The time has almost come!
I was overwhelmed by the response to my debut novel The Crown from readers and reviewers. A definite highlight of 2012 was the Crime Writers' Association putting The Crown on the shortlist of the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award.
I wrote my second book before the first one even came out. After selling The Crown to Simon & Schuster's Touchstone in 2010, I took a year and a half off from magazine editing and plunged into writing The Chalice. The New York Public Library granted my request to write in the Wertheim Study, and I pored through the books in its amazing collection and tapped away at my laptop computer at a long wooden table.
|The UK cover from Orion|
I flew to England in the summer of 2011 to do on-the-ground research in London and Dartford, which was honestly the most fun I have had in years. I slept one hour on the red-eye flight but nonetheless went crazy my first day, exploring nonstop for 10 hours. I was in the last group of the day to revisit my beloved Tower of London.
I finished the first draft of The Chalice in December 2011. Brilliant editors from both my American and British publishing houses gave me notes and pushed me to make the book as taut, suspenseful, lively, dramatic and moving as possible. I am grateful for all of their insights.
|16th century necromancy|
What would happen, I decided, if my protagonist, Joanna Stafford, were to find herself part of a prophecy, and if that prophecy had the power to change the course of the kingdom? Would she plunge forward--or would she fight its power over her fate? How far would she go to restore the spiritual life she loved to England? These questions interested me and propelled me forward in the months that I wrote the novel.
Without further ado, I invite you to enter the world of The Chalice.
First: Check out a Pinterest board I created to share the images that inspired me while writing the book: http://pinterest.com/tudorscribe/things-found-in-my-novel-the-chalice/ (Gosh, I love Pinterest!)
Second: Dive into the first four chapters of The Chalice, offered for free on scribd.com: http://www.scribd.com/doc/116456770/The-Chalice-by-Nancy-Bilyeau-start-reading-today
Third: Read the first post in a four-part series on The Necromancer, a dark figure that has haunted mankind since the days of Homer and right up to today's popular culture, for it's a necromancer that makes an appearance in the hit film The Hobbit http://bloodygoodread.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-ancient-art-of-necromancer.html
Fourth: Enter a giveaway to request an early review copy of The Chalice, available on http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/42514-the-chalice
Thank you for reading this blog post and for taking an interest in my journey. If you're not following already, please join me on twitter, where I am @tudorscribe.
I hope you enjoy The Chalice!