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Alpennia: the Character Blog Roll

I’ve been tagged for the Character Blog Roll by Melissa Grace, whose posting can be found here. The blog series is for your most recent work in progress, and I’ve been tagged at a very opportune time: the very first online listings for The Mystic Marriage just started showing up today. The story is a continuation of the setting and characters of my first novel, Daughter of Mystery, a historic fantasy set in the fictitious country of Alpennia. The world of Alpennia is threaded through with magic in subtle forms and the books drawn the reader in through the lives of women who intersect that magic (and each other) in various ways.

1. What is the name of your character, and is he/she fictional or a historical person?

All of my characters are fictional (except for a few background references). The two primary characters are Antuniet Chazillen and Jeanne, Vicomtesse de Cherdillac, who were both minor characters in Daughter of Mystery. But Margerit and Barbara, the protagonists of the first book are still prominant characters as well.

2. When and where is the story set?

Alpennia is an invented country -- a Ruritania, if you will -- that lies somewhere vaguely around the instersection of France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. The story begins in 1821 and covers about two years.

3. What should we know about him/her?

Jeanne is a socialite and notorious flirt who is rumored (very discreetly) to have enjoyed numerous affairs with actresses, singers, and other bohemian types. Everyone forgives the rumors because she has the perfect knack for planning a ball or an opera party or whatever other amusement an aspiring hostess might have in mind.

Antuniet fled Alpennia two years ago after her brother was executed for treason and her mother committed suicide. She has just returned from studying alchemy in Prague and Heidelberg, with agents of the Austrian Emperor hot on her heels.

4. What is the main conflict, and what messes up his/her life?

Each character has her own conflict. Jeanne’s is falling in love with a completely unsuitable woman -- a respectable one! Antuniet’s conflict is to perfect the alchemical synthesis of magical gemstones before her pursuers find a way to seize or sabotage her work. Barbara’s conflict is to figure out why a series of perilous “accidents” is haunting one of the heirs to the throne. And Margerit’s is to overcome the entrenched misogyny of Alpennian academia to establish a place where women can study and teach.

5). What is the personal goal of the main character?

Antuniet’s goal is to redeem her family’s honor. Jeanne’s goal is to win Antuniet’s love.

6). Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The title is The Mystic Marriage, named after one of the alchemical processes, and symbolic of the merging of contrasting substances to form a new, pure synthesis. You can follow along with my writing process on my blog using the tag Alpennia.

7). When can we expect the book to be published?

The Mystic Marriage will be published in April 2015 by Bella Books.

Thanks again to Melissa Grace for tagging me. I’ll post a link here when I find someone new to tag.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Melissa Grace
Aug. 9th, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC)
Sounds intriguing
Thank you for participating. The Mystic Marriage sounds like a must read.
Aug. 9th, 2014 04:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Sounds intriguing
This series is immensely fun to write! My goal is to write the stories I wish had existed back when I was a younger reader and just coming out: stories that could give me a place in the fantasy genre that I loved.
Aug. 17th, 2014 06:56 am (UTC)
Huh, I wouldn't have called Antuniet "respectable"! I suppose in comparison to some of Jeanne's other choices...

Edited at 2014-08-17 06:56 am (UTC)
Aug. 17th, 2014 06:11 pm (UTC)
By the rules of society, Antuniet is respectable. She doesn't stand outside the moral order in the way that Jeanne's bohemian lovers do. If Jeanne had fallen in love with a middle-class school teacher, the same concerns would apply.
Aug. 17th, 2014 06:20 pm (UTC)
I had thought that the events in book 1 rather removed her respectability -- I'd gotten the impression that restoring that was one of her driving motives in book 2.
Aug. 17th, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC)
Ah, there's a difference between respectability and social status. Along with the rest of her extended family, she lost her status as an aristocrat due to the events of Book 1. And certainly she risked her personal respectability by traveling around Europe on her own in between the two stories, but it's not quite the same thing. What she wants to restore is the official legal status of the Chazillen name. And while her own personal behavior could certainly undermine her ability to do that, she isn't seeking personal redemption for herself specifically. It's complicated.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )