The Briton and the Dane: Timeline
by Mary Ann Bernal
Genre: Historical Romance, Drama, Fiction & Literature
Word count: 56,802
Available from Amazon.
Dr. Gwyneth Franger, a renowned expert in early medieval England, is set upon learning the truth about the death of Lord Erik, the last descendant of the powerful House of Wareham. Her quest becomes an obsession, a condition that began with the discovery of a portrait of the tall and valiant warrior. Digesting troves of mildewed scrolls and source documentation only enhances her belief that Lord Erik was brutally assassinated by a cabal of traitors in the pay of William the Bastard, shortly before the onslaught of the Norman Invasion.
On an archeological dig in Southern England, Dr. Franger finds herself transported back to the Dark Ages and at the side of the noble Lord Erik who commands an army of elite Saxon warriors. Witnessing the unrest firsthand, Gwyneth senses that her instincts had been right all along, and she is determined to learn the identities of the treacherous blackguards hiding in the shadows, villains who may well be posing as Lord Erik’s friends and counselors.
The lowly sidekick, treated properly and bought a beer now and then, can be utilized as a very powerful writing trope or crutch or supercharger.
I’m not talking about the usual wingman, here, like Robin, Kato, Jimmy Olson, Chewbacca, or Tonto. Or comic relief roles like Tarzan’s Cheetah or Wild Bill’s Jingles. I’m talking about a second character that enables and expands the lead, becomes a necessary part or subset of the hero and allows or forces him to be more and do more.
It goes beyond even an essential, defining companion like Holmes’ Dr. Watson, who, don’t forget, is the first-person narrator of the Sherlock stories and extremely important to the narrative voice and shape of those books. Because there are possibilities deeper than that, which can possibly be of use in solving problems beyond the construction of your main character or the constellation of the principle figures, but the actual form and procedure of your story. Continue reading “Side Order of Kick: The Wind Beneath the Wingman”
Authors have a lot of blind spots when it comes to their own books. Writing the book turns out to be the easiest part of all the other stuff you have to do. A lot of authors have trouble selecting a passage to feature as a book excerpt. I believe there are two major reasons for this. The first (and probably the biggest contributing factor) is that the author knows the context of every scene in the book and is therefore unable to understand why someone reading the passage without context might not get it. The second reason is an almost paranoid impulse to prevent “spoilers.” A number of sites showcase book excerpts as either a stand-alone feature, or in combination with author interviews. A lot of authors also provide book excerpts on their own websites. It’s a good opportunity to get a sample of your writing out there in front of some readers (hopefully future fans) who may not yet be acquainted with your work. Of course if the sample falls flat the reverse effect is achieved. It’s worth putting a little thought into choosing the right excerpt. Here are a couple of considerations that may help you: Continue reading “Choosing a Book Excerpt”