|1907 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost|
It's been a looooooooong time since I've gotten to give a character a car. A horse, yes. Picking out a type of carriage, sure. But a car? I haven't written a story with a car in years. So when I began to ponder turning my Victorian trilogy into an Edwardian one, one of my first thoughts was, "Oh wow--I need to pick out a car for Justin!"
Perhaps I should give you a little history first. Way back when I was twelve, I had this idea for a book. Which, I said, I would write until I finished it! A little over a year later, I scratched the words "The End" enthusiastically across the last of my hundreds of pages of notebook paper. The book was called Golden Sunset, Silver Tear. It was about Brook, who was raised as a princess in the fictional country of Bratinburg before discovering through the help of her best friend Justin, future English duke, that she was really British. Her bead necklace contained clues to what led to her parents' deaths and her own fate.
|A young Diane Kruger is how I always envisioned Brook|
Two years after that, I discovered Monaco. So Brook became an adopted Grimaldi. Another three years, and I gave the book a major overhaul to update the writing but kept the plot in place. Another three years and I was out of college, had my first baby, and was determined to make this book as good as the others I'd written in the intervening years. So I chucked pretty much every scene, kept the premise, changed names where necessary, and retitled the book Fire Eyes.
In 2007, the book landed me an agent. But alas, though a few publishers took it to committee, it always struck out. So fast forward back to two weeks ago, when my (second) agent said, "Do you have anything Edwardian?" and I said, "No. But I could." =)
|William Moseley of Narnia fame is SO how I picture Justin!|
This is so much fun because I know these characters inside out and upside down. So tossing them into a world 50 years after where I first envisioned them leads me to all sorts of fun decisions. Would Brook still have been content with stolen solitary horse rides, or would the changing times have upped her rebellion? Would she now be borrowing cars for her stunts? Oh, you bet she would. So I open now with her sliding a gloved hand along the side of a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. And, when its owner (Justin) catches her in the act of taking the wheel, she demands a driving lesson of her longtime friend.
Thankfully, I'm married to a man who can answer all my stupid questions about first-generation cars. Like, "Okay, so you crank it to start it . . . how do you turn it off?"
Hubby: "You switch off the magneto."
Me: "The mag-what-o?" Oh yes. It required a bit of an education, LOL.
|Interior of Silver Ghost|
Thus far the automobile has found many fun places in the three chapters I've rewritten of Fire Eyes (which has been retitled yet again). Justin has just received his Silver Ghost from his father--who bought for himself one designed by "that Bugatti chap" as my Earl of Abingdon says. Justin's best friend, once a rogue aristocrat who chose to sail the high seas instead of attend his estates back home, is now a race car driver in the first Grand Prix and rallies. The debut Indianapolis 500 will be coming up within the pages of my book, and you can bet Lord Thate will be there. =)
For historical writers, there's nothing truer than "If you change the setting, you change the whole book--characters included." It's very true. And this change of setting will cause many, many a change to this first-ever novel I wrote. But oh, isn't it fun to see how my characters adapt to the times!