For The King: the latest, and new directions

For those new to the blog, For The King is my second novel.So what’s up? For one thing, the publication date is summer 2010. I even know of the specific month, but will wait until it is carved in stone to announce it here. This in turn triggers a series of deadlines: choice of title, of cover art, final editing, galleys, etc.

Madame Recamier Eulalie MorinFor the past few months, I have begun working with my new editor at Dutton, Erika Imranyi. Fascinating to have a different angle, all the more so that Erika’s background includes thrillers.

I already mentioned one of Erika’s prior ideas, to include a cameo appearance of Bonaparte. And guess who showed up, uninvited but most welcome: Joséphine herself! And that also gave Joseph Fouché, Minister of Police, an opportunity to impart his point of view.

Now Erika suggested I write a few new scenes, with Blanche as a point-of-view character. She is right in that it will give more balance to an otherwise rather masculine novel. The illustration for this post is another portrait of Juliette Récamier, the physical inspiration for Blanche, this time by Eulalie Morin.

But, will you say, then we have a fourth point-of-view character. Oh yes, certainly, but multiple points of view are quite appropriate in thrillers (and also work very well in many novels that happen not to be thrillers, like the works of Trollope, which I greatly admire.)

 All this led me to a very personal question: why had I tried in the beginning to give this second novel such a different tone from Mistress of the Revolution? The obvious answer is that I write in great part for my own selfish pleasure, and writing twice the same novel would have been boring.

But there was another reason: the characters of my first novel had so strong a grip on my mind that I needed to break away forcefully from them. Now it’s done, and I am ready to make For The King rejoin Mistress on many levels.

And this in turn points to a new direction. What if I were to write a third novel that would be a sequel both to Mistress and to For The King? We would find characters from both novels: Gabrielle, Aimée, Lord St. Ives (of which many readers wanted to know more than I gave away) and also Roch, our old friend Fouché, Bonaparte and the legendary Georges Cadoudal. The plot would take place in 1804, in Paris and London, against the background of a new Royalist conspiracy that was exploited by Bonaparte to crown himself Emperor of the French.

So do you think of this idea?

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