The Book Deal Announcement

Hello gentle reader,

I began seeking traditional publication for my YA Historical Fantasy books in March 2012. I started this blog at the same time, never imagining how long (!) and how full of surprises my publishing journey would be.

Six and a half years later, I’m thrilled to announce that the U.S. publisher Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan) has bought my debut IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN and its sequel! Here is the Publishers Marketplace announcement:


IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN is my 7th completed manuscript. It’s the 6th manuscript I queried and the one that helped me connect with my literary agent Carrie Pestritto (Laura Dail Literary Agency). If you’re curious about my inspiration for this story, here is its Pinterest board.

If you’re reading this and you’re a writer dreaming of seeing your books in bookstores one day, I hope you’ll take heart in this post: getting traditionally published takes perseverance, a lot of work, and a bit of luck, but it can become a reality if you don’t give up, and if you keep writing the stories you love.

Have a lovely Sunday!


Meet My Character – Lily In The Shadows

Hello gentle reader,

I’ve been tagged by the wonderful Katie Bucklein to participate in the Meet My Character blog hop. The idea is to answer 7 questions about my manuscript’s main character, then tag other writers. I’ve decided to take part with the main character of LILY IN THE SHADOWS, the manuscript which helped me sign with my agent.

M.LIN Lights
1) What is the name of your character? Is she a fictional person or a historic person?

Her name is Lily Scott and she’s a fictional person. I write YA Historical Fantasy, and it’s my way of bringing to life “regular people” who would never have made it in our History books.

2) When and where is the story set?

LILY IN THE SHADOWS is set in 1862 London. London is a city I know very well and love very much, and doing research for this manuscript was a lot of fun. The Victorian era is also an incredibly inspiring time period. I just added a bit of magic to it…


3) What should we know about your character?

Lily is a flower girl – the kind who sold flowers on the streets of Victorian London for a living. She’s sixteen, strong-headed, sassy and independent. She lives in Whitechapel and because she’s been an orphan for a long time, she’s used to taking care of herself – and others.

Augustus Edwin Mulready - A street flower seller
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

One day, all the flowers in London die.

That was my premise, the idea that popped into my head two years ago and didn’t let go. What if my MC was a flower girl, and suddenly all the flowers died? Faced with the sudden disappearance of her livelihood, what would she do? In Lily’s case, she doesn’t leave it up to some British Museum scientists in top hats to solve the mystery of the dead flowers: she investigates herself, and gets into trouble…

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

As I said in my previous answer, Lily wants to find out what happened to the flowers, in order to get her livelihhod back. Selling flowers is pretty much the only thing she knows, so she’s determined to get to the bottom of it all before she finds herself starving on the streets.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

Well, the working title is and has always been LILY IN THE SHADOWS. I participated in a couple of contests while querying this MS, which means the query and first 500 words can still be found online here. You can also read two interviews I gave about my manuscript here and here.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

One day soon, I hope!

And now I tag the fab Sarah Glenn Marsh  and Jessica Rubinkowski who are both working hard on their new Work In Progress, which I can’t wait to read!

A NaNoWriMo Playlist


Hello gentle reader,

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? If you’re planning on writing a 50K story in one month in November, you might be currently plotting your novel, doing research, creating a setting and building your characters. And if you like listening to music while writing, you might also be putting together a playlist for said NaNoWriMo novel.

So today I’m over at The Great Noveling Adventure to share a few of my favourite movie soundtracks, which you may want to add to your NaNoWriMo Playlist. Hope you enjoy!

Paris in the Fall

Hello gentle reader,

As you may know, I’m lucky to be able to go to Paris quite often. Last spring I posted a few pictures of the City of Light, and since the weather has been gorgeous here in France for the past few weeks, I thought you might enjoy a few pictures of Paris in the fall…

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The Eiffel Tower

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Paris Metro – Art Nouveau Entrance

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The Sacré Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris)

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The historic district of Montmartre, where many notable artists lived during the Belle Époque (1872-1914).

(All pictures are mine, please credit me if you repost them)

Have you ever been to Paris? What’s your favourite place? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Victorian Fantasy on TV: Penny Dreadful

Penny Dreadful

Hello gentle reader,

If you’ve been following this blog and if you know of my love for Victorian Fantasy, you might have guessed this post was coming… Indeed, there’s a Victorian Fantasy show on TV!

This spring, Penny Dreadful airs both in the US and in the UK. Set in London in 1891, the show’s main character is a psychic (played by Eva Green), who teams up with an American actor/sharpshooter (played by Josh Hartnett), to investigate supernatural occurences. They soon come in contact with many well-known characters such as Dorian Gray, Jack The Ripper, Victor Frankenstein and his monster, Abraham Van Helsing and Mina Harker (from Dracula), etc. The title of the show refers to the 19th Century cheap, sensational publications one could buy for a penny.

What I like about the show is that it plays the ‘Victorian London’ card very well. Everything you would expect from such a setting/era is there: the aristocratic mansions, the East End slums, the opium dens, the British Museum and its Egyptian collections, the London Zoo, the dissecting tables of the Royal London Hospital, the asylum and the theatre… among others. Familiar themes for the time period are also touched upon: a few characters attend a séance and talk spiritualism, another character is dying of consumption, another has been searching for the source of the Nile in Africa, etc.

Penny Dreadful is visually stunning, with beautiful and gritty sets and amazing costumes. Each character is intriguing so far, and I’m hoping they’ll all be well developed as the story progresses. The plot is a bit scattered until now, and I’m waiting to see which direction it will take.

Whatever happens, the show has already been renewed for a second season which will air in 2015. Who said Victorian Fantasy didn’t appeal to the masses? 😉

Have you watched Penny Dreadful? What did you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

Paris in the Springtime

Hello gentle reader,

As you may know, I travel a lot, and in April I spent two weekends in Paris, France. Today I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite places in the French capital.

Join me on a stroll through Paris in the springtime…

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Avenue Hoche

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Petit Palais

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Grand Palais

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Pont Alexandre III

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The “love-locks of Paris” on the Pont de l’Archevêché

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Notre Dame de Paris

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Ile de la Cité – Flower Market

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Ile de la Cité – Market

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Ile Saint-Louis – “La Cure Gourmande” sweet shop

(All pictures are mine, please credit me if you repost them)

Have you ever been to Paris? What’s your favourite place? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

I’ve been interviewed! via The Great Noveling Adventure

Hello gentle reader,

a quick post today to let you know I’ve been interviewed by the Great Noveling Adventure ladies about my manuscript LILY IN THE SHADOWS. You can read the interview here.

Have a good week!

A visit to Highgate Cemetery


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.”

A couple of weeks ago I visited Highgate Cemetery in London.

“The cemetery opened in 1839, as part of a plan to provide seven large, modern cemeteries, known as the “Magnificent Seven”, around the outside of central London. The inner-city cemeteries, mostly the graveyards attached to individual churches, had long been unable to cope with the number of burials and were seen as a hazard to health and an undignified way to treat the dead. The initial design was by architect and entrepreneur Stephen Geary. In 1839, fifteen acres were consecrated for the use of the Church of England, and two acres set aside for Dissenters.

Highgate, like the others of the Magnificent Seven, soon became a fashionable place for burials and was much admired and visited. The Victorian attitude to death and its presentation led to the creation of a wealth of Gothic tombs and buildings. It occupies a spectacular south-facing hillside site slightly downhill from the top of the hill of Highgate itself.

The cemetery’s grounds are full of trees, shrubbery and wild flowers, all of which have been planted and grown without human influence. The grounds are a haven for birds and small animals such as foxes. The Egyptian Avenue and the Circle of Lebanon (topped by a huge Cedar of Lebanon) feature tombs, vaults and winding paths dug into hillsides. The oldest section, which holds an impressive collection of Victorian mausoleums and gravestones, plus elaborately carved tombs, allows admission only in tour groups. The newer eastern section, which contains a mix of Victorian and modern statuary, can be toured unescorted.”


Here are a few of the pictures I took during the tour (if you use them elsewhere please mention my name, thanks!):

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What have you been up to this summer? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children here.

Thursday’s Children/Like A Virgin Blog Hop

Hello gentle reader,

this week I’m taking part in a Thursday’s Children and Like A Virgin Writing Contest Mash-Up. Thursday’s Children is “a weekly blog hop where writers share their inspirations”. The Like A Virgin Contest is a contest for unagented writers in the YA/NA categories. Both are organised by the awesome Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez.



This week’s theme is writing “firsts,” and we have to answer a series of questions.

  1. How do you remember your first kiss? I don’t remember it, actually.
  2. What was your first favourite love song? Probably a Celine Dion song. How embarrassing.
  3. What’s the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day? I check Twitter to find out if other people are writing or doing a writing sprint. I listen to music. Then I open my Word document and write.
  4. Who’s the first writer who truly inspired you to become a writer? I’ve been writing for so long, I’m not sure who inspired me first. I do know who inspired me to seek publication, though. It’s Susan Dennard.
  5. Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with? I’m not going to talk about my first book here (I wrote it 16 years ago and I couldn’t tell you much about it). But the manuscript I’m currently querying, Lily In The Shadows, has had its opening from the first draft. This first scene was actually the idea that started the whole story.
  6. For your first book, which came first: major characters, plot or setting? Characters. Always. I tell stories about people. Then I have stuff happen to them in a certain place. But it’s always about the characters.
  7. What’s the first word you want to roll off the tip of someone’s tongue when they think of your writing? This is hard. Intriguing, maybe?

This is a blog hop! Feel free to join in and to answer those questions as well! Or leave me a comment below and let me know how about your experience in writing your first book!

The Writer, the Writing Community and Dean Winchester

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.”

Today’s post is a bit personal. I very seldom indulge in sharing my personal feelings on this blog, but my hope is that other writers will recognize themselves in what I describe below, and maybe find their motivation renewed by the knowledge they’re not alone in this.

So I haven’t had the best week. Lots of rejections and disappointments.

–          One of my short stories I was hoping to publish in an anthology was rejected

–          A query for my YA Epic Fantasy (which I have stopped querying since December) was rejected this week by an agent

–          I’ve started to get feedback on my WIP Lily In The Shadows and some beta readers are, well, less enthusiastic than others.

–          And no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to be able to write a catchy query for Lily In The Shadows

So yeah.

Now, I always try to stay positive. I know this publishing thing doesn’t happen overnight. I’m aware the key here is to keep reading, keep writing, keep submitting, and never give up. I don’t rant on Twitter or Facebook at the first disappointment.

But still. What a week. So I wrote an email to my CP Jessy Montgomery, who is amazing and who always knows what to say.

I was like this:

She was like this:

Supernatural - CastielAnd then like this:

Supernatural - Hug

Then I got on Twitter and this happened:

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And then I realised something. I’ve had a lot of rejections and disappointments this week. But I’ve also helped Jessy with her query. I’ve helped Allie with her WIP. I’ve helped Rachel with her street team building. I’ve helped Kate with her Twitter issues. I’ve had awesome online conversations with Lauren, Juliana, Laura, Joanna, Em, Lena, Rebekah, Emmie and Serena.

I’m part of the writing community. And I believe in paying it forward.

This week wasn’t about me and my writing. It was about everybody else’s writing and success.

Next time it might be my turn. Next time it might be yours.

But for now I have all of you and I’m so incredibly grateful for that.

Thank you.

Have a great writing week!