An Interview with Heather Rose Jones, author of ‘Floodtide’

 

Well-known historical fiction author Heather Rose Jones releases her latest book, Floodtide, today. I really enjoyed the story and wanted to know a bit more about why Heather wrote it and why she set it in her fictional world, Alpennia. In the following interview with Heather I was able to ask her more about her book:

Heather, ‘Floodtide’ is set in Alpennia, the setting for your earlier novels. Can you tell us about that world?

Alpennia is meant to be an ordinary small principality in central Europe–sitting roughly at the intersection of France, Italy, and Switzerland–much like many other small regions that were still semi-independent in the 18-19th centuries. Alpennia exists as a convenience so I can set up certain social structures, certain historical events and people, without interfering with the history of an actual country. Other than the insertion of Alpennia, the world is much the same as ours, with the same geography, the same history, the same prominent figures.

Oh, and then there’s the magic. Magic, in the world of the stories takes the basic premise that certain forces and dynamics that we would consider supernatural or mystical or miraculous actually work. For some people. Sometimes. If you do them right.

Why did you choose to tell the story from the point of view of a servant girl, Roz?

In writing the earlier Alpennia books, I’d followed the usual Regency novel tropes of focusing on people in Society. Some of them are members of the aristocracy, some are wealthy, some are solidly middle-class business women and artisans. But they all move through the world with a certain amount of stability and confidence. I wanted to shake things up in this book by looking at that same world and some of those same events from the point of view of a working class girl. What is it like having queer desires if your every minute is under someone else’s scrutiny and at their mercy? What does magic look like if you’re learning it on street corners rather than in libraries and universities? And what do the effects of the Great Mysteries look like when your lives don’t figure into anyone’s calculations.

As part of your world-building you have some areas of language specific to Alpennia. What was your process for inventing it?

For some other projects, I’ve done fairly extensive conlangs (constructed languages). Linguistics has been a lifelong passion and is one of my academic degrees. But for Alpennia I didn’t need to get quite that detailed. I wanted to be able to create names and a few bits of specialized vocabulary that clearly indicated that Alpennia is a European nation, but is not any specific existing one.

Simple geography dictated much of the result. Situated where it is, you can expect Alpennia to speak a Romance language, influenced significantly in its vocabulary and names by a Germanic substrate. I wanted to have a unified “look and feel” for names that so that they were recognizable but clearly distinct, so I went back in time and picked a recorded language that didn’t leave any later descendents. The spelling and appearance of Alpennia is inspired by Langobardic, which was recorded in northern Italy–close enough for the connection. It isn’t meant to be a descendent of Langobardic; that simply gave me the material to set up certain sound-change and spelling rules. So I could feed names and words from the Latin and Migration Era into a set of rules and produce Early Modern Alpennia forms that felt like it’s own unique and coherent language.

Are you drawn to particular time periods? This book is set in the 19th century. Is that a favourite era?

I have a lot of favorite historic eras and hope to write stories (though not Alpennian ones) in many of them. But the setting for the Alpennia series is inspired more by my love for Regency romances. I love time periods when society was in flux–not necessarily times of violent disruption, but times of a more complex peaceful disruption when people were exploring new ways of being and challenging older norms. The specific location of the Alpennia series in time is tied to the general forces of western European history. The series had to start at a particular time relative to the Napoleonic wars, and it had to extend until a particular era of spreading political upset. But honestly, it’s all about the manners and the social functions and the clothing!

Thank you for joining me today Heather. If we have whetted your appetite for ‘Floodtide’, the Bella Books and Amazon links are below:

Bella Books

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

Heather Rose Jones is the author of the Alpennia historic fantasy series: an alternate-Regency-era Ruritanian adventure revolving around women’s lives woven through with magic, alchemy, and intrigue. Her short fiction has appeared in The Chronicles of the Holy Grail, Sword and Sorceress, Lace and Blade, and at Podcastle.org. Heather blogs about research into lesbian-relevant motifs in history and literature at the Lesbian Historic Motif Project and has a podcast covering the field of lesbian historical fiction which has recently expanded into publishing audio fiction. She reviews books at The Lesbian Review as well as on her blog. She works as an industrial failure investigator in biotech pharmaceuticals.

Book Links

Bella Books: http://www.bellabooks.com/Bella-Author-Heather-Rose-Jones-cat.html
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heather-Rose-Jones/e/B00ID2LQE6

Social Media:

Website and blog: http://alpennia.com
Twitter: @heatherosejones
Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/Heather-Rose-Jones-490950014312292/

Books, Beer and Lesfic Buddies – Wendy Hudson’s Book Launch

I attended the book launch party for Wendy Hudson’s latest novel, ‘Meant to be Me’ in Glasgow last night. It was a night of books, beer and lesfic buddies. Wendy chatted about her book and signed copies for the queue of fans, family and friends who had come to toast the success of her new book. Fellow writer Wendy Temple, author of ‘Defensive Mindset’, had travelled from Edinburgh to join the party, and Trish L. Devoy had flown in from Dublin. Wendy’s lovely Mum Carol was on hand to help as was her partner Lynsey.

Wendy Hudson and Kitty Kat at the book launch for ‘Meant to be Me”

The launch was held at The Curler’s Rest, a popular pub/restaurant on Byres Road in the West End of Glasgow. As anyone who knows Wendy will be aware, she is an aficionado of craft beers and she made sure her guests were able to partake of some of her favourite beverages.

Trish L. Devoy and Wendy Temple

‘Meant to be Me’ is Wendy’s third novel and is set in the beautiful Scottish city of Inverness. It is a is a heart-thumping, nerve-jangling, suspense story that had me glued to the page. I loved it and highly recommend it. I was delighted to be able to get Wendy to sign my copy last night, and it has pride of place beside ‘Four Steps’ and “Mine to Keep’ on my bookshelf.

Trish L. Devoy, Wendy Hudson and Wendy Temple
Wendy and her guests enjoy a fantastic evening in Glasgow
Wendy signing ‘Meant to be Me’

New Emotion Thesaurus Out Now!

If there’s one universal truth about writers, it’s that we like to share. When we hear great writing advice, we share. If we read a book we like, we share. And, when we come across a resource that has really helped us, yes that’s right…we share!

So today I’m sharing some news: authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have released a second edition of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression!

You may have heard of this book, or even own a copy, but it’s quite possible that you didn’t realize it had a second edition. Up until a month ago, I didn’t either! It was all kept a secret by the authors who were determined to “show, not tell” their next new book through a mystery reveal. I helped with that, and it was so much fun.

This second edition is more than a new cover. It’s been been enhanced and expanded to include 55 new entries and double the teaching material. Now we can go even deeper when showing our characters’ emotions!

Anyway, if you want to look into it further, you can read some of the reviews on Goodreads or find more information here

Also, one more thing to share…a MEGA-OPPORTUNITY to win something amazing!

Paris Adrift – a new novel in the Juliana Series by Vanda. Out today!!

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Paris Adrift is the third novel in a breathtaking LGBT historical romance series, which can also be read as a standalone. If you like suspense, characters who tug at your heartstrings, and true-to-life portrayals of 1950s Paris, then you’ll love award-winning writer Vanda’s stunning new addition to the series.

I have enjoyed reading the Juliana Series so far and am so excited to find that Vanda has a new novel coming out soon. I can highly recommend this particular series as I love stories about LGBT history and Vanda has excelled herself with the Juliana series.  Their story continues with the excitement of a trip to Paris but it’s never that simple.

“How will Alice tell Juliana she must do what she most fears—because if she doesn’t, something even worse will happen?

Paris-bound, 1955. Alice “Al” Huffman can’t wait to reach the City of Light. As soon as their ship arrives, Juliana’s singing career will get the spotlight it deserves.

Before the SS United States hits land, a stranger approaches Al with a Broadway contract for Juliana. But the offer comes with a threat that can destroy them both. If Al can’t find a way out, Juliana’s comeback will come crashing down around their heads.

As she hides the awful truth from Juliana, Al searches for an answer before another obstacle destroys their last chance for happiness…”

Paris Adrift is out now!

Buy ParisAdrift to set sail on a harrowing journey of love today!

 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Paris Adrift – a new novel in the Juliana Series by Vanda. Out today!!

Juliana3

Paris Adrift is the third novel in a breathtaking LGBT historical romance series, which can also be read as a standalone. If you like suspense, characters who tug at your heartstrings, and true-to-life portrayals of 1950s Paris, then you’ll love award-winning writer Vanda’s stunning new addition to the series.

I have enjoyed reading the Juliana Series so far and am so excited to find that Vanda has a new novel coming out soon. I can highly recommend this particular series as I love stories about LGBT history and Vanda has excelled herself with the Juliana series.  Their story continues with the excitement of a trip to Paris but it’s never that simple.

“How will Alice tell Juliana she must do what she most fears—because if she doesn’t, something even worse will happen?

Paris-bound, 1955. Alice “Al” Huffman can’t wait to reach the City of Light. As soon as their ship arrives, Juliana’s singing career will get the spotlight it deserves.

Before the SS United States hits land, a stranger approaches Al with a Broadway contract for Juliana. But the offer comes with a threat that can destroy them both. If Al can’t find a way out, Juliana’s comeback will come crashing down around their heads.

As she hides the awful truth from Juliana, Al searches for an answer before another obstacle destroys their last chance for happiness…”

Paris Adrift is out now!

Buy ParisAdrift to set sail on a harrowing journey of love today!

Wendy Hudson’s Book Launch for ‘Mine To Keep’

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Last night I had the pleasure of attending the book launch for Wendy Hudson’s latest novel from Ylva Publishing, ‘Mine To Keep’. The party was held at ‘The Curler’s Rest’ on Byres Road, Glasgow and gave fans of Wendy’s books a chance to meet her and chat about ‘Mine to Keep’ and her previous novel ‘The Four Steps’. She made everyone very welcome and signed numerous copies of both books, while taking time to talk with each reader.

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‘Mine to Keep’ is the story of maths teacher Erin who  books into a Scottish Castle hotel with a plan to research her difficult past, setting off a chain of events that lead to a tense, thrilling and frankly heart-stopping story that had me breathless. There is also a sweet and romantic relationship with hotel chef Abby and a further mystery that I won’t spoil. I loved it and had no hesitation giving it a 5 Star Review. It is getting rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads as is her first published novel ‘Four Steps’ which won a GCLS award this year.

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Wendy’s mum and her girlfriend Lynsey were on hand to help and enjoyed chatting to those in attendance.

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Mine to Keep by Wendy Hudson

Four Steps by Wendy Hudson