Yesterday I was blown away by Travis West’s (Darker Voice’s) wonderful words about Anatomy of a Darkened Heart. Travis isn’t a guy who likes any ol’ book or movie, so I was on tenterhooks as I read every word he wrote. Here’s a sample of his review: “The language is melancholy and beautiful, concise but with a Victorian flair that keeps you reading page after page, word after word.”
See Travis’ full opinion here, and if you want to learn more about the man himself, visit him here.
This month is Women in Horror month! To celebrate, David Spell from The Scary Reviews and Erin Al-Mehairi from Hook of a Book are co-hosting interviews of 20 female dark fiction and horror authors in 2 weeks. The interviews are short and sweet, and you’ll discover lots of new books you can’t resist. Read my and two other fabulous interviews here. And don’t forget to go through the other ones – they’re all so interesting, your TBR list will expand by the minute!
I’m proud to say that this month, I’m officially sponsoring a fantastic website dedicated to the Victorian Era, and it’s appropriately called The Victorian Era! Geerte researches 19th century history and shares fascinating information, including little-known facts and details that are hard to find without doing in-depth research.
My blog post on The Victorian Era website is “Symbolism in the Victorian Era“, and it will give you a good idea of just how crucial symbolism and its interpretation was in the 1800s. From fans to flowers, parasols to jewelry and beyond, everything meant something.
Hope you enjoy the post and the rest of Geerte’s wonderful site!
YA fantasy author Amie Winters just shared what’s on her nightstand – Victorian books! Anatomy of a Darkened is one of her current reads, and I’m beyond thrilled at her words about my book!
What I also love about her post is the Victorian ambiance she sets. If you want to know more about the real 1800s, the imperfect, darker side of it all, check out the links in her post, which range from killer clothing (no, but literally) to real live examples of Victorian shops. She also has some crazy pictures to make you smile.
We’ll be chatting and sharing bits of our books from noon to 9 p.m. Eastern Time, so drop by and hang out for a while. At 3:30 I’ll read a previously unshared excerpt from Anatomy of a Darkened Heart, and I’ll even post an excerpt from Locke and Keye, never before seen. My time slot is from 3:30 to 4:00, so be sure to stop by and chat.
I can’t believe how little I’ve told you about Locke and Keye, the second book in the Dark Victoriana Collection. Well, it’s time for a nice big update, including some secrets to look forward to. Shhhh… 😉
Music plays a huge part in my writing, especially to set the ambiance. There’s no better way for me to stop thinking about other responsibilities and get in the mindset to write. Music wipes my brain clean of everything else and lets me focus on creativity. There are a few specific songs that helped me write Anatomy of a Darkened Heart when I had a hard time concentrating. That’s the most frustrating thing for me, by the way – when I want to write but I’m too distracted. Or if I’m in the wrong mood for the piece I’m working on.
Let me introduce you to some music that helped put the “dark” in “darkened heart”. It’s all from the CD (yes, I own some CDs!) Funeral Music, which isn’t a spoiler. It’s just sufficiently tragic to suit the ambiance I needed in order to write AoDH properly.
Mozart’s Masonic funeral music
I consider this as close to a theme song as it gets. I listened to this song quite a lot during the writing of AoDH, and although it has a little bit too light of a feel in some sections, much of it tells of a complicated setting with ups and downs that suit the story. The smoothness of its transitions also struck me as appropriate for AoDH.
Mozart’s Requiem: Introït
Innocence and dynamism all at once. There’s a lot of delicate beauty and brooding to this piece that sounds a lot like internal turmoil. The uncertain ending makes it especially relevant.
Mozart’s Requiem: Lacrimosa
Again delicate, but in a ready-to-break kind of way, like watching the beauty of light glinting off falling glass. Doom is imminent and yet it’s too lovely too look away.
Bach’s Concerto for 2 violins in D minor: II Largo
This sounds exactly like proper Victorian etiquette to me, but I also love the idea of something wicked hidden underneath the layers. Everything is so beautiful and “stiff” in that Victorian way (in my mind), and seeing that shell of good manners, the layer that everyone on the outside might see, inspired the ideas behind Abigail’s and Elizabeth’s minimal and manipulative attempts to fit into society for their purposes. I picture a beautiful Victorian house and steadily rotting insides that no one realizes is quite as bad as it is.
Grieg’s Peer Gynt: The death of Åse
The sheer building sadness and drama of this music heavily drove the middle of the book as well as Abigail’s relationship with her mother in general. Actually, Abigail’s whole existence could really be defined by this theme.
Bach’s St. John Passion: “Ruht wohl”
Another solidly stiff piece that I feel represents the Victorian period well. I see a lot of outwardly hidden emotions when I listen to this one, a very controlled piece of music, much like most of the characters in AoDH.
Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater: Stabat Mater Dolorosa
There’s tradition in some of the chords and refrains in this piece. Also the feel of tragedy blends with voices and instruments that are almost indistinguishable at times. So many things can blend together if we’re not careful… Another theme in AoDH.
The second book in the Dark Victoriana Collection, Locke and Keye, is inspired by some of the same music, but for different reasons, and definitely not all the same music. There are additional pieces I’m listening to from this album that are more appropriate, and my vision changes completely for the pieces that do match AoDH’s inspiration.
Finding the perfect music to accompany my writing can be frustrating at first, but in the end it’s extremely satisfying to play something that slips me right into the necessary mood. It’s a good thing I don’t easily get sick of playing the same songs repeatedly!
Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Justin from IAT: Indie Author Tactics, who does indie author interviews, cover reveals, and more on The Novels network. Justin asked some great new questions that I hadn’t been asked before, so there’s some info you haven’t learned about Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and me as an author. Come find out just how much research AoDH took, the genres I don’t read or write, the difference in my own experience between writing a story and writing poetry, and more. Read it here!