Life starts all over
when it gets crisp in the fall…
One of my favorite quotes, from my all-time favorite novel, The Great Gatsby, is when secondary character Jordan says, “Life starts all over when it gets crisp in the fall.” It always gives me a chill of exitement. Maybe it’s all those years of being a student and the sense of expectation, that this school year would be the one when everything was different and my life changed and got exciting. (My father always called the school years, “the best years of your life”. But they certainly weren’t for me.)
The Celts believed
the wheel of the seasons began on November first, and they celebrated the end of the old year on October 31. This celebration was called Samhain, which became our Halloween. On this night, the Celts believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was very thin and the spirits of your ancestors might visit you. They had feasts so that there would be food to feed their spirit guests, and it’s likely some of the rituals we associate with Halloween—dressing in costume and carving faces on turnips and other vegetables (they didn’t have pumpkins in Europe), were ways to scare off the spirits, in case they were vengeful or malevolent.
I like the idea of autumn
being a time of new beginnings, especially in terms of writing. My garden is dying, which means I can invest more of creative and physical energy into writing. Instead of nurturing plants, I will nurture my book, and watch my characters come to life and grow and show me the way in the story. Fall brings the death of many plants, but they leave behind seeds and roots, the promise of new life in the future. Fall connects our past, scary or wonderful as it is, with a new beginning and a new opportunity.
Learn the words you overuse and make a list for when you edit your book. Add to the list when you find new words you overuse. Then you can do a search for the offending words and eliminate most of them before you start the rest of the editing process.
The most successful writers develop a brand and stick to it. Even if you write in different genres, you need to create a sense of what links your books, and promote that. My brand is intense, passionate stories that connect to the past. Even when I write lighter, more humorous stories, or create modern characters, there is a thread of seriousness beneath the humor and some connection to another historical time period.
The idea for Lady of Steel
came to me over 20 years ago, and I even wrote a completely different version back then. But I think I had to get grow older (and hopefully wiser) to really understand the crux of the story. Women in medieval times had very little power. I wanted to show how a medieval woman, without stepping outside of traditional female roles, could take charge of her life. And of course, she needed a hero who would appreciate her for who she was, and admire her strength and resolve. Lady of Steel is the first book in my Medieval Ladies series. I hope readers enjoy Nicola’s and Fawkes’s story.
LADY OF STEEL, The first book in the Medieval Ladies Series, Coming in early 2018
One rapturous hour together sparks unforgettable passion between Lady Nicola and Fawkes de Cressy. But when Fawkes returns from the horrors of the Crusades, he discovers Nicola is surrounded by a web of treachery. The battle-hardened knight and secret, wary woman must learn to trust each other. For only if they dare to allow the soul-stirring magic their bodies share grow into love can they escape the ruinous plot that threatens to destroy all their dreams.
Mary Gillgannon is the author of sixteen novels, mostly romances set in the dark age, medieval and Regency time periods. She’s married and has two children. Now that they’re grown, she indulges her nurturing tendencies on four very spoiled cats and a moderately spoiled dog. When not writing or working—she’s been employed at the local public library for twenty-seven years—she enjoys gardening, reading and travel..