I am delighted to have been tagged by the talented Maria Karamitsos in The Next Big Thing blog tour! The idea is to hop from blog to blog to discover exciting authors and their books we might not have heard about or that are still Works in Progress (WIP). This is Week 21.
The hop rules require me to answer predetermined questions, and then at the bottom of my post, to list links to authors who will answer the same questions on their blogs next Wednesday. So, let’s get started.
1) What is the working title of your book?
The Greek Maiden and the English Lord.
2) Where did the idea come from for your book?
Every year, the Greeks celebrate Greek Independence Day on March 25th, which marks the day when the Greeks broke away from the Ottoman rule. I began researching the topic a few years ago, which eventually led to my book. Greece had been under the Ottoman rule for hundreds of years, but after the French Revolution, in 1814, a group of students outside of Greece formed the “Filliki Etairia,” or “Friendly Society.” This underground movement formed the groundwork for the 1821 revolt. On March 23, 1821, the town of Patras was set on fire by the Ottomans and several people perished. Many Greek women and children were taken as slaves by the Ottomans. The idea for my novel resulted from the question “What happened to the women and children on that day and beyond?” Also, I am a romantic at heart, and have a soft spot for Cinderella-type stories where the virtuous and good heroine is down on her luck but is loved by a good and gentle prince or nobleman.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
The genre is historical romance.
4) Which actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?
I particularly liked Kate Winslet in the Sense and Sensibility movie (with Emma Thompson). She is attractive and blond like Lily and has a sympathetic character.
Jeremy Northam from the movie Possession would make a dark, handsome Edward.
5) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
During the 1800s, a gypsy girl searches for her real parents in England and finds love in the process.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I published this book through a print-on-demand publisher Virtualbookworm.com
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took me about two and a half years to research and write it. This was the first time I attempted a historical novel, so there was an intense period of research that needed to be done before the writing began. I researched the 1800s, particularly the culture of England, what clothes they wore, what foods they ate, as well as other things.
8) What other books would you compare this story to?
My story has been compared to Jane Austen’s works.
9) Who or what inspired you to write the book?
Although I was born in Greece, I was raised up in America. I was a career woman all my life, working in the fields of biology and healthcare. When I married and became a stay-at-home mother, my life changed, and I had more time on my hands. There was always this urge inside me to write a novel, but I never had found the time before. Now at home, I found the time, so I began to write stories related to Greece. I have a wonderful, loving relationship with my husband, and he has been my inspiration in writing my love stories.
10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It is 1831, and sixteen-year-old Lily, a gypsy, learns from Mirella her gypsy grandmother that her real parents are an Englishman and a Greek heiress. Shocked by the news, Lily questions her identity.
Her search for her parents begins not only a journey that physically transports her to England, but a coming-of-age journey of self-discovery. Finding out from cousins that her father is away in the Indies and her mother presumably dead from the war with the Ottomans, Lily is sent to a boarding school in York. There she abandons her gypsy way of life and learns how to dress, walk, and act like a lady.
Lily adjusts to life in England, and eventually returns to her familial home. The events that follow, stir up in her the dark, hidden past that she had buried all these years in her psyche. Flashbacks reveal the trauma she experienced as a child during the Greek war of independence against the Ottomans. She secretly falls in love with Edward, a handsome nobleman, but he is engaged to another. Haunted by her past, will Lily overcome her fears to face what awaits her?
The book in its totality is now available for free until January 2013:
Click Here to Read
Next Wednesday please visit these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing!
Marva Gregorio De Souza
Thank you for visiting me and I hope you enjoyed yourself!