Friday, August 01, 2014

Lynne Connolly Newsletter, August 2014

A big month this month. New series, new release, new publisher and a return to the historical romance, specifically the Georgian romance.
In May, the new “Even the Gods Make Love” series was released over at Samhain. I’m passionately devoted to that series, and I’m lucky that the third book has just been contracted, but this is the month of the Emperors of London.

Speaking of which, I had a recent research trip to London that I enjoyed very much. I went to the British Library, and renewed my love for the Treasure Room, which contains such wonders as two copies of the Magna Carta and the original lyrics for “Help!” and “Hard Day’s Night,” both of whichy mean a lot to me in their different ways! And we got to sit on the golden book!
We also wen to the Dennis Severs House. This is less a museum, more theatre, and it’s magnificent. It’s set out as if the family who live in the house have just left the room. Its creator’s spirit is everywhere, and it’s his legacy to the world. Please, if you visit, remember what they ask and tour the house in silence. Immerse yourself. Listen to the carriages passing by in the street outside and the church bells ringing out to celebrate the new Queen (Queen Victoria!). It’s a magical place.
The Geffrye Museum has some wonderful room sets, with furniture from more modest houses through the ages. It also has a beautiful herb garden and one of the very nicest cafes I've ever known, with fantastic home-made food. I can personally recommend their apple and rhubarb crumble!
And I got to see Nelson’s Trafalgar coat at the NationalMaritime Museum in Greenwich! I knew they had his uniform, but I didn’t realise it was the coat that he was wearing when he received his fatal wound! And it looks so innocuous, just at collar bone level, but it shattered his backbone, and he was done for. So sad, but such a thrill to see the coat and the other Nelson relics. Did you know he had a laptop?
How exciting to see Prince Frederick's royal barge! He sailed down the Thames in style in this magnificent boat. 
We also went to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, to the Georgian exhibition, and you can just imagine how excited I was! It was as if the exhibition was just for me. Lots of descriptions of battles, and layouts of palaces, notably St. James’s Palace and Kensington Palace. I photographed them all. There were a lot of details of Culloden, for example, and since the “Emperors of London” concerns itself with the Jacobite Cause, that was absolutely wonderful!
We visited the newly reopened Imperial War Museum, and the new First World War galleries. It's a hundred years since war was declared, and the gallery is very moving and presents a clear picture of how events unfolded. Highly recommended and on August 4th I won't just be celebrating a new release, I'll be remembering that day and what it meant. 

Back to the books. I wanted this series to show the struggle for the throne in the 1750’s. It’s less known than the battles of 1715 and 1745, because it went underground. But it’s all the more fascinating for that. After one last try in 1759, the Cause went into steep decline, but we’re looking at it with hindsight. Before then, the return of the Stuarts was a real possibility. But of course I write romance, and that’s what I’ll always do, so each book is most concerned with the couple at its centre. They are from a family nicknamed “The Emperors of London” because of their outlandish names, but each family has its own concerns and setup. In one, brothers are at loggerheads, but in another, the siblings get on well and the household is far more chaotic. I’m so fortunate as to have a contract for all 7 books in the series, and the potential to write more, if the series is a success.
I’ll be popping up on blogs all over the place in the next month. “Heroes and Heartbreakers,” for instance, and “Romantic Historical Lovers,” as well as my usual haunts of the UK Regency group and of course my own blog!
Instead of making this newsletter really, really long by including an extract to “Rogue in Red Velvet,” I’m going to do a separate mail and blog. I don’t want to overwhelm your inboxes! Coming up shortly, then, the blurb, cover and an extract from my new book. With buy links, of course!
I’ve decided to concentrate on the historical romance in the immediate future. The contracts coming my way are for that genre. But it doesn’t mean that I’m going to abandon the contemporaries and paranormals! Far from it, but I’m radically rethinking the way I approach writing the books and how I want to present them. For instance, using another pen name for them. I’d love your opinions on that!
As always, thank you so much for your support and your emails. I really appreciate you being here. If you want to review, or comment, or even help spread the word, I’d be very grateful, but please don’t feel obliged. I just want to write books that people enjoy, and continue to do so. If you read it and like it, that’s more than enough. But I am listening!