The latest news: I’m still finishing up the art, which is a mixture of tongue-firmly-in-cheek graphics and original drawings. As with Doomed Queens, Bad Princess has been designed to resemble a Victorian penny dreadful. This time, the book will be printed in both black and pink inks. After all, nothing screams “princess” more than the color pink. Here’s a sample page featuring history’s favorite bad boy monarch, Henry VIII.
Onto the good news: The finished manuscript has been sent off to my editor at Scholastic. I’m pleased with how it turned out. It was no simple task to consolidate a thousand years of princess history into one sweeping narrative.
So yay—and here’s to reaching the finish line!
… Inspire three illustrated picture books illustrated and written by moi? Why, the result below.
A work of both art and scholarship, this stunning gift book is for animal lovers of all ages…. Read more.
Persephone and the Pomegranate
A stunning retelling of one of the most important mother-daughter myths…. Read more.
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair…. She was taken from her parents at birth, the penalty that her father was forced to pay.… Read more.
Though all three of these books were already available for the iPad, Kindle users were out of luck—until now.
I’m pleased to announce that, as of this weekend, Rapunzel, Persephone and the Pomegranate, and Sacred Animals can be downloaded as deluxe full color e-books from Amazon to anyone with a digital device be they Apple or Amazon.
So things are going to get even more Lover’s Path-ish around here in the next few weeks because:
1. It’s only a week—a week!—until the e-book launch for real on June 16th. Because the digital edition has been so extensively revised and expanded from the original print publication, it truly feels like a second birth.
2. Already reviews are coming in this New And Improved Digital Edition. From Stephanie Cowell, the acclaimed author of Claude and Camille and Marrying Mozart:
“THE LOVER’S PATH is beautiful in every way; not only is the story of the girl’s secret and ultimately dangerous love wonderfully told, but the exquisite illustrations and layout make you feel that you have truly fallen into old Venice with its longing and eroticism. You feel you will look up from your screen and find yourself in an antique palazzo smelling of the sea with the soft footsteps of servants on the stair and the sound of a gondola moving through the water outside your window. Prepare to be lifted into another time and place and discover secrets long guarded…. You must own this lovely, lovely book!”
From Kimberly Eve of the wonderful blog Musings of a Writer.
“Follow these lovers as they walk their path and discover along with each of them how they find the love they didn’t know they were seeking. Venice, Italy, comes to life with each tale of lovers whether it is Tristan and Isolde or Dante and Beatrice. Her research is spot on, her history and passion for Venice, opera, and love shines through. If you want an enchanting read full of ancient tales, beautiful imagery, or just want to fall in love, I hope you will read THE LOVER’S PATH when it becomes available…. This one is a DO NOT MISS!!
3. The Lover’s Path is now available for pre-order everywhere save for Nook/BN.com; that link will go live June 16th.
4. To commemorate the relaunch of The Lover’s Path, I’ll be participating in a book blog tour. Here’s the schedule so far:
Thursday, June 18
Review & Excerpt at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Monday, June 22
Review at A Book Drunkard
Tuesday, June 23
Review & Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise
Wednesday, June 24
Review & Guest Post at The Emerald City Book Review
Thursday, June 25
Review at Broken Teepee
Friday, June 26
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 29
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, June 30
Review at Just One More Chapter
4. If this isn’t enough, I’m also preparing for the Historical Novel Society Conference later this month—I’ll be on a panel about book design—and finishing up pages of the long-aborning Next Novel for my literary agent. Oh, and revamping a book proposal, designing websites. And more. But no complaints: it’s all good.
The Fortuny dress I’d like to try to sew for the Historical Novel Conference. Because I don’t have enough to do.
As I mentioned Friday, my guest for today’s Creativity Friday post is author Lynn Carthage, author of HAUNTED, a young adult gothic historical novel. My daughter Thea is currently reading it, and thoroughly enjoying it.*
More about HAUNTED:
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she’s a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.
But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself.
As for Lynn, she has a secret—and it’s a good one. Under her real name, Erika Mailman, she’s published two highly praised historical novels for adults; HAUNTED is her first YA novel. I first met Erika at the Historical Novel Society conference in 2013. We instantly hit it off, and have stayed in regular contact since. (The real reason I go to HNS: to meet lovely writers who share my obsessions with women’s history and the gothic. ) When I learned Erika had decided to write for young adults under a nom de plume, I was eager to learn more about the why and how.
Without further ado, here’s Erika’s guest post about her alter ego Lynn, and the differences between writing for the YA and adult historical market. I hope you enjoy it!
Kris, thanks for hosting me today. You invited me to talk about my alter ego, and the difference of writing young adult historical fiction versus adult.
Under my real name, Erika Mailman, I’ve published two historical novels. The first, Woman of Ill Fame (Heyday Books 2007), is a historical thriller featuring an unapologetic Gold Rush prostitute narrator. You can right away see why I had to choose another name for publishing young adult fiction; I didn’t want teens to read HAUNTED, google me, and find that book.
Call me innocent, but I think kids grow up so fast these days…they have a lifetime of being sexual, so I wanted to provide a firm line between my adult fiction and my young adult fiction.
My second novel, Witch’s Trinity (Crown, 2007), is probably appropriate for a teen audience, but I can’t send readers there without them also seeing the “shameless hussy” book LOL. It’s about a medieval woman accused of witchcraft by her own daughter-in-law, at a time when women faced burning at the stake.
Which brings me back to HAUNTED, the young adult novel that came out from Kensington in February. I love historical fiction, and although the book features a contemporary setting in England, the mansion where the story takes place has a foreboding history and a connection to the palace of Versailles.
In fact, Book 2 of the series, which hits in February 2016, is set almost entirely in Paris and Versailles, and features timeslipping back to days when there was still a monarchy in place.
It’s been fun to merge historical with contemporary, with my heroine Phoebe Irving wandering the halls of the 1700s Arnaud Manor in England and over time learning tidbits about its history. I know a lot of readers enjoy historical fiction, but this sort of tactic may be more accessible. Phoebe has a modern perspective and can be an effective filter for the events of the past.
As to the differences in writing for teens versus adults: yes, I’ve had to take some language out of HAUNTED. For instance, a character named Miles exclaims, “No shit!” and I was encouraged to take that out. I did, because some big-box stores won’t carry books with that language, and to maximize my potential to someday have the book be carried there, I elected to listen to my editor’s sage advice.
I’m also keeping the romance between Miles and Phoebe lingering and drawn out … half the fun is in the suspense, right? And of course we have to have some complications that keep them swinging back and forth, towards and away from each other.
Finally, for those who are older, there’s been all kinds of data suggesting older people read YA fiction, with middle-aged women showing up as a high population readership. And I’ve had men email me praise for HAUNTED; will it help that Book 2 is narrated by Miles, a male?
If you enjoy a good ghost story, a dark and forbidding English manor setting, and characters who valiantly fight to protect their siblings, you might want to give HAUNTED a try.
Thanks for hosting me today, Kris!
My pleasure, Lynn-Erika—and thanks for a wonderful post! You can learn more, read an excerpt, or purchase HAUNTED here.
* Review coming soon!
So this is happening, along with other stuff.
Yup, the e-book version of THE LOVER’S PATH is nearly ready for publication! I’ll have more information regarding pre-orders soon, but wanted to share the e-book cover design in the meantime. The lovely portrait gracing the cover is of Tullia d’Aragona, the poet-courtesan whose life inspired THE LOVER’S PATH.
As you might imagine, it was quite complicated to rejigger the print design of THE LOVER’S PATH for the digital world. The print book (below) was one of my more complicated book productions. It even included letters, tarot cards, and other interactive items. Another road block: the squared dimensions of the print book didn’t really translate well for e-readers, which are more vertical.
I was about to consign THE LOVER’S PATH to the halls of Beloved Books of Years Past—after all, now matter how exquisitely I designed the digital edition, it couldn’t be the same as that lovely print book. Then I realized: the best way forward was a new way forward. This gave me the creative freedom to treat the digital book as a separate entity from the print.
Here’s how THE LOVER’S PATH has been rejiggered for a new world: Not only does the digital edition sport a lovely new cover, the text has been expanded to flesh out the story. (I had to keep the original text short because of production costs.) Besides including all of the chapter illustrations from the print edition, I’ve also added new “artifacts” from the Museo di Palazzo Filomela in an expanded chapter. Best of all, THE LOVER’S PATH e-book edition will be available to anyone with a e-reader for the cost of a latte.
The e-book conversation is almost ready for submission to Amazon, Apple, and other retailers. If you’d like to be notified when the new-and-expanded THE LOVER’S PATH is available, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter.