Tag Archives: historical fiction

Author Interview: Victoria Grefer

I met Victoria via google+. I enjoyed many of her posts there and eventually we fell to chatting about writing. I decided to download her novel The Crimson League and discovered a delightful fantasy novel. Naturally, I needed to invite her for an interview here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Victoria GreferMy name is Victoria Grefer. I’m a fantasy novelist, and I’ve always loved language, especially foreign languages. I studied Spanish in college, and I’m fluent. I can also read French and Portuguese. I love American football, and even once had a professor tell me once, “It’s not often you associate the hyper-intellectual with the sports fan.” I still don’t know whether to consider that a compliment or to be offended, but I know my football stats. I also love cats, and cribbage, and sitcoms.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in the third grade. My first stories were about me and my friends solving mysteries. They were short, and no one ever knew who the “bad guy” would be; I didn’t exactly have a real plot or context clues in place. I started writing because I had always loved stories. I loved reading, especially Nancy Drew books.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

The moment I first considered myself a writer was when I finished the first draft of my second novel. I was twenty-two, and really excited to have two novels under my belt. A first edited novel—no matter how bad it was, and believe me, mine’s pretty bad—and a completed draft of something else helped me find the confidence to call myself a writer.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

My most recent book is titled The King’s Sons. It’s book three in my Herezoth trilogy, wrapping everything up, so writing it was an emotional experience.
Herezoth is a fictional kingdom where some people are born with magic in their blood, though the majority aren’t. True sorcerers are rare, as magic was forsworn through the ages as public opinion turned against it. Nevertheless, sorcerers still are born on occasion. Most “magicians” in Herezoth have remnants of sorcery, which means they are born with a single, subtler power: telekinesis, or the ability to read minds through touch, for example. Each installment of my trilogy involves the heroes standing up against an enemy who can bring powerful magic to his or her aid.

What inspired you to write this book?

I wrote a first and then a second Herezoth novel. Then I realized my characters weren’t finished. My sorceress protagonist from book one, the king, the sorcerer Duke of Ingleton: my favorite characters were screaming at me that they had unfinished business.

I’m so glad I wrote The King’s Sons. I love how the plot of book three is the cumulative effect of events that unfold both in book one and book two. Magical artifacts that appear in book one to a small degree become vital to efforts to maintain peace in the final installment.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My teacher in my senior-level English class once told me, “You write like Hemingway.” What she meant is that I value clarity and conciseness over baubles and a string of dependent clauses. I say what needs to be said with as few words as possible and little adornment. I admire writers who can write beautiful, breathtaking scenes of description, but that’s not something I’m good at.

One other thing associated with my style is that each of my novels is a completed story in itself. That’s why I was able to have book two take place fifteen years after book one. Book three takes place ten years after book two.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Book one in my trilogy is titled The Crimson League, after a resistance group that rises up to fight a sorcerer who has stolen the crown. Book two is titled The Magic Council. Since I was writing a trilogy, I wanted a title for book three that fit the mold: The (Descriptor) (Noun). I settled on The King’s Sons because it draws attention to two of my favorite characters: Hune Phinnean, the youngest of three princes, and protagonist Vane Unsten, the Duke of Ingleton. He considers the king the closest thing to a father he’s ever known.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I didn’t write with a message in mind. That said, I think there’s a strong thematic link between all three installments of my trilogy: the necessity in this world of taking a stand for what is right and being faithful, honest, and selfless, even when the price for that is heavy. Dignity and self-respect are priceless.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I was surprised when I started editing The King’s Sons to realize my life situation at the moment I was writing was reflected in the story, although distorted, of course. One character named Francie, a member of the king’s Magic Council, is attacked and almost killed after ten years of service. (This is the prologue, so it’s not a spoiler). This brings about a quarter-life crisis.

When I wrote about Francie, I was considering withdrawing from a doctoral program in Spanish literature, though I was in my third year and had already earned a Master’s degree. I had always thought I wanted to be a professor; I had gotten things wrong, and a lot of what Francie struggles with on an existential level in The King’s Sons, I also was confused about. Frustrated about.

I did leave my program. It was the right call for me. Honestly, I think developing the character of Francie and seeing her overcome much greater obstacles than what I faced gave me the courage to make that decision.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was my first introduction to fantasy literature, and made me fall in love with magic. My personal novels owe a lot to her. As a writer, I admire how Rowling never gave up, even though she was rejected many times by agents. I also admire the depth and heart to be found in Rowling’s secondary characters. Not just everyone can achieve that, and I feel that the overall richness of her cast of characters by far outweighs any of the problems with her books. I strive to make sure my secondary characters have depth like that.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor?

Victor Hugo. His masterpiece Les Misérables is by far my favorite novel ever written, for the beauty of its story and its message of faith, sacrifice, and redemption. It truly has helped shape the person that I am. I learned French to be able to read the book as Hugo wrote it!

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

Brad Covey designed my covers. He approached me, after we met on Twitter and became friends, with some ideas and proofs for covers, and I was thrilled to go along with them. He is talented, friendly, and always willing and able to incorporate any needs the author has. I am constantly getting compliments on the covers he designed for me.

I love how Brad’s covers—through the use of architecture and statuary—not only designate fantasy very clearly, but also hint of the richness of Herezoth’s history. The legacy of magic and magic’s abuse in the past is something my characters cannot avoid, no matter how they try.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write for you, not to please others. This is key. So key, in fact, that the title of my upcoming writer’s handbook, expanded from the content on my blog, is Writing for You: A Novelist’s Guide to the Craft of Fiction.

Write to fulfill whatever part of you needs to create in order to feel fulfilled. Be pleased with your stumbles, not frustrated, as long as they’re stumbles propelling you in the right direction. Remember, we all need time to figure out the way to approach writing that works for us, personally, because no two writers have the same process. It’s a very individual thing. Never think you’re doing something wrong because you’re doing it differently than someone else.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for taking the time to give me and my novels a chance. It’s very humbling when some tells me they’re reading my novel; that means more to me than I can say.

The Crimson League Book CoverVictoria Grefer
Chicago, Illinois

Cover Artist: Brad Covey

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Author Interview: Marty Steere

It is always a pleasure to offer authors in my local Los Angeles area. Marty Steele has written a lovely historical fiction. He shares more about his writing process and his new novel here on No Wasted Ink.

Marty Steere - AuthorI’m Marty Steere, a lifelong book junkie who spent many years convinced that he would ultimately be a novelist – but who was unwilling or, let’s face it, afraid, to take the plunge. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if I wasted those years. I became a lawyer, grew to like it, and have had, for longer than I’m prepared to admit right now, a very busy and gratifying practice. But, in the back of my mind, I did always believe that one day I would sit down and write that novel I knew was in me.

When and why did you begin writing?

The economy took a hit in late 2008/early 2009. (You probably read about it; it was in all the papers!) My practice in the months after that was not – how do I put it – nearly as robust as it had been in the overheated years leading up to the collapse. I found myself with rare evenings and weekends free. Now that was a bit of a sea change. So, I filled the time with the logical thing. I became spectacular at a couple of home video games. I mean really good. (I don’t want to brag or anything, but you know….) Anyway, it was late one night, after I’d advanced to a seemingly impossible new level, that I asked myself a poignant question: What the heck am I doing? That was when I came to the rueful (and somewhat daunting) conclusion that it was now or never.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Believe it or not, it was after I wrote my first chapter. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. I think I held my breath for the week it took me to write it. When I’d finally finished it, printed it, given it to my wife to read and received her – God bless her – accolades, I thought, I’m there. What a boob I was. That first chapter never made it into my book. But, in fairness, it was the breaking of the seal. In the span of a few months, I slid into a comfortable rhythm, and, after that, the writing came to me in a much more natural fashion. Now, with two novels under my belt, I do honestly think of myself as a writer.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Defiant Heart is the story of a young couple who, in a small Midwestern town on the eve of World War II, fall in love, are torn apart and must fight to be reunited.

What inspired you to write this book?

It’s a story I would want to read, filled with characters I would want to read about. In a way, you might say, I was entertaining myself while writing it.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know that I do, but, then again, would I recognize it if I did? I try not to bog down the prose. I’m more interested in telling the story than dangling fancy descriptions in front of my reader. I want people turning pages, and I try to foster that by moving the story along.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

I didn’t. For the life of me, I couldn’t. I wrote the whole book just assuming the title would come to me at some point. And then I was finished, and I still didn’t have it. I’d written well over 100,000 words, and I couldn’t come up with the last two or three. I tried out a few ideas with those who’d read the book – ran them up the flagpole if you will. Nobody saluted. (In retrospect, some of them were really awful.) A mild panic was beginning to set in. I was getting ready to submit to agents, and I obviously couldn’t do it without a title. I’d been working with an editor, Hillel Black. He was in New York, and I was in L.A., so I couldn’t actually see it, but I could pretty much feel the eye rolls when I gave him the last couple of ideas. Finally, he sent me a cryptic email that said “I had in mind something like DEFIANT HEART, A LOVE STORY. Idea grows out of Mary’s and Jon’s defiance of convention in their love for each other. Think this has more zing.” And he was right.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

The cover for Defiant Heart, as with the cover for my first novel, Sea of Crises, was designed by my good friend, Ben Lizardi – a very talented man who, among other things, is a fabulous graphic artist. I explained to Ben my idea of featuring the image of the biplane flying over fields with clouds in the background. Ben did a mock-up using stock photos, then suggested that, because the novel takes place in the 1940s, we might consider commissioning an illustration from a local artist, Ed Lum, who has done a lot of work that evokes the ’40s and ’50s. Ed and I spoke, and I explained how I wanted to create this nostalgic feel. Using Ben’s mock-up as a rough guide, Ed drew the illustration featured on the cover, adding the figure of the young man. It was exactly what I was looking for.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I alluded to it above. I don’t know how profound it is, but my advice would be this: Write what you’d like to read. You’re going to be living with the story for a while. Make it be one you’d enjoy having someone else tell you. If you’re anything like me, you won’t know the whole thing starting out. So it’ll be a journey of discovery. Might as well enjoy it.

Defiant Heart Book CoverMarty Steere
Los Angeles, CA

Defiant Heart
Penfield Publications

Cover illustration by Ed Lum; cover design by Ben Lizardi

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Author Interview: Tash Jones

Author Tash JonesMy name is Natasha Jones, I’m from Portsmouth, Southern England and I’ve by the seaside my whole life. I love nature and travelling. I have a fondness for astronomy. I obsessively watch TV shows. I love a good musical. Period literature has, I think, the most fascinating language. I make silly jokes – ALL THE TIME.

When and why did you begin writing?

I used to parody pop songs and before that I used to make up my own magazine and write the articles for it (on lined paper – I still have the magazine). I took writing seriously when I was 18 and I started to pen this novel.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Does one ever? Don’t we all create stories in our minds on a regular basis? I can call myself an author soon though, which is pretty cool.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

It’s a tragedy with a little romance. It’s historical fiction set in London in the late 1800s. The story revolves around Alexander Vile and is retold through his Journal entries. There’s some ambiguity, so that hopefully different readers take different things from it.

What inspired you to write this book?

I read a lot of Gothic fiction and that spurred me on to conclude the novel. I mainly started out of boredom on my work lunch breaks – I didn’t know this would become such a passion for me.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like a lot of imagery. It’s a very self-reflexive language style, declarative I’d also say. I’m trying different styles for my future novels though.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

We were studying Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs Dalloway‘ at University and my lecturer described Clarissa (the lead character) as having these Luminous moments, luminous thoughts – that phrase stuck with me.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I would like people to not take things at face value and question more (even if silently). Too many people will read something on a social networking site, in a newspaper or on a celebrities blog and will just accept that as fact. In general I think people should think more before they start arguments and debates too.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Some of the thoughts expressed are my own ponderings. It is entirely fictional thought. I’ve started writing a second book which features a character who is very similar to me.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

Jane Austen – she really opened my mind and made me interested in history – I was stuck in the modern world before I discovered her. Jeff Lindsay and Stieg Larrsson got me heavily into Crime Fiction – which is now my favourite genre of Television. Oscar Wilde is the main reason I wanted to write and release this book. His intellectual words were something I desired to be able to replicate. Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven’ fuelled my love of poetry and Jonathan Safran Foer first opened my eyes to intercultural fiction.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

The two that are alive from that list – Lindsay and Safran Foer, I would love to meet them and quiz them on their novels.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I initially approached two illustrators. The first design turned out to convey the wrong theme, it was a little dated. The second really took my instructions and made it his own. His name is Colin Strain.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I don’t think advising on the writing process is entirely essential – if you love writing, you’ll write anyway! Editing (though can be repetitive and tedious) is probably more important than the execution of the writing. In this market, I think networking is equally, if not more important than the editing and writing put together. If you want to build as a writer, network – the more varied people you talk to, who advise, review your work, the better the product you release will be.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I’m one of those annoying optimists – so – I think everyone should smile now, it’ll make you feel better.

The Luminious Memories of Alexander Vile Book CoverNatasha Jones
Portsmouth, England

I’m sucker for romance and metaphors. I like to leave things to the readers interpretation so an element of ambiguity features in my work. I like writing the nasty nasty characters the most.

The Luminous Memories of Alexander Vile
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Cover Designer: Colin Strain

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Book Review: Les Miserables

Book Name: Les Miserables
Author: Victor Hugo
First Published: 1862

Victor Hugo was a genius who would have excelled at any medium he undertook. He was a poet first and then a novelist and dramatist. His hobby of sketching was such that it is said that had he chosen to become a painter instead of a writer, he would have out done the masters. He is remembered as one of the more well-known French Romantic Writers of his time. In France, Hugo’s fame comes more from his poetry, but to the world he is best regarded as the author of two novels, Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Hugo was born two years after Napoleon Bonaparte came to power as Emperor of France. His father was an officer under Napoleon and later became the administrator of several provinces under the Emperor. Due to his career, the Hugo family was forced to move often during Victor’s childhood. His mother, a devout Catholic and royalist, grew tired of the travel and settled with the children in Paris. She then had much influence over Hugo’s early beliefs and interests during his early years because of this, but during the events that led up to France’s 1848 Revolution, Hugo rebelled against his Catholic Royalist education and upbringing and instead embraced the ideals of republicanism and free thought.

Victor fell in love as a young man with his childhood friend, Adèle Foucher. They had five children together. His first child died as an infant. His eldest daughter, Leopoline drowned at the age of nineteen along with her husband who perished trying to rescue her. Hugo learned of her death while in traveling in the south of France with his mistress, learning about her death impersonally while reading a newspaper at a café. Hugo wrote many poems in honor of his daughter, but never quite recovered from her loss. Later in life, Hugo would also lose his two other sons and his wife.

When Napoleon III took power in 1851, Hugo left Paris and went into exile. He lived in Brussels, the Channel Islands and then to the smaller island of Guernsey in 1855. Although Napoleon III proclaimed a general amnesty in 1859 when Hugo could have returned to France had he wished, the author stayed in exile and refused to return until Napoleon III was forced from power as a result of the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. After the Siege of Paris, Hugo returned to France where he remained for the rest of his life.

Hugo’s early work brought him fame at an early age. His first collection of poetry published when he was twenty years of age earned him a royal pension from Louis XVIII. His work was a reflection of the romanticism that was popular in France and combined with his new passion for Republicanism. Unfortunately, it was his political leanings that lean to his exile from his home country. However, as he continued to publish, he revealed himself to be a natural master of lyric and creative song. Much of Hugo’s poetry has been adapted to music and become the inspiration of many musicals and operas.

After the success of his poetry, Hugo began to work on longer works. His first full-length novel was The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. It shamed the city of Paris into restoring the Cathedral and it inspired a renewed appreciation for pre-Renaissance buildings which fueled the tourist trade for France.

The author began the planning for his next major novel which would feature social misery and injustice as early as the 1830s, but he would take seventeen years to complete the manuscript for Les Miserables and publish it in 1862. It was an instant success with the first installment of the novel, labeled: Fantine, to sell out within hours. The book would have an large impact on French society and the novel remains his most remembered work. It is celebrated around the globe and has been adapted for film, television and the stage. Les Miserables the Musical is one of the most long running musical productions in history. I’m sure the new Les Miserables motion picture will also be a huge success.

Les Miserables can be translated from the French as The Miserable, The Wretched, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims, but in English the publishers have chosen to keep it in its original French title. Even the musical is usually referred to as “Les Mis”. Perhaps the translation is too dour for popular tastes to describe what is considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. The story begins in 1815 and finishes in 1832 during the June Rebellion, the novel details the lives and interactions of several common people, focusing on the struggles of an ex-convict named Jean Valjean and the steps he takes to gain redemption. The story of Les Miserables is incredibly complex and details the misery that the common people of France lived in. From the corrupt innkeeper’s family, to Fantine who dies while trying to support her illegitimate child Cosette, to the struggles of Jean ValJean and his nemesis Javert, and finally the students who fight against the royalist army and lose their lives. The misery transforms into poetry and through their suffering you gain a sense of hope for the human race.

Perhaps the best description of this masterwork comes from Victor Hugo himself:

“So long as there shall exist, by virtue of law and custom, decrees of damnation pronounced by society, artificially creating hells amid the civilization of earth, and adding the element of human fate to divine destiny; so long as the three great problems of the century – the degradation of man through pauperism, the corruption of woman through hunger, the crippling of children through lack of light – are unsolved; so long as social asphyxia is possible in any part of the world; – in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of Les Misérables cannot fail to be of use.”

Like many people, I saw the musical first before I read the book. The musical Les Miserables is a masterpiece in unto itself and it transformed me into a lover of live musical theater. I realize that many people do not go on to read the original novel by Hugo. I feel that this is a mistake. This is one of the greatest novels ever written and it is one that should be on your must read list. Do let those that say that this novel is another “book by some dead white guy” mislead you. The human condition is not dependent on race, century, or country, but it is a universal constant. Let the ideas of this long ago genius transport and change you as he has done for me.

Les Miserables Book CoverYou can find the complete unabridged version of Les Miserables free of charge at Project Gutenberg. Be warned, the full version is full of tangents and long passages about subjects that do not have direct bearing on the plot itself, however many of the subjects are quite fascinating. I feel it is worth the time and effort to read the full complete version of this work instead of the abridged version.

Author Interview: Gabriele Wills

I am a great lover of historical fiction novels, so when the opportunity came to interview Gabriele Wills, I was glad of the chance. I hope you’ll enjoy her interview as much as I did, here on No Wasted Ink.

Author Gabriele WillsMy name is Gabriele Wills. Born in Germany, I emigrated with my family to Canada when I was a young child. Always a dreamer, I’ve also been an educator, literacy co-ordinator, and website designer, but my real passion is writing. I have five historical novels in print. Married to my university sweetheart, I am also the proud mother of an accomplished daughter, with whom I just co-authored a Young Adult novel.

When and why did you begin writing?

A few decades ago, when my husband and I moved to Ottawa for his new job, I couldn’t find a teaching position, so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to fulfill my dream of writing a novel. This was my first attempt at a story set in my favourite place, Muskoka. It wasn’t bad, and gave me lots of practice to hone my writing skills, but – fortunately – it still resides at the bottom of a storage bin.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

As a child I wrote stories or made them up just to entertain myself. So I was convinced I was a writer even with that never-to-be-published first novel. I felt more confident that the second one was viable, especially after reworking it dozens of times, and went on to write a third in my spare time. When a British literary agent picked up these two books, I felt I could finally, really and truly call myself an author. I’ve been writing full time for the past eight years.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

The Summer Before the Storm is set during the Age of Elegance in Muskoka, which has been the summer playground of affluent and powerful Americans as well as Canadians for well over a century. Amid the pristine, island-dotted lakes of this legendary Canadian wilderness, the young and carefree amuse themselves with glittering balls and friendly competitions.

But the summer of 1914 promises to be different when the ambitious and destitute son of a disowned heir joins his wealthy family at their summer home on Wyndwood Island. Through Jack’s introduction into the privileged life of the aristocratic Wyndhams and their social circle, he seeks opportunities and alliances to better himself, including in his schemes, his beautiful and audacious cousin, Victoria. But their charmed lives begin to unravel with the onset of the Great War, in which many are destined to become part of the “lost generation.”

This richly textured tale takes readers on an unforgettable journey from romantic moonlight cruises to the horrific sinking of the Lusitania, from regattas on the water to combat in the skies over France, from extravagant mansions to deadly trenches – from innocence to nationhood.
What inspired you to write this book?

Ever since I first discovered Muskoka as a teenager, I wanted to write about its fascinating past. I was lucky to spend time at my friend’s summer home – known as a “cottage” – which had been built by her great-grandfather in 1879. We used to dance to old gramophone records from the turn of the century, and heard stories about the wealthy cottagers who spent summers on the lakes, often owning entire islands. Many were industrialists and bankers from the U.S. who arrived by private Pullman coaches with as many as twenty-seven servants in tow. I was hooked!

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have a general idea of the storyline, but when I start writing, the characters invariably take over the plot. I’ve tried reining them in, but they will have their way! And honestly, they sometimes take the story in a completely different – but always better – direction than what I had anticipated. So for me, writing is a daily adventure, as I never quite know what they’re going to get up to next.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Because much of the novel is set in the summer of 1914, just before the outbreak of WWI – in which Canada was immediately embroiled – I wanted to have “Summer” in the title. As soon as I envisioned the war as a destructive storm, it just seemed perfect.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I’d like readers to have a deeper understanding of that cataclysmic time in world history. The generation that was young and idealistic at the outbreak of the war was decimated, but even those who survived were forever scarred by their experiences. I don’t think that anyone should ever forget their sacrifices.
One of my fans said it best with this comment: “I attended the War Museum in Ottawa, and with your characters in mind, I could see Chas flying high in his plane! Attaching a soul to the stories and pictures we looked at brought a whole new human meaning to me. It was no longer something we once learned about in school – it had a face, a life, a love, and a tragedy.”

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No, but many of the events are based on real ones. I have a few aviators, for instance, so their exploits are drawn from memoirs and biographies of famous aces. Women’s roles as volunteer nurses and ambulance drivers were heavily based on real women’s often remarkable – and unsung – wartime contributions.

What authors have most influenced your life?

The Brontës, Thomas Hardy, Daphne du Maurier. My husband and I did a literary pilgrimage to Yorkshire, “Wessex”, and Cornwall as part of our honeymoon trip to England, because I wanted so much to see the evocative and inspiring landscapes where my favourite authors had lived and which they described so enticingly in their novels.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I used a photograph that my daughter had taken of an antique wooden boat that was not only typical of the era, but also one of the those actually built in Muskoka, which has a rich heritage of boat building. I thought the picture conveyed the impression of an idyllic summer day. Then I learned how to use a computer program that allowed me to design the cover.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read widely. Keep writing, and then rewriting. Persevere. Network with other authors, because writing is a lonely profession, and connections as well as support are crucial.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

To enhance your experience of The Summer Before the Storm, check out my annotations on Book Drum. Under the “Bookmarks” tab, you’ll see vintage and modern photographs and videos that illustrate various aspects of the book. You can listen to a loon call, if you’ve never heard one, and link to all the music quoted in the book.

If you enjoy my novels, please tell your friends and book clubs. And I appreciate hearing from you!

Summer Before the Storm Book CoverGabriele Wills
Ontario Canada

Gabriele loves to recreate an era in which she can immerse herself, by weaving compelling stories around meticulously researched facts. If you want a glimpse of her world, visit her book trailer on YouTube.

The Summer Before the Storm, Book 1 of the Muskoka Novels
Published by Mindshadows
Cover photo by Melanie Wills
Signed first-edition copies available from Mindshadows.com
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