Tag Archives: Dark Angels

i don’t know what i’m doing

Sometimes I’m asked in what order someone should read my books. I guess this is because some of the same characters appear in three of them, and the second follows the action of the first, so I have kinda-sorta written a series.

But the third precedes the first if you want to consider date when plot takes place, and the fourth precedes the third on that basis, too. And now the fifth follows the third, but is still before the first.

Are you with me?

I think it doesn’t matters in what order you read. Read whichever one comes your way, and, if pleased,  go from there. Each book is written to stand alone: a full-fledged story with beginning, middle, end. But chronologically, it’s fourth, third, fifth (unfinished, too bad, so sad), first, second if you have to follow the ruler of time.

As the one who writes them, I find remote, bemused bewilderment in the way they have unfolded in my imagination. The first one was written to heal over a great hurt. The second one was written because the publisher made an offer people I trusted insisted I couldn’t refuse. The third one was written because that’s what was there for me to do when I left a regular job I’d gone to because writing fiction seemed too hard (not as hard as stupid politics at a low level job). The fourth one was written because it was the one I’ve been trying to write since the second.  A piece had tumbled out as a plot device in the third. That was when I realized how large a particular story of interest to me (Louis XIV and some of his relationships) was, and that my mistake had been to try to fit that story into one book. So I just wrote another piece of Louis’s story for the fourth.

Now that Before Versailles is finished, I am taking one thread of it to unfurl it forward into the time period of Dark Angels, and those characters, Richard and Alice, are back on stage.

But then the book after this one, six, if I’m counting correctly, will again look backward to Alice’s girlhood, to when she first becomes a maid of honor and a particular period of history I want to show readers. So it will precede Dark Angels chronologically.

And then, and only then, will I be ready to go forward to the early 18th century in which Barbara, the character of the first and second novels, lived. I think there is one more novel about her, but since I’m in the first draft of another novel, I can’t imagine finishing this one, much less contemplating doing another.

Is there psychic order to my madness, or am I just insane?  It is very stupid marketing on my part to write out of order. However, I can’t force my imagination to go anywhere it doesn’t wish to. It’s worse than a mean mule or a insistent toddler. I am not in charge. In fact the more I write, the less I know about writing.

 

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maze

I can’t find the story yet. There are 50,000 words in the computer, but there isn’t a story. This always happens, but because it takes me several years to write a book, I always forget. When I was writing Before Versailles, it was two very rough drafts before I realized the story was Louis XIV’s. It took forever and a day to find what the heartbreak would be for Barbara in Through a Glass Darkly and then build around it. In Dark Angels, I played for months with a romance between Princess Henriette and Monmouth, none of which I used, and thought for awhile I was writing the Louis XIV story I wanted to write….not.

Why do I wander aimlessly for so long? What do you do when you’re lost in the maze? You know this is why writers drink.

Psychic order

Sometimes I’m asked in what order someone should read my books. I guess this is because some of the same characters appear in the three which are published. First, I think it doesn’t matter. Read whichever one comes your way, and go from there. Each book is written to stand alone: a full-fledged story with beginning, middle, end. But as the one who writes them, it is very interesting to me the way they have unfolded in my imagination. The first one was written to heal over a great hurt. The second one was written because the publisher made an offer I couldn’t refuse. The third one was written because that’s what was there for me to do when I left a regular job. The fourth one is being written now because it’s the one I’ve been trying to write since the second.  A piece of it tumbled out in the third. That was when I realized how large this particular story (Louis XIV) was, and that my mistake had been to try to fit that story into one book. So now I write another piece of that story. And when it is finished, I will take one thread and unfurl it forward into the time period of Dark Angels, and those characters, Richard and Alice, will come back on stage. But then the book after, six, if I’m counting correctly, will again look backward to Alice’s girlhood. And then, and only then, will I be ready to go forward to the early 18th century in which Barbara, the character of the first and second novels, lives. Somehow, there’s a psychic order. I must finish with Louis XIV and Alice before I can begin again with Barbara. It’s as if I threw a rock in a pond, and the rock was the first book, and these which come after are the ripples in my imagination. Those basic themes of what is love, what is forgiveness, what is redemption just keep widening.