YES FOLKS. THE LOVELY CHRISTINE SMITH HAS BROUGHT BACK EVERYONE’S FAVORITE LINKUP!
Alright, so I don’t know if it’s everyone’s favorite, per se, but still.
Know The Novel has been going on for the past 5 years and it’s so much fun to participate in! So without further ado, allow me to introduce a WIP that has been stubbornly planted in my brain for twelve whole years…(wow time flies)
1. What first sparked the idea for this novel?
I honestly don’t know. All I remember is I was 13, at my grandma’s house, and I grabbed a big yellow legal pad and wrote down a ‘paragraph.’ (I didn’t know how to separate paragraphs back then)
2. Share a blurb (or just an overall summary)!
As the American Civil War rages, families across the nation find themselves embroiled in their own personal wars with family and friends.
3. Where does the story take place? What are some of your favorite aspects of the setting?
Multiple states, depending where the characters live and fight. I have a feeling PA, VA, and WV will get huge spotlights on them…
4. Tell us about your protagonist(s).
The protagonists are entire families, in the general sense: the Matthews (Philadelphia, PA), the Lanes (Philadelphia, PA/Athens, GA), the Adams (Worcester, MA), the Taylors (St. Louis, MO), the Lafayettes (also St. Louis, MO), the Rosses (Fayetteville, TN), and the Rhodes (Laurel Valley, VA/WV*).
The Lafayettes, Matthews, and Lanes are Union. The Rosses are Confederate. The Taylors, Adams, and Rhodes are split between the Union and the Confederacy. Each man fights for and each woman supports the side he or she does according to his or her own conscience. In the last two books, some of them question why they chose the side they did.
I’m hoping to only stick to up to 3 maximum POVs for each family. I do have a system that will hopefully organize them into something coherent and not confusing.
*Laurel Valley is a fictional town I created for the story.
5. Who (or what) is the antagonist?
It’s the Civil War. The North is the antagonist to the South is the antagonist to the North and the families have their own antagonisms going on. Sister-in-laws Meg and Charity are one example, as shown when Meg laces Charity’s corset a lil too tight and Charity plans revenge. (Not the deadly kind of revenge!)
6. What excites you the most about this novel?
I really don’t know. The Civil War is hard to write about in the first place, because everyone and their fifth cousin once removed has their own opinion on the war in this here 21st century. Some believe the North was right, others believe the South was right. More often than not, you can tell which side an author supports whenever they write a novel about it.
Me, I’m of the mind neither side was 100% right but they weren’t 100% wrong either. That, I think, is closer to the truth, because you can’t ever say one side was completely right while the other was completely wrong when both sides were both right and wrong and men from both sides committed atrocities.
7. Is this going to be a series? standalone? something else?
This is the first of five books. it’s also a prequel series to Preserving The Past, Arrows, and The Woodsman. Long story, but I hope to actually work out how the effects of the war trickle down to their descendants, even if they don’t realize it.
(Technically, the descendants in PTP are going to have the brunt of it since it practically started out as a sequel series to this in the first place…)
8. Are you plotting? pantsing? plansting?
Plantsing. Like always.
9. Name a few unique elements in this story.
Um…not sure. Maybe it’s the attempt not to show bias towards either side. Everyone else always goes for “The North was right!” or “The South was right!”
Yet, with everything I’ve been learning, I’ve had to come to the conclusion that neither side was fully right or fully wrong. I know I’m likely to get flack from people but I also know I’m gonna have to let it roll off my back, because ultimately, my first concern as a Christian writer is to write for God’s glory – not to write in accordance with a 21st century man’s or woman’s personal feelings and opinions about a war they never experienced in a time they never lived in among people they have never met.
10. Share some fun “extras” of the story (a song or full playlist, some aesthetics, a collage, a Pinterest board, a map you’ve made, a special theme you’re going to incorporate, ANYTHING you want to share!).
As an aside, I’m still going to be picking at Arrows and TW but for the mot part, I hope to get a substantial amount of this done, because it’s about time it got its chance to shine.