Posts Tagged ‘YA Historical’

Who’s Real?

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Mary BellendenYes, “Careless” Mary Bellenden’s is real too.  As annoying as it is to have a Molly and a Mary to keep straight, there wasn’t a lot I could do about it.  Mary apparently regularly stole the show with her appearance, and her behavior.  She certainly had the eye of the gentlemen poets of the day


Now to my heart the glance of Howard flies ;

Now Harvey, fair of face, I mark full well.

With thee, youth’s youngest daughter, Sweet Lepell,

I see two lovely sisters hand in hand,

The fair-haired Martha, and Teresa brown Madge Bellenden, the tallest of the land ;

And smiling Mary, soft and fair as down.

Epistle to- Mr. Pope by Gay.

Who’s Real?

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Ever wonder which of the characters in Palace of Spies was a real person?  Quite a lot of them were.  Starting with Peggy’s BFF at court:  Molly Lepell.

WARNING!  There’s actually a spoiler in this…


Molly LepellMolly was Maid of Honour to Caroline. She was nicknamed ‘the Schatz’, German for ‘treasure’.
She was renowned for her beauty, her elegant figure, her big grey ‘soft and sprightly’ eyes and her lustrous skin. Sprightly and fun-loving as well as being well educated and intelligent, Molly learnedto carefully disguised her learnedness at court.

She secretly married Lord Hervey in 1720. Married maids were forced to relinquish their positions, something Molly could not afford to do. After marriage, and perhaps as a result of her husband’s infidelities, Molly missed the chase and scandal of being pursued by men.

‘Bright Venus yet never sat bedded,
So perfect a beau and a belle,
As when Hervey the handsome was wedded,
to the beautiful Molly Lepell,
– Chesterfield and Pulteney

For more on the historical Molly Lepell, check out this great site.

Sarah Zettel and the Big Book — Part Four

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Okay?  Okay.

So, I took a break from reading The Big Book and read a smaller book also on the 6ft tall TBR Pile of Doom — Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.  Overall, very good.  Emotionally gripping.  Wasn’t sure about it at first, the emo at the opening felt a bit…obvious.  But it all settled down.

And then I found out that Revolution and The Big Book both pull a similar trick.  Both jump from modern times to the past.  Both have a modern person looking back at the life of a doomed historical person.  Both portray the past very, very well, and weave the tension between past and present very, very well.

Then both insert a person from the present into the past — in the case of The Big Book via a play written by one of the modern protagonists, and in Revolution by an actual (or was it all a dream?) act of time travel, via the time honored means of the blow to the head.

In both cases, all that emotional tension drops out of the narrative like air out of a balloon.  Both authors have done such a terrific job of creating the separate worlds, the separate problems and the separate POVs the change just feels cheap.  Gimmicky.  It’s a narrative layer I not only don’t need, I actively don’t want, because what I’ve got has been so lovely.

It’s a lesson about the importance of simplicity, even within complexity.  Note to Self:  Sometimes it’s worth it not to take that extra step, and flow, familiarity and follow through can be more important and more effective than that final twist.

And no more time travel than strictly necessary.

Starting Over, Again

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I’m starting over, again.

This is nothing new.  The life of the writer is about starting over.  Fiinsh one project, close it out, hopefully send it out, and start the next.  If you are not living this cycle, as a writer, you are doing something wrong.

That doesn’t mean it gets easier.

This time I’m starting over on the last book of a series — Palace of Spies, Book 3.  So far, I’ve got a lot of characters, a time line, a deradline and no plot.  At all.  None.  Zip.

I’m not panicking, just a little frustrated.  I know that whatever plot I may have thought I had, as I write, it will change, kind of a lot.  Okay, you can take the kind of out of that sentence.  It will change a lot.  But I do need to have at least some kind of line of sight so I can start stringing words together.

But rest assured, Dear Reader, Peggy and Friends will be back.  I’ve left the door open, and the coffee is waiting.  I’m quite sure there is nothing to be alarmed about.  After all, what could possibly have happened to them?

Oh, wait…this is Peggy we’re talking about, right?

Time to get started over…

Vote for Palace of Spies!

Posted on: No Comments and the Children’s Book Council are accepting nominations for the Teen Choice Book of the Year award.  Thanks to all my great readers and bloggers, Palace of Spies has earned a slot on the ballot.

If you’re a teen who has enjoyed the Wholly True and Remarkable Adventures of Margaret Fitzroy, and would like to help spread the word, you can VOTE FOR PALACE OF SPIES FOR BOOK OF THE YEAR.