Today is our lucky day! It's our stop on THE HOUSE OF ARKHANGEL'SK Virtual Book Tour for author Jane Kindred. The first in the series The Fallen Queen is already available and the second The Midnight Court will be released at the end of August 2012.
Plus.... Jane and the lovely people at Entangled Publishing are giving away an ebook copy of either The Fallen Queen (book1) or The Midnight Court (book2).
Jane has kindly written a guest blog post on a topic of my choice......The Lengths I Go To Research My Book.
I'd like to thank Jane for taking the time in providing a fantastic and very interesting response!
Going to Extremes
How far would I go to do research for a book? When I first got the idea for these books, I never thought I’d go as far as I did; in this case, it was all the way to Russia.
My usual pattern for research is to read about topics that are relevant (or even just tangential) to events in the book or specific to the era in which it takes place. I’ll research anything from the practicalities of plumbing and lighting, to how to make gunpowder or open a portcullis—and to find out what the heck a portcullis is in the first place.
But with The House of Arkhangel’sk, I became a bit obsessed. When I decided to make the setting a celestial version of St. Petersburg, I wanted to learn more about Russia and I was also toying with the idea of easing back into school to get another degree, so I took a class on Russian culture at the local community college. Little did I know I would fall head over heels for all things Russian. Before I knew it, I was flying to St. Petersburg to live with a host family for a month for an immersive Russian language course.
I had already begun the first draft of Book One before I left for Russia, but being there in person made everything I’d read and imagined come alive for me. In all honesty, if it weren’t for American toilet paper, I’m not sure I would have come back. ;)
In addition to St. Petersburg, we took a trip north to the city of Veliky Novgorod, where I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Yuriev Monastery and to see a real kremlin—or medieval Russian fortress—in person. Novgorod and the monastery both ended up in the first book, The Fallen Queen, as did the apartment where I stayed in the Lesnoy District of St. Petersburg, along with many of the places I visited, such as the Winter Palace, which echoes the home of my celestial imperial family, and the parks of Tsarskoe Selo, which feature prominently in The Midnight Court.
And I did manage to learn a bit of Russian, which I put to use here and there in the books, though I’m sure anyone who actually speaks the language would find it unintentionally hilarious.
Upon returning to the States, my obsessive research continued. I’ve pored over train schedules and subway maps to make sure I never have one of my characters take a trip that couldn’t physically be done, and for The Midnight Court, I’ve scoured the Web for images of the Solovetsky monastery, where several scenes in the book take place, to find just the right corner of the surrounding fortress to describe, or to see how the latches on the doors work.
My husband often reminded me with amusement while I was researching that no one was going to check, but it’s become part of my love affair with Russia, inextricably intertwined with my love of these characters. It’s a little bit like being there again to go over these mundane details—not to mention that it suits my OCD tendencies. And maybe someday I’ll be able to go back in person and research the next series. As long as I remember to bring my own toilet paper.
About The Midnight Court:
Against the pristine ice of Heaven, spilled blood and a demon’s fire will spark celestial war.
The exiled heir to the throne of Heaven, Grand Duchess Anazakia and her demon companions, Belphagor and Vasily, have made a comfortable home in the Russian city of Arkhangel’sk, but their domestic bliss is short lived. When their daughter Ola is taken as a pawn in Heaven’s demon revolution, the delicate fabric of their unorthodox family is torn apart—threatening to separate Belphagor and Vasily for good.
Anazakia is prepared to move Heaven and Earth to get her daughter back from Queen Aeval, risen in Elysium from the ashes of temporary defeat. But Aeval isn’t the only one seeking Ola’s strange power.
To conquer the forces amassing against them, Anazakia is prophesied to spill the blood of one close to her heart, while Vasily’s fire will prove more potent than anyone suspected. In the battle for supremacy over Heaven’s empire, loyalties will be tested and secrets will be revealed, but love will reign supernal.
About the author:
Jane Kindred began writing fantasy at age 12 in the wayback of a Plymouth Fury—which, as far as she recalls, never killed anyone…who didn’t have it coming. She spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. Although she was repeatedly urged to learn a marketable skill, she received a B.A. in Creative Writing anyway from the University of Arizona.
She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed.
Thank you Jane and Dani at Entangled Publishing for including Novels On The Run on this blog tour.
|Isn't this cover just lovely?!|
It's pretty simple....
Leave a comment below and tell me
which ebook you would like to win!
The Fallen Queen (bk1)
The Midnight Court (bk2)
Please note that if you choose Book 2 it is available mid August and will be provided to you on it's release.
Winner will be drawn on 4th August 2012 (10pm aust est)
Winner will be drawn on 4th August 2012 (10pm aust est)