One of my work in progress novels has a romance/reincarnation theme. The narrative follows two time periods. This excerpt is from 1894. Gabriella was forced into a marriage with an older man, William by her father in an effort to gain social status. She falls in love with William’s younger brother, Arthur and their relationship has dire consequences. This excerpt finds William transporting his young wife to Italy.
The Twesome Loop
Chapter Eight – The Journey
A messenger arrived and was escorted to the library. In a matter of moments he was running back out of the door as William’s shouts were heard.
“We are travelling to Italy directly. Have our trunks packed for six months.”
The household was a hive of activity whilst Gabriella’s and William’s belongings were folded and laid in huge oak trunks. All the while Gabriella was not allowed to leave her rooms and could only speculate on William’s instructions.
With two carriages packed Gabriella was escorted to one whilst William rode in the other. Even when he walked past her carriage window, he did not look in or speak to her. The journey would be long but fortunately, she was allowed to have Maryann accompany her. The young woman showed such dedication to her mistress and Gabriella had grown fond of her maid during the previous months. Maryann’s experience had shown her that Gabriella’s sickness was caused by her being with child and the two women became close in the secret for a time.
Gabriella’s hand smoothed over her corseted belly her mind troubled. Whose child was it? Surely not William’s after that brutal act by the fireside. If the child was Arthur’s she would be happy to carry it but if William suspected he was not the father there was no knowing what he was capable of.
The journey was indeed long and arduous but Gabriella kept her spirits up by thinking of the moment she would see Arthur again. Maryann was as excited as she was with all the new outlooks and vistas, the different foods and the sounds of foreign tongues. After several weeks stopping at various inns at night and travelling in the heat of the day they arrived at a hilltop villa. The view indeed was spectacular and the villa itself a fine building.
“Tell your mistress she can choose her rooms from any at the back of the villa. I will reside in the fore quarters.”
“Tell your mistress I do not require her presence at my table and certainly do not want to see her during our stay here.”
Gabriella could only watch William stride toward the gardens. Deep inside she was glad he would not touch her but was concerned as to his motives. She walked with Maryann to the rear of the villa and choose rooms on the eastern side over looking an olive grove. With the unpacking done and a light supper eaten she decided to stroll in the garden. The evening air was still warm but a light breeze cooled her skin pleasantly. She had been disappointed when Arthur did not appear to greet them but maybe he would arrive in the morning.
Inkitt’s “Darkest Place” Horror Contest, starting 2nd Feb 2015
What is Inkitt?
Inkitt is a free platform for writers to cultivate ideas and watch their stories grow. On our site, users collaborate with fellow writers and readers to give each other feedback and improve their work. Our vision is to help writers get the exposure they deserve and the publishing deals they covet without having to jump through the fiery hoops of traditional publishing, or wade in the shark-infested waters of self-publishing.
What is the theme of the horror contest?
“You are in the darkest place in the world.” (This theme can be interpreted literally or figuratively.) We want writers who will submit their blood-curdlers, spine-tinglers, skin-crawlers, and hair-raisers; writers who will make it their duty to scare and shock their readers; writers who can really take us to the darkest place in the world.
What are the guidelines?
It’s all about fiction: flashes and shorts up to 10,000 words, written from any point of view. Entries must be posted on the Inkitt contest page to be considered eligible.
The contest opens on February 2nd and closes on February 28th. The contest is completely free to enter, and authors will retain all rights to any and all work submitted in the contest.
What are the prizes?
All entrants will have the chance to show their work to a growing community of authors and readers hungry for high-quality fiction and win the following prizes:
$25 Amazon gift card, Inkitt custom mug, Inkitt custom notebook, custom cover design for the Inkitt story of their choice (created by Inkitt’s designer).
$20 Amazon gift card, Inkitt custom mug, Inkitt custom notebook.
Please welcome Gordon E Tolton, an author with a fascination for history and an ability to bring it to life in his novels.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book “The Rocky Mountain Rangers” actually began as research for a living history project or organization. I wanted to form a re-enactment group based on the historical military unit. While I did manage to join such a group, and two groups did organize under that name to an extent, I found myself immersed in the research of the pure history. That research led me into the publication of a historical paper as a book, and led me into even more historical research.
How did you come up with the title?
“The Rocky Mountain Rangers” was self-titled based upon the historical subject.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?
The Buffalo Legacy (Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Society, 1996)
With The Mounties in the Boot and Saddle Days (editor/designer) (Riders of the Plains, 2006)
Prairie Warships: River Operations in the North-West Rebellion (Heritage House, 2007)
Deep Roots, Promising Future (Centennial History of United Farmers of Alberta) (UFA Co-op, 2009)
The Cowboy Cavalry: The Story of the Rocky Mountain Rangers (Heritage House, 2011)
The Last Blast: The Fur Trade in Whoop-Up Country (editor/designer) (Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Society, 2013)
Healy’s West: The Life & Times of John J. Healy (Heritage House, 2014/US edition: Mountain Press, 2014)
I have four more books in various stages of production.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Just to awaken the sense of relevance of history to people’s lives.
How much of the book is realistic?
All of my books are highly researched, and only my conclusions are creative, though based on hypothesis.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The latest book, Healy’s West, I obviously could not have known personally. However, I have found myself close enough through the study of writings, character sketches and historical context, have come to know almost through a sense of channelling.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would wish to make it a larger book, with more room to expand on subjects that I had to compress, and more room for photographs.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I just want people to be able to look at a location, or a place, an institution, or a piece of geography – and understand that there was a time before their lives.
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
The research, and the gathering of materials into a cohesive chronology and form.
What is your favourite theme/genre to write?
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Never say never, but I doubt I would ever write any fiction.
What book are you reading now?
Getting through the very thick works of eastern American historian Allan Eckert, primarily working on That Dark and Bloody River.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Peter Stark has a book called Astoria: Astoria: Astor and Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival. He covers a historical tale in a very interesting and comprehensive way, with an engaging writing style.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, but it is very challenging. Unless sales take off unexpectedly, I will likely never support myself as a royalty author. I will always have to look to outside employment, grants, and commissions in order to do what I want to do.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Very likely, still doing what I am doing, but hopefully, with a slightly larger profile that will give me a certain level of safety in continuing the process of writing and researching. I may even get to the point where I have more research than I know what to do with, and can target book projects to specific markets.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Distractions, and self-discipline; the volume of material to get through, maintaining travel and justifying the expenses in the research aspects of the process.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
No. That’s counter-productive.
What book do you wish you had written?
“Frontier Farewell: The 1870s and the End of the Old West” by Garrett Wilson
What is your best marketing tip?
No matter what your market is, no matter how good your representation is, the author is his/her own best sales person. People want to connect with the creator, and want to understand their process. The author needs to push their product as if it was any other, find their niche, and promote themselves to the media, libraries, book stores, and any other venue that can be related. In my case, I have also promoted my product to museums, historical societies, and even at local farmer’s markets and cowboy poetry events.
What genre is your next project? What is it about?
I am still working in history. The next is of a small railroad company that aided in developing the settlement of southern Alberta and northern Montana. I do not yet have a publishing contract for this.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Other than the above, I have books on the go regarding the early buffalo fur trade on the prairies; a political history of Alberta, regarding the farmers movement in the post-World War I era into the depression; the impact of Lewis and Clark expedition on Canada; and a book on the defense of the north-west coast of Canada and the United States during the Second World War.
Agent Connor Goldsmith over at Fuse Literary had a very helpful post that you shouldn’t miss. He lists the subcategories for the following genres: Fantasy, Science fiction, and Horror.
Connor says, “These categories are very mutable and there’s tons of overlap between them. This is more meant to be fun than to be didactic — don’t worry too much about categorizing your book into a subgenre. That said, it’s important not to subcategorize wrong, because then I get confused.”
Below is hisFANTASY LIST:
High Fantasy: Fantasy set in a “secondary world”, or a world not our own, where magical beings and creatures are part of everyday life. The most famous example is The Lord of the Rings, though technically that series does take place on ‘our’ Earth in an imagined past. Dungeons & Dragons, inspired heavily by Tolkien, is perhaps the classic high fantasy setting.