Monday, May 28, 2018

Crossroads of Darkover: Rosemary & India Edghill on Story Inspiration

This all-new Darkover anthology features tales of decisions, turning
points, love lost and found, all in the beloved world of the Bloody Sun. Stories by Jenna Rhodes, Pat MacEwen, Gabrielle Harbowy, Evey Brett, Rosemary and India Edghill, Diana L. Paxson, and more!

Order yours today at: iBookKindleKoboNook

Table of Contents is here.

While we (Rosemary and India Edghill) have collaborated before – which is always wonderful, because we have different strengths as writers – this is our first Darkover collaboration.  So in addition to working with each other, we’re also working within a third author’s universe.  Being able to “play” in MZB’s power Darkover universe and to co-author with each other is incredibly energizing.

            Our story in CROSSROADS OF DARKOVER is “A Cobbler to His Last,” and was inspired not only by the Darkovan Dry Towns, but by the research India’s done on women’s life in the Middle East, as well as by what we now know about how  the people that anthropologists like Margaret Mead actually felt about being interviewed.  One of Mead’s original subjects said later that she and her purposely mislead Mead and invented answers to what they felt were intrusive questions.  In comparison to Mead’s monumental but controversial works, Elizabeth Warnock Fernea lived within the women’s world her husband (a fellow anthropologist) could not enter, and her works are regarded as groundbreaking and definitive in the field of women’s studies in the Middle East.

            India has a long-standing interest in the Dry Towns, and Rosemary agreed that seeing scenic Darkover through the eyes of a woman who arrives with no real information about Darkover except that the Darkovan women live horrifically restricted lives.  So what would really be going on when our protagonist, Grace, tried to study Darkovan women?  What will Grace really find?  And what would the Darkovan women think when they interacted with her?

            Tossing a woman from a very egalitarian society into newly-opened Darkover was a fascinating.  Grace interacts with comynara, Renunciates, farmers’ wives, and chained Dry Town women, and struggles to truly understand what she learns – which turns out to be harder to do than she’d thought it would be. Remaining totally object turns out to be almost impossible.  In the end, she learns more, perhaps, than she truly wanted to about relationships between men and women.

            Unfortunately, since “Cobbler to His Last” is a short story, not a novel, we weren’t able to include everything we’d wanted to add to the mix.  However, we had a lot of fun playing what, say, the small-holders’ wives opinions of the studious off-worlder in their midst.  Or India’s favorite scene-that-doesn’t-exist in the confines of the story:  Lord Akram’s conversation with his mother when she tells him he’s going to have to take on yet another wife!

Rosemary Edghill describes herself as the keeper of the Eddystone Light, corny as Kansas in August, normal as blueberry pie, and only a paper moon. She says she was found floating down the Amazon in a hatbox, and, because criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot, she became a creature of the night (black, terrible). She began her professional career working as a time-traveling vampire killer and has never looked back. She's also a New York Times Bestselling Writer. 

About herself, India Edghill writes, Having written four books about Biblical women (Delilah, Queenmaker, Wisdom's 
Daughter, and Game of Queens), I'm now writing an epic-length romantic historical novel set in Victorian India.  And India (that's me, not the country) is also going Indie!  My short stories will be available in a collection:  The Courtesan Who Loved Cats and Other Stories, and my mystery series set in 1984 New York City, starring Cornelia Upshaw, a professional temporary secretary, will be continued as well.  The first book in the series, File M For Murder, should be reissued in 2017. 

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