by Jude Houghton
Publication date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Some battles bleed so much, and for so long, that the earth never truly forgets their dead. Some battles are born of oppression, and some of greed, and some simply because it was written in the stars.
Three sisters—Charlemagne, Cairo and Pendragon Agonistes—are sent from America to England to live with their eccentric grandparents after their mother disappears and their father falls to pieces. But before the girls have time to find their feet, Charlemagne is married off to a dead man, Penny takes a nap and wakes up as a boy, and Cairo is swept into a dangerous romance with a man who wants her for more than her considerable charm. With the girls wrapped up in a conflict they barely understand, they don’t notice that their grandmother is transforming, or that the two demigod assassins who took their mother are now coming for them—if one of them can get over his crisis of conscience.
In this richly painted tale, at whose heart is the unbreakable bond of family and blood, the world of Seraphina collides with our own as three unique girls are dragged into twilight lives past, fighting for vengeance, retribution, and the survival of their exiled people.
Guest Post by Jude Houghton
Advice for the inspiring author.
Writing is difficult. There is no way around that fact. Every time I sit down to write, I am reminded of how tough it is. Tough to find the time – away from a real a job and in many cases, the family – tough to have the conviction that what you are doing is worthwhile, and tough to put something on the page that doesn’t make you cringe five minutes after writing it. Here are some things that capture my process, and make it just a little easier.
Stephen King, in On Writing, challenges the would be writer to do just two things. Read a lot. Write a lot. You cannot write without doing both of those things. He suggests 1,000 words a day. 1,000 words a day delivers a first draft in three-four months. It’s not easy to deliver on that commitment but hey…I began by saying writing was tough.
Some of the time when you write, it’s a whirlwind, it comes easily, it’s “buckle your seatbelt Dorothy because Kansas is going bye-bye.” Then, there are the times when the characters stop talking to you, and the hitherto promising plot fizzles on the page. The danger is running into an extended period of writer’s block. Margaret Atwood has the best answer to this. Hold your hand in the air and do not put it down again until you have a sentence to write. Then see how long the block lasts. Once the ache sets in, it’s never long, believe me.
I saw an interview with Terry Pratchett towards the end of his life. He was talking about the difficulty of writing, and he said that the thing you have to realize is that a good idea is the easy part, that translating that idea to the page and making it come alive is the challenge, and as a writer, it shouldn’t be easy, and you have to confront that head on, every time. Ideas are like tinsel, anyone can have an idea, it’s what you do with it that’s the important thing.
And finally, often I find my head with characters, plot jumbled, trying to remember what someone said, or who did what to whom. This I guess is my piece of advice. Expect that, and don’t let it frustrate you, and power on. It will come. As one of Raymond Chandler’s characters said, My head is as fluffy as whipped cream, but not as sweet. I think that just about sums up how I feel most days. I try to get over it.