Friday, June 15, 2007

From Trauma to Triumph...

Romantic Times has given my next release, THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT four stars!

And here's what they have to say about it:

"Moore's book deals with not only the violence of medieval times but also the taboos of that era. The hero and heroine appear to be star-crossed lovers because the heroine's sister is married to the hero's brother, which by cantor (sic!*) law means the heroine and hero are family.** The emotions are right on key and the intrigue compelling."

Whoo hooo! However:

*That should be "canon" law, not cantor. As in, forbidden by the church, not a choir director.

** And not just are they family, because in-laws are, after all, that. They were considered brothers and sisters the same way as if they were born of the same parents. As I explained in the Author's Note to THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT, this law was changed in 1215 (and I say why).

Harriet Klausner, bless her heart, also gave THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT five stars and had this to say:
"THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT is a fabulous medieval romance starring two obstinate lead characters that in some ways are like the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. Bayard knows he wants Gillian as his wife while Gillian knows she wants no one especially an arrogant knight who reminds her of her father to be her husband. The sub-genre audience will enjoy their gender war compounded by law that disallows family members from marrying since their siblings are wedded they are by law family."

I've heard Harriet may have health issues, which might explain why the last line in particular is hard to follow.

But here's the thing: both reviewers mentioned the restrictions of canon law and apparently thought that made the story more interesting.

This just blows me away, because what I didn't say in the Author's Note was that I didn't discover this restriction until I writing the second book of a series about three brothers who, in my original plan, married three sisters. I'd read plenty of stories where brothers married their sisters-in-law -- the Knightley brothers in Jane Austen's EMMA come to mind -- so I didn't even think to check that. I stumbled upon it while researching something else.

Unfortunately, the first book was done, set in 1204, edited, and in production. Nothing could be changed. Fortunately, as far as the marriage went in that book, the canon law wasn't a problem -- but it meant I had a big problem with the next two books. The heroes and heroines could not legally wed.

What's an author to do? Well, more than one person suggested I just not worry about it. Who would know it was wrong?

I would know it was wrong, so that wasn't an option for me.

I wandered around in a stunned, upset daze until I came up with a viable solution. It meant a lot of work, and a lot of revising, and a whole lot of angst.

But lo! It seems that my mistake has turned out to be a Very Good Thing. It's made the story more interesting by creating an unusual, historically accurate conflict.

I wish I'd known that last September. I sure would have slept better.


Michelle said...

When I read Harriet's reviews of my books I don't even recognize the plot...and I wrote it! LOL

Maureen McGowan said...

Congrats on the great reviews.