Wednesday, July 30, 2014

HF Virtual Book Tours Guest Post and Giveaway: The Queen's Exiles

Today, I am very excited to welcome Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Exiles to A Bookish Affair today.

We all have our favorite TV series. It might be the elegant Downton Abbey or the blood-and-passion drama of Game of Thrones. You may, like me, be a fan of both.

Writers of TV series face intriguing challenges. Before writing full time I enjoyed a twenty-year acting career, and one of the TV series I starred in a daytime drama called High Hopes. Its writers kept a story "bible," a record of the myriad details that had to be consistent from show to show concerning the dozens of characters.

It's a wise practice for the writer of a book series too.

My Thornleigh Saga books follow a family for three generations so it's easy to forget facts about a character that were covered three or four books ago. So I keep a "bible" that tracks the characters' ages, occupations, marriages, love affairs, children, ages of their children, homes, character traits, and physical details like color of hair . . . and missing body parts! Richard Thornleigh loses an eye in The Queen's Lady (Book 1) yet in later books I would often start to write things like, "His eyes were drawn to ..." So I keep that "bible" near.
Here are a few more things the author of a series needs to keep in mind

Each Book Must Stand On Its Own

An author can't assume that readers have read the previous books in the series. My agent always reminds me of this when I send him the outline for a new book in the Thornleigh Saga. "Many readers won't know what these characters have already been through," he wisely says. So each book has to give some background about what's happened to the main characters in the preceding books, enough to fill in new readers. However, it can't lay on so much back story that it bores readers who have followed all the books. Getting the balance right is tricky.

I like the way episodes of a TV series start with a recap: "Previously on Downton Abbey . . ." It refreshes the memory of viewers who've seen previous episodes, and is just enough to tantalize those who haven't and fill them in. I wish I could have an announcer give a recap at the beginning of my Thornleigh books! The point is, each book in a series has to stand on its own. It must be a complete and satisfying story for any reader.

Consistency Can Yield Rewards

When I had a brute cut Fenella Doorn's cheek in The Queen's Gamble I never expected Fenella to reappear in a future story. Two books later, when I brought her back in The Queen's Exiles, I could not ignore the fact that she would have a sizable scar on her cheek. So I used that scar to enrich her character.

She had been a beauty at eighteen, relying on men to support her, but when her cut face marred her beauty she realized that it was now up to her to put bread on the table and clothes on her back. I made her aware, even grateful, that the scar freed her from the bonds of beauty; it made her independent. And she became a successful entrepreneur.

Let Characters Age

It's hard for readers to believe that a hero can fight off bad guys like a young stud if the decades-long timeline of the books he appears in make him, in fact, a senior citizen. J. K Rowling was smart. She let Harry Potter and his friends grow up.

I've enjoyed letting my characters age. Through six books I've taken Honor Larke from precocious seven-year-old to wise grande dame as Lady Thornleigh. Her step-son Adam Thornleigh's first big role was in The Queen's Captive where he was an impetuous seafaring adventurer, but by the time of The Queen's Exiles Adam has become a mature man, a loyal champion of his friend Queen Elizabeth. He has been through a loveless marriage, adores his two children, and falls hard for Fenella.

I'm grateful that Fenella Doorn insisted I feature her in The Queen's Exiles. (By the way, that's her on the cover.) I'm already hearing from readers and reviewers that they love her. I hope you will too.


You have a chance to win this great book (U.S./ CAN)!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, June 16
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, June 17
Excerpt & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Friday, June 20
Guest Post & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 23
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, June 24
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Thursday, June 26
Guest Post at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Monday, June 30
Review at HF Book Muse-News
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, July 2
Guest Post & Giveaway at HF Book Muse-News
Monday, July 7
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Wednesday, July 9
Review at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, July 10
Guest Post & Giveaway at HF Connection
Friday, July 11
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Monday, July 14
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, July 16
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Thursday, July 17
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Friday, July 18
Interview at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Monday, July 21
Review at Always with a Book
Wednesday, July 23
Guest Post & Giveaway at Always with a Book
Thursday, July 24
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, July 25
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, July 28
Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, July 29
Review at The True Book Addict
Wednesday, July 30
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Thursday, July 31
Interview at Passages to the Past
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  1. This novel sounds fascinating. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. There are aspects of history in this book of which I was unaware. I didn't know that the Spanish occupied the Netherlands, how interesting. The plot sounds like a real thriller and yet, historical as well. I'd be very pleased to win a copy. Thanks

  3. Informative post. Thanks for the great advice.

  4. This my last chance to win the next installment of the Thornleigh saga. Please don't break my heart! Enter me in this giveaway. (I have ALL the books) Thank you. I like the point you were making about getting caught up in a series...sometimes I have to drop like Game of Thrones.

  5. Having each novel stand alone is important to me in a series.

  6. I love the idea of the 'bible' to keep track of the details. Small errors like you mention really can be distracting at times!


Hi! Welcome to A Bookish Affair. If you leave a comment, I will try to either reply here or on your site!

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