My Next Big Thing


I’ve moved my writing blog so I thought I’d start this with a repeat of the ‘My Next Big Thing’ blog I did on 20th November when, my Sapphire Star Publishing sister and writer of ‘romance that rocks your world’ , Nicky Wells, tagged me on her post.  So last week I had the chance to speak of my next big thing and share my answers to ten questions about my current work in progress (my Next Big Thing!

What is the title of my book? 

Illicit Love. This is the first book in a family series called The Marlow Intrigues.

How did I come by the idea?

The story of Edward and Ellen in Illicit Love is inspired by the memoirs of a 19th Century Courtesan who published her kiss and tell stories in a series of articles in a paper in 1825.

Yes, they printed kiss and tell then too.

She did not publish all her stories though, because before publishing she asked all the men she was going to name for money if they’d rather not be included. 

The Duke of Wellington told her to ‘publish and be damned’, but then tried to sue her for her disparaging accounts of him. 

If you’d like to know all the specific stories in the memoirs which inspired Illicit Love, then why not have a look at my history blog and sign up to follow by email. In January I am going to start sharing places which inspired scenes for Illicit Love on this blog and tell you some of the stories in the memoirs which tweaked my interest and imagination in my history blog. 

What genre does my book fall under?

You’ve probably already guessed it’s a historical novel, and it is a love story.

Which actors would I choose to play my characters if it were a movie?

For the lead male, Edward, I’d pick Ben Barnes, it needs to be someone who can play a historical role, which he’s proved in Dorian Gray. Plus I’d want someone who can play Edward in the way I’ve tried to write him. He must have a captivating presence, which I think Ben Barnes has. 

For the lead female, Ellen, I’d choose, Natalie Dormer. She played Anne Boleyn in the Tudors and she has magnificent blue eyes and is extremely beautiful. I think she could capture the edge and conflicts I’ve written into Ellen.

For Edward’s brother, Robert, then it’s going to have to be Tom Ellis (of Miranda fame). I think he could embody the differences and conflicts between Edward and Robert.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of my book?

Can Love Redeem a life of sin? And the song which defines it ‘The Power of Love’ by Gabrielle Aplin

Will my book be self-published or traditional?

Illicit Love is going to be published on 2nd May 2013, by a US Independent Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing. Who I love working with. The Sapphire Star Publishing authors all support each other and I’ve been working really closely with Sapphire Star Publishing to develop the book and the great cover.

How long did it take me to write the first draft of my manuscript?

It takes me about three months to write a full MS and then probably three months to edit it to a point I want to send it to my publisher.

What other books would I compare this story to within my genre?

I haven’t worked that one out yet, I am sure there is a writer like me out there who I’ve not found yet, but  my style seems to sit between other people’s, so in ways it’s like Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Gaelen Foley and Nicola Cornick, and yet it’s not, and you could also say it is in a way more like Jane Austen’s work, because of the storylines I choose and the involvement and interaction of supporting characters, but then again it’s not because it’s definitely a 21st Century view on the 19th Century world. So I guess you’ll have to read it and tell me who you think I write like.

Who or What inspired me to write this book?

I’ve really answered that above, when I answered what gave me the idea for the book, so I’ll answer this in the context of who or what inspired me to write.

I don’t think anyone inspired me. I have just always had an overactive imagination. Yes, I was one of those children who gazed out the window at school picturing myself somewhere else, usually wrapped up as an additional character in whatever book I was reading. I do remember though when I was eight a teacher, having read a story I’d written about giant crabs taking over the world, said to me one day I’d write a book. (I can still see those crabs, I got so caught up in writing that story).

Also my secondary school teacher said when I bumped into her at a party when I was eighteen, and told her I was working in a bank, that she’d expected me to go into a writing career.

I did start a novel at sixteen, the old pen and paper way. It got no further than the third chapter when my life got a bit complex, and I never went back to writing until I was thirty. I still had the dream and intent to write a novel but my imagination had little chance to be active. Then at thirty I decided I was going to write a novel before I was forty. I did, virtually all the Marlow Intrigues Series are already written, my characters are just waiting for the moment you’ll pick them up and give them life beyond my head and my computer. I hope you enjoy them.

What else about my book might pique your interest?

I think I would highlight that although the story is set in a historical background it is focused on the people and relationships, so if you don’t normally read Historical Romance this may be your first go at it. 

The editor who read it recently said;

“By the way, I have been compelled to keep reading each night that I have picked up your MS to do the assessment, forcing myself to stop because my eyes were going bleary. And I should mention historical romance is not my genre of choice for reading, so you are doing something quite right if it still compels me to keep reading.” 

Which implies, whether you normally read historical romances or not, you’ll get caught up in the story and won’t be lost or distracted by it’s setting in history.

If you want to keep in touch with what I’m working on then why not follow me on twitter @janelark or you can like my author Facebook page Jane Lark or why not have a look at my history blog too.

This week Jarek Adams who I tagged wrote about her Next Big Thing.

Jane Lark

a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional love stories 

‘Get lost in fiction’

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