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Last Week for Storybundle!!

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Aug. 3rd, 2016 | 06:33 pm

The Historical Fantasy Storybundle has entered its last week, so I thought I’d take the chance to share a couple of comments from two of our authors.  When I put the bundle together, I asked people what had motivated them to write these novels — why historical fantasy, what they loved about the stories, what got them started, and I’m delighted to share answers from Heather Rose Jones and Martha Wells.

Heather first:

Daughter of Mystery is my debut novel—not the first novel I wrote, as often happens, but the first one I shared with the world. I never would have predicted that my first published book would be set in the early 19th century; I’ve always been much more of a medievalist and earlier. I have a trunk novel set in 1st century Britain (that I will one day overhaul), and starts and stabs in the 10th, 13th, and 15th centuries. The ancient timeless heroic age of the Welsh Mabinogi is another setting I’ve used (check out my story “Hoywverch” at Podcastle). But for some reason, when I was looking for a fiction project to jump-start me again after I finished my PhD, a scene flashed into my mind that stepped straight out of a Georgette Heyer novel…or out of Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo…or, well some odd blend of that era. It’s a period I’ve loved reading about, but it had never been a focus of research before. I think that helped free my imagination up to let the story flow. I knew enough to set up the stage and characters, but not so much that I felt I was drowning in details. (The research all came later.) I wrote without having any idea of where those characters would take me and shared the adventure as they experienced it. Now, of course, the history of Alpennia and the fate of my characters is a bit more firmly established in my imagination. But that was exactly what I needed at the time: the freedom to start every page asking, “What comes next?”

And Martha:

I wrote The Death of the Necromancer because it was what I wanted to read.  It's a fantasy mystery, set in a secondary world based on La Belle Epoque Paris, with magic and ghosts.  The main characters are Nicholas Valiarde, a Moriarty-like figure and leader of a criminal organization, Madeliene Denare, a popular actress who uses her skills in Nicholas' organization, and Reynard Morane, a disgraced army officer.  They are all out for revenge, but solving the mystery of a sorcerer who may be a serial killer and saving lives becomes more important.  That combination of dark fantasy, a gaslight secondary world, ghosts, and a clever criminal organization like a Victorian version of Ocean's 11 was just not something I had found anywhere else.  It was fun to write, even though it was a ton of research and work.  And I was thrilled when it made the Nebula ballot after it was first published by Avon Eos in 1998.  If you get our bundle, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Comments {4}

Anthony Caryl

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from: Anthony Caryl
date: Aug. 5th, 2016 12:10 pm (UTC)
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I can certainly recommend Death of a Necromancer, it's a fantastic story and still one of my Favourites by Martha Wells

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Melissa Scott

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from: mescott
date: Aug. 7th, 2016 02:42 pm (UTC)
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Mine, too! Have you read the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy? Nicolas's daughter Tremaine is the protagonist, and it's pretty amazing, too. (There are some stories from it in Between Worlds, Martha's other book in the Storybundle.)

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Anthony Caryl

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from: Anthony Caryl
date: Aug. 7th, 2016 03:06 pm (UTC)
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I've read and enjoyed the Ile-Rien trilogy although I don't quite hit the heights of Necromancer (almost, but not quite)

I wish she'd go back and tell some of the story of Madeline's grandmother, I think that would be very cool)

I didn't realise there were any shorts in the same world in Between Worlds though, so thanks for that as I certainly want to read them too

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Melissa Scott

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from: mescott
date: Aug. 10th, 2016 11:23 am (UTC)
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There's a longer story about Nicolas and Reynard, too, as well as a set of Cineth stories. Definitely a nice collection!

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