4 Dec 2012

Guest author: Sherry Gloag presents Vidal's Honor.

Today, I'm featuring a fellow writer and gardener from the United Kingdom.    
Nothing like a misty rainy day to enjoy curling up on the sofa and relaxingMulti-published author, Sherry Gloag is a transplanted Scot now living in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England.  She considers the surrounding rural area as extension of her own garden, to which she escapes when she needs "thinking time" and solitude to work out the plots for her next novel.  While out walking she enjoys talking to her characters, as long as there are no other walkers close by.
Apart from writing, Sherry enjoys gardening, walking, reading and cheerfully admits her books tend to take over most of the shelf and floor space in her workroom-cum-office.  She also finds crystal craft work therapeutic.                             picture from Freeimages.co.uk

How did you set your mind on writing Vidal's Honor?
Writing Vidal’s Honor showered challenges like confetti and there was times when those challenges seemed to be on a winning streak.
I’d never been asked to write a themed story within a set parameter and to a deadline before. Knowing others would be writing to the same specifics only upped the ante.  And it didn’t matter that the time limit was months away, it sat there like a wise old owl looking down with a look of pity most times, and occasionally with an attitude of encouragement.

That must have stretched you.
Experiencing several false starts between February and July meant I was cutting it fine with a Mid September deadline. As if that wasn’t enough, I also had a second cut-off date looming sometime in August.  So there I was with a story that refused to ‘gel’ and two publishers’ deadlines about to crash, head on. Only an idiot would allow that to happen.

 Panic was looming large as, once again I cast about for a plot. 
Gasp, a dedicated ‘pantser’ looking for a plot! And to this day I’m not sure how or why it came about, but it sure presented a whole new bunch of challenges.

How did you settle on a plot?
 For many, the idea that research is something to fear may seem alien. One of my biggest challenges yet was now staring me down, and I began to wonder where had my sanity gone to, or my brain, for that matter?  And yet, these characters, Honor Lady Beaumont and Charles, the Marquis of Vidal, were determined to have their story told.  They even bribed me with the title of the book. Vidal’s Honor.

Ha. Ha. Well, now you knew the direction of the story.
Another big problem was how to get my characters out of Spain and back in London in time for the Duke of Kringle’s Christmas Eve ball in London?  I began to despair that Charles and Honor would cooperate on this one, and it took some hefty bargaining on all sides before they co-operated and showed me how to achieve one of the biggest required ingredients of this writing challenge.

I can see you had a tussle with their personalities. What fun! Or was it?
Although I came close to ditching Vidal’s Honor on several occasions, my characters – and more importantly – the faith the person who asked me to write a Christmas Regency story had in me to come good on my commitment kept me going.

Writing Vidal’s Honor, shot me so far out of my comfort zone, the feeling of ‘abandonment’ when it was completed, was totally unexpected. I’d not only fallen in love with my main characters, I fell in love with Le Duc and let him escape because I couldn’t bring myself to bump him off!
Right. We've heard about your tussles. Now, let's get to the book.

Faced with accusations of treason, Honor, Lady Beaumont, wonders which she will lose first, her head or her heart.

When plunged into a world of spies, agents and espionage during the Peninsula wars, Honor, Lady Beaumont, flees for her life when the French capture her husband at Salamanca, and relies on his batman to arrange her safe passage back to England.
Viscount Charles Vidal is ordered by Robert Dumas, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to travel to Spain and escort the only woman he’s ever loved, Lord Devlin Beaumont’s widow back home before the French discover her whereabouts.
Their journey is fraught by danger, least of all knowing whether they are surrounded by friends or foe. Will they survive long enough to explore the possibility of a future together or will whispers of treason be enough to see Honor dispatched to Tyburn first?

While Vidal joked with his cousin, the viscount scanned the room. The smell of fine wine, whiskey and cigar smoke blended into a rich aroma that was as much a part of Whites as the card games, the background chatter, and outbreaks of lewd laughter from the younger members of the club.
One member in particular interested Vidal tonight, and he watched Robert Dundas, second Viscount Melville, and First Lord of the Admiralty, take leave of his friends and head in his direction.
He wondered why the man spent the best part of the night watching his every move, and paused in the act of fobbing his snuff box while he waited for the viscount to join him.
“Take a walk with me?” Although couched as a question, Vidal noted the quiet steel of command in the other man’s voice. Dundas laid a hand on his arm; a companionable gesture for anyone interested enough to observe the two men leaving the club together. “I believe I live not far beyond your own house. I’d appreciate your company, and this is not the place for such a discussion. ”
With an indolent twist of the wrist Vidal returned the modish lacquered box, unopened, to his pocket and nodded agreement. A man’s club was no setting for private conversation, and it was plain the man wanted to talk about something away from flapping ears.
Together they strolled across the room stopping to take leave of several mutual friends.

 Amazon.co.uk  http://tinyurl.com/cgonnnk


  1. Thank you Francene, both for inviting me to guest withyou today, and also for doing such a fabulous job with the scribblings I sent you.
    I hope you are enjoying the same bright sunshine we have here in Norfolk :-)

  2. Great interview Sherry and Francene. Vidal's Honor sounds like a fun read.


  3. Thanks for coming by, Edith. I appreciate your company and yes, Vidal's Honor was challenging but fun to write. :-)

  4. Lovely interview, girls! Nice to know more about your work, Sherry, and good job (or should I say "save"?) on getting this one in shape for the deadline! Yep, us pantsters have a rockier road, but--what would life be without a bit of stress to make the achievement taste sweeter? Best of luck with sales!

    1. Guille, thanks for your lovely comment. I'm delighted you enjoyed it and understood :-) The challenge was certainly scary on several occasions, but I felt great once the feedback started coming in! LOL. Thanks for coming by.

  5. What are you working on at the moment, Sherry? Did De Luc tempt you to write another story. I know how a favourite character can work their way into your mind and suggest new adventures.
    Do you jot down notes, or simply sit in front of your screen and write?

    1. Great question, Francene. As a pantser writer I don't usually makes notes before starting a project. Sometimes, as I write I may jot down musing at the end of the chapter I'm working on, which will often give me several options to work with as I progress.
      As for Le Duc? I'm not sure, I'm toying with his story in my head right now. I think I'm going to have to do a lot of research simply to find a viable starting point. :-)Since Napolean moved into Rusiia, I can't send him there (at least I don't think I can, or can I? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Have to think about that one.)
      Itis Consuela and Juan who are shoutiing the loudest right now. But they keep changing their minds about how they want the story to go. (No change there, then!)
      I am also working on the two next novellas in my Gasquet Princes series. The heros are twins and keep walking into each others' stories. So confusing! LOL

  6. Oh this sounds like an amazing story.

    I love that you also have to negotiate with your characters, Sherry. :-D

  7. :-) LOL Misha, thank you for your comment, and from it, do I gather you experience the same thing? By the time I get to the end of the book, I'm exhausted!!! rofl.


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