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Posts Tagged ‘Graces of Brantley’

Jane Austen and Ghosts.

Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but this can take a humorous turn. Some years back, I am sure readers of this blog will be aware that some writers began to take great liberty with Jane Austen and her works. Pride and Prejudice being liberally rewritten with the inclusion of zombies. Then other books appeared with sea monsters, and werewolves and vampires. President Lincoln has even made it to the big screen where he is intent on sending foul creatures to hell.

It occurred to me, even before I read any of this literature, that Jane would probably not appreciate what had been done to her classic piece. That the tales and her life have become visual spectacles that we enjoy she might not like either, but is perhaps resigned to. That zombies, ghosts and vampires are now used to follow her own plot lines would I think, have her turning over in her grave. Jane Austen and Ghosts is my take on that.

It is now available in a variety of formats. For $4.99 for your eReaders and $8.99 for paperback you can get this Jane Austen adventure.

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Barnes and Noble for your Nook

Smashwords

iBookstore

Amazon for your Kindle and in Paperback

In the world of moviemaking, nothing is as golden as rebooting a classic tale that has made fortunes every time before when it has been adapted for the silver screen. Certainly any work by Jane Austen made into a movie will not only be bankable, but also considered a work of art.

That is of course until the current wave of adaptations that unite her classic stories with all the elements of the afterlife is attempted to be created. That these have found success in the marketplace amongst booklovers may not be quite understood by those who make movies. But that they are a success is understood and a reason to make them into movies.

All that being said, perhaps it would also be fair to say that the very proper Jane, were she present to have anything to say about it, would not be pleased. Of course she has been away from this Earth for nearly 200 hundred years. But does that mean were she upset enough, she wouldn’t come back?

Feedback

If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Having finished editing another of our fantasy books, I have started to lean to the idea that perhaps a professional artist might be better than my own renditions, of Trolls, warriors and Dragons.

If anyone knows of someone who would like to discuss designing a cover for RAP, please get in contact with us.

Otherwise we may end up with this

Screenshot_2_2_13_3_55_PM-2013-03-3-07-44.jpg

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Having finished editing another of our fantasy books, I have started to lean to the idea that perhaps a professional artist might be better than my own renditions, of Trolls, warriors and Dragons.

If anyone knows of someone who would like to discuss designing a cover for RAP, please get in contact with us.

Otherwise we may end up with this

Screenshot_2_2_13_3_55_PM-2013-02-24-07-19.jpg

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I have signed the contracts!

My story, Micawber and Copperfield and the Great Diamond Heist of 1879 has been accepted by Xchyler Publishing for their anthology on Steampunk. More details on this will follow!

Check out Xchyler on the internet, or at their Facebook page.

But this is a Steampunk story, and the publisher would like a picture for inclusion in the book.

I sent them two choices, but we are undecided which one.

There is the professional picture

image-2013-02-17-00-01.jpeg

and the more Victorian picture, which would be Steampunky.

1__%252524%252521%252540%252521__image-2013-02-17-00-01.jpeg

Which do our readers prefer?

Please comment below

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Having finished editing another of our fantasy books, I have started to lean to the idea that perhaps a professional artist might be better than my own renditions, of Trolls, warriors and Dragons.

If anyone knows of someone who would like to discuss designing a cover for RAP, please get in contact with us.

Otherwise we may end up with this

Screenshot_2_2_13_3_55_PM-2013-02-17-07-57.jpg

Read Full Post »

I have signed the contracts!

My story, Micawber and Copperfield and the Great Diamond Heist of 1879 has been accepted by Xchyler Publishing for their anthology on Steampunk. More details on this will follow!

Check out Xchyler on the internet, or at their Facebook page.

But this is a Steampunk story, and the publisher would like a picture for inclusion in the book.

I sent them two choices, but we are undecided which one.

There is the professional picture

image-2013-02-17-00-01.jpeg

and the more Victorian picture, which would be Steampunky.

1__%252524%252521%252540%252521__image-2013-02-17-00-01.jpeg

Which do our readers prefer?

Please comment below

Read Full Post »

These last few weeks I have been profiling here at The Things That Catch My Eye, chapters excerpted from Steam and Thunder, and The Prize is Not as Great As You Think.

I still have another chapter or two of the Prize to impart, but I am stopping midway in each book so that I have whetted your appetites. I also have found that many unscrupulous people will cut and paste my writing and others into one long document and claim that they have written the story I have. Thus it is best to only show half the book to you all.

But the whole story not having been revealed, so to the publishing story.

I want to have these two books be Kickstarter projects but to elevate our normal publication scheme. I want to use a professional cover, and illustrations for each chapter. To do this, I need feedback. One that you would like to see the books done so.

But also I need to work up the budget and need quotes from professionals in the field. Those who would like a gig as an illustrator for the books, or more than one. And copyeditors. Please send me your info in the comments section.

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A Trolling We Will Go Omnibus:The Early Years
The new Trade Paperback edition

Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy. The Trolling series, (the first three are in print) is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities. We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested. We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death.
All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify.
Here are the first three books together as one longer novel. A Trolling We Will Go, Trolling Down to Old Mah Wee and Trolling’s Pass and Present. Available in a variety of formats, but now just released as a Trade Paperback. For $15.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.

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From Regency Assembly Press

From Amazon

The Kingdom of Torahn is beset by an ancient evil. Can a simple woodcutter and a well educated girl save all? Long forgotten are the ways to fight the Trolls. Beasts that breed faster then rabbits it appears.

And when they decide to migrate to the lands of humans, their seeming invulnerability spells doom for all in the kingdom of Torahn. Not only Torahn but all the human kingdoms that border the great mountains of Teantellen that divides the continent.

Humphrey is an orphan, and does not think life will hold much for him beyond the trees and his axe. Gwendolyn is the daughter of a successful merchant who’s ambitions extend to the rulling Council of Twenty-One.

When the Monsters invade the Kingdom, both must rise to the occassion. Humphrey will learn and show skills he did not know he had. Gwendolyn will use her training. Both will strive to save their friends, family and all Torahn.

Herein are the first three books of the saga of Humphrey and Gwendolyn. A Trolling We Will Go, Trolling Down to Old Mah Wee, and Trolling’s Pass and Present.

Feedback

If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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Today, instead of an entry in the Personalities series, I realized I had not finished my write up from last May on the East India Company. Here is it in it’s entirety.

The East India Company

The Opium Trade

Fans of Becky Sharpe in Makepeace Thackery’s Vanity Fair PastedGraphic2-2012-05-18-15-24-2013-01-9-08-56.jpgwill know a little of the East India Company, or The Company PastedGraphic1-2012-05-18-15-24-2013-01-9-08-56.jpg. The company was granted its charter from 1600 by Queen Elizabeth I PastedGraphic3-2012-05-18-15-24-2013-01-9-08-56.jpg and survived until 1874. By the time of the Regency it was a powerhouse and its actions had much to do with Regency Life. So it is a good backdrop for our Regency novels.

One officer of the company, PastedGraphic4-2012-05-18-15-24-2013-01-9-08-56.jpg Warren Hastings (1732-1818) who became the first Governor General of India from 1773 -1785 is reported to be the father of PastedGraphic5-2012-05-18-15-24-2013-01-9-08-56.jpg Eliza de Feuillide, cousin to Jane Austen PastedGraphic6-2012-05-18-15-24-2013-01-9-08-56.jpg and later her sister by marriage when she married Jane’s brother Henry PastedGraphic7-2012-05-18-15-24-2013-01-9-08-56.jpg. Hastings of course was fabulously rich, and was even famously accused of corruption and impeached in 1787 but acquitted in 1795. He later would serve as a privy councillor in 1814.

What is fascinating though is that as the riches from India, made our members of the Ton exceedingly wealthy, becoming perhaps the richest men on the planet, some of this trade was founded on the sale of opium to China. The money then from that sale would buy tea for Britain. Which would then pay for more opium purchased in Bengal, India for sale to China. Though China had prohibited the trade of opium since 1729, reaffirmed in 1799 by the Jaiqing Emperor, its use kept growing.

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Britain had during the Georgian era the same problem the US has now with China. China had more sterling owed it, then they wished to spend. So Britain saw that trading opium back to China was one way of reducing the trade imbalance. In India, only The Company controlled the planting, harvesting and manufacturing of opium. It was a monopoly.

This was such a problem for China that it would lead to two wars, the Opium Wars of 1839 and 1842 and the loss of Hong Kong to the English. (Which is of course the Victorian Era.)

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Opium would be smuggled into China from Calcutta by respectable British trading houses. The company had a factory in Canton where the opium was off loaded. From 1826 the trade through the Straits of Malacca needed to be protected and the company set up Settlements there to do so. They also became penal colonies for Indian Civilian and Military prisoners. One of these was Singapore.

If America had its Rum-Molasses and Slave trade, it would seem that England has its Opium-Silver and Tea trade. Neither a thing to be particularly proud about in today’s sensibilities, but necessary to have taken us to where we are today.

From Independent Company to the Treasury of the Empire

The Seven Years war (1756-1763) resulted in the defeat of French forces, giving the British great holdings in India and elsewhere. The Frencg had been a source of economic competition before this, but after, they did not face much opposition in India.

Now the Company, with Robert Clive leading its forces conquered much of the subcontinent. In 1757 the Company conquered Bengal. This set up the company to be estranged from the Mughals. Three Anglo-Maratha Wars between 1777-1818 further strengthened the British rule in India. This led to the end of the Maratha Empure and the firm establishment of the British East India Company in India.

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Mysore offered resistance to the British as well, but it fell in 1799 with the death of Tipu Sultan. (DWW I have a view of Sean Connery and Michael Caine, campaigning in India for decades as they portrayed in the Man Who Would be King as I write this.)

Between 1736 and 1834, only 10% of the East India Company’s officers survived to return to England. It was not exactly the easiest of places to live during the Regency era.

Many of those who were employed in India were ‘Writers’, or the accounting clerks. Writers such as Henry Thomas Colebrooke and Charles Lamb.

During the end of the 1700s and the early 1800s, the company was obviously flexing its muscles and conquering much of India. However all was not well. The Bengal Famine of 1770 caused 1/3rd of the locals to perish and caused distress in Britain. Costs mounted and labour productivity declined.

Also at this time, there was trade depression in the world. It led to the Tea Act of 1773, and Americans will recall what that led to (DWW-The Tea Party)

Now a series of Acts were created that ultimately would transform the Company into a Colony. They were the East India Company Act of 1773, East India Company Act of 1784 (Pitt’s India Act), Act of 1786, East India Company Act of 1793 (Charter Act), East India Company Act of 1813 (Charter Act), Government of India Act of 1833. (DWW-there were a couple more, but that is for a later era.)

These acts moved India so that the Government of India Act of 1833 removed the Company’s monopolies, renewed the Company’s Political and administrative authority, invested the Board of Control with full power over the company (The Company seems to be subcontracting the work of administration for the government), invest the Governor General in Council with fill powers in all civil and military matters, begin to codify laws (India was comprised of many political groupings and kingdoms), equality of employment for Indians. In 1773 the first act, also known as the regulating act, was designed to remind the company that England and Parliament were it’s master. That the Company may have conquered much of India but did so for the Crown and government, not for itself. India was thus leased back to the company for a fee of £40,000 for two years. Now Warren Hastings became Governor General of India. He had been the Governor of Bengal. At first the Company welcomed these changes, but each year, the burden of administering India from their bank accounts, as well as paying off Parliament their license fee, weighed on the Company.

The Company continued to grow, with the aid of the Empire, ruling by the mid 19th century most of India, Burma, Malaya, Singapore and British Hong Kong. Nearly 1/5th of the world’s population was under it’s trading influence.

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The Rules for Writers

Those who follow me for a long time know that I also write in other fields aside from Regency Romance and the historical novels I do.

A few months ago, before the end of last year and 2011 NaNoWriMo, (where I wrote the first draft of another Regency) I started work on a project about writing.

The premise was what one should think about when starting and working on a project. I came up with 10 rules to follow in a quest to become a writer and tackle that novel.

Here are The 10 Rules:

1) Read like a writer

2) Have a good story

3) Your work will be Thematic

4) Plot: The seven deadly ones

5) Characters will carry your tale, near and far

6) Words are your warriors

7) Stories are structured

8) All tales building to a Crescendo

9) Genghis edits history, shouldn’t you as well

10) Act like a writer

So it is now released. For $4.99 you can get this treatise on honing your skills.

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Barnes and Noble for your Nook

Smashwords

Amazon for your Kindle

Genghis Khan came from the Steppes of Mongolia, a family torn apart by neighboring tribes, to unite those tribes, or defeat them, and then conquer the greater part of the known world. His heirs would continue his conquest right to the edge of western society. The world feared the Mongols, and Genghis. Now, you can benefit, as a writer from the lessons he has to impart on how, with the changing world of publishing, you can perfect your work and write not only good material for this new age of book publishing. But can write great work for this new age.

10 simple lessons, and you will be on your way to conquering the bookshelves of the 21st century. This short book will have you learning all you really need to know to elevate your writing to the next level. These simple lessons will start you on the road to better writing as a member of the Horde in no time.

Feedback

If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

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