New Project Reveal – Part 6: Why did I write this book?

Hello gentle reader,

this week again I’m taking part in the Thursday’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.

LILY is currently in the hands of its first beta readers, and this week I’ve asked myself “why did I write this book?” “What was the writing motivation behind it?”

Then I came across the answer in an anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy short stories I have been reading…

Queen Victoria's Book of Spells

“The enthusiasm for Steampunk has produced some marvellous, incisive writing, and some gorgeous pieces of art. But it has also glamorized the Victorian era and too often ignored the exploitation and immiseration of the working class of England as well as the inhabitants of the lands England sought to rule. The fiery, corseted heroines, the eccentric but brilliant inventors, the rakish and charming younger sons — the wealth and comfort of these few depended on the suffering of many, many people. Even the wealthy of the 19th Century suffered, of course, in an era prior to antibiotics and most of the vaccinations we take for granted today. (…) It’s easy to forget how the people who indulged in afternoon tea rituals, admired clockwork-powered inventions, and wore shapely and beautiful corsets and bustles profited from the death and suffering of others every time they lit a candle. (…) And it’s easy to wonder how those people, who considered themselves so civilized, could have accepted the price others paid for their comfort and wealth.”

Veronica Schanoes, “Phosphorus” in Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

This is EXACTLY why I wrote Lily In The Shadows. I wanted to write the story of an obscure flower girl, with no special power or talent, who tries to save the city of London from chaos and destruction. Lily lives in East London, she is partly deaf and she has no hope of ever marrying a king and becoming a princess in a fairy tale. But to me, it doesn’t mean her story shouldn’t be told. Every girl has a story to tell, even in the shadows.

So what made you want to write your Work In Progress? What inspired you this week? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children posts here.

My Week In Review – ROW80 Check-In 7

Hello gentle reader,

It is time for another weekly check-in! I hope you had a great and productive week. Mine was very buzy and I apologise for my lack of posts and this short check-in. I’ll be back full-time next week, I promise!

ROW80 Check-In

ROW80 Logo

My goal for this round is to write or edit every day. This week again I managed

5 days out of 7.

Word Count of the Week

This week I revised my Work In Progress and added 1000 words to this draft.

TV Show of the Week

Dracula_NBC

Dracula (NBC)

This TV show is coming this fall and I’m so excited for it! You can watch the trailer here.

Good News of the Week

Lily In The Shadows is now in the hands of its first beta readers and I’m waiting on their feedback…

Next week

Next week on my blog I shall finally accept the Versatile Blogger Award and return to a regular blogging schedule!

How was your week? Make sure to share your writing progress and what inspired you this week in the comment section below!

My Week In Review – ROW80 Check-In 6

Hello gentle reader,

This post is one day late and I apologise for this. You’ll see below I had a very busy week. I hope your week was as productive and good as mine!

ROW80 Check-In

ROW80 Logo

My goal this round is to write every day. This week I managed to write

5/7 days

Word Count of the Week

This week I wrote 9000 words and finished my Work In Progress. It needs some fine-tuning now, but I’m quite pleased I managed to write a whole book in 5 months.

Movie of the Week

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3

I finally managed to see Iron Man 3 and I really enjoyed it! Some impressive action scenes, great humor, well-developed characters… all in all a very entertaining film.

Good News of the Week

I received the Versatile Blogger Award no less than 5 times this week (!). I’ll write a post about it this week. Thanks to all the bloggers who thought of me for this award!

I hope you all had a wonderful week too! Feel free to leave me a comment below and to visit the other ROWers here.

My Week In Review – ROW80 Check-In 5

Hello gentle reader,

It is already time for the fifth check-in of this round! I hope you had a good and productive week…

ROW80 Check-In

ROW80 Logo

My goal for this round is to write every day. This week, I managed to write

4/7 days

Word Count of the Week

I’m currently trying to keep the Camp NaNoWriMo momentum and this week I added 7000 words to my Work In Progress. I’m very pleased with this, especially since I edit as I go. This word count means I’m *nearly* done with this novel…

TV Show of the Week

doctor-who-the-crimson-horror

This week’s episode of Doctor Who was set in Victorian England! It started off as a Gaslamp Fantasy, which I was thrilled about, but ended up being a sci-fi episode. I had a great time watching it nonetheless!

Links of the Week

This week I wrote a guest post on Aimee L. Salter’s blog about Writing Rules.

On my blog, I discussed How To Make The Most of a Novel Writing Month When You Don’t Have Time For It.

There And Draft Again now has over 100 followers and this week, Mara posted about Creating Fantasy Creatures and Rachel shared her Top Ten Fantasy Movies.

Meanwhile, The Write Stuff for Boston Auction is still in full swing and I suggest you check what’s being auctioned every day. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s something for you there!

Finally, in case you missed it and if you need to smile… here is a Channing Friday post. I promise you it’s awesome.

Next Week

Next week I shall finish Lily In The Shadows. There’s no going back, now.

How was your week? Make sure to share your writing progress and what inspired you this week in the comment section below!

The 7 Line WIP Game & WIPpet Wednesday

Hello gentle reader,

A few weeks ago I was tagged by the lovely Rachel Horwitz in the 7 Line WIP Game meme (thanks Rachel for thinking of me!). I have also wanted to take part in the WIPpet Wednesday Blog Hop hosted by K.L. Schwengel for a while, so I thought today was a good day as any to share with you an excerpt from my Work In Progress LILY IN THE SHADOWS.

M.LIN Lights

LILY IN THE SHADOWS is a YA Historical Fantasy. Here is the pitch:

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.

In the following scene, Lily is coming home after a somewhat exciting day in London, but she is not made to feel as welcome as she was expecting…

Excerpt (unedited):

“So listen to this…”

Wes’s face darkened dangerously and my smile died on my lips. I realised his anger might be directed at me after all, and I didn’t finish my sentence, turning around to reconsider Elsie’s behaviour. Motionless, she was looking at us with wide eyes. In fact, the flat was so quiet I could hear the coal sputtering in the stove, the rain splattering against the tin roof and the neighbours having an argument next door.

I took a tiny step back from Wes, still unsure of what was wrong. His jaw was clenched and his lean body tensed. He scowled, his dark eyes fixed on me. My heartbeat quickened slightly, but my brain still refused to process the obvious: he was angry at me.

This is a blog hop! Visit the other participating blogs here.

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.