Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Novel

I am happy to announce that my new historical novel will be released in mid-November, about a month away. Sorry it has taken so long; there have been several revisions accompanied by additional research from the time I started writing the story eight years ago. Set amid the turmoil of the Albigensian Crusade in thirteenth century southern France, The Night's Dark Shade tells of heresy versus orthodoxy and of forbidden love versus fidelity. Heiress of her father's estates in Auvergne, the orphaned Lady Raphaëlle leaves her home to marry a nobleman in a remote castle in the Pyrenees. There she encounters the mysterious Cathar sect, who challenge her most deeply held beliefs. In her struggle to find her true calling, she discovers hatred and betrayal as well as abiding friendship and unexpected love.

Although I studied the Cathars in graduate school, I was inspired to write the novel during a pilgrimage to Lourdes; the castle there had been a Cathar stronghold at one time. I am now editing the final draft and will let everybody know as soon as we are ready to take orders.

(Artwork: Meeting on the turret stairs by Frederick Burton) Share

20 comments:

SF said...

Wonderful news! Can't wait!

mercifuljuliana said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to read it!

God Bless,
Juliana

Wendy Haught said...

Yea!

Two questions:

Who is the publisher?

For which age group is the book intended?

Matterhorn said...

Congratulations! It sounds wonderful!

elena maria vidal said...

Wendy, because I am stubborn and will not make some of the changes publishers require for publication, we are publishing it ourselves through Lulu.com on our own Mayapple Press. "Mayapple" is the name of our house in Maryland where I grew up.

Like my other books, while the new novel was written for older teens and young adults, it really can be enjoyed by all ages.

I think that in some ways the heroine in the new novel experiences what many young Catholics experience going away to college for the first time, meeting professors and peers with heterodox philosophies. In my heroine's case, she has a solid background in the faith and is able to take a stand for her beliefs, at great cost to herself.

elena maria vidal said...

And let me add, like many of our young people going out into the world, the heroine is subjected to temptations and she must rely on God's grace to battle them. It is not easy for her but then neither is life.

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, Matterhorn!

Wendy Haught said...

Hooray for your courage and for Mayapple Press's debut!

I'm so glad that the book will be good for the YAs. There is a desperate need in that category.

And just in time for Christmas orders!

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, Wendy for your continued support and encouragement. And I just found out that this blog has been ranked among the top 40 literature blogs by Wikio, a blog-indexing website in Europe, indexing nearly 200,000 English-language sources!

Margaret said...

Congratulations EMV! Did the publishers want you to remove the Catholic elements in your book?

Julygirl said...

I am neither a young adult or a teen but have found your previous books to be enlightening and worthwhile reading for all ages. Your new book will have a place in my library along with TRIANON and MADAME ROYALE. Reading your books is a lovely way to learn about historical facts and events that are omitted from standard history studies. Congratulations and Good Luck!

elena maria vidal said...

Margaret, the only way this book would have succeeded with most secular publishers would be if it had only shown the Cathar point of view and made all the Catholics into monsters. I did not do that~ for one thing it is not historically accurate. I did have the privilege of working with two wonderful Catholic editors, who will be acknowledged in the book, who gave me many ideas which enriched the story and its historical authenticity. However, in the end, the book did not fit into the particular niche their publisher was looking for, and that's just the way the publishing industry is. I could have changed the novel to make it fit in but then it would not have been the story which I was trying to tell. The editors I was working with understood that completely, are still very supportive, and we hope to work together again on future projects.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Julygirl! TRIANON and MADAME ROYALE have an international following which supersedes age differences. And even though my books have an emphasis on the spirituality of the characters in the Catholic tradition to which they adhered, I have many non-Catholics and even non-Christians who have enjoyed the books over the 12 years since TRIANON was first published. To me this is good, since being faithful does not mean staying within our own safe Catholic circle~ we have a duty to go forth to the nations.

Margaret said...

Good for you. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! :) God Bless Mayapple Press!

Terry Nelson said...

Congratulations! Prayers for its success!

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, Margaret!

Thanks, Terry! All prayers will be appreciated.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I know I'm late, but I want to add my congratulations and let you know that I'm also praying for this intention.

Perhaps it's needless to add that I'm looking forward to this new book? Historical Fiction in general is great, but anything and everything YA is what really holds my heart.

Christina said...

I'm looking forward to it. I love historical fiction, but so much of it paints my dear Church in a bad light. I am always delighted when I find an author who can be evenhanded in her treatment of the Church - better still a Catholic author.

Of course there were corrupt clergy and dissipated nuns, then as now - but there were also so many holy men and women who are often ignored in the rush to portray "the big bad Catholic Church oppressing the masses." Faith was an essential part of people's lives in medieval times, not a mere tool for the ruling class to control society. I feel that if an author does not show that in the story, they have not truly understood the period.

elena maria vidal said...

Christina, you describe it quite accurately and I am so glad that there are many others like yourself who understand and appreciate what I am trying to do.

Alexandra said...

Look forward to it!