Miles was still mourning the loss of his Romantic Plan. 'There was going to be champagne, and oysters, and you' -- he held out both hands as though shifting a piece of furniture -- 'were going to be sitting there, and I was going to get down on one knee, and...and...
I love the sound of words, the feel of them, the flow of them. I love the challenge of finding just that perfect combination of words to describe a curl of the lip, a tilt of the chin, a change in the atmosphere. Done well, novel-writing can combine lyricism with practicality in a way that makes one think of grand tapestries, both functional and beautiful. Fifty years from now, I imagine I’ll still be questing after just that right combination of words.
But that initial, comet-blazing-across-the-sky, Big Idea is only the beginning. Each book is composed of a mosaic of thousands of little ideas, ideas that invariably come to me at two in the morning when my alarm is set for seven.
Whether I like it or not, most of my images of what various historical periods feel, smell, or sound like were acquired well before I set foot in any history class. They came from Margaret Mitchell, from Anya Seton, from M.M. Kaye, and a host of other authors, in their crackly plastic library bindings. Whether historians acknowledge it or not, scholarly history’s illegitimate cousin, the historical novel, plays a profound role in shaping widely held conceptions of historical realities.
Old books exert a strange fascination for me -- their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.
Hard to believe that so nearby, just across the Channel, such atrocities could still occur in their supposedly civilized world, that one could wake up one morning and find oneself bereft of brothers, parents, friends, all with the slice of an ax.
If a man took a lover it would be accounted commonplace. Why shouldn't you? Your virtue lies in your mind, not in what lies between your legs.
Such kindness wasn't a gift but a goad, scraping against one's skin like a yoke of thorns. She would have preferred him stiff, defensive, even offensive.
This was what the poets couldn't put in their poetry, she thought dumbly, the rush of desire so fierce and pure it made one shake, all on the force of a word.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that one only comes up with clever, cutting remarks long after the other party is happily slumbering away.
LIPID (Last Idiot Person I Dated) syndrome: a largely undiagnosed but pervasive disease that afflicts single women.
It would be, like all of Pammy's parties, hot and crowded and filled with impossibly glamorous people with hip bones so sharp they could qualify as concealed weapons.
No sin is original, no matter what the bright young things may hope. We're all merely playing to a theme.
It's the exile's dilemma. The home they yearn for is never the home to which they return. If they return.
Amy wondered if Bonaparte could declare war on Miss Gwen alone without breaking his peace with England
He admired her for throwing off her aristocratic shackles -- his terms, that -- and making her own way in the world.He didn't realize that the truth was so much more complex, so much less impressive. She had less thrown than been thrown.
Turning to Turnip, Miss Dempsey said, 'Do you think?'. 'As little as I can,' Turnip replied honestly.
Word of advice, sister mine. If you want to keep your papers private, don't write 'Private' on the cover. It set the mater right off. It was all I could do to stop her sniffing around like some great sniffing thing.
They were close enough that he could feel the hurried beat of her heart. He could feel Charlotte's indecision in every word she didn't say and every move she didn't make. She was tense with uncertainty, quivering with irresolution. She might not be leaning into him, but she wasn't pulling away, either.
My own inclination is to skew towards humor. They say that some people view life as a comedy, others as a tragedy. Me? Comedy all the way.
I never sat down and said, 'I'm going to write historical fiction with strong romantic elements.' It was just the way the stories went.