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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Book Project: Marigold’s Masquerade

I like to read romance. I’ll admit that.

What I won’t admit is that I’m working on a romance book myself.

I just did.

Well, actually I’m quite shy of confessing of writing something like this. My biggest dream since I was 9 - when I managed to spell ‘insignificant’ correctly all by myself (also a word that would haunt me for too long) - was to become a fiction author.

Call it whatever you think I’m inflicted with. Singles awareness, bluestocking-loner, never-been-kissed, overly-sensitive-biological-clock, day-dream-addict, always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride status.

Just don’t you dare call it post-Valentine’s blues.

This is a serious project I had been working on for some years. It’s been put on hold due to my approaching final year. Another problem is that the market for fiction books in Malaysia is pretty darn small, so agents won’t take a pile of printed dust from an IT undergraduate,

Hahaha, enough crap. I’m finally admitting it because I don’t want to forget this venture of my heart. Kind of like a second stowaway compartment from my under-used PC folder in my hard-drive.

This story is a mystery-cum-romance set in the era of Victorian London in 1855 AD. It was also the same year that the British Prime Minister, Lord Aberdeen, stepped down because of poor management of the Crimean War.

It was not the overseas war against the Russians that Nate, Lord Evans, had in his mind recently. After his farms in Ireland had been struck by a potato famine, he was the secret owner of a domestic employment agency that had a dual-purpose; helping to replenish his income and find new positions for his Irish tenants.

But something was trying to bring down his small business enterprise. First it was just devious rumors. Then some near-fatal accidents. It was not long before those accidents were no longer so near-fatal...

Then came Marigold, a young girl of the London slums, desperate to find a maid’s job and keep herself and her sister off the streets. Nate knew it was fate in a flash of light - right at the moment when Marigold delivered a stinging right hook to his eye.

Annie Bright was torn between finding the murderer of her elder sister and securing safety for her younger sister from the darker denizens of London. When Lord Evans offered her a job, as a maid-of-work in his household - even after she blacken his eye - Annie knew it was fate brought with dread. For Lord Evans was her chief suspect...

Between the backgrounds of London, countryside Norfolk and gardens of Kent, both individuals danced a game of intrigue and danger while trying to hide both motives and secrets. Neither knew that their destinies were intertwined in one conclusion.

Cheap, it ain’t.

I have a lot of fascinations about England’s industrial revolution and the era of society during Queen Victoria. I’ve made a lot of research about how they lived, how they worked, what enlightens, what shames, etc. I just couldn’t help making up a story in a certain situation.

I plan to write Marigold’s Masquerade as the first of a series called The Wildflowers. The continuing tales looks at the many changes as England progresses, like the last of France’s Napoleonic dynasty, the pirates’ activity in the East Indies and the rise that triggered the American civil war.

Like I said, it ain’t cheap.

I’m working on the second chapter of this book and currently I’ve got 5/6 of the series plot outlined. My plan is to put it as an entry in 2008’s NaNoWriMo and the rest of the series as private collection (no, I won’t publish it until I’m more sure of the local market). I hope this doesn’t count as cheating.

2 Minds bloomed here too...:

KaV said...

i can oni imagine the amount of research u did wen it comes to Victorian-era England... Geography, hstory, culture... phew!

though i do not enjoy romance novels as opposed to crime and fantasy, i bid u good luck!

Quickening said...

@kav: I don't mind really because it facinates me. All of historical England facinates me. In fact, 'pimpernel' is a common English flower. :D

My biggest obstacle in writing this was trying to find common 'cockney' phrases (kinna like Bahasa-KL as opposed to Bahasa-Melayu).

I have an older book project called Suvon Reality. That's a fantasy and that's even more serious. I'll write a summary of that book project later. ;)

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