Wednesday, March 11, 2009
IMHO welcomes debut author Lisa Marie Wilkinson!
IMHO is pleased to welcome a fellow Medallion Press debut author, Lisa Marie Wilkinson. Lisa Marie began her writing career as a lyricist, working in collaboration with composer Marti Schwartz and receiving a number of awards for songwriting. Lisa Marie also acted as a music critic and reviewer, all the while devoting her “spare time” to working on the idea that became her first completed novel, Fire At Midnight, an historical romance set on the Cornish coast in 1703 and featuring a brooding hero, a windswept lighthouse, and lots and lots of atmosphere and sensual tension. She'll be putting Fire at Midnight in our giveaway basket. Her second historical romance, Stolen Promise, will be available from Medallion Press in March 2010.
Lisa Marie's fiction has been honored with awards from over 60 (!) writing contests, including the Maryland Writer's Association Novel Contest, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest, and the Daphne du Maurier award for unpublished writers.
A native of Ohio, she grew up in California and now lives in Tennessee. And, apparently, not only were our heroines separated at birth (despite not having read each other’s work before publication, we were both amused to discover how our heroines found themselves in remarkably similar circumstances in the beginning chapter of our books), Lisa and I were also separated at birth, as I spent many years in California and my family hails from Tennessee. Convinced that great minds think alike, I knew I had to have Lisa join us at IMHO for our “I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS” gift basket giveaway this month.
IMHO: Welcome, Lisa, and tell us what the “story behind the story” is for this wonderful book.
LMW: Thanks, TJ! It is my pleasure to share the “story behind the story” as it applies to my debut historical romance novel, Fire at Midnight.
The setting of my book is 1703 England—the Southern coast of England to be specific—where smugglers match wits with Custom authorities and evil doers known as ship wreckers use a variety of methods to lure unsuspecting ships to their doom upon the Eddystone Rocks. The hero of Fire at Midnight is smuggler Sebastién Falconer, a Frenchman with a chip on his shoulder whose burning desire for vengeance against the informant responsible for the seizure of his ship places him on the path toward a fateful confrontation with Rachael Penrose, the woman wrongly credited with being the informant.
The “story behind the story” is that the fate of the Eddystone Lighthouse as depicted in Fire at Midnight is a true event. A climactic scene in the book features a violent windstorm that imperils the lives of the lead characters and sweeps the lighthouse from its rock perch, leaving only the iron rods that once anchored the beacon affixed to the rock.
In the story, Henry Winstanley, the designer and inventor of the structure, journeys to the lighthouse on the night of the fateful storm and is swept into the sea with his creation. Winstanley’s fate and that of his lighthouse as depicted in Fire at Midnight are recorded history, but the scenes featuring Sebastién and Rachael are wholly fictional and resulted after I asked myself the question, “what could be happening to my characters inside the lighthouse as the storm outside is building that would rival the drama and danger of the Great Storm itself?”
The scenes featuring Winstanley interacting with other characters within in the novel are fictional, of course, but my idea to use the destruction of the lighthouse as a featured scene in my novel occurred to me after extensive research on the Eddystone lighthouse and The Great Storm of 1703. The unusual structure not only made a perfect sanctuary for my hero and heroine, it also provided the perfect setting for scenes of romance and suspense. The history of the Eddystone Lighthouse is the fascinating “story behind the story” of Fire at Midnight.
IMHO: Thanks, Lisa Marie! It's always so interesting to hear what inspired an author to write a particular story. Thanks for being our guest today. Folks, be sure to leave a comment for Lisa Marie. Do you enjoy novels that feature real historical events as a central theme? Let her know for a chance to be entered into our contest this month for the "I LOVE ME SOME HISTORICALS" gift basket giveaway.