It's been ten months since the relocation – we still have some boxes in the garage and everyone is settled in their new work/school routine. I expected that a move to such a sunny location would alter my writing from the Tudor feel I was after, but instead it has helped me dive deeper into the era somehow. With my dedicated writing room/library (the former formal dining room, we've never had one of these, so there is no need to start now) I've been whizzing through scenes of intrigue and betrayal, inns and court, kirtle and... well, you get the picture. Having spent all of 2014 in dedicated research, by January I was ready to write. By late June I had a strong working draft and by September, I had an edited version for my trial readers.
Now that most of the dust has settled and book one is drafted and edited (currently going through another edit), the timing of the Historical Novel Society's 2016 Oxford conference tickets being on sale was just right. I've booked my place at the conference, accommodation and evening costume gala, which, I do believe means I'll be the only one in my group of historical fiction friends who will be dressed as a Tudor; the rest of them seem to be Georgian-heavy. As I'm used to sticking out like a sore thumb everywhere I go, this is probably a good thing (or, at least, in my comfort zone). This means getting out the continuing work-in-progress known as the Tudor gown and getting some appropriate Tudor undergarments (Elizabethan era rather than early Henrician as my story is set, but hey).
With England in my sights again, I've also put together a Tudor tour so I can go back to both Hever Castle and Framlingham Castle (book two is set mostly at Framlingham Castle) since my photos were lost in transit due to a bad memory stick and a defunct laptop; my current WIP was the only thing to go smoothly in the past twelve months.
Which, somehow brings me back to the manuscript. I had sent it out to US agents and also one UK agent who had invited me to submit at the last HNS (still pending a response, I know they are busy) and I wasn't sure if I was going to be happy having my book with US spelling (something I'm not fond of), so I've made the decision to keep it to UK English. Sounds like such a simple thing, but writing Tudor era stories with a modern edge to keep the speech intelligible to the general public is hard enough, dropping the extra vowels that are so unique to UK English is a soul-killer.
I've also finally joined the Historical Novel Society as a member and am looking forward to getting more involved and writing up more research-based blogs. Happy days!