The odd thing about writers is that they’re working even when they’re gazing out the window. I suppose you could stare at the screen for endless hours, but the eyes need a rest and the brain needs stimulation. When we bought our house at a sheriff’s auction twelve years ago, the only thing it had going for it was the view. Set on six wind-battered acres high atop a gravelly hill, I knew this was the perfect place to immerse myself in my novels. It was secluded, quiet and breathtakingly beautiful . . . well, sort of.
You see, secluded means you can barely see your neighbors’ houses and most of them live out in the sticks because they don’t want to be disturbed, either. So a pleasant ‘howdy-do’ never happens. At best, you wave at the guy in the tractor as you pass him on the road. Quiet goes out the door when the beagle next door is baying all night long and the mockingbird starts his ever-changing chorus at 4 a.m.
As for a beautiful view, I have that in spades now, but it wasn’t always so. We spent the first few years bush-hogging the neglected six acres, pulling out bushes, planting trees and filling in groundhog holes. Remodeling the house has been a story unto itself that took a decade. When the first cold snap hit in the fall, we didn’t dare turn on the furnace until we had replaced all the heating ducts, which were six inches full of dust, loose change, plastic toys and cat pee. In the basement, there was black mold on the walls and cobwebs hanging so low you couldn’t walk through without them getting caught in your hair. Little by little, it has come together. The place looks nothing like it did when we moved here.
These days, I am constantly awed and amazed at the beauty around us, whether it’s a thunderstorm rolling across the landscape, a kestrel gliding on the wind, the snow-fog that hugs the valley below in winter, or a herd of deer loping through the cornfield behind us. Initially, my desk was in the bedroom with a view to the rear of the house, looking out over a sloping hill and endless farmland. Recently, I relocated my desk to the front of the house, where I can see my garden: an ever-changing palette of lemon-yellow lilies, chiffon pink hollyhocks, saucer magnolia, goldmound spirea, and purple clematis. This usually reminds me that I need to go pull weeds or turn on the sprinkler. A few hours later, I remember I have a chapter to finish or a blog post to write. It balances out. The book gets written (somehow) and the garden comes back to life every spring.
Some days, nothing much is happening outside my window and I need to turn my focus to the next book. My desk is a testament to my industry. Whenever it’s overflowing with papers and books, that means I’ve actually been working. If it’s clean that means I’m procrastinating. My most often used scholarly references are within a hand’s reach. This helps make me feel like I know more than I really do. On the wall behind my computer screen is a collage of printed-out e-mails from readers. It blows my mind that anyone would bother to write to an author, let alone me, so I keep them there for inspiration, to remind me of why I write.
About the Author:N. Gemini Sasson is also the author of The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy: Book I), Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy: Book II), The Honor Due a King (The Bruce Trilogy: Book III) and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer (2011 IPPY Silver Medalist for Historical Fiction). She holds a M.S. in Biology from Wright State University where she ran cross country on athletic scholarship. She has worked as an aquatic toxicologist, an environmental engineer, a teacher and a track and cross country coach. A longtime breeder and judge of Australian Shepherds, her articles on bobtail genetics have been translated into seven languages.
Find the author online at:
Web site: http://www.ngeminisasson.com
What is done cannot be undone.For a review of this book, check back on June 15.
England, 1326. Edward II has been dethroned. Queen Isabella and her lover, Sir Roger Mortimer, are at the pinnacle of their power.
Fated to rule, Isabella’s son becomes King Edward III at the callow age of fourteen. Young Edward, however, must bide his time as the loyal son until he can break the shackles of his minority and dissolve the regency council which dictates his every action.
When the former king is found mysteriously dead in his cell, the truth becomes obscured and Isabella can no longer trust her own memory . . . or confide in those closest to her. Meanwhile, she struggles to keep her beloved Mortimer at her side and gain yet another crown—France’s—for the son who no longer trusts her.
Amidst a maelstrom of shifting loyalties, accusations of murder propel England to the brink of civil war.
In the sequel to Isabeau, secrecy and treason, conspiracy and revenge once again overtake England. The future rests in the hands of a mother and son whose bonds have reached a breaking point.