28 March, 2006

Ingeld's Daughter

Those of you who expressed interest earlier may like to know that the full text of Ingeld's Daughter is now available for download in PDF format on my website.

Following the discussion on place names, a map will be forthcoming in due course, but as drawing isn't my strong point it's likely to take me a few weeks.

As ever, any comments you care to make, whether on format, content or anything else, will be most welcome.


Bernita said...

There goes my writing schedule.

Rick said...

It's tough, isn't it? I may only dip toes in, because I'm determined to grit my way through the rest of my draft.

I have dipped toes in, though, enough to be a bit relieved. From Carla's various comments, Irinya's milieu sounded scarily similar to Catherine's - a para-Britain on the cusp of Middle Ages and Renaissance, not to mention the similar theme of the problems of being a royal heiress.

But Irinya's world, at least in the opening chapters, has a distinctly "earlier" feel - around 1300-1400-esque, so to speak. Though that is perhaps only an effect of starting out in Carlundy; things might feel different in Billand.

This is quite apart, by the way, from the comment Carla makes about specifically choosing a pre-gunpowder world - the transition to the gunpowder age is very much a part of my milieu.

Incidentally, Carla, it probably doesn't matter, but I just noticed that the pdf of the first four chapters "outs" your real first name. :)

Carla said...

The 'earlier' feel is quite right, Rick. My starting point was Maude and Stephen (12th C), and the story grew from there. I was also struck by reading biographies of Mary Queen of Scots that Scotland seemed very medieval in its social structure and Mary had been brought up in Renaissance France - what a culture shock that must have been! So yes, Billand is more sophisticated and has a 'later' feel but the story doesn't actually spend all that much time there. You needn't worry about Catherine having any competition from me :-)

I tend to comment on whatever subject is under discussion at the time, and as you're dealing with a royal heiress in the Renaissance that's probably affected my commenting.

Where does the PDF show my name? It doesn't matter, but I'm curious as to where the file picked it up.

And incidentally, nobody need ever feel they have to explain why they're not reading my stuff. I shall, of course, be thrilled if anyone does, and even more so if they talk to me about it, but there's no obligation, no catch, no moral blackmail. It's a gift, from my imagination to yours. Make of it what you will.

Sarah said...

You mentioned that you were considering a Lulu.com version. I'd love to have that as an option. The PDF version looks like it will print fine, but it would be nice to have it in bound format for my bookshelf.

Carla said...

Thank you for the encouragement! It's in the works and we're working on a cover design, which looks like it will be the rate-limiting step. At the moment Lulu only has a US printing facility, but that wouldn't be a problem for someone US-based. For us on this side of the Atlantic, international shipping is uneconomic until Lulu get their UK and/or European printing plant up (no dates yet). It's a long book (250,000 words or 2.5 times a standard-ish mass-market paperback) so the cost would be around $18 in Lulu paperback, not counting shipping. It depends on the exact page count because Lulu charge per page, so we're fiddling with font/margins/leading etc to get the page number down to the minimum sensible - if I can reduce the page count by 50 it saves a dollar off the cost.
Anyone else interested in the Lulu option at that sort of price? One potential customer is enough for me to do it :-) but the more people are interested, the higher it goes on my priority list.

Rick said...

On my new (WinMX) computer, your name shows up in a little text box when I hover my curser over the document in my directory. It also shows up if you right-click on "properties." This is one of those things Windoze embeds without asking you. (There have been a couple of minor political scandals resulting from people not deleting their names from "properties" of text files.)

Re-reading your notes on your website, I see that you do mention Stephen and Maud first of all. I wasn't worried about competition - the more books of this type, the better, really, but this line from your notes was downright eerie: Could Elizabeth I, Mary Tudor or Mary Queen of Scots have married anyone without precipitating personal and political disaster?

You are right about Scotland in MQS's time; it is somewhat amazing to me that Mary was able to exercise authority there at all, even before her disastrous marriage choice.

I actually have a bit of time-slip also; Lyonesse has a bit more old-fashioned feeling than Aquitaine does, especially the Court of la Trémouille.

Another thing "old" feeling in Ingeld's Daughter is the names, starting with the one in the title! If you had absolutely nothing else to go by, "Ingeld" sounds out of an earlier age than "Catherine" does.

Susan Higginbotham said...

I'd like to see it on Lulu, as I do a lot of my reading while waiting around for things and don't have one of those PDF readers that can be toted around.

Carla said...

Ah, it's picked up the file path from my hard drive. Which might or might not be my name :-)

The same sort of marriage dilemma would likely have faced a reigning queen in earlier times, had there been any. I rather wonder if some of Maud's problems might have been because she was married to the Count of Anjou and so in theory he would have become king had she been accepted as queen - not something I imagine the English barons would have been terribly keen on (regardless of Maud's diplomatic skills or lack thereof). But as Maud was already married at the time of her father's death (as, incidentally, was Isabella of Castile) her marriage was never subject to the debate that surrounded Mary, Mary and Elizabeth, so they were the examples I picked out for the note.

Don't forget my other big interest is post-Roman Britain, so it was natural to pick on early English names. In a way, I suppose one could imagine Carlundy as medieval Britain without the Norman Conquest and subsequent French influence. Whereas Lyonesse has strong pseudo-French connections, no? Hence French-derived names like Catherine and William are appropriate in Lyonesse, whereas I deliberately avoided them.

I'd guess that Renaissance England probably felt 'earlier' than Renaissance France, and Renaissance France seems to have looked to Italy (and perhaps southern France? Or had the Albigensian Crusade trashed the troubadour culture?) as the source of things exotic and sophisticated (yes, this is a very broad generalisation). One could almost say there was a sort of north-south cultural gradient across Europe in the 15th/16th C. I'm guessing Lyonesse is in a different place along that gradient than your Aquitaine is?

As for whether Mary managed to exercise much effective authority in Scotland before her marriage, isn't that a bit of a moot point? She comes over to me as interested in reigning but not actually in ruling, and not having very much talent for playing off one faction against another. Which is not entirely her fault considering she was brought up in a completely different culture and had no chance to learn court politics in Scotland before being pitchforked into it. Whereas Elizabeth, by contrast, never left England and had the opportunity to observe how the world worked.

Rick said...

First a general-curiosity question: how long is Ingeld's Daughter? It doesn't look like pdf files provide a word count.

I'd forgotten that Maud/Mathilda was already married, but then, the little I know about her is almost entirely from Cadfael novels. :) Isabella was married before her father's death, but she made the choice herself (with "advice and consent" of her supporters among the Castilian nobility). So her situation feels more like that of a queen regnant choosing a husband.

From the quick bit I've read, Carlundy does indeed sound rather like a Norman-less Britain. I get a bit of specifically Scottish feel, too, from the apparent relations of lowlands and highlands. But that is only at first glance, and your correspondences are a good deal less direct than mine.

I'm eager to see a map, even a crude one!

Lyonesse did indeed have a "conquest," under rather different circumstances; hence the Gallic-derived names. A big difference from England is that Lyonesse corresponds to the whole British Isles; it is made up of the Saxon Pale and the four duchies of Ashland, Dunfolk, Prydeland, and Tearnac.

Renaissance England does indeed feel earlier than Ren France - partly that may be an artifact of the French court having sort of pre-echoes of Versailles. I think the troubadour culture was pretty well wiped out by the Albigensian Crusade - the Ren influence in France came very much from Italy, whereas Ren England drew a bit directly from Italy, but heavily from France.

In fairness to Mary, she had been raised to be Queen of France, and would have remained so if Francis II hadn't turned up his toes so quickly. She never expected that she would or should take up personal rule of Scotland. She had little interest in the business of governing it, but in one respect she might have been surprisingly well-suited, what with personally riding out on expeditions like the Chaseabout Raid. That would have worked well for her, if only she'd had other useful traits, like political and personal judgment.

Gabriele C. said...

I'm also for Lulu. I don't like to read long texts online, and my Cro Magnon laptop doesn't communicate with my Neanderthal printer. :)

But I'm going to read it in bits.

Bernita said...

Carla, wish you had sent this to Baen or DAW.
I cheated and went to the end because I HAD to find out how it turned out.
Gave me palpitations.
Still haven't calmed down.

Carla said...

250,000 words approximately (in the middle of the comment about Lulu and the likely price).

I think there's a difference between an heiress and a reigning queen marrying. The heiress' husband will only be king if/when she inherits; if she happened to die before inheriting the throne (not imposible considering the mortality rate in childbirth), or if a male heir was born to her parents and displaced her from the succession, her husband wouldn't be king. Whereas the reigning queen's husband is king (consort or reigning) as soon as they say 'I do'.
Specifically in Isabella's case, as you say, her choice was made with the advice and consent of her nobles, whereas Mary seems to have married Darnley without much in the way of either. Very, very big difference! Though as we've discussed elsewhere, it's hard to see whether there was anybody Mary could have married with general consent; there doesn't seem to have been anyone around who was in the same position as Ferdinand was to Isabella.

From the discussions on Gabriele's forum, I get the impression that your Lyonesse/Aquitaine is closely synologous with Britain/France, whereas I'd say Carlundy is 'loosely based on' rather than synologous. There were a couple of important story elements I wanted to use that I felt wouldn't fit in the culture of medieval Britain.

Mary would probably have made a much better queen consort of France than queen regnant of Scotland, and arguably one of the aspects of her story that makes it such an enduring tragedy is that she was born to completely the wrong job. I think I differ regarding the Chaseabout Raid, though; she seems to have been at her most effective in exciting situations needing quick action, but hopeless at sticking to boring, complicated things requiring sustained application, like running a country. (If indeed anyone could have run medieval Scotland. Her half-brother Moray made an equal pig's ear of it as Regent after she was deposed). One could pinch the line from Lawrence of Arabia that goes "The virtues of war are the virtues of young men and the vices of peace are the vices of old men" and say that Mary had the virtues of war but not many of the vices of peace; whereas Elizabeth was rather the other way round. I suspect your Catherine has some of both?

Carla said...

Bernita - Sent it to who?

Bernita said...

Two American publishers:
Baen Books(www.baen.com) and DAW Books( www.dawbooks.com).
Both I think still accept unagented mss.

Carla said...

Thank you for the compliment, but don't forget what Sarah Cuthbertson said earlier about it not fitting a pigeonhole. In any case, where's the problem? It's available to read and you don't even have to pay for a copy :-) (though anyone who wants to has the option of dropping something into the PayPal tip jar). It's available to anyone, so you can recommend it to friends or family or anyone else you think might like it. As soon as I put it up on Lulu you'll be able to get it in book form if you prefer.

Gabriele C. said...

So does Tor. Might suit better than Bean whom I feel to be more on the SF/urban Fantasy side.

Bernita said...

I meant no offense, Carla.

Carla said...

None taken, Bernita. Did it read that way? Apologies if it did.

Rick said...

250K, huh? Sounds familiar! You'd probably have had to cut nearly as much as I did, to try and sell it commercially. Like Bernita, I'd have loved to see this in commercial print - the downside is that I couldn't download it to read for free, but the upside is it would have been a boost to the invented-history subgenre.

Indeed there's a difference between an heiress and a reigning queen - what I was focusing on was that Isabella was already a political player in her own right, not the usual case for an heiress. The greater difference between her and Mary is surely the one you point out: she consulted her supporters and made an outstandingly successful choice, while Mary did neither. Whether she had any good marriage option is a good question in its own right.

Yes, Lyonesse (and its neighbors) are much more closely synologous to Britain than yours - comparable to GG Kay in that respect. In some ways even closer, since I've used some real names in altered context, e.g., Aquitaine as syno-France.

Carlundy clearly has a British sort of flavor, but perhaps only on the level of atmosphere. Billand I won't know till I get there - from things you've said, I've pre-formed a mental image compounded from early-Ren Italy, the Low Countries, and the Hansa, but I won't know till I get there, will I? :)

Your take on Mary sounds about right. She rose to exciting moments, but was passive when thinking was called for rather than action. Whether Scotland was governable is a Good Question! It is rather amazing to me that the Stewart dynasty even survived, considering the repeated pattern of long royal minorities - it seems like a situation ripe for a usurpation.

When it comes to the virtues of war and vices of peace, Mary and Elizabeth were indeed somewhat mirror images. Per your insightful guess, Catherine has something of both. Although Elizabeth was my underlying inspiration, she has ended up being rather more like an improved Mary - basically impulsive, but able to pull herself back. I think this is a byproduct of the fiction medium. Daring escapes and the like lend themselves to a story more than Elizabeth's style of government would.

Rick said...

Now I feel like an idiot, because I see you gave the word count in a reply before I asked for it. :)

Carla said...

The landscapes and geology of Carlundy are British, too.

It is astonishing that the Stewart dynasty lasted so long. My guess is that all the other noble families were so busy fighting each other that none of them became strong enough to seize control. Or maybe there was no need to usurp the throne when you could be Regent for a child-king and run the show anyway? Plus there is the strange mystique surrounding the Divine Right of kings; it may not be entirely a coincidence that it was a Stuart king who pushed that to a fatal extreme?

Good point re the conventions of fiction. That's probably why everyone writing about the Roman invasion of Britain tells Boudica's story and not Cartimandua's :-)

Bernita said...

Nature abhors a vacuum - and yesterday was my special day for putting my foot in my mouth.

Rick said...

On Boudica v Cartimandua, just so. Cartimandua sounds like a shrewd survivor, but her story lacks the dramatic hooks that Boudica's has.

Carla said...

Arguably that makes it more of a challenge :-) If I'm ever drawn to write in this period, it'll be Cartimandua's story I tell.

Rick said...

Everyone knows about Boudica (well, everyone in history junkiedom), and Cartimandua is sort of the anti-Boudica.

I have a certain fondness for her name, at least ("Sleek Pony" is cool!), having once stolen it for a bit I did on a naval-history oriented board, a little alt-hist thing in which Greeks and Romans had pre-dreadnought battleships. :)

Gabriele C. said...

Hehe, I had some plotbunny for a Cartimandua novel, but I kicked that one out for now because the idea was too vague.

Sarah Cuthbertson said...

I'd like to register my interest in a Lulu book version of Ingeld's Daughter. I'm very attached to "proper" books. Having read Chapter 1 in pdf, I'd certainly buy Ingeld's Daughter in book form, so I hope it will happen!

Carla said...

Sarah - thanks for the comment. It's under my control, so a Lulu version will happen in due course, as soon as I find the time to do it. If their UK/Europe printing plant isn't operational by then, you might find the international shipping charges from the US impractical - but maybe you could get a friend in the US to order for you and send it by post? I'll post here and on the website when it's available in book form.