Month: July 2019

#66 – Alison Morton – Write Through The Roof

Interview with alternative history novelist Alison Morton

‘Exercise your writing muscle in different ways on different days.’

Episode 66 – Alison Morton – Show Notes

  • 30% plotter and 70% pantser
  • Black moments: when it all falls apart for the main character
  • Writing versus marketing
  • Tea imported in from England – sergeant major’s tea
  • Wanted to explore female-led action stories with a Roman flavour. But needed to create an alternative history world to feature strong female leaders. Values, betrayal, rebellion, resilience
  • Alternative history research: taking history and twisting it but anchoring back to the facts.
  • Using historical logic – what would have happened if?
  • Collaborating with other writers, exchanging ideas, being accepting and giving
  • A team effort to produce a book
  • Robert Harris’ Fatherland, William Boyd’s Restless, Sebastian Faulks, Lindsay Davis, Georgette Heyer
  • Aurelia: going back to write the backstory of the grandmother of the main character of the Carina Mitela series
  • Writing short stories and novellas

‘30% plotter and 70% pantser.’

‘You do need other people to get a successful book out.’

Links

#65 – Clare Flynn – Write Through The Roof

Podcast interview with historical novelist, Clare Flynn

‘Read everything I could get my little hands on.’

Episode 65 – Clare Flynn – Show Notes

  • Instinctive pantser who occasionally tries to plot
  • The first book took 15 years to write but now tries to be more disciplined
  • Writes most days
  • Two solutions if the words are hard – walk away or force herself to write
  • ‘Edit as you go’ person
  • Once a week writing group to share work-in-progress
  • Nanowrimo – to kick start a book or finish a book off
  • Tea, coffee and water and wine o’clock
  • Displacement: theme comes from childhood experiences, relationship problems, PTSD and impact of war, self discovery, religious bigotry
  • Reading: taught to read by her father
  • Learnt from editor; tough but also positive
  • Read aloud
  • Writing two books at once; keeps the writing fresh
  • Classics: Hardy, Brontes, Anya Seton, Jean Plaidy, Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, Tolstoy, Zola, Kate Atkinson, Amor Towles, historical research
  • Hybrid publishing
  • Storms Gather Between Us

‘A competitive person, even if the competition is myself.’

‘It’s got to have highs & lows and lights & darks.’

Links

Women of Wasps and War – Chapter One extract

Chapter One

‘Wasp Woman.’

A glob of spit thwacked her cheek. Her eyes flashed but she clamped her jaw shut as the guards dragged her into the Great Hall of the Eel, past the throng of townsmen.

‘Sinner.’

They hacked and snarled at her, their disgust striking her face like rain. She held her chin high but with her hands secured behind her back, she couldn’t wipe her face clean.

‘Murderess.’

Foul-smelling fishermen, goat-herders in hessian, callous-handed blacksmiths and even merchants dressed in silk shoved and jostled her as she struggled through the crowd.

‘Filth.’

Hands grabbed her hair. Strange fingers tore at her grubby clothes and groped her breasts. She gasped through clenched teeth, her heartbeat pounding in her ears.

But she said nothing.

Soon she would speak and they would be forced to listen.

‘Traitor.’

The guards shoved her into a chair in the centre of the room beside the others. She grunted as her elbow struck the hard wood. The Masters of the Shield and the Scion sat in front of her. Behind them was the low dais where the High Table sat and the forest green, gold and terracotta tapestry woven with the eel sigil of Ambrovna covered the wall.

The side door opened, hushing the mob and the Duke entered, his golden brooch glinting against his terracotta-red surcoat. The guards thumped their swords against their shields to announce his arrival, a deafening metallic din rising up to the vaulted ceiling. The pushing stopped and the townsmen bowed their heads.

Her belly clenched like a fist.

As he sat on the carved wooden throne, the blank-faced Duke nodded to the Master of the Shield. Lord Kalin lifted a dark eyebrow and began.

‘Men of Ambrovna. According to the laws of the Kingdom of the Four Rivers and the Duchy of Ambrovna, Gerthorn Nyvard, the thirty-fourth Duke of Ambrovna is present in this Great Hall to hear the accusations made against these women. In this realm, the Duke’s decision is final and justice will be served today.’

She rolled back her shoulders and lifted her chin. She was ready.

Women of Wasps and War – available now through Amazon or Kindle Unlimited.

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