So, with a reasonably clean first draft of Book of Secrets sent out to the generous souls who volunteered to be beta readers, naturally I needed to start another project – if only to keep me from chewing my nails down to the knuckles while waiting for responses. And very fortunately, one floated into my head the day after I sent out Book of Secrets.
“It’s not going to be another Renaissance story,” I told the family. “I’m going to do a third book in the Regency fantasy series.”
There was sort of a collective sign of relief from friends and family. A general sense of, “Thank God, she’s going to quit telling us interesting things about the Italian Renaissance. And a Regency fantasy – that’s nice, a light romance, no more icky details.”
Then the new book took a dark turn into the Regency underworld. That’s something I haven’t researched much, so I’ve been reading like crazy (and checking the mail three times a day for a book I ordered that sounds as if it would be really useful.) And, yes, learning a lot of interesting things about the seamier side of Georgian/Regency life.
“Did you know that sometimes criminals on their way to be hanged were made to get out of the cart and lie down in their future graves to make sure that they’d fit?”
“I want to use Half-Hanged Smith as a character. He’s the guy who was hanging for fifteen minutes before his reprieve arrived but when they cut him down he wasn’t quite dead. Only I think I’ll have the resurrection-men cut him down instead.”
Cue another collective sigh from friends and family. Why, they want to know, am I not writing about waltzes at the Assembly Rooms?
Well, that’ll be there too. But it’s not a source of new and interesting detail. Unlike… say, did I tell you how to make a flute from a human bone? See, first you boil the bone…