Once upon a time I decided to write my high school research paper on the Black Death. That is how this story begins. The more research I did, the more gruesome facts I learned. I found primary and secondary sources citing husbands abandoning their wives and mothers abandoning their own children in the desperate struggle to stay alive. All that death got me thinking, there must have been exceptions to these tales of selfishness? Somehow humanity made it through that rough time. So somebody must have stayed back and nursed the sick. There must have been some forgotten heroes. I wanted to write about them.
So my research paper transformed itself into a children’s historical fiction novel. I follow a young girl named Lyddie on her quest to survive. With death closing in on her village, Lyddie is forced to forge a new life in an abandoned lord’s castle. There she meets a diverse cast of folks escaping from disparate plague created situations: a baker’s wife and daughter attempting to run the castle while their lord is gone, a monk’s son fleeing from a vicious tour of flagellants, a proud but unlucky minstrel honing his musical skills, and a Jewish peddler attempting to right past wrongs in London while surviving deathly prejudices. The characters grow to love and lean on one another. While this tale is set in one of the darkest times in human history, it is not a tale of death. It is a tale of survival and the heroes that made that possible. It is a story of life.
The book as it lies now is 61,942 words. I have done my best to make it as historically accurate as possible, from the characters backstories and attitudes on death and God, to the details in the descriptions of clothing, climate, and food. I have been working in it for over two years now. I finally have a draft I believe is worthy enough to be shown to close family and friends and anyone else interested in helping me make it better.
What you've just read is a query letter. If any of you would like to help me out with technical editing and other suggestions, I would love to send you a PDF file of the current draft.
Writing a novel is an exciting journey. Please feel free to join me on the inside of finishing and publishing my debut novel. I'd love to hear from you! I'll be giving updates on my journey to publication on this blog.