Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gearing Up for the New Book

With The Showboat Affair submitted, Keeping Promises completed and shelved for now, and The Face on Miss Fanny's Wall in the midst of yet another revision, I'm doing some serious research for the (as yet) unnamed novel that must be completed by March 31 for eligibility to be entered in the competition for the lead-in book of the "Jewels of the Night" series proposed by the Crimson Rose line of The Wild Rose Press. (Whew! Sorry for the long sentence!)

So far I've:
  • researched some of the more famous antebellum homes in the South
  • researched the architecture (Greek Revival, Federal, Italianate) styles
  • sent for a (used) book, Plantation Houses and Mansions of the Old South
  • checked out from the local library A Remembrance of Eden: Harriet Bailey Bullock Daniel's Memories of a Frontier Plantation in Arkansas, 1849-1872, as well as Volume 4 of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (Myth, Manners, & Memory) 
  • discovered that Camden, AR, about 3 hours south of here, has a rich Civil War history and several antebellum homes open for public tours...there's a trip in my future after the new year!
So I can take a break from Miss Fanny when necessary by delving into the aforementioned books. (More on The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture in forthcoming blog.)

I have the plot sketched out--emphasis on sketched--and the characters named and infused with some life (of which there needs to be more). As usual, a title has not even drifted onto the horizon. The basic plot, of course, must revolve around a blue diamond. I hope to write a contemporary suspense/romance with travels back in time to the antebellum world of the characters' ancestors.

Just doing the research and learning new things is challenging and exciting. Some famous figure (I've forgotten who) said to "Learn something new everyday." That seems particularly important as one gets older. I watched my paternal grandfather and then my father simply sit and wait to die. That seems a harsh judgment, but it is, unfortunately, factual. For both of them, it was a long wait as the years slipped by, each day the same as the last. My maternal grandfather viewed each new day as an adventure waiting to be experienced--until he died at the age of 96.

I don't know exactly where the plot is going or how it's going to get there--but I'm convinced it's going to be a thrilling journey, especially for me.


nlindabrit said...

I think doing the necessary research and learning more about an interesting era is all part of the fun of a new story taking shape. Your book about the ante-bellum homes sounds fascinating.

K9friend said...

Your project sounds intriguing! I love stories about the south. Must be the Gone With the Wind factor. I think I've read that book at least 147 times.

And looking through the book on ante-bellum homes would be wonderful!