What is the title of your book?
The Burning Candle; my good friend Anita Davison at The Disorganised Author came up with the title.
Where did the idea come from for your book?
I wanted to write a follow-up to my first title set in medieval England, On Falcon's Wings, and started researching the period in which the book ended. Originally, I envisioned writing about the daughter of my hero and heroine in that book, a woman torn between two lovers. Then, I discovered the real-life heroine of The Burning Candle, Isabel de Vermandois, faced the same dilemma. The outline of the initial story went into the PC's recycle bin and Isabel became the focus of two years of intensive research.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
When I'm writing, pictures of what I imagine the characters might look like are an inspiration. I never imagine actors or actresses in the role, but if I had to:
Eva Green would be the adult Isabel de Vermandois, with auburn hair and gray eyes to match.
Vincent Cassel would be Isabel's jealous, controlling husband, Robert de Beaumont.
Henry Cavill would be Isabel's lover, William de Warenne.
Actually, that wasn't too hard to decide.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Isabel de Vermandois faces a difficult choice between duty to her husband and the desires of her heart.
Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
It's self published.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The idea born in 2008 became fully fleshed out in 2009. I wrote steadily and submitted to critique groups. Then I lost the original files in a fire in 2010. Again, Anita Davison and our good friend Mirella Patzer at History and Women came to the rescue. They had saved some of the submitted chapters and helped salvage Isabel's story when I thought it was lost forever.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Tough one - I hate to compare my work to other writers. I've been told it's royalty fiction; does that help? ETA: Having nothing better to do (like revise the next in the Sultana series), I pasted a section of my text into www.booksai.com - try it if you're bored. Apparently, this story is most comparable Alexandra Benedict's The Notorious Scoundrel (that sure sounds like William) or The Devil Wears Plaid by Teresa Medeiros. So, even if I think I don't wrote romance, I do? Hmm.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Isabel did. She lived at a remarkable time, where the Normans were altering England's history, government and language. Her husband was critical to these changes as was the king he served. Isabel's lover was the richest man of the period and he risked a great deal to be with her. I imagined life at the side of either of these men can't have been easy for Isabel.
What else about your book might peek the readers' interest?
If you want to be immersed in the medieval period, this might be the book for you. The nerd in me loves historical details because they lend authenticity to the story. My characters aren't modern-day figures in fancy dress - they lived, loved and died in tumultuous times. I hope my portrayal reflects the period and its personalities well.
Isabel begins life as someone in the control of others. She surrenders her will to the wishes of her parents and marries a significantly older husband. In the union and its numerous children, she did the duty expected of a medieval woman. With the introduction of her lover William, their relationship becomes a catalyst for Isabel’s growth and change. Her affair with William took some daring. I see it as a moment of decisive action. She went against convention, risking scandal and damnation in a world where people were obsessed with consequences for their immortal souls.
The Burning Candle is available now on Kindle, Smashwords and Kobo; Nook and paperback versions are coming soon. Here's the blurb:
Love is for women who have choices. She has none.
Now, to pick some