November 6, 2017

Tremontaine Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Author: Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz duffy Adams
Publication Date: October 11, 2017 
Publisher: Serial Box 
Formats: eBook & audiobook 

Since launching last year, serial fiction startup Serial Box has been featured from coast to coast including stories on NPR, Wired, BuzzFeed and i09. Serial Box was called “a godsend for a niche market of readers” by The Chicago Tribune. 

As one of the flagship serials from Serial Box with tens of thousands of readers across multiple platforms, Tremontaine has made waves in the serial, LGBTQ, and fan fiction community.  

Tremontaine introduces readers to a world where ambition, love affairs, and rivalries dance with deadly results. In this serial, Ellen Kushner and a team of writers return readers to the world of scandal and swordplay introduced in her cult-classic novel Swordspoint. Readers familiar with the series will find a welcome homecoming while new fans will learn what makes Riverside a place they will want to visit again and again. Tremontaine follows Diane, Duchess Tremontaine, whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; Rafe Fenton, a handsome young scholar with more passion than sense; Ixkaab Balam, a tradeswoman from afar with skill for swords and secrets; and Micah, a gentle genius whose discoveries herald revolution. Sparks fly as these four lives intersect in a world where politics is everything, and outcasts are the tastemakers.  

Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine Season 3 is brought to you by Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz duffy Adams.
What is the best process for researching before writing a historical fiction? 
By Liz Duffy Adams

This piece originally appeared on Quora. You can find a link here.

Tremontaine is the critically acclaimed prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside novels, which developed a cult following beginning with Swordspoint in 1987. The “Fantasy of Manners” focuses on decadent world building and interpersonal intrigue, and has been noted for its progressive expression of gender and sexuality. Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine season 3 is brought to you by Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz Duffy Adams. The first episode is available for free at Serial Box and can be found here:

Before co-writing a guest episode for Tremontaine (with Delia Sherman), I created the historical series Whitehall for Serial Box. And before that, I wrote plays set in the Restoration period (Or,) and 1702 New England (A Discourse on the Wonders of the Natural World), and I’m currently doing research for a play set in Elizabethan England. And based on my experience, the best way to write historical fiction is to spend years doing what I call “accidental research.” That is, to fall in love with a period in history, read works written in that period, rather than historical fiction written now and set there, steep yourself deeply in another time, another way of thinking, another way of speaking and writing, so that when you come to create your own story, it feels more like vising a country you know very well, than like arriving as a stranger in a strange land hastily trying to interpret their customs and language.

Before I wrote Or, (about Restoration playwright Aphra Behn, King Charles II, and actress Nell Gwynne), I had spent years immersed in the period. I’d studied and performed Restoration theater as a young actress, read and seen many plays of the period, visited London to see remnants of that time’s architecture, read the diaries of Pepys and Evelyn—all for sheer pleasure. Because from the first time I rehearsed a scene from Congreve’s Way of the World as an acting student I fell in love with the wit, the style (the clothes!), a certain brave and carefree way of engaging with a dangerous world. And I wanted to spend more time in that world. By the time it occurred to me to write the play, and later to set Whitehall in the same period, all the deliberate research I had to do was in nailing down the specific timelines and events, and boosting my understanding of the details of people’s lives. That was a lot of work, still, of course! But I already had an instinctive understanding, a gut feeling, of what that turning point in history was particularly about, at least to me.

So of course, that’s not a helpful answer if you aren’t already years into steeping in another period but you want to write fiction set there! So my abbreviated answer is: steep yourself now. Read everything you can get your hands on from the period, not only about it. Of course, present-day work about the past is part of the research process. But nothing can take the place of reading what people wrote then.

In another example, for my play set in the aftermath of the Salem witch crisis I found and read an 80 page sermon published in 1692, “Wonders of the Invisible World,” from which I got both my title, and a strong (and startling in many ways, to me) idea of how certain powerful men of the time justified executing accused witches, and how that mindset resonates with certain ways of thinking today. If all I knew of the period was, say, another play set there but written in the 20th century, The Crucible, I would be arguing with or echoing a near-contemporary, rather than engaging with something true and real about another time.

Maybe another way to think of it is, to write about the past, you have to travel to the past and spend some time there. And what’s historical fiction but a kind of time travel, the only kind we have?
About Seral Box 

A new kind of publishing company for a new age. 

While technology has rapidly evolved, the way publishers and writers bring books to readers really hasn't. Storytelling in TV has become more sophisticated and multilayered, podcasts have risen to mainstream media status—but ebooks are just books on digital devices, not easier, more fun, or more social than they were before. 

Serial Box is here to change all of that: artfully blending together the best of series television and the convenience of ebooks and audiobooks to bring readers a new form of story telling

Releasing fiction serials over the course of 10-16 week seasons, Serial Box is about delivering addictive episodes straight to the user’s digital device to be read or listened to anytime, anywhere. 

Taking a few pages from the world of television, Serial Box hires a team of a talented and award-winning writers to collaborate on each serial, pulling the best ideas to develop great characters and craft a narrative that captivates readers over the course of the season. A new ensemble of writers works on each series, so each will vary in genre and length, but they'll always be entertaining page-turners that keep you wondering what will happen in next week's episode. 

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 (3) winners will receive Season 1 of TREMONTAINE - Open International

Tour Schedule: 

Week One: 
11/6/2017- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt 
11/6/2017- Jamieson Wolfe- Review 
11/7/2017- Books,Dreams,Life- Pre Made Post 
11/7/2017-BookishRealmReviews- Spotlight 
11/8/2017- Novel Novice- Excerpt 
11/8/2017- BookHounds YA- Review 
11/9/2017- Owl Always Be Reading- Review 
11/9/2017- BookCrushin- Review 
11/10/2017- Read Lovely Books- Excerpt 
Week Two: 
11/13/2017- Owl Always Be Reading- Review 
11/13/2017- YA and Wine- Pre Made Post 
11/14/2017- Hauntedbybooks13- Review 
11/14/2017- Texan Girl Reads- Review 
11/15/2017- Hooked To Books- Spotlight 
11/16/2017- A Gingerly Review- Review 
11/17/2017- Owl Always Be Reading- Review 
11/17/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Review 

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