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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dreaming Anastasia teaser Sunday

DA isn't coming out until the fall (exact date still unknown but I hope to announce that soon), so it's seemed so far away that I've sort of let it be. But enough of that. Time to let you gentle readers see what's on the horizon - without of course, giving too much away!

Today's teaser:

Dreaming Anastasia has three narrative voices - 16 year old Chicago high school junior Anne, who discovers that she's suddenly got wacky power and an even wackier mission; maybe or maybe not 18 year old Ethan who's had his own magical mission for a long, long time; and the last Grand Duchess of the Romanovs - Anastasia, who isn't quite as dead as the history books say. Toss in Russian folktale witch Baba Yaga and a bad guy named Viktor, shake everyone up, and you've got the bones of this story.

One of the most enjoyable elements for me was getting to create an alternate history for Anastasia and the Romanovs. Because it's not just that she's not dead. It's where she is and why she's not dead and how she got to where she is. It's my alternate history family secrets and longings and desires. And the even more enjoyable job of intertwining these with Anne and Ethan's worlds and lives.

I told my editor during one phone chat that I knew I was on the right track when the alternate history began to feel real. Plausible. And when I had to sometimes pause and remind myself what happened and what didn't.

The story of the doomed Romanovs had captured my imagination since I was fourteen and first read Nicholas and Alexandra. So I suppose it's no wonder they all wandered their way into my debut novel. Getting to tinker with that story has been no end of fun. Of course sometimes it's sad, too, which is always part of the point with Anastasia. She was a seventeen year old girl who never got a chance to be a woman and live her life. I know it's why so many people are drawn to her story and why so many rumors questioning her demise have popped up over the years. She was feisty and fun and irreverent. And I hope you'll all feel I've done her justice when DA comes out.

If anyone else is working with alternate histories, please feel free to chime into the conversation. What did you enjoy most about changing history?

Til next time...

4 comments:

Kim said...

I so can't wait to read it!

Kathryn Fitzmaurice said...

I am very impressed with your brilliant mind!

Jim Schmidt said...

Joy,

Looking forward to the book! Thought you'd be interested in a story that came through the biotech newswire today (part of being a scientist!) reporting that some Russian scientists have identified the Romanov remains by genetics (including Anastasia):

http://www.genomeweb.com/node/912262?emc=el&m=318472&l=1&v=500e60527f

Don't cry over spilled DNA, though! The interesting thing is that the mystery of Anastasia and Alexei has (and I think still will!) persisted. It's an amazing tale that still strikes a chord with modern audiences. Good luck!

Jim Schmidt

Joy said...

Yes, Jim, I know - scientists have been digging them up for a couple years now- figuring who's who. And you're right - what's totally great to me is that the interest in the story never dies. Seems that no matter what science discovers, no one wants it to be the only truth about what happened. Which does indeed suit me just fine!