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Posts Tagged ‘Short Shorts’

History

The location of the lord or ladies home in London is always something I spend time over. And each time I then research the square I use or re-research it. I have used St. James Square a few times as well as others.

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As St. James Square has a wealth of Georgian architecture, setting it as the location of our heroes or heroines seems apropos.

The square has long been one of the three or four most fashionable addresses in London, so obviously a place to plant one of or more of our Regency Lords or Ladies. The center of the square holds a statue of William III dating to 1808. The square was laid out by Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans after the Earl had been given a lease on the lands until 1720 by Charles II in 1662. In 1665 the king granted the freehold of the site to the earl’s trustees. The square was convenient located to the royal palaces of Whitehall and St. James. In the 1720’s the square was home to seven dukes and seven earls, very poplar indeed.

One has to look close to notice the windows are more widely spaced on the square then other parts of the West End, that the ceilings are higher, the plots are deep and thus some homes had very large amounts of accommodation. Leading architects designed the interiors such as John Soane (1753-1837), Robert Adam (1728-1792) and Matthew Brettingham (1699-1769).

The southern side of the square was the less fashionable side with plots only sixty feet deep and 22 feet wide. Originally facing Pall Mall with Pall Mall numbers. Things changed in the 1830s, at the end of the Regency with the arrival of club-houses about the square.

In period residents were the Earls and Marquesses of Bristol #6. Chatham House, the home of William Pitt the Elder, #10. #19 is the home of the Dukes of Cleveland. Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn lived at #20. Norfolk house which is the London residence of the Dukes of Norfolk is #31. Samuel Pepys Cockerell and Charles Robert Cockerell built #32 between 1819-1821.

In the years after the Regency the square will become home to the London Library, the East India Club, the Army and Navy Club and even now the headquarters of BP.

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Interview/Giveaway

Once again I was Interviewed, this time at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews I mentioned this in the last blog, so now I will provide here the post of that interview for your entertainment. Though please click on the hyperlink and have a visit at Laurie’s site.

INTERVIEW

How did you start your writing career?

I’ve always liked stories. Hearing them, reading them, and then thinking about what happened next. That led to my own stories and the desire to write down the best ones so others could partake of them as well.

Who is your favorite author?

When writing a regency romance, then Georgette Heyer is my favorite author. But when not in the mode, for the sheer joy of the story, Charles Dickens is my favorite. I think he understood telling a story best and I like to think when I tell a story, others find I capture their interest as he captured mine.

Where do you research for your books?

I have an extensive library of books, over 1000 on history, culture, architecture. The needs that one as a genre writer uses. Now though we have wikipedia and google maps. Both of which are invaluable to me. When places some lords manor house, I can zoom down to great detail and see the lay of the land. It is much less expensive then flying to England and checking for myself, though should my books breakout, I’m on the next plane!

Does your significant other read your stuff?

When I was courting my SO, one of the things that united us was my writing her a romance. It was my first foray into Regency and we had met at a regency dance. As I crafted the story, she read it, but since, I have to twist her arm. It makes me wonder, especially since there is a question about it, if others have the same difficulties with their spouses.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I do, but I am always looking for more. I think I produce more than they can handle. I took a critique class as part of getting a writing certificate from Cal State Fullerton some years ago. The group from that class continues to meet once a month for over a decade now. They are my first line of readers, and recently I have started a new writing group after relocating. Every writer needs more than their own pair of eyes on their work.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

I have an extensive collection of music and over the last few years digitized everything onto the computer. I need the background of music to be my white noise to keep the distractions away. To allow me to concentrate. So I let it go onto shuffle play. It is one giant jukebox. Classical, opera, rock, pop, soundtracks. Can you imagine the expense before recorded music if i were to write with quill and ink? I would need a large orchestra, and many singers sitting outside my window serenading me. But then should they choose a selection I just did not want to hear, the fast forward button would be shouting, ‘Next Song!’ which would make one just a little guilty.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading Maggie Secara’s Molly September. A piratical romance by a good friend. Before that, I just finished books 9 & 10 in Simon Scarrow’s Macro and Cato series. The Gladiator and The Legion.

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I am working on that. Two series actually. They are both fantasies. The first I started over 20 years ago (don’t all of us who write in the genre have such a series in their drawer?) Both have political, economic overtures. The first was conceived as a trilogy with a coup d’etat, civil wars, and magic. The second is more the avenging hidden prince, but I threw a unique device of an imperial game contest (others have that device as well, I suppose.) In order to succeed our hero must win the contest, but also must have the entire empire ready to back him. At the beginning he is a boy, he may have the right to succeed, but he has not earned it. By the end of the series, after a long dangerous road, he will have earned the right. Here there is no magic other than very active pantheon of Gods who push and pull at their faithful to get things going the way they wish.

The Writing Life

Aside from maintaining communications with the web and internet this week, I worked on Space Short 2 and Jane Austen and Ghosts. Jane Austen and Ghosts should be released this week.

One of the last things to mention, is my book landing page, that I am using to direct traffic to showcase the works I have done. If you are interested, or would like to comment on it, please stop by at David’s Page

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I have spent two weeks actually thinking about writing a blog post everyday and have yet to have done so until now.

One reason I think is that sales have slowed to half of what they were before. That is the wrong direction. I wanted things to keep going. I had one negative review of my work, and checking with the positive reviews I have had, it seems to be the reviewer not liking the tone I take to write dialogue.

That is a shame for I think that my dialogue provides mood, and gives one an idea for the Regency.

In any case the statistics for September were very good.

169 books sold.

Here at mid October we are at 54 units sold.

I did a great deal of work on the Jane project and finished the second draft as well. I think the price point is going to be $3.99 for an ebook and 8.99 for a physical book.

It is in the hands of three friends who are critiquing and reading it. I hope they will finish soon so I can get it out to the world.

But that means while waiting I should continue on with my Space story. The passion for it comes and goes. And with less than 2 weeks before NaNoWriMo, I have to get working on the plot for that as well.

Tentatively called the Other Shoe. As with past years it will be a Regency Romance

When the cliche, the shoe is on the other foot, becomes more reality than fiction, Lady Barbara Winhampton does not know if she is in love, or if she is being spitefully treated in retribution for all the men she has spurned these two seasons in London. Suitor after suitor came to profess their love and she would have none of them until she met the heir to Duke Stanfield. Michael Hope Montgomery Baxter, Viscount Devon and one day the eight Duke, took one look at her and then gave her the cut direct.

Yet only the moment before that she had seen him, and knew, beyond any doubt, that he was the husband she had been waiting for.

Stayed tuned to see what happens and what I do.

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Another book bites the dust. The Fastest Love on Earth finished at just over 98,200 words. Time of course for the next. This will be the first in my Short Shorts series, A Trolling We Will Go.

But to date we are near 400K words for the year. Still at a pace of 40K per week. The beginning of the third chapter of The Fastest Love on Earth is posted here for review:

3) The Venture is a Great Success

The storm had not helped his disposition, nor the actions of his brother. His sullen mood was enough to try anyone’s patience. He did have a mind to cut him off of the two thousand a year he allowed him. His inheritance from their father was a mere three hundred and Kevin made up the difference out of his own goodness.

It was near midnight as he sat in the drawing room of his Liverpool home with Fawkes and drank to put the day behind him. “I suppose you will tell me that it could have been worse.”

“I would but you know that to be true,” Sir Horatio said. “Besides it is Hampton’s job to always be telling us what we already know to be true.”

Kevin laughed, “Indeed that is so. I thought that Bartholomew and his actions were horrendous, we are fortunate that we did not take Baron Hampton from his pleasures in Town for this farce.”

The room was comfortable and there was not room for many more in it. Perhaps three others. It was not a house for entertaining greatly. Six could sit at the dining table. It was designed to lodge the Earl and a very few others when he had business in Liverpool as he did. Just as the Manchester house was designed for a similar purpose. He had not even changed the wall coverings of those who he had purchased the houses from.

Now that the railroad was complete, he might sell the homes, or having no need to venture north so often any longer, lease them for long terms. He had trained four men so that if he chose he could invest in other endeavors of this railway sort. Those men had near all found something better to do that day. Kevin knew it was because they feared to meet his brother. He did not treat his hirelings like servants but men whose opinions he had come to respect and trust, else they would not be embarked on new railways and ventures that would see England embrace the new age that was come.

Bartholomew treated all men that were beneath him stature whether by one slight rank, or by generations of lord to commoner, as if all were peasants. Kevin loved his brother as he should, but most times found the boy exasperating and wished to box his ears even though a man grown near thirty.

“Yes, I have no doubt that were Hampton here we should hear a litany of complaints against the day as if each were your fault, and it would be repeated constantly. A small miracle that he remained in Town. In the end though, you must be commended for you did try to talk to Wellington and convince him beforehand not to attend or make a spectacle of the day.”

Kevin let out a brief laugh, “Ha, did you see the band trudging back from when we left them in Parkside. Still walking when we passed them and we finally arriving over six hours later than we thought we would. Ten hours of travel to do what, seventy miles. Certainly could ride that should I wish to.”

Horatio shook his head, “But you would not have been able to carry six hundred people to do so as this day proved could be done. And were people not throwing things at the trains, or standing at the tracks we would have arrived considerably sooner. Even on time should the tragedy not have struck Mister Huskisson or those two engines colliding. No brakes, that is something that I should laugh at. Some of your partners were not thinking well this day.”

“I do not know if I shall ever laugh at the memory of this day. Nothing good came of it, I am sure,” Kevin said.

Horatio did laugh, “Well on that you are wrong. Very wrong and you will own to it. Lady Rockingham came of this day and that was very good indeed. Were I you, I would not try and deny it.”

Kevin looked at the decanter he had placed on the low table between them and then reached for it, pouring and offering for Horatio who shook his head. “I shall not argue there but what was the woman thinking? To bring children out on this day and with only a nurse, no male chaperone. It is not done? Did she expect that Stafford was to be that person? I lose respect for the man every time I think of him.”

“You fault him too much for many things I am sure that he is not at all responsible for. I shall grant you the clearances for the man was heartless then, but he does much else that supports the nation. You both have spent your wealth on today’s endeavor and without you it should not have been done. To be the first nation to host these steam locomotives must make us the envy of every other nation.”

Kevin knew that some of that was very true. But one must have a nemesis and Stafford fit the bill so well. “I shall spend some time reconsidering my feelings for the man. I expect though that I shall hold him to blame more than most for the way this day turned out. They all waned to make the day a spectacle and did not think that we should allow our opening to be something without fanfare. Perhaps history will mark me wrong and make the events of the day momentous. I for one though am quite glad that they are over.”

Horatio nodded, “I agree with that sentiment, now more of that excellent whisky and we shall talk of a pleasanter subject. You can not blame Lady Rockingham for her joining the adventure this day. It must be the grandest thing in all the north and you saw how the two young boys so much wanted to be a part of it.”

Dorchester smiled, “Well Lord Peter assuredly. Very nice young gentlemen. You remember the father of course?”

“Man died owing me ten pounds. It is in the betting book. I naturally consider it nothing and would not worry the widow. Didn’t even think to mention it but it shall serve as a topic of conversation when next we meet. Not that I desire the money, just the ability to renew the acquaintance,” Horatio mused on the subject.

“Rockingham did not owe me such but he certainly was a man I would give the cut direct to and had on occasion. I suppose I heard he was married though I have never met the lady until today. He did not flaunt her in society as he did his mistresses and other women.”

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