SEVEN DEVILS marks my first entry into historical fiction, playing out a tortured narrative in Victorian-era England and late nineteenth century India that follows the dark and twisted Lady Elizabeth Winterbourne. This story started off as a writing exercise to help prove a theory about creativity that I was testing back in 2012. The basis behind the theory is that if create a setting, filling in fine details and giving weight to the ambience, that a story would start telling itself. Indeed, that was exactly what ended up happening.
The first chapter starts with Jon, and older and unkempt hermit, sitting in a large tower room with floor-to-ceiling windows that is filled with books. I imagined that setting so clearly in my mind and, like looking into a crystal ball, the story began to unfold.
This work also gained momentum by my reading of Dan Brown’s novel Inferno. Though I don’t speak directly to the seven deadly sins in the book, each Winterbourne brother has dominant traits that place him within the “personality type” of each sin. I had finished Brown’s book a few weeks before this experiment. It was interesting to use each sin as an archetype and draw the story around them. At first, I feared this formulaic character building would make each one-dimensional, but as the story grew, they flushed themselves out (especially toward the later chapters).
The dark tone of the novella was planned from the first chapter. I knew that Elizabeth was tortured and I wanted to find out just how twisted she really was and mostly what made her that way.
After writing the first three chapters, I abandoned this project to work on my third novel, Heroes & Victims (coming out later this year). It truly was just a small exercise that I didn’t plan to do anything with even if I finished it. Then in the Fall of 2015, I found the story on my computer and read it aloud to a good friend of mine and when I had finished with chapter three she said, “but what happens next?” I answered that I didn’t know and she asked “why not?”
Over the following months, I returned to this project, which unfolded and grew into something greater than just a short story. When I finally finished the first draft, I knew that I wanted to bring this to the world in a big way. Putting on my Publisher Cap, I developed cover art and website and presented to you a dark tale of the ambitious Lady Elizabeth Winterbourne.
Find out what the excitement is about and read SEVEN DEVILS today!