March 30, 2012

This Writer

(Me and Jenny, looking conspiratorial. As usual.)

I'm not much of a "tag" person, but this particular series of questions-and-answers looked interesting and I decided to go ahead and fill it out. It is a "getting to know you" sort of questionnaire, and you may find out something new about me by reading it.

for your information...

1. I am a youngest child. My sister, Jenny, is five years older than I, and my brother is nine years older. They sound like much larger age gaps when written down than they seem to me.

2. My family and I currently have five animals: Buster, my cat; Esther, our lollipop-addicted kitty; Snickers, our beefy outdoor cat; Taz, my cousin's chubby tabby; and Avery, my cousin's new bunny. I also hope to get a lovebird, which would make it an even six.

3. I would love to travel to an assortment of places like Britain and Sicily and Southern France...if I could just do it without the traveling bit.

4. I am severely antisocial and have difficulty coming out of myself when I'm around strangers. This is part of the reason why I'm so thankful that Jenny and I were published at the same time: we did all the publicity together.

5. Jane Austen is the one classic writer I would have loved to meet, not because she was witty and brilliant (although she was), but because she sounds like a pleasant person in her own right.

6. I love letter-writing and letter-receiving.

7. At some point in the future, I would like to open a combination tea shop and bookstore.

8. I almost always have an "upstairs" book and a "downstairs" book, plus any number of extraneous and therefore less important ones.

9. I believe in writer's block.

10. Dialogue comes easiest to me in my writing.

11. I was fourteen when I finished and published my debut novel The Soldier's Cross.

and for your further information...

1. Who are your top 3 favourite classic fiction authors and your top 3 favourite modern fiction authors?

I have recently discovered that I do not have very many “favorites” in the realm of literature, although I do love many books. Indeed, I think that may be the problem: there are so many books that I heartily enjoy, I have difficulty narrowing the field. This is particularly difficult with authors. With some writers I like only a few of their works; with others, I like their works almost universally, but must be in the right mood for them. At any rate, I will do my best.

Jane Austen is probably my first love, sappy though that may be. Her stories comfort me, help me to relax like a cup of tea. They are homey and beautiful, and simple without being simplistic; they seem to embody good things.

Robert Louis Stevenson is a recent discovery and, so far as my nebulous classification goes, a favorite. But I already did a post on him, so I shan’t elaborate.

Charles Dickens is a fantastic writer, but I have to be in just the right mood to be able to stand his dark, sad storylines. I just recently read A Tale of Two Cities, which blew me away and left me pathetically sobbing into tissues. Ask my cousin; she’ll bear me out.

Modern authors? Oh! dear, that’s even harder. I’m not sure I habitually read three modern fiction authors. If C.S. Lewis counts as modern (which I say he does; he was only last century), then he makes one. Then I would add Anne Elisabeth Stengl, because her stories fascinate me and I love how she incorporates the classics into her own writing. And of course, Jennifer Freitag, who needs no explanation.

2. Which character in John Bunyan's immortal classic, The Pilgrim's Progress, do you identify with the most in your spiritual journey? (Christian, Faithful, or Hopeful)

Sadly, I see more of myself in some of Bunyan’s villains—or see some of Bunyan’s villains in myself. I would love to say truthfully that I am like Faithful, steadfast and courageous to the end, but I can only look at him and admire. As for Hopeful, I am horribly not. I am much more likely to sink into the Slough of Despond or sit in Doubting Castle. So I think that, if it comes down to a choice between these three, I am most like Christian.

3. In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, we see that Sam's and Frodo's responses to Gollum are different. If you were in Sam and Frodo's place during the times where they had the opportunity of killing Gollum, would you kill him and be rid of his trickery and wickedness, or would you feel pity for him having carried the Ring yourself, knowing its temptation, and show him mercy?

I don’t think I could kill him in cold blood, and I respect the mercy Frodo shows him. At the same time, being of a practical bent of mind, I should probably kill him if it were an act of self-defense.

4. Which do you enjoy more: reading a book or watching a movie?

In general I would say that I prefer reading a book, but sometimes I like to “veg” and watch a movie instead. I can’t do either indefinitely, and I am glad to have both options.

5. What is your favourite kind of music to sing, hear and play and who do you think was the greatest music composer of all time?

I am not musical myself; I played violin for about a year, but although I enjoyed the instrument itself, I decided for various reasons to stop taking classes. I like a somewhat eclectic mix of musicians—Loreena McKennitt is a favorite, but so is Fernando Ortega (!) and most of Owl City (!!). I also enjoy soundtracks: North & South, The Prince of Egypt, Peter Pan, The Last of the Mohicans, and BBC Merlin are just a few I’m fond of.

6. Which two books of the Bible do you tend to read the most?

I try to maintain a balance in how I read my Bible, and not to focus too much on any one book. I do frequently read Paul’s GEPC epistles: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. I love the Psalms for the variety they contain; Job has incredible depth and a poetic beauty, in the last few chapters especially; the Minor Prophets I find encouraging in the way many of them unite justice and mercy. But really, how can one choose a favorite?

7. Is there a figure in history that you love the most, and why?

I tend to grow attached to figures who had a particularly dashing charm—Stephen Decatur, Alexander Hamilton (I admit to being a terrible Southerner), the Black Douglas, Simon de Montfort. I suppose I am a bit of a romantic. At the same time, my mind goes to those men and women whom no one remembers and who are nameless now, but whose lives have been immortalized in Hebrews 11: the ones “of whom the world was not worthy.” I think those are the ones I love the best, because they are the ones I most desire to be like.

8. Is there a book or movie that you've read/watched and you've wished something had gone differently and would like to re-write it?

Oh, Ashley Wilkes, why did you have to go and kiss her? I liked you right up until you did that. Now I just want to hit you over the head repeatedly.

9. What are your two favourite scenes in The Chronicles of Narnia?

There is such a wealth of beautiful passages in Lewis’ books that choosing two is difficult. But perhaps not so difficult, for the first two that spring to mind can be called my favorites. I particularly love the scene of Eustace’s “un-dragoning”; its poignancy brings me to tears every time I read it. And for a second favorite, I would say the scene in The Horse and His Boy where Shasta speaks to the Voice.

“I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”

10. What are some of the books (fiction + non-fiction) or movies that have inspired and changed your life?

To dodge the question, every book changes my life: my brain (and my mind, which is a different matter) is never quite the same again. As for particular titles, I hardly know which ones to mention. Perhaps Henry Scougal’s The Life of God in the Soul of Man. Perhaps Ian Toll’s Six Frigates, which planted the seed for The White Sail’s Shaking. Perhaps Iain Murray’s The Forgotten Spurgeon, or A.W. Tozer’s The Knowledge of the Holy, or even Robert K. Massie’s Nicholas and Alexandra, which gave me the courage to start reading histories. Maybe the stories Jenny wrote when she was just starting to put pen to paper, which awed me and sparked the desire to write. I owe so much to books of all kinds.

11. What do you love most about the place where you live?

Jenny already answered this, and she said exactly what I had intended: my people. I don’t much care where I live, because it’s my family and friends who make up my home.

March 24, 2012

Capturing Voice

Last week I wrote a post on Robert Louis Stevenson, and in it I briefly remarked on his ability to keep the voice of the main character unique in each of his books (as many as I have read). It stood out to me in particular due to Stevenson's almost exclusive use of first-person narration - something which I have yet to attempt in a full-length novel. Several people commented on this and I thought I had better go into a little more depth on what I meant by "voice."

The concept of a story's voice turns up a great deal in writer-speech: establishing one's voice, finding an editor or agent who likes your voice, getting into a voice, differences in voice, and so on and so forth. It's used so much that it gets downright confusing, since people rarely stop to define their terms. What does it mean to say that every writer must develop his voice? And if every writer has a voice, why did I say that the voice differs in each of Stevenson's novels? Was I actually delivering an insult to his writing style in the clever guise of a compliment?

The trouble is that there are at least two voices that go into creating the atmosphere of any story, and writers tend not to discriminate between them when they talk about a novel's feel. This leads to apparent contradictions: writers should maintain their voices, but the voice should differ from one book to the next. In the first instance the voice is that of the author, while in the second, the voice refers to the narrating character (or characters).

author's voice

The author's voice is the style of writing, for a loose definition. I can't offer a more concrete one, because the concept is rather nebulous; it is what makes the story peculiar to that writer. Even within the scope of one era or genre, two books will never have the same voice unless one of the authors is blatantly copying the other. Dickens' voice, for instance, is not the same as Gaskell's, although they write about similar themes; Austen's voice could never for a moment be confused with any of the Bronte sisters'; my own voice is vastly different from Jenny's, although we are sisters. Voices may have similarities, just as a class of people may share an accent, but no two will ever be exactly the same.

"Develop your voice" is a rather pretentious way of saying that every serious writer must learn to write well, and write well in his or her own way. It isn't a conscious effort whereby you piece together your style; it's a matter of practice and perseverance, allowing your skills to grow with each manuscript. Voice is not stagnant, or at least it shouldn't be. Writing should improve from one book to the next, and with that improvement comes subtle changes to the author's voice. We can't expect every story to sound alike, even at this basic level; they will be different, while still maintaining that something that makes each uniquely that writer's.

Again, voice is nebulous. We can identify elements that make two authors differ, but there is no capturing the spirit of their writing, no putting it under a microscope or dissecting it in a lab. A writer's voice is an articulation of thought and spirit and thus incapable of being fully grasped. It does have to be honed; but in the mad rush to do so, people often get so caught up in the mechanics that they lose sight of the fact that voice cannot be stressed into existence. It comes on its own and develops at its own pace, maturing with each story as the writer continues to push himself.

character's voice

Nearly every story has a narrator, and I only say "nearly" in case someone decides to reach into the depths of the literary ocean to fish out some counterexample. Some stories have multiple narrators, or POV characters, from whose eyes the novel is told. Their voice, flowing from who they are as a character, will influence the story as much as the author's voice does; thus a flat protagonist will result in a dull voice. Characters have to be well-rounded and of some depth, and once they have dimension, a worthwhile voice will likely follow as a matter of course. It's the same as with an author: the very effort of writing is the best maturer of voice.

Character voices tend to change from story to story much more than the author's voice does. They are different people, from different walks of life and cast into different circumstances, and these variables will naturally affect the flavor of a story and how it is told. Character voices ought to differ. But again, I am of the opinion that writers spend far too much time obsessing over the uniqueness of their protagonist's voice and fussing over how to correct it, especially early on in the story. One rarely plunges into a novel knowing the main character as well as he or she should be known; generally the protagonist has to be fleshed out as the writer goes along. Vocal cords will develop somewhere on the way.

As a caveat, it is possible to have no voice in writing, but it does not come through a lack of effort on the writer's part. Indeed, I think it more likely to come when the writer tries too hard. A lack of voice, of spirit, of personality itself comes when the cold hard rules of writing are adhered to, but no life is allowed to seep into the words themselves. Authors may so struggle to hone their craft, focus so minutely on the gears of writing, and study the dos and don'ts so religiously, that they lose sight of the beauty of storytelling. This is when voice is lost. This is when writing no longer has a purpose.

March 21, 2012

The Soldier's Cross in Dutch

Last year a contract was signed with De Banier Publishing to translate my novel The Soldier's Cross into Dutch. Today I received an email from my publisher informing me that their copies had arrived - a huge and delightful surprise for me, naturally! Eager to see whether anything about the "packaging" had been changed, I took a look at the website...

...and got to revel in the sight of a cover all over again. Here it is, my own novel in a language I can't even read (although I'm going to take a wild guess that it says "Soldier's Cross"), and with as gorgeous and atmospheric a cover as the English copy has. And hopefully tomorrow I'll actually be able to hold it myself.

March 19, 2012

So Many Bookmarks

Jenny wrote a post recently on bookmarks, and I would just like to say here at the outset that she snitched my idea. I was considering doing that same post (only about my bookmarks, not hers) on that same day, and what do I find when I look at her blog? She got there before me! This is what happens when your brain is shared by another.

I like bookmarks. Memorizing page numbers gets tiresome and flipping around looking for one's spot in a book often leads to the unpleasant discovery of spoilers, so I nearly always use some form of marker to hold my spot. In a pinch I'll use a Kleenex. In even rarer instances I'll use a book's dustjacket, but that often leads to the disfigurement of said jacket, especially if the book is of significant size. Most of the time, however, I use a proper-ish bookmark.

I have a number of these lying about in my room, some more frequently used than others, some that have never been used at all. Right now I have a 2010 Alibris bookmark in Kidnapped - the colors coordinated and the quote on the bookmark, "There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away," seemed fitting for a Stevenson novel. It has puncture marks in it where Buster has gnawed it. In The Imitation of Christ I have a bookmark with Philippians 4:8. It's cracked in places, also where Buster gnawed it. I keep a pink Beatitudes bookmark with tassels in Faith's Checkbook, and amazingly, Buster has not gnawed that one.

Jenny pointed out in her post that clothing tags double as excellent bookmarks. I only have one of these: an elegant "Lapis" tag with a sleeping fairy on one side and a quote from A Midsummer Night's Dream on the back: "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." Rather an odd quote to use for a clothing brand, but I like it all the same. The bookmark is fairly new, but I expect I'll use it frequently.

Another new bookmark is one my cousin gave me. Titled "Old World," it has a picture of an antique map on it, a red beaded tassel at the top, and a quote (apparently by Confucius) at the bottom: "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." A little ironic, considering that I never go anywhere, but perhaps it's referring to the world of books.

A heap of others make the rounds through my books: a blue gilded one that says "Friends" (a gift, as you have no doubt guessed, from a friend!); a bland red-and-white "Trinity City Books" one that is only for mystery novels (don't ask me why); yellow and blue paint cards, the one with a canary on it, the other with a hydrangea. A bookmark made of wood or bamboo, handpainted somewhere exotic, is still in Red Moon and Black Mountain, which I have yet to finish. A little blue one, made by a friend and with the quote from The Song of Solomon "many waters cannot quench love," peeks out of Desiring God. If I poked, I would probably find a host of others still hiding in books. I try not to leave works unfinished, but sometimes even the best of intentions fail.

So you see, I have quite the host to choose from when I start a new book. And yet the other day when I had two books downstairs and no bookmarks at hand, what did I do? Tore an index card in half and used the pieces.

How typical.

March 13, 2012

Pieces of Eight

I didn't read Robert Louis Stevenson when I was a child, save for his poetry. I remember picking up my brother's copy of Treasure Island, determined to read it just to say I had; that resolution didn't last long. I can still recall confused ideas of pirates and blood and spots and a boy and money and maybe an inn and a mother - which I consider quite an accomplishment, as that sums up nearly the whole of the first chapter or two (which is as far as I got). But I was under the impression that the book was terrifying and gory and would have me cowering in fright, so I gave it up.

Thus went my first ill-fated foray into Stevenson's works. I didn't try again until last year, when in a fit of obstinacy and desperation I picked up The Master of Ballantrae - obstinacy because my sister-in-law, a wonderful judge of literature, had said she didn't like the book; desperation because it was one of those times where none of my books looked appealing, and I wanted something different.

I'll confess that I wouldn't advise others to begin their education in Stevenson by reading Ballantrae: it's a very odd sort of story. I liked it for the author's writing style and for the voice of the narrator, but the characters were nearly all hateful and nothing very riveting happened except one duel. And yet for some strange reason, I came out of it wanting to read more of Stevenson. (Maybe that was more of the obstinacy.) So last month I read Treasure Island, and now I'm reading Kidnapped, and Stevenson is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.

"...he seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen,
like a man playing spillikins."

- g. k. chesterton

So Chesterton described Stevenson's writing, and I can't help agreeing. His style is much blunter than, say, Dickens', but at the same time, it never wavers: it always remains constant. He always has that perfect word on the end of his pen. Sometimes I'll come out of the story to look at the writing itself, and I wonder if Stevenson ever had to sit there and stare at his paper until he could grasp the word he wanted, or if they always simply came to him. I'm sure they didn't, but in the finished product it is easy to wonder.

Another thing I have found interesting in reading these three books is the fact that all of them are written in first person, and yet the "voices" differ between them. In The Master of Ballantrae the narrator is an older man, so that is understandable; but in both Treasure Island and Kidnapped the protagonists are boys just becoming men, and I expected that the latter would have much the same tone as the former. Not so. They are each unique, each distinctly Jim Hawkins and David Balfour. Perhaps this is due to David's Scottish brogue compared to Jim's smoother English; perhaps it is because of the differences between the characters themselves. I admire it either way, and though I have never written a first-person novel, I hope that even my third-person narration pulls this off.

When I was first reading The Master of Ballantrae, I noticed that in some ways Stevenson's writing seems to resemble my own (although, of course, far better). I could hardly lay a finger to the reason, but that was the feeling I got; something about his style particularly speaks to me. Thus the reading can be a little frustrating, as I see elements that he captures superbly and that I want to understand and learn from: his balance of narrative and dialogue, in particular. I believe that in general he has more of the former (which is different from my writing, where I tend toward the latter), and yet I never find it heavy or want to skim - a temptation even when I read Dickens, grand as he is. That is something I admire and would wish to incorporate into my writing.

These, then, are my rambles concerning Robert Louis Stevenson.

March 8, 2012

A Shelfish Update

Way back in May of last year I posted photos of my bookshelf. Naturally those pictures are now outdated; I looked through them the other day and was amused by both the differences and the similarities. I have an aversion, you see, to rearranging my books once I've found The Way. I get used to seeing them in just That Way, and they, for their part, start to look so comfortable that it seems rude to move them. However, I have made a few alterations over the course of ten months...

For instance, I've started to use the bottom shelf of my white bookcase. I hadn't before simply because dust collects down there faster than it does on the other shelves, but since I was out of room in the entertainment-unit-bookcase, it had to happen. To tell the truth, I'm rather fond of the result. Right now I have my general histories on the left part and most of my nautical books on the right; but when it comes time to put away the ones I have out for White Sail's research, I'm not sure what I'll do. [Note: The gap in the left section is where a biography of John Newton goes. He's currently out on loan. Such a sociable fellow!]

Poor Piper and Tozer, shoved willy-nilly on top of the rest! One of these days I'll rearrange this section and make it look nicer. I've picked up a number of books since May, including The Great Divorce, Mere Christianity, and a few Puritan Paperbacks. I was reading The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment last time I did a shelf-post, but I have since finished it. I also bought Of the Imitation of Christ, which I am currently reading.

Things are much the same on the other side of this shelf. Frontier Wolf is completed and back beside its brothers; The Tall Ships also has some company: The Salem Frigate and The Sea Eagles, both by John Jennings, both yet to be read. Dew on the Grass, one of the stacked books, is about a little girl growing up in Wales, so it provided me with a little inspiration for Sunshine and Gossamer. Inspiration or no, however, it is a darling book before you even crack the cover. I love cloth bindings.

If you look at the bottom shelf in this picture and compare it to what it looked like last May, you'll find that every upright book is exactly the same. It hasn't changed a bit in almost a year. How pathetic am I? However, the stacked books are a bit different. I have Liz Patterson's The Mark of the Star, a copy of The Hobbit with Smaug looking far too adorable on the cover, and Tolkien's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (etc.). I picked up On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, which just so happens to coordinate wonderfully with Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Heartless and Veiled Rose (and Moonblood, as soon as I can acquire it). My copy of Howl's Moving Castle is blue as well, but it was on loan to Jenny when I took this picture. It's back on top of Heartless now. And, last of all, I have two novels in Mary Stewart's Arthurian saga, The Crystal Cave and The Hollow Hills. I think she likes alliteration.

The Lamplighter books on the shelf above are also the same. I've gotten a few more classics, however: Little Dorrit, The Master of Ballantrae, and a gorgeous hardback of one of my favorite books, The Last of the Mohicans. Now the only trouble is working up the courage (and gathering the tissue boxes) to reread it.

Again, the second-to-top shelf is much the same. Wuthering Heights morphed, as you can see, from a hideous orange thing into a very nice Barnes & Noble edition - who knew that books have so much in common with butterflies? The little book on top of it is Oliver Twist; the two stacked books a little to the right are The Black Arrow and A Tale of Two Cities (which I just finished reading this week - more tissue boxes!). I also got The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, but I haven't read it yet.

Just as I've had to start using the bottom shelf, the top shelf has been requisitioned as well. I'm too short to reach it easily without a stepstool - the furniture-maker was tall! - so I don't have many books up here: Treasure Island, The Count of Monte Cristo, G.A. Henty toward the left. I was keeping the paperback A Tale of Two Cities until I found out whether my clothbound edition was readable; I might get rid of it now. For a while I had three copies, although one was abridged.

Here is the top shelf of my second "bookcase". (I do still use it as an entertainment unit, it's just that the entertainment it houses happens to be books instead of movies.) Having moved my histories to the white bookcase, this shelf is no longer full: there are Peter Pan and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, and then Green Dolphin Street, a birthday gift from the splendid Anna. On the right I keep my audiobook of The Hobbit, plus two books that couldn't be crammed into the fantasy section of the white bookcase. The bottom shelf of this unit remains much the same, just with a couple new Agatha Christie novels and without Sayers - she went to Jenny's house.

And that is my shelf-ish update. Have your shelves altered much in the past year, or do you like to keep everything the same? I am hopelessly leery of change.

March 6, 2012

Snippets from March

A brand new month (not so brand new now, sadly) has arrived, and with it a brand new "Snippets" post from Katie and her darling blog Whisperings of the Pen. So here I am to participate, mostly with The White Sail's Shaking, but also with a bit of Wordcrafter to start. Enjoy!

march snippets

He was crazy and it was a crazy thing to say, but if Ethan had asked for the moon and a constellation besides, Justin would have been leery of denying him.

- wordcrafter

"...You wouldn’t mind getting your head chopped off at the end, would you, Ethan?”

Ethan had drawn back into the corner and now he sat half in the shadows with his arm around the old harp, fingering the strings but making no noise with them. He looked up when Jamie addressed him, the darkness lying in strange patterns across his stranger face. “I am sure it would be a pleasure,” he replied coldly.

- wordcrafter

[Charlie] still held a musket with its stock in the hollow of his shoulder; the powder had stained but half his face in the course of the fight, and the effect put Tip in mind of a lunar eclipse.

- the white sail's shaking

A breath of thick hot air wafted into his face as he stepped out, stifling him and making his head throb worse. Even the seagull on the sign overhead looked lethargic in the summer twilight. He sniffed with a grimace, instinctively pulling at his collar.

“Come to enjoy the fine evening?” asked a nearby voice, tinged with softly laughing irony.

- the white sail's shaking

Of course every schoolboy knows never to try to separate a pair of fighting dogs, no matter what the outcome looks to be. Tip knew it; he was no fool. But in the heat of the moment it slipped his mind.

- the white sail's shaking

"...What made you go to sea?”

“Oh…” Tip tugged a thin-lipped smile. “That was my family’s choice. I’m a bully, you see.”

Even with her cap he saw her eyebrows go flyaway. “You, sir, a bully?” she repeated.

- the white sail's shaking

Charlie was beside him, left elbow to Tip’s right, one pistol in hand and another across his thighs; Decatur, farther down on the same side, held a cutlass naked before him to reflect a red-stained sky. Everyone was panting, through the mouth or through the nose, so that the ship itself seemed to be gasping for breath. The sound fingered Tip’s brain, agonizing as the waiting itself.

- the white sail's shaking

“God help me, Lewis,” he breathed aloud, “we have not seen the last of each other.”

- the white sail's shaking

meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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