Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Building a Book - The Books

So I'm not sharing a snippet today, because everything is now too spoilery for the end of the book and I want to keep you guys in suspense as much as I can! Instead, I thought I'd spend the next few blog posts sharing some of the stuff that's helped me write Imperial Demons, from books to music to tea! All essential factors for me, especially with this book. I always knew Imperial Demons was going to be a tough book to write. Not because of the story itself (although it has been pretty emotionally wringing at points!), but because in sending Lola and Tristesse to Gehenna, I had to create a whole new world. And I had a really specific idea of what I wanted the demon world to be like (you can check out my Pinterest board for some visual inspirations - trigger warning: blood).

But actually fleshing out that idea and building (what I hope is) a coherent world took time, and research. Which was a great excuse to dive into some historical biographies!

Robert K Massie's biography of Catherine the Great was a book I wanted to read anyway, because I'm pretty keen on Russian history, especially relating to the tzars. The aristocracy and politics of Gehenna is heavily influenced by Catherine's era, and although I've worked to put my own twist on everything, it was important for me to dig into the political machinations and figure out how to apply them to Tristesse and her situation.

I'll hold my hands up now and say I have no idea how historically accurate this book is, because nobody can really agree on the Truth when it comes to Erzsebet Bathory, but it did seem to be a balanced and level-headed approach to the Bloody Countess. However you look at her life, she's a fascinating woman, and her reputed crimes helped shape the villain of Imperial Demons. And I've mentioned earlier in the Blood Canticles series that Lola is interested in her life story, so it felt only right to educate myself a bit more on her!

Another figure from Russian history, another tyrant. Ivan's horrific rule was another inspiration for the villain of the book, whilst reading about another era of the Russian tzars helped add some building blocks to Gehenna.

It's intriguing to me that Vlad the Impaler was renowned as a folk hero by some during his lifetime whilst we generally know him today as a bloodthirsty monster. I wanted to examine both sides of that, and this was a great book for doing so. I'm not looking to redeem the bad guy in Imperial Demons, but I did want to touch on why and how tyrants rise to power. Between Vlad and Ivan, hopefully I've handled it deftly! I don't want the book to get bogged down in political meanderings, but a little political meandering was inevitable. You'll understand why once you know why Tristesse ran away from Gehenna in the first place.

So! Those were the books that helped me get my head round Gehenna. Stay tuned (haha) for some musical inspiration next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment