Friday, October 30, 2020

A Hopeless Romantic.

 Looking into the world from Beyond the Veil and the folklore that surrounds it.
Part 7.
To my dearest friends and followers,

Today I will be discussing chapters 24-27 of my novel, The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1). To check out my analysis of the previous chapters, click on the Archive in the right panel of the blog.

Chapter 24-27 are fairly uneventful when compared to the rest of the book, but I think they are very special chapters in their own right. More than anything, I believe that the simple events that unfold really showcase the friendship that has grown, and still is growing, between Hollyhocks and Edward. In the 27th chapter, the two characters even admit to sharing a special connection, acknowledging that they haven't known each other long (roughly a month at this time).

Chapter 24 continues the same day as the previous chapter, with Edward and company arriving in London, and then being led to his new lodgings, the infamous Garden Tower (built in 1225 and renamed the Bloody Tower in the 1500's.). Hollyhocks and her fairy friends encourage Edward to make the most of his time in the Tower. An invigorated Edward exclaims that he "cannot shatter so easily", in reference to his Uncle Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, who intends to "break" him.

In chapter 25, Edward has begun to settle into his new room. A large trunk is brought to his room containing several of his prized possessions. Of these items is a Bible written in Latin. Edward takes the Bible and lounges on the nook of the window. Hollyhocks is there with him, and he begins to read to her. It is a very casual moment between two friends. Hollyhocks has never heard of it or what it is about, so Edward briefly explains and then begins to read to her, translating what he knew in Latin into English for her to understand. 
Historically, during the time my story takes place, the Bible was very rare to have, except by the papacy and the highest nobles. A child would not have a copy in his bedroom. Also, Bibles were not what they are today. It would have been quite large and heavy, with the pages made of parchment (animal skin which has been treated for writing on), particularly vellum (the skin of a calf), meaning the pages themselves would have been treated very delicately, and not "quickly leafed through" as my story states. Basically, the picture I paint within my book is not historically accurate. I wanted the scene to be a very sweet, casual moment of reading together. Using the historically accurate Bible would have, in my opinion, taken away from what I was trying to communicate.

Chapter 26 showcases the harrowing moment Hollyhocks hears news of the fate of several of the characters in the story. She struggles with telling Edward what she knows, for fear of causing him grief. Her friends tell her they are there for her, to which she cries out, "Then who will be here for him?" She does tell him the news which weighs down the young king immensely, and understandably so.

The 27th chapter holds a special place in my heart. In it, we see Hollyhocks and Edward really connecting with each other, in ways that seem to embarrass the two, but are very sweet to observe for the reader. They are each glad to have the other there with them, and they express that. I believe this is the first time we catch a glimpse of the love they share for each other. Is it simply a love that best friends share for each other, or is it a romantic love? I could tell you my thoughts when I wrote it, but I'll leave the matter up to the reader to decide.
Through the actions, words, and thoughts seen throughout this chapter, I think we see a romantic side to Hollyhocks - and Edward too really. Let me explain, that by the use of the word "romantic" here, I mean in the sense of a dreamer, or a hopeless romantic - someone who has beautiful and unusual thoughts about life; someone who believes in love; someone who is a daydreamer and thinks up improbable notions. I think it definitely reflects a side of me. No, I'm not like that all the time, but I want to be, and I am sometimes. I suppose it's the part of me that writes fantasy stories and believes in them, or the part of me that married my first love, and sometimes like to think that my life is a book. XD

Next week I'll be going over chapters 28-31, which I am both excited about and slightly not looking forward to...
Also, beginning November 1st, I am starting NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)!! That will keep me pretty busy during the month, since the goal is to write 50,000 words. I'll be working on Tales from Beyond the Veil book 2, so yeah!
Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,

Learn more about NaNoWriMo.
(search the hashtag #nanowrimo2020. I'll be posting updates on Twitter daily, and weekly on Instagram).

Friday, October 16, 2020

Enter Richard III.

Looking into the world from Beyond the Veil and the folklore that surrounds it.
Part 6.
To my dearest friends and followers,

Today I will be analyzing my novel, The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1). I have been talking about the folklore and history that can be found in the story. To check out the previous 5 posts, check out the Archive on the right panel of the page. XD

So let's get into it. last week, I went through chapters 16-19. Today I will be going over 20-23.

Chapter 20 begins with a new day. The evening before, Edward V told many stories of his past to Hollyhocks and her friends (chapters 16-19). Chapter 20 is pretty uneventful, as the characters pass the time, while waiting for Lord Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers, to return from Northampton, which we learned about in chapter 15.

Chapter 21 sees Edward, Hollyhocks, JuJuBee, and Shaylee sitting outside together and eating snacks, when they hear carriages beginning to approach. Edward is dismayed to find only his uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester present. He asks where Lord Rivers is, and the chapter ends on a cliff hanger as Richard tells Edward that Lord Rivers has been arrested.

Historically, it was April 9th, 1483, that Edward IV died. 5 days later, on April 14th, his son received news of his death, making him Edward V. On April 24th, Edward V, Lord Rivers, and 2,000 men began to journey from Ludlow to London where the young king was to be crowned. On April 23rd, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, had left Yorkshire to ride to London as well, as he was now the Lord Protector of the Realm (and would remain so until the young king's coronation). Richard rode to Northampton, where he expected to meet the others, and they would ride together the rest of the way to London. However, Edward V and his escort had already travelled past Northampton, and were stopped for the night in Stony Stratford.
Lord Rivers traveled back to Northampton to meet Richard, and ride with him to Stony Stratford.

On the night of the 29th of April, 1483, Richard, Lord Rivers, and Lord Grey (Edward V's half-brother) ate a fine meal together. It is not clear whether this took place in Stony Stratford, or somewhere else. The next morning, Lord Rivers, Lord Grey, and another man, Lord Thomas Vaughan (the king's chamberlain), were arrested under the orders of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. It is reported that the young king protested, but since he was not crowned yet, he had little authority over his Protecter.

For the sake of the story flow within my book, I omitted the dinner that took place between the 3 men, and instead had Lord Rivers arrested before he and Richard reached Stony Stratford. This allowed the trip from Ludlow to London to take only the 2 days that I estimated it would have back then.

Chapter 22 shows Edward's attempt to get his cruel uncle to release his men, but to no avail. Richard then dismisses Edward's escort of 2,000 men. The chapter ends with him reluctantly getting into the carriage so that Richard could take him to London.

Chapter 23 is brief, as Hollyhocks and her friends sit silently inside the carriage with Edward and accompany him to London. Shaylee hints that maybe it would be best if they return home, but Hollyhocks feels that she must stay because Edward needs them, and friends stick together. They all agree to stay with him, with Hollyhocks stating "We will not abandon you" just before Edward steps out of the carriage upon their arrival in London at last.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,


Friday, October 9, 2020

Lord Rivers and Edward V.

Looking into the world from Beyond the Veil and the folklore that surrounds it.
Part 5.
 To my dearest friends and followers,

For the past 4 weeks, I have been analyzing my novel The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1) and discussing the folklore and history behind the story. If you would like to read the previous posts in this series, you can do so my clicking the Archive in the right panel of the blog, and checking out the 4 latest posts.

The entire book is told by the narrator who follows the protagonist, Hollyhocks, throughout the story. However, today I will be discussing chapters 16-19, wherein the narrator switches the focus to Edward and where he came from.

Chapter 16 begins as a flashback in time. It is unclear when exactly this chapter is set or how old Edward V would have been - I felt it unnecessary to set an exact date and left it up to the reader to decide. We see the routine that Edward went through on an almost daily basis, from being woken up early, dressed, attending prayer services and mass. He is taught history and geography. He is taught different languages, including French and Latin. He is also taught music and proper etiquette, amongst many other things listed in the book. We are told that he has a tutor and that some of his lessons are taught to him by his uncle, Lord Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers, or Lord Rivers for short.
Historically, Edward was 1 when he became the Prince of Wales, and took residence in Ludlow. When Edward was only 3 years old, his father, Edward IV, placed him under the care and supervision of Lord Rivers. Edward IV wrote a lengthy letter, explaining in detail how Lord Rivers was to raise his son. The events I describe in the first part of chapter 16 are as close to the letter as I could get, since I have read only snippets of it (I am unaware if the actual letter has survived to the present day, but I haven't been able to find it online). Based on this letter and the fact that Lord Rivers was to care for his nephew, Edward V, I believe that the two had a close father/son relationship, which is why I painted it as such in my own book.

Chapter 17 sees Edward venturing into the Forest that Hollyhocks resides in, though the two don't know each other at this point in time. The reader is aware of the creatures in the forest and what their intentions are, though young Edward is oblivious to them. At one point, he sees a fairy ring (a patch of mushrooms grown in a circular shape - a portal created by the pixies to trap humans) and nearly steps into it, but is pulled away at the last moment. 
Edward realizes his rescuer is a large white unicorn. The dryads whisper the name of the unicorn to Edward - Anlon. Edward hears the name and then says, "Quite a befitting name, I should think." At the time that I wrote this line, I was not aware that the name Anlon had any meaning. It was simply a name that my mother and I came up with. To me, having Edward state this line was supposed to be humorous. Edward, like me, also had no idea what the name meant, but thought it was a befitting name for the unicorn, much in the way that I had. To my surprise, I recently found out the name Anlon is an Irish name and means "Great Champion". WHUT?! That's cool. Though I decided to keep the meaning out of the story, it's kind of cool for anyone who does decide to search the name. It also makes sense, as the character Anlon sort of is a champion, as he succeeded the Great White Stag, which will be written about in the 2nd book in the series.

In chapter 19, Edward V learns of his father's death, making him the new king at just 12 years old.
History tells us that Edward received this news 5 days after his father died. His mother was in London with his father at the time of his death. In my story, I placed Edward's mother, Queen Elizabeth Woodville, in Ludlow as well, along with Edward's siblings. The purpose of changing these facts was, I simply required them to all be in Ludlow for the sake of the flow of the story. These reasons will become clear to the reader of the book.
The end of the chapter sees Edward calling out to see a fairy, which ties us back in to chapters 12 and 13, before continuing on with chapter 20.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,

To learn more about the world beyond the veil, check out the book,
The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1). Now available in paperback and as an ebook (free with KindleUnlimited)!!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Historical Accuracies.

Looking into the world from Beyond the Veil and the folklore that surrounds it.
Part 4. 
To my dearest friends and followers,

Today I will be analyzing my book, The Story of Hollyhocks (Tales from Beyond the Veil book 1) to talk about the folklore and history that is woven into the story. You can click on the Archive on the right panel of this blog to check out the previous 3 posts in this series.
Today I will be going over chapters 13-15. The focus shifts drastically from the fairy world to the friendship that forms between Hollyhocks and Edward. In these chapters, I believe that the reader really begins to feel what the story will be about.

The 13th chapter of the book tells of the start of Hollyhocks's adventures as she meets the young Edward V. To learn more about who he was, check out my blog post, The History of Edward V.
In the story, Edward's father, Edward IV, has passed away just two weeks prior to Hollyhocks arriving in Ludlow. Hollyhocks and Edward exchange few words, before the young king is escorted to his carriage in which he will make the long journey from Ludlow to London, where he will be coronated. The reader is briefly introduced to several other historical figures, including Lord Anthony Rivers, Lord Richard Grey, and Lord Thomas Vaughan.

During the carriage ride, the reader learns about Edward, little by little, through the dialogue between him and the eager Hollyhocks.
Many of the events in chapters 13, 14, and 15, were heavily inspired by the actual events surrounding Edward V during the time. Some of them are stretched or slightly changed for the flow of the story, but I did try my best to tie real events into a fantasy book, in which the young king meets and befriends fairies.

So which events are based on real events and which ones are strictly for the story?
In chapter 13, Edward is preparing to leave for London. This is a real event. We know that he was in Ludlow at the time of his father's death. Two weeks later, he is on his way to London, escorted by 2,000 men (a number which I have found to be accurate). I estimated that it would take two days to travel from Ludlow to London, but I don't actually know if that is true or not. Smaller things, like who rode in the carriage with Edward, were there other carriages, what did the carriage look like, etc., I completely made up for the story.

In chapter 14, Edward talks about having six siblings, not including half-siblings, which is also true.
One thing I did, and some people might hate me for, is I painted Richard III as the villain. Edward is uncomfortable at the mention of his name, and admits that he has never been fond of that particular uncle. Edward then describes him as having a "cold look". Different theories and historians seem to have different opinions about the popular beliefs surrounding Richard III and Edward V, but I guess I took this belief and used it as inspiration for my own story.

In the 15th chapter, the company has decided to spend the night in Stony Stratford, which is historically accurate. Edward fondly tells Hollyhocks some tales from his past, stating that his other uncle, Lord Rivers, is one of the best men he has known, and that he has been a father to him. I know little about the actual relationship between Lord Rivers and his nephew. It seems to me that they must have been close, based on what we know of history. Edward V was placed under the supervision of Lord Rivers, brother to Edward's mother, Queen Elizabeth Woodville. I wanted to paint him as the father figure, since Edward's own father was out of the picture for the most part.

The end of chapter 15 sees Hollyhocks asking more about Edward's life story, which he begins to tell in chapters 16-19. I will talk about those next week!!

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,

My ebook is available now!! Free with Kindle Unlimited!!