A big welcome today to Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus today as part of their blog tour for The Blacksmith’s Prince.
Writing ‘The Blacksmith Prince’ in many ways was a delightful experience. The story just begged to be written, words simply flowing out of my fingers. As if this particular world had already been there and waiting for us to discover it.
Naturally, there are moments when such exuberance flips into fear of hubris – who the hell did we think we were, hammering out a story set in 17th century France like this, powered by sheer inspiration? Did we have the skill to pull it off? Did we put the necessary research into everything? Every writer knows these doubts, but in this case, the fires of imagination burned so brightly that the shadows around it seemed very dark indeed.
One such moment struck me when searching for a name for one of the supernatural creatures in the story. We had established something like a guideline for naming the critters up until then – plant spirits would either bear Celtic or Occitan names, other spirits of nature would be named based on Occitan or Latin names. Lesser fey would get names from local folklore, and higher fey ones that reflected their origin.
But when trying to name the local moonlight sprites, the usual methods didn’t turn up any word that seemed suitable. Mostly, that was because my mind had already decided on another word that seemed perfect – ‘Lunette’. It means ‘little moon’ in French, and as ‘la lune’ in French is female, it suited the image of little, silver-winged pixies so well I just couldn’t think of any other choice. Moonlings, if you want.
Only, that word already was occupied by another meaning – ‘les lunettes’ are French for ‘reading glasses’. It comes from the way reading glasses sometimes reflect the light in a way that it looks as if the wearer has two little moons in place of his eyes. Not a bad image, either, but damn, I really would have preferred it for my moonlight fairies.
I hummed and hawed, until Beryll did what she usually does in such moments. She gave me that look and told me to stop being such a wuss and to use that word if it fit so well. If the original meaning would be too distracting, our francophone beta-readers and editors would tell us so, and in no uncertain terms.
As she is right most of the times, I did as I was told, named them ‘Lunettes’ and went on writing that book.
You can imagine the nail-biting during the wait for the first beta feedback.
But oddly enough, the first French reader’s reactions didn’t contain a single word about our misuse of ‘reading glasses’. So we checked back and asked explicitly, and their reaction sums up as a mildly surprised: “Oh, you made that up? Never occurred to me.”
At first, we were just relieved. The new image we had created was strong enough to stand next to the common usage of the word.
Then, we were amazed. Because, really, the image we had created was strong enough to stand next to the common usage of the word. We had taken an existing word and tagged on a new, different meaning, and everyone took it as natural. And in a foreign language at that.
The more we thought about it, the more mind-boggling the fact became. A new meaning to an existing word. Not by blunt declaration, but as a natural extension of the world we had invented. It felt like magic to us.
This is, of course, something that happens with close to every book, particularly in speculative fiction. It is how stories work, and an integral part in the evolution of languages. But it was the first time that it happened to us, the first time we realized how our stories change our readers’ minds. To us, it was like discovering that you had a superpower. It was, literally, literal magic.
Now, ‘The Blacksmith Prince’ is published, and of course we hope there will be plenty of readers who will allow us to enchant them with this story of Beauty, Magic and Romance. But much like Jehan and Giraud, the heroes of ‘The Blacksmith Prince’, we have no idea where our journey will take us. We hope this story will manage to bring a little magic to your life – it definitely has brought some to ours.
Title The Blacksmith Prince
By Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus
Editing & Proof Chantal Perez Fournier
Layout & Book Design Julia Schwenk
Cover Anna Tiferet Sikorska |
Map Kosmic | kosmicdungeon.com
ISBN-13 978-1542456104 (softcover)
ASIN B071QZG4R5 (ebook)
Length 290 Pages / 85.000 words
First publication July 14th, 2017
Once upon a time, a young blacksmith sought a witch’s help to save his parents. And foolhardy as he was, he paid him with a kiss…
17th century Perigord is a county of sun-drenched villages and dark forests, languid rivers and moonlit lakes. It is a corner of France teeming with spirits, dryads and nymphs, and like everywhere else, witches are burned at the stake here.
Born with the second sight, young fisherman Jehan wants nothing but to keep his head down, work hard, and stay out of trouble. Which works well enough until a suspicious string of bad luck befalls the village smith and his wife. Their adoptive son Giraud is everybody’s dashing darling, who behind his sooty smile and swashbuckling manners has buried a painful connection to the supernatural himself. Fearing that some evil is afoot, Giraud turns to the only other man in town who knows about the hidden world around them – Jehan.
Before long, they are embroiled in a quest involving brigands, witches and noble fey, while their friendship and attraction gradually shifts into something deeper. If they manage to survive ancient feuds and everyday prejudice, they might even have a chance to forge a Happily Ever After all of their own…
From Rainbow-Award-winning authors Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus, ‘The Blacksmith Prince’ is an old-fashioned, swoon-worthy historical fantasy romance about tender love in a time when history and fairy-tales were one and the same.
And others on http://www.brackhaus.com/the-books/blacksmith-prince/
About the Authors
Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus are a couple currently living their happily ever after in the very heart of Germany, under the stern but loving surveillance of their cat.
Both of them are voracious but picky readers, they love telling stories and drinking tea, good food and the occasional violent movie. Together, they write novels of adventure and romance, hoping to share a little of their happiness with their readers.
An artist by heart, Beryll was writing stories even before she knew what letters were. As easily inspired as she is frustrated, her own work is never good enough (in her eyes). A perfectionist in the best and worst sense of the word at the same time and the driving creative force of the duo.
An entertainer and craftsman in his approach to writing, Osiris is the down-to-earth, practical part of our duo. Broadly interested in almost every subject and skill, with a sunny mood and caring personality, he strives to bring the human nature into focus of each of his stories.
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