After a shaky and belated start, thank you to Paula Lofting for tagging me in this ‘Character Blog Hop’ where lots of different authors all answer the same questions re characters in their current WIP. Her character post can be found here
Here are my answers –
1. What is the name of my main character? Is he/she fictional or historical?
My current WIP is the sequel to Turn of the Tide and continues the story of the Munro family – a fictional family caught between real-life feuding clans in 16th c Scotland. This time it is Kate Munro who takes centre stage, though many of the main (historical) characters from the first book also make an appearance.
2. When and where is the story set?
The book opens in 1597, six years after the end of Turn of the Tide and I haven’t quite decided yet when it is going to end! At the moment it looks as if it may only cover some 6 months of that year – plenty of time for drama and dark deeds. Like the first book it is set primarily in Ayrshire (South-west Scotland), but does also involve some action in France, where the French Wars of Religion continue. It is a sobering thought that in over 400 hundred years humanity hasn’t made much progress – listening to news of the siege conditions in some cities in Syria it could have been the siege of Amiens (which I’ve just been writing about) they were describing.
3. What should we know about her?
Kate Munro (Grant) is the fiercely loyal wife of a minor laird and mother to four children. Because of her husband’s involvement in the Montgomerie / Cunninghame feud (the subject of Turn of the Tide) she is living under a false name and seeking to support her family by practicing as a ‘wise woman’. Increasing numbers of people seek her medical knowledge, particularly in relation to obstetrics and gynaecology, including James VI’s wife, Queen Anne. But superstition is rife and along with a growing reputation comes danger.
4. What is the personal goal of the character?
Kate’s primary focus is to feed her children and to ensure their safety. But she is also determined not only to keep faith with her husband but also to assuage some of her private pain by using her skills to heal others.
5. What is the main source of conflict, what messes up her life?
Living under an assumed name she has begun to hope that her children will be safe from the clan feud that previously threatened her family. However, helping a woman who is being brutalized by her husband results in William Cunninghame discovering her true identity and he is determined to destroy her.
6. Is there a working title of this story and can we read more about it?
The working title is A House Divided but I suspect this will change before it’s published. I find titles one of the hardest bits of writing! I am about 2/3rds of the way through the first draft just now and so am concentrating on getting that finished. Once I am at the editing stage I will be able to post information / interesting facts / character profiles etc on this blog. (But don’t hold your breath!!) In the meantime, as most of the characters feature in the first book, reading Turn of the Tide would be the best preparation for this sequel.
7. When can we expect the book to be published?
How long is a piece of string? I have to finish the writing and then the self-editing process before it goes to the publisher who has an option on it. (Capercaillie Books) If they give me a contract then their editing process will begin. Last time round that was a relatively quick (if incredibly intense) period – I was asked to lay aside a month to devote to it and it certainly included a fair bit of burning the midnight oil! I am hopeful though that it will be on the bookshop shelves late this year or early next depending on the publisher’s schedules (and my finding the right ending! – a bit of a challenge after Turn of the Tide…)
Thank you to the following people who are going to be pick up the baton and post about their characters
http://www.wordpress.mcscott.co.uk Manda Scott, writing HF set in Rome and also in early Britain (Boudica)
http://www.louiseturner.co.uk Louise and I have a special connection in that our novels include members of the same family – several generations apart!
http://www.lynalexander.com A lovely Scottish-Canadian writer whose HF is set in the first half of the 20th c.
All in all quite a mix of periods. Do pop along c 21st April and check out what they have to say..