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Writing historical fiction: sometime journal of a New York City novelist

a guest blog from the author of A VIOLET SEASON, New York State 1898


This rainy and pre-hurricane day in NYC, I want to extend a warm welcome to Kathy Leonard Czepiel, the author of A Violet Season, a historical novel set on a Hudson Valley violet farm on the eve of the twentieth century. I found her book the old-fashioned way: browsing in a book shop! Kathy is the recipient of a 2012 creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and her  Read More 
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The Next Big Thing: Find Out What I'm Working On

Elizabeth Barrett Browning about the time of her marriage
Writers are tagging writers in this new questionnaire going around the web. What's the next big thing we're working on? Thanks to historical novelist Christy English for tagging me!

What is your working title of your book?
ELIZABETH’S ROOM. I am sure we won’t end up with this title!

Where did the idea come from for the book?
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just a little bit of news of my daily life...

LIRR Penn Station NYC - I was going to Track 21 (see sign!)
I have been very slow to write here...a very full day and I always want to find another eight hours somewhere because I need them. I wrote in such a frenzy of creativity this morning that I could not bear to stop. Off to physical therapy for a small rotary cuff injury: too  Read More 
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"I'm late!" said the White Rabbit (and the author)

...."I'm late." Which is what I seem to be these days but at least I am moving ahead in several areas. We are preparing my first two novels (NICHOLAS COOKE and THE PHYSICIAN OF LONDON) as e-books which is taking some time as they must be scanned (no electronic copies available) and proofed etc. so the first one will be available by the end of August. The two books got marvelous reviews and the second won the American Book Award. And finally I am spending serious hours on pulling the draft of the concluding book of the trilogy together. I have been working on it in bits over the years but I think this is the time for it to flower. Read More 
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all sorts of new and lovely things in this writer's life

with writer Kimberly Eve at the Cloisters
Well no, I have not finished revising my novels...and that is plural! Two are competing for my attention and one of them better be off to my agent/publisher by the end of summer! I went to a panel on historical fiction last night at the NYC branch of The Women's National Book  Read More 
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a new Indie novel about a young singer debuts

I am so delighted to welcome novelist Susan Dormady Eisenberg to my blog. Susan is the author of THE VOICE I JUST HEARD, a coming-of-age story about a young soprano who wants to sing musicals on Broadway and the rather lost, utterly appealing baritone with whom she falls in love.

In addition to asking  Read More 
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waiting for snow in New York City and finishing a draft of my new novel

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Oh snow will come! I remember climbing over the great heaps of it last year!

I have finished my novel THE BROWNINGS and have just sent it to my agent...and after much discussion, praise, and thoughts, it's felt I should revise some more. So you can't pre-order yet on Amazon or reserve it at your favorite bookshop. Back to the computer!

To let you know, THE BROWNINGS is the story of the lovely, extraordinarily gifted poet Elizabeth Barrett who in 1845 had not left her father's London house for five years after much serious illness and family tragedy. Into her life came the handsome rising poet Robert Browning, several years younger than she, who fell madly in love with her.  Read More 
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On the road with still more readings

I wonder if I should subtitle this "HAVE LAPTOP, WILL TRAVEL." This week I had a chance to read from Claude & Camille with my power point presentation at two more wonderful libraries. Tuesday I was at Commack in Long Island; I pulled my suitcase through many puddles and waited for connecting trains under my red umbrella, but in spite of the weather we had a lovely audience. Thursday I was at the Warren Township Library New Jersey where the congenial program director drove me back and forth to the train. The near-half moon  Read More 
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<b>Guest Post: a novel in poetry about Shakespeare's theater days </b>

Michelle Cameron’s book In the Shadow of the Globe is exquisite and unusual – a historical novel told in poems centering around the real man Shakespeare in his journey from a struggling sensual playwright in London 1593 to a writer growing old. The poems, which are immediate and highly accessible, tell the story of Shakespeare’s acting fellows as well in this little theater world of the Globe which is now beyond famous. The main thread of the story are the poems from the point of view of Mary Burbage, a member of the great Burbage acting family, who watches and loves Shakespeare but can never tell him.

Michelle, what was the inspiration for this novel?

First of all, thanks, Stephanie, for letting me revisit my “labor of love!”  Read More 
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On tour for CLAUDE & CAMILLE

me (the smallest one) with part of the audience
The West Hampton Long Island Library was my latest stop on my continuing little tour of my novel with the marvelous PowerPoint presentation created by my husband. The screen was large and lovely; the pictures are of Claude at 25 and a thoughtful portrait of Camille by their friend Auguste Renoir. My grateful thanks to  Read More 
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