Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Library Loot - Heroes and Research

So, y'all, I finally finished my work in progress novel! Whoohoo! Submitted for a few contests, even. Anyhoo, now that I'm in the process of submitting The Duke of Snow and Apples piece by piece to my critique group (and looking for a critique partner other than my mum - although I do love my mum), I'm also starting preliminary research for the next book in my series about the Seven Dowagers - Lord of Dreams. Which means looking for books at the library because they are free and now that I'm currently between jobs free is awesome. Which also means that when I find another good book at the library, I better grab it.

I'm annoyed by anachronistically feminist heroines in historicals. I really am. Maybe it's because I'm third wave feminist (i.e. the "I can stay in the kitchen and make babies and cookies if I damn well want to because it's my choice!" feminist), but I often hate the cutesy hoyden heroines who run around in pants for no reason and just plain ignore the world they are currently living in.

But there were feminists and and women's rights crusaders in 18th and 19th century England! So for my next book, Lord of Dreams, I focused on the idea - what if my heroine is the daughter of a feminist radical, and actually wants to dance and wear beautiful gowns and have a Blooming (my fantasy setting's version of a season)? So I'm researching real-life feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley) with this biography to see what narrative details I can uncover.

Hero is next. I've wanted to read it for a while, but I had such a huge TBR that I wasn't too crazy about reading it. However, I finally decided to bite the bullet and order it, at around the same time The Booksmugglers gave it a glowing review, so now I'm pretty excited to read it!

And lastly is What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris, another "why not? It's free" request from the library that finally came in. I read a good review of a later book in the series over at Dear Author, so I thought I would start with the first novel in this mystery series set during the Regency. And you know I loves me some Regency.


  1. You forgot a trait of the "anachronistically feminist heroine." They're always tree-climbers. Because wearing pants and acting hoydenish isn't enough. They need to climb trees to belabor the point to death ::eye roll::

  2. One of Madeline Hunter's books has a daughter of feminist radical thinker heroine - it's one the Easterbrook quartet - Phaedra is the heroine. It's good but Phaedra feels the need to 'live up' to her mother - I think I find your idea of reacting against the mother more appealing as a reader for various reasons

  3. 1. I recently finished 'What Angels Fear' - can't even remember how it first landed on my TBR - and really enjoyed it. Enough to put book two on my scary TBR list.

    2. If you end up liking WAF, I'll offer 'Mistress of the Art of Death' as another historical mystery I loved. Same bit of geography, different time period.

    3. Ref your CP situation - are you actively searching? I'll put myself on offer if so. No need to feel shy of saying 'no' for any reason if you don't think it's a good idea. You're already officially braver than I, for having your mum critique you so far. My mom doesn't even know I write, much less get to offer her two cents. I don't write fantasy but feel good about commenting 'outside' my genre as I do that currently with a historical writing CP. She's great, but I need another set of eyes.

  4. Oooh, what a great premise! I'd read that. Wollstonecraft's life is fascinating.

    If you have never read the Vindication, check out the Introduction, at least (it's anthologized everywhere--like the Norton Anthology of Brit Lit--so easy to get ahold of). Wollstonecraft really works the metaphor of woman as flower and I think you would find her criticism of their "barren blooming" provocative, using Blooming the way you do in your fiction.

  5. Vorkosigrrl12:06 PM

    I love the names of your novels!

    Try Georgette Heyer's A Quiet Gentleman for an amusing take on a practical daughter of progressives of the gentle class.

  6. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Wollstonecraft is great. I hope you enjoy the book. Many have a wrong opinion of what feminism and being a feminist is nowadays.

  7. I bought that first CS Harris book ages ago because I saw a really good review of it. Haven't yet read it. Happens so often with the books that I buy.