Many of you know I’ve spent the winter working on a new volume of historical fiction. Ella Wood is a sequel to my middle grade novel, The Candle Star. (It’s free. See my sidebar.) Due to reader request, I decided to follow Emily Preston home to South Carolina and continue her story. However, as Emily is now 16 and standing on the brink of Civil War (and as most of my readers continue to be grownups), I choose to make Ella Wood young adult instead of middle grade. As such, I’ve doubled the length and added some romance. It will be the first in a trilogy that takes Emily all the way through the end of the war.
Ella Wood has been stretching me in ways I hadn’t imagined. First, I’ve never been much of a romantic, so including a love triangle has proven extremely challenging. Also, though I’ve written several works of historical fiction, they’ve never been of such ambitious lengths. In addition, there’s a good deal of research required, as you can well imagine. I love it, but it takes copius amounts of time. Then, of course, I have to be careful to write inside that historical box. I’ve even found that characterization changes when you have twice as long to illustrate a personality–and you end up with twice as many characters! Definitely a stretcher for me. But I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge.
I still have some work ahead of me. I hardly dare give a release date more specific than “May”. It’s a whole new ballgame and none of my estimates have proven accurate. It will be done when it’s done, and that won’t be till I’m completely satisfied with it. But I thought it was time to make introductions anyway.
Over the next weeks, I’ll be including a few posts about Ella Wood‘s creation. I’ll let you in on some of the background details and share a few fascinating tidbits I uncovered in my research. My husband and I also journeyed to Charleston, South Carolina at the end of last year for some on-site exploration. I’ll share some of the highlights (and some great pictures!). I hope, through my chronicle of posts, that you can get an idea of what goes into the production of a novel and that you’ll share my excitement for its upcoming release.
First post coming soon! I’ll collect them all in the “Ella Wood” category way down my sidebar.