Am currently about 1/4 of the way through the first draft of Turnbull House. It’s gone a lot quicker than I imagined it would–probably because (1) I’ve been writing it in my head, researching, and taking notes for the past two years or so, and (2) I outlined the sh** out of it and put it into Scrivener before starting. It also helps that it’s the second in the series, rather than the first, and that, with two novels under my belt, I have some idea what I’m doing now.
Of course, my mind is too restless to be content with working on one thing at a time. And though for the sake of quality, I force myself to work on only one project at a time–everything else gets an outline and a place in the queue–while I chug away at Turnbull House, a companion book to The Left Hand of Justice (publication date TBA) has been taking shape at the back of my mind. It’d be wrong to call it a sequel. It’s definitely a prequel. I can remember hearing that the Narnia books were written out of order and wondering why anyone would do that. But now I understand.
Sometimes that’s just the way it happens. Sometimes the backstory is such a good story, it needs to be told. But sometimes it doesn’t become clear until after the main story has been told.
I based the character Elise Corbeau on Owsley Stanley, the legendary LSD chemist from the 1960s, and subject of the Steely Dan song Kid Charlemagne. I’m a huge Steely Dan fan. To tell you the truth, the place in my brain that should be occupied by half of my high school classes is actually taken up with trivia and lyrics from music that was popular before I was born. Maybe this is why I write historicals–I was born too late. Way, way too late, considering the time periods I write about!
At any rate, Stanley’s arrest didn’t cause as much of a shift in focus as it did for Corbeau. He became an artist of note, and probably had no love for the police. Corbeau, on the other hand, opened her eyes to the damage her chemical creations had caused, and, in a Frank Abagnale, Jr.-esque turnabout, went to work for the Paris Police.
That part of the story comes into play in Left Hand as background information, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s a great story in its own right. And I can’t wait to get to work.
But only after TH is safely put to bed.
Is there gas in the car?/Yes, there’s gas in the car….
2 thoughts on “While the music played/you worked by candlelight”
Very interesting post ! I’m always curious about knowing what happens inside a writer’s mind … haha … from where I stand it’s seems so … mysterious.
Each time, I’m amazed by authors speaking about the way they write, how the story was born, the way the characters sometimes kind of manipulate the story, that a character’s dream for example can lead to another book…. I don’t understand it and I surely never will ; for me it’s seems something so abstract, intangible, magical, … !?
I’m definitely waiting for Turnbull House with eagerness … that’s for sure !
I’m very intrigued by the blurb of The Left Hand of Justice, even more so because I’m french, born and raised in Paris ; another book I’ll be waiting for !
I’ve tremendous respect and love for you writers, even if I’ve no idea how you create such wonderful stories, but what I do know is that you make my life easier and brighter and for that I thank you.
Oh, wow. I hope that I’ve done your country justice, then! I love France and have been there several times. Have to admit that the research was a little gnarly, as it was almost impossible to find street maps showing Paris before Hausmann’s reforms. But if I was a little less specific with geography, I hope the story makes up for it….
Thanks for your kind words–they always make my day!