How A Story Is Born

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 , greeting, Longhand Readers!

ever wondered how an author , or, other authors, if you are one, finds story ideas?

Here are some anecdotes about how I came up with the stories for my novel

After I finished writing The Draughtsman Damsel, I had recurring “visions” of a young, ginger squire-come-knight, who was proposing marriage to a young, beautiful lady, and she was his lord’s daughter. He tells her that he’s now suitable for her, as he reluctantly accepted his inheritance of a lordship that was his brother’s.

The I started thinking… how did he get there? Why does he see himself as unworthy? I kept seeing him as a precocious, clever, impetuous ginger lad. Fists clenched, eyes sparkling. Was he bastard born? Yes, but he wasn’t supposed to be. I saw his young mother, great with child and awaiting her lord’s return, perhaps he would wed her then.

I saw his father, weeping and guilt ridden, over the mother’s sick bed, wed to another, by his own fault.

I saw my lad, John, as a too clever, almost devilishly clever boy who scares his surrounding adults with his uncanny insights, but also a tenderhearted lad, who tends animals. I saw him being sent away as punishment, but thriving instead. That’s how A Good Knight’s Kiss was born.

I then had another idea. A young lady is betrothed to a lord her father detests, for politics’ sake. She is groomed for him. Her father’s knight and counselor   has an unhealthy attachment to her, when she is yet a young lass. She thinks herself hopelessly plain, and begins to anticipate her wedding day.

I saw her betrothed, really not such a bad man, forced to wed a young girl he knows not, but rebels and marries his pregnant, beloved mistress.

I saw her arriving to be wed to the lord, unaware that he’s no longer a single man. I saw him moved by her uncanny beauty, though his wife now lay dying, and offering to be her guardian instead.

I saw  her deliberating between three marriage offers, one being her father’s former knight, one being her new guardian, one… one was the dead lady’s brother, whom her lord guardian detests and wishes to save her from him. Why?

I saw a siege, and her marriage to one of the three as a means to lift it and save everyone. I saw it happening in the time of King John and Magna Carta.

That’s how Her Father’s Promise was born.

What now? Thought I. A few readers who had read The Draughtsman Damsel told me that they were enamoured of one of its side characters, Scotsman Robert McMillan. “Give him his own book.” They pleaded. What’s an author to do? I envisioned him heartbroken, having lost Annabelle’s heart. I imagined him fleeing the King’s decree to wed. his betrothed I imagined as a too beautiful highland laird’s daughter. I imagined them meeting eachother in the greenwood, unaware of the fact that they are each other’s intended. I imagined the elves interfering. Thus, Greenwood Side was born (yet to be published).

Finally I imagined a lady fleeing an unfaithful fiancée, and a sordid past, to hide as a governess, and falling, reluctantly, with her master, in regency times. I imagined him a recluse, fleeing, himself, guilt and shame. He was arrogant, and unwillingly celibate. She is sworn to abstinence, and unknowingly , arrogant as well. Thus , Arrogance and Abstinence was born (Self Published on Kindle.)

I’m currently working on Reynardine Redeemed, another sequel to the Draughtsman Damsel, featuring the Rakish Guillaume du Lac, as the fabled Reynardine, a werefox from balladry.

how about you, longhald readers? how do you come up with story ideas? tell me all about it.

Emily, wherefore art thou an Anglophile?

It’s strange, you know, Longhand Readers? Up until June of 2017 I’d never visited the fair green isle. Yet I have felt it to be my home, at least in the spiritual sense, for many a year.

So, wherefore am I an Anglophile?

It may have started with my taste in music, as a teen. I was a fan of British classic rock groups like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. I embraced the “englishness” in their lyrics and demeanor.

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Rock music was my “gateway drug”

I found the humour of it, the cynicism, the sarcasm, the sense of irony uncannily speaking to me. “akin to me”, as my favourite male protagonist, Edward Rochester would say. It drew me in. Rock music was my “gateway drug”, so to speak.

I was then drawn to the literature. Always an avid reader, with a language oriented brain, I started to read the classic novels, in their original language. Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Shakespeare. I fell in love with the language, the characters, the atmosphere, the land.

In my twenties I developed a liking to progressive rock, and from that a love of British folk music. Many folk rock groups performed ancient folk ballads. I loved them so much that I got to reading (and rereading, and rereading) the Child Ballad collection. I learned to sing them.

I was then hooked and enamoured with the folklore and history of the British Isles. (another reason for becoming a historical romance novelist).

Over the years I also realised that I had a sometimes uncanny connection to England and Scotland. I had a “thing” for tartan, tweed and argyle pattern, even before I knew their significance, I have always loved the colour purple which is prominent in Scotland’s celebrated flowers, heather and thistle, I feel drawn and forlorn whenever I see images from there, I have vivid, recurring dreams of being there, in different periods of time in history.

I can speak, write, think, create in English and even in dialect, though it isn’t my first language, And while I can also speak Spanish and French as well as my native tongue, no language touches my heartstrings as much as English does.

Whenever I land in Britain my heart sings “home”, It breaks when I return to my country.

I do believe I am a hopeless case.

And this, fair friends, is why thy blogger is an Anglophile.

Share your own stories,  Longhand Readers.  Why did you become anglophiles?

Fare thee well for now, Longhand Readers

Emily xx

My Writing Quirks: or, why I write in English, and why I write in Longhand

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I am a quirky person. Most of the things in which I engage, are done with my particular way of doing them , and my writing is no exception.

For instance, when I get an idea for a story, it usually starts with a romantic scene, sometimes proposal scene, and sometime an… erm… erotic scene. My characters pop in my head, saying sweet nothings to each other. Then, I start building the story around it. Who are these people? How did they get here? Why are they in love with each other? Which time period?

And here we come to the reason (or, rather, one of the reasons) why I write in English, though  it isn’t my native tongue

Apart for being a staunch anglophile, and loving the English language (more on this in another post, perhaps) the characters simply talk in my head in English. (I’m not crazy, I’m a writer! And since I’m also a mental health social worker, I can vouch for that.)

Also, I must say, they tend to use “my lord, my lady ” with each other, and that works best in  English

?Right, so we settled that. And why do I write longhand

Well, Longhand Readers, your blogger here is technologically impaired. Meaning, I’m a very very slow typist. It hinders my creative process. So, I write in pen and paper, and then type what I wrote, when the story is finished. This helps me notice things that need to be edited, and it forces me to pay attention to what I write, as I need to put it down as accurately as .possible


So, now you know

?What are your writing quirks, Longhand Readers

Farewell for now, Longhand Readers


Accidental Romance Novelist

Welcome, Longhand Readers

My name is Emily Klein, and I’m, apparently, a historical romance novelist. Rather, it happened to me by chance. That’s why I am a self proclaimed accidental romance novelist. So how did it happen?

I’m a mum of two. Four years ago, I gave birth to my youngest wee lass. She took many hours to eat, many hours to fall asleep. What’s an anglophile mum to do? I was swept away with musings and daydreams about forgotten times. I made up stories (in English, though it’s not my first language, but more of this in another post) and they served me well, or, rather, saved me.

Entire narratives came to me as I sat near my weeping babe, stories that took place in castles, in a land dear to my heart (can you guess what it is?) and inspired by the ballads I loved so well. But, busy, tired mum that I was, I had no time to sit and write them down.

The months passed, and my wee daughter now went to daycare. I had a short break before I needed to go back to work, so I sat myself down at my favourite coffee shop, and wrote. And wrote. And wrote.

After a week, I had my first short story written, because I had it all in my head before it was put to pen and paper. (yes, I still write with pen and paper, hence “Written in Longhand”.) it was titled The Fair Flower Of Northumberland, like the border ballad, and took place in the middle ages, in northern England. (don’t look for it, readers. For your own safety. It’s rather horrid.)

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And then, just as my writing endeavour started, it was done. And I craved more. So I started again, this time it was a novel, my very first, The Draughtsman Damsel.

So why accidental? Because I never thought to write romance. These were the stories that came to me. They started as an experiment, a hobby. They became my lifetime passion, and maybe vocation.

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But this is for another post

And what of you,  Longhand Readers?  what’s your story with writing ?

Farewell for now Longhand Readers.