Today I would like to introduce you all to debut author, B. N. Peacock. Her new book, A Tainted Dawn, is the first book in her Great War series, and will be released March 1st. Stay tuned after the interview for a giveaway!
When you were in the early idea/planning stages of your book, which came first, the time/place or the story you wanted to tell?
The time period set the stage for the story. The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars have fascinated me since childhood. I’ve read many nautical and military historical novels dealing with this era, as well as histories and biographies. Most, particularly the novels had a single country viewpoint. I wanted to broaden the reader’s perspective, hence the three different characters from three different backgrounds and ultimately, three different nations.
What has been the most difficult part of the writing/publication process so far? Has anything surprised you?
Each stage of the process had its own set of difficulties. During the writing process, I faced the twin challenges of wrestling the material down to a manageable level and finding the time to write. The publication process took longer, drawn out by inexperience and a certain amount of naiveté. As for my greatest surprise? Without doubt, the day I opened my emails and found that Fireship Press was interested in my book!
The historical Caribbean is not an area that gets a lot of treatment in novels – what drew you to this location?
It added the international perspective I wanted to portray. Everyone (hopefully) knows something about the upheaval in France beginning in 1789. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. But that same yearning for freedom, which had begun with the American Revolution, was spreading to other countries, not just France. The Caribbean was one such place, a place which was to become the scene of bloody uprisings and war, as men fought for their beliefs and England and France clashed across the globe.
If you could go back in time, but have to live in that time period, where would you go and why?
I recall reading a piece about going back in time some years ago. The author stressed that the reality would not match expectations. We picture ourselves in a manor house or plantation. The truth of the matter is that for most of history, the majority of people lived in poverty or close to it. As much as I love reading about the era I write about, I still wouldn’t want to live in it. I’ll stay with the devil I know.
Have you had the chance to visit any of the locations in your novel? If so, what was your favorite place? If not, where would you like to go?
I was fortunate to be able to visit most of the places mentioned in A Tainted Dawn, with the exception of France. This April, I will be going there also. My favorite place thus far is England, most especially the Surrey countryside. I also enjoyed Antigua and English Harbor, although next time I won’t visit during the hurricane season!
I know that this is the first book in a series – can you tell us anything about what we can expect from the rest of the series?
The outlook will broaden to include the fledgling United States, as Jemmy emigrates there. Expect war, international intrigue, land and sea battles, and the clash of personalities and ideals. Expect to see more of Edward, Louis, and Jemmy and some of the famous people of their day. But most of all, expect what I hope will prove to be a good read.
B. N. Peacock’s love of history started in childhood, hearing stories of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire from her immigrant grandparents. They related accounts handed down from their grandparents about battlefields so drenched in blood that grass cut there afterwards oozed red liquid. Such tales entranced her. These references probably dated to the time of the Napoleonic Wars. No wonder she was drawn to this time period.
In addition to history, she showed an equally early proclivity for writing, winning an honorable mention in a national READ magazine contest for short stories. The story was about history, of course, namely the battle of Bunker Hill as seen from the perspective of a British war correspondent.
The passion for writing and history continued throughout high school and undergraduate studies. She was active in her high school newspaper, eventually becoming its editor-in-chief. After graduation, she majored in Classical Studies (Greek and Latin) at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. In her junior year, life took one of those peculiar turns which sidetrack one. A year abroad studying at Queen Mary College, University of London in England led to the discovery of another passion, travel. She returned and finished her degree at F&M, but now was lured from her previous interests in history and writing.
Her work continues on Book Two in The Great War series, tentatively to be called Army of Citizens, with new trips planned to England, France and Belgium.
You can follow more about her work on her website.
Now for the giveaway – I have a copy of A Tainted Dawn up for grabs and it is open internationally. The giveaway ends on February 17th. Just fill in the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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