Working Notes – July 6, 2019
I’m on the very verge of starting to write the next book in the Kiss Across Time series. This will be book 9, Kiss Across Blades.
For this story, I’m digging into French history. A very interesting little pocket of French history, actually. Most of the action takes place in 1798, which is the year before Napoleon took power, and just over a decade after the revolution itself. (Actually there are academics who argue this whole period up until Napoleon’s time in office are all part of the Revolution.)
France was in complete disarray. There had been three different forms of leadership since Louis was overthrown, and in 1798, the Directory was running the show. The Directory was a reiteration of the hard core libertarians who controlled France during the Reign of Terror. That was a period of not quite a year, which ended in July 1794, during which Robespierre and his gang executed just under 17,000 people for suspected crimes against the new Republic.
Although the Terror is over in 1798, the few nobles who remain in France live precarious lives. There is runaway inflation, famine, disease, and complete disorganization. Suspicion rises easily and hostility follows.
This is the world into which I tip the characters of Kiss Across Blades. The story is set in and around Sauveterre, in Gascony, which is wine country.
If you’ve ever watched or read The Scarlet Pimpernel (any version!), then you will be familiar with the period. This book takes place a few years after Pimpernel.
If you’re familiar with my Kiss Across Time series, then the name of the town may have pricked your attention. Remi is one of the newer regular characters and his full name is Denis Remi De Sauveterre.
And yes, the same last name and name of the village is not a coincidence. To say more might give you spoilers, and might also promise story events that may not yet come to pass, as I’m still writing the book.
If I stay on schedule with the writing, Kiss Across Blades will be released on October 17. At this stage, I have no cover, not even a description of the story to tease you with. 😉 But stay tuned.
I’ve been pulled more and more into French history with different books, including Season of Denial, and Bannockburn Binding, among others. It’s hard to write about any European 17th or 18th century history without ending up pulling France into the story somewhere.
The French Revolution has been described as one of the major events of human history. Not just a major event of the century or even the millenium, but all of history. It ranks up there with the extinction of the dinosaurs, which let mammals shift to the top of the pyramid.
That is because of the massive changes the Revolution introduced not just to France, but to all of western society. It triggered the demise of absolute monarchies and the development of republics and democracies across Europe and all the colonies settled and controlled by European powers–which were many. It completely changed the face of history.
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