April 14, 2024

And Here We Go!

Down to the last two chapters for The Dubious Commode, and I have a last-minute time off arrangement for this coming Friday (a desperately needed one, btw, since I'm getting way too close to burning out at the day job). That'll add to my writing time, which will also mean my first dive into Voices in the Briars. So excited! And with that said, I finally have something a little more substantial to share about the next book.

SETTING: As a nod to the grotesque legend surrounding Elizabeth Báthory, I decided to set the story in Hungary. Obviously an AU version of the country since there's vampirism and dark magic at work, but I'm also (as usual) dipping into my Catholic background and will be working a lot of Catholic imagery, iconography, and tradition to the story. And as always, we're looking at somewhere in the early to mid-19th century for the timeline though it won't be clear / specified. That's always been my preferred period when it comes to writing historical fiction though I've dipped into earlier eras before. 

GENRES: While obviously a gothic horror, it's got an equal serving of gay romance since the POVs will switch from one character to another. So -- a gothic gay romance, then. My books are always HEA or HFN in that rare occasion (The Glass Minstrel) since I prefer to offer readers an escape and a more hopeful take on the future in spite of my own cynicism (which is a character flaw of mine, frankly). There's also that mix of fairy tale / folklore since the book's a retelling of "Bluebeard", so I hope to run wild with that. 

EXTRAS: Even though I can't find the actual text for the Estonian variant of the fairy tale, I'm using it, anyway, as inspiration for the resolution because compared to Perrault's version, I prefer it. That is, in the Estonian variant, it's the bride's childhood friend who's poorer / humbler than the bride's family in the French variant who ultimately rescues her. There won't be any rescuing in my book; rather, it's more of a joint effort at escaping and destroying. 

Oh, and here's a doozy. Two songs I've added to my playlist for this book (which I aim to listen to while I write) can't be any weirder when taken as a combo. But they make a hell of a lot of sense in my world. So firstly, childhood innocence:

I've seen different interpretations of the song online, but I've always thought of it as a song of almost painful hope. That's coming from a place of experience, though, and an unhealthy amount of bitterness aimed at humanity in general. But I still remember how it was like being a child, and I love the imagery in the song. It might be sentimental, but it's key to establishing the relationship between Lóránt Kárpáthy and Alexander Dávid Bodnár. 

Of course, to really, REALLY counteract that, we've got:

There are no devils or demons in the book unless one considers vampires as such. That said, this specific composition sets the mood perfectly and highlights a ton of stuff about Gyula Boros. I'm not spoiling much by talking superficially about my characters and the book's general story idea -- there's nothing much to spoil, seeing as how it's a retelling of "Bluebeard", but everything else going on in the background is my secret to keep until the time comes to unveil them. Many of them, anyway. 

Did I say I'm excited? I'm excited. Totally stoked.

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