted to correctly portray life in medieval Florence. I dove into research books, and promptly drowned. Any idea how very, very (very) complicated medieval Florence was? Man. The politics alone was killing me, not to mention the artistic community, the masonic community, the plagues, the guilds, the dramatically different Florentine culture.... The plot was not moving in the book, I couldn't get a grasp on the MC, and it Just. Wasn't. Working.

So when TMT came back, I leapt on it with glee, thrilled to be able to work on something ELSE for a while. Not a real great sign for Book 2, right?

So I'm happily working away enriching TMT, and I ask one of my brilliant readers (yes, you, Kreek) if she'd want to know more about the Duke in my book. She says, "Hmmm. What about the Duchess? I'd love to see more about her." Oh ah. Hadn't even really thought about the Duchess. She's mentioned, but doesn't appear. Could I bring her in for a scene? I go and look her up, real-life personage that she is {g}.

She's AWESOME. A princess in her own right, second daughter of King Pedro "the Cruel" of Castile. Her sister is married, at this same time, to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and regent of England, _my_ Duke's more powerful brother. Two princesses of Spain, married off to two brothers, sons (and then uncles) to the King of England. Oooooh. John of Gaunt, at this time, tries to capture the throne of Castile by his wife's right. Ahhhh.

Then I go look up Pedro the Cruel. Turns out he WAS pretty cruel--a real nasty piece of work, according to several sources. Abandoned his wife. Killed people. My two Duchess sisters were offspring of his mistress. He ended up being murdered by his own brother.

Oh ah again. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think I have Book 2. {s}

So now I'm bringing the Duchess (Isabella) in for one scene in TMT...and Book 2 will be (I think) the joint tale of her and her sister. Oh, and Chaucer and his wife, and Katherine Swynford (yes of Anya Seton's Katherine fame) are all tied up in there too. I am SO ready to write this book.

First, however, must finish TMT. {s}


Sara said...

But...but... I _liked_ the old book 2 idea! Oh, all right, this one sounds very interesting, too. *g*

/Sara E

Ps. Your blog is looking very nice indeed!

Susan Adrian said...

I liked it too, in concept. Just in theory it wasn't working.

Not to say I won't write it eventually. That girl's story needs to be told too--maybe now just wasn't quite the time. {s}

Thanks for checking out the blog! I'm having fun.

Anonymous said...

Cool! I recently read a book with John of Gaunt. Darn, I can't think what it was. It was good too! If I figure it out, I'll pass it on.

Anyway, the Duke's Duchess sounds like a great character. Plus you will all ready have at least one bad guy in the mix. >g<

I think Karin from Sweden is writing about Pedro the Cruel. If I'm remembering correctly. (Gosh I haven't read anything by her in years!) Cool thing about her stuff is she makes him very sympathic. >g<

About the only thing that trumps medieval Florence is medieval Venice.>g< The mind boggles....

I love your idea, and I know how ahead of the pack you will be to have your story about a REAL person.

Good luck and I look forward to more tid-bits. >g<

Anonymous said...



Yes, sometimes I can spell this....sometimes not. >g<


Anonymous said...


Awesome. Really!

I love the concept of your original book 2, so don't give up on it (not that I'm thinking at all about you, just my own reading enjoyment *g*). OTOH, while you've still got your head in TMT timeline, go for Book 2, Plan B! It sounds fantastic!

Isn't it nice to know your old synapses are working well?


Susan Adrian said...

[OTOH, while you've still got your head in TMT timeline, go for Book 2, Plan B! ]

EXACTLY! And location, too. I only have to move around in north England a bit. (lazy, that's me...) (no, not really. I'll have to research tons of real-person stuff)

Enough asides. {g} I'm really glad it sounds good to you! I am _quite_ excited about it, and that is the most important thing, I think...