New Project Reveal – Part 5: Genre

Hello gentle reader,

this week again I’m taking part in the Tursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”

thurschilbadgejpg

In these posts, I share a little bit more about what I’ve been working on, a YA Historical Fantasy entitled LILY IN THE SHADOWS. Today’s theme was inspired by a Twitter chat hosted by Tor Publishing yesterday under the hashtag #torchat

Inspired by a genre: Gaslamp Fantasy

M.LIN Lights

 So until now, and in order to make these posts as accessible as possible, I have been saying my Work In Progress is a “Young Adult Historical Fantasy set in Victorian London”. And it isn’t wrong, except there is an actual name for this genre, coined in 2006 by webcomic artist Kaja Foglio to differentiate her work from steampunk fiction. It is the “Gaslamp Fantasy” genre.

What is “Gaslamp Fantasy”?

Gaslamp Fantasy (also known as Gaslight Fantasy or Victorian Fantasy) designates stories set during the 19th Century, from the Regency to the end of Queen Victoria’s reign. It is a sub-genre of both Fantasy and Historical fiction, and it comprises elements from both genres.

How is it different from Steampunk?

The main difference between Gaslamp and Steampunk is that Steampunk is technology-focused and Gaslamp is magic-focused. Also Steampunk will often favour adventure when Gaslamp will focus on a mystery.

What books are examples of Gaslamp Fantasy?

Jonathan_strange_and_mr_norrell_cover

The classic example is Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2004). Other examples include The Magic Most Foul series by Leanna Renee Hieber (2011-now), The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (2012) or Temeraire (aka His Majesty’s Dragon in the US) by Naomi Novik (2006).

How is LILY IN THE SHADOWS Gaslamp Fantasy?

LILY takes place in London during Queen Victoria’s reign. It is a Historical novel, because I have been very careful to re-create 1862’s London and to double-check every historical detail. But it is also a Fantasy, because magic infiltrates every part of the novel. I want this story to combine this magic with an industrial age that was changing England, its people and the world along with it. 19th Century England was an era of scientific discoveries, of exploration, changes, where common people sought and found answers and explanations for the first time in centuries. But it was also the time pollution, poverty and crime got out of hand.

Writing Gaslamp Fantasy allows me to explore all these interesting aspects of that moment in time.

So are you ever inspired by a genre? Or do you write your novel first, then find which genre it belongs to? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here.

New Project Reveal – Part 4: Title and Plot!

Hello gentle reader,

this week again I’m taking part in the Tursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”

thurschilbadgejpg

In these posts, I share a little bit more about what I’ve been working on, a YA Historical Fantasy nicknamed Secret WIP. Three weeks ago the first part of this “Project Reveal” was all about Setting. Two weeks ago I talked about films that inspired me to write this story. And last week I introduced you to my Main Character.

Today’s theme is : TITLE, PLOT and HOW I GOT THE IDEA FOR THIS STORY.

So withour further ado…

My Secret WIP’s title is LILY IN THE SHADOWS.

Here is the pitch I have come up with for it so far:

When all the flowers die in Victorian London, a streetwise flower girl with a love for books and a gift for getting into trouble investigates before the city descends into chaos and she loses everything.

I got the inspiration for this story from a song by Delain (a Dutch symphonic metal band I’m fond of) entitled Mother Machine.

delain

Here are some of the lyrics:

Little girl in a concrete world
artificial hurt
in your eyes
You won’t see any living trees
any flower fields in my time

Round and round and round
the wheels come down
Dreaming of the steam
the pounding sounds
Round and round and round
the wheels come down
Won’t you electrify my soul
intensify it all

(…)
I’ll fold you paper flowers little girl
for you’ll never see a real one

So are you ever inspired by a song? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here.

New Project Reveal – Part 3: The Main Character

Hello gentle reader,

this week again I’m taking part in the Tursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”

thurschilbadgejpg

In these posts, I share a little bit more about what I’ve been working on, a YA Historical Fantasy nicknamed Secret WIP. Two weeks ago the first part of this “Project Reveal” was all about Setting. Last week I talked about films that inspired me to write this story.

Today’s theme is : MAIN CHARACTER.

My novel takes place in London in 1862. The main character is Lily, a sixteen-year-old flower girl who lives in Whitechapel, likes books and tends to get into trouble.

Augustus Edwin Mulready - A street flower seller

Augustus Edwin Mulready – A street flower seller (oil on canvas, 1882)

In Victorian London, flower girls were a very common sight. Instead of having to go to the market or a nursery garden, people who wanted to buy flowers simply had to go to any street corner in London and find the nearest flower girl.

Lily has honey blond hair and for various reasons, she dresses well above her social status. I’m having fun researching Victorian clothing for this novel!

Vera

You may know I like to base my characters off actors to help me describe them physically. When it comes to Lily, I’ve been keeping Emily Browning in mind: not to tall, not too strong-looking, halfway between innocence and sadness…

emily_browning-

The last important detail to know about Lily is that within the first pages of the story, she becomes almost deaf. I find writing a character with a disability very interesting and challenging. Here I thought writing a novel in the first person from the point of view of someone who can’t hear would be challenging enough…

So what inspires you to create characters out of thin air and flesh them out? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here. And come back next week for the 4th and last post in this New Project Reveal series, in which I will tell you all about the Plot and the Title of my Secret WIP…!

New Project Reveal – Part 2: The Inspiration

Hello gentle reader,

this week again I’m taking part in the Tursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”

thurschilbadgejpg

In these posts, I share a little bit more about what I’ve been working on, a YA Historical Fantasy nicknamed Secret WIP. Last week the first part of this “Project Reveal” was all about Setting.

Today’s theme is : INSPIRATION.

My novel takes place in London, during the Victorian era. I had the idea for it years ago, and since then I’ve watched many films and TV shows which have helped me get a clearer idea of what story I wanted to write. Here are a few…

rachel-hurd-wood

The Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

Crimson Petal and the White

The Crimson Petal and the White (2011)

jane_eyre_mia_wasikowska_8

Jane Eyre (2011)

Great Expectations

Great Expectations (2012)

series-of-unfortunate-events

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

ripper_street

Ripper Street (2013)

peter-pan

Peter Pan (2033)

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Sally Lockhart Mysteries

The Sally Lockhart Mysteries (2006-2007)

Case of the Silk Stocking

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004)

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2 (2009-2011)

So this is what inspired me! I hope this gives you a taste of what’s to come in my Secret WIP…

What inspired you to write your Work In Progress? Do you find inspiration in the films or TV shows you watch? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here.

New Project Reveal – Part 1: The Setting

Hello gentle reader,

today I’m taking part in the Tursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”

thurschilbadgejpg

I have decided to join this meme to share a little bit more about what I’ve been working on, a YA Historical Fantasy I have teasingly nicknamed Secret WIP. I have been getting a lot of questions about it, especially on Twitter, so I have come up with the idea of a “Project Reveal” in 4 parts, that will give you a taste of what Secret WIP is all about over the next few weeks.

Today’s theme is : SETTING.

My novel takes place in London, during the Victorian era. I am lucky enough to live near London, which means whenever I need to research a location, I can hop on a train, go to London and take pictures. All the pictures below are therefore mine…

EM Castellan - Whitechapel

Whitechapel, London

My main character moves about London a lot, and she can be found in the morning in East London, at noon at Covent Garden and in the evening at St James’s. Above and below are pictures of the Whitechapel district, made famous by Jack The Ripper at the end of the 19th Century.

EM Castellan - Spiltafields Market

Spitalfields Market

EM Castellan - Fournier St

Fournier Street (with the Ten Bells Pub and Christ Church)

Then if we travel west we arrive at St Paul’s Cathedral…

EM Castellan - St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral

Then we reach West London, wealthier and more grand…

EM Castellan - St James's Square

St James’s Square

EM Castellan- Russell Hotel

Russell Square

So this is where my new project takes place! I hope this gives you a taste of what’s to come in my Secret WIP…

What is the setting of your Work In Progress? Do you find inspiration in the places you visit or where you live? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here.