OMG, I’m about to send the first book of my historical series, Driven, to my editor.
I’m told I may have a thriller on my hands. My first reaction was “Wahhhh?” I guess it’s true…women’s lives were extraordinarily harrowing a hundred years ago. They had no power. No freedom. And there’s no doubt the shadow of what happened a century ago falls on us today. I wonder – if my protagonist Emily were alive in 2019, would she marvel at how women are treated? Or would she hang her head in disgust? My new series is for her and all the women who came before: Ladies who raised their voices and paid the cost of disobedience.
To write accurate historical fiction, you must do extensive research – months of it. I visited the places my characters lived, read diaries, short stories, and books by women living during WWI; I read opposing newspaper articles with accounts of women’s marches and suffragette activities. I felt the fear in their words.
Through that work, I was able to embody my characters’ voices, mannerisms, and responses to what happened to them; I had fun with dialogue, creating personalities my readers love to hate, and others they adore. I grew so attached to these women who populated my fictionalized Marblegate Sanitorium that I’m mourning the loss of their company – these persistent ancestors who were desperate to be heard.
So friends, wish me luck as I write Emily into the next book…a place so wild and beautiful, it hurts.
Boot Language News:
1: Wahoo! The Readers’ Favorites Awards just sent the Press Release that Boot Language won the silver awards in Memoir! I’m very honored that a year after publication, it’s still creating buzz… especially since their award encompasses Indie as well as the big five traditional publishing houses.
2:A moment of serendipity: Just this afternoon, I was talking to Riney from customer service at Audible. I was having technical issues. She mentioned she’s listening to Boot Language and can’t wait to write a review. What’s more she encourages any of you who’ve heard Nicole Zanzarella perform Boot Language to please write one as well. So cool!
3: Book sale! FromOctober 18-27, NewInBooks and BargainBooks will include Boot Language in their huge fall sale to honor#NationalBookMonth. During that time, the eBook price will be $0.99 on Kindle, Nook and Google Play (US only).Please spread the news!
Wow – I picked this up during my research tour in Manhattan this past spring. It’s nothing short of amazing!
“Imagine, if you will, you’ve managed an invitation to a society event in Gilded Age Manhattan. In her compelling study of personality and social power, Johanna Neuman introduces you to the women in the room, all fashionable, most wealthy beyond imagination, and yet all politically powerless. These are not the women we think of as leaders in the fight for women’s right to vote, yet here they are in this fascinating study, dressed to the nines, disarming to the patriarchy, and determined. Both socialites and activists, they shaped an age when fashion and celebrity became weapons of radical change.” -Marc Pachter,Director Emeritus, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Vanya is the award-winning author of Boot Language. She’s spent decades teaching writing as well as mentoring educators in the oldest, continuously used schoolhouse in California. Her essays have appeared in a dozen literary journals and anthologies. Find out more about Vanya at www.vanyaerickson.com.