Hi, everyone. Today I’m going to talk about how I came to write my award-winning second novel, In The Eye of The Storm. It’s the sequel to In The Eye of The Beholder and, along with Through the Opera Glass, completes the Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series (there’s an omnibus edition available with all three books; the paperback version also has historical photos and illustrations related to the text … but I digress).
I knew I wanted to tell a three-generation story for Erik LeMaître, but I have to be honest with you: I struggled. I started the second book from three different perspectives and none of them satisfied me. I wound up doing a flash/short fiction challenge for an entire year (that’s where Through the Opera Glass came from), during which time I “met” some of the characters who helped me flesh out the story. One of them was Clarice, Erik and Claire’s granddaughter. It was she who gave me a way to bring all of those disparate perspectives together and create the novel.
At the same time, I was researching Paris’ modern art movement. I have been fascinated by the Fauvists for years, and I wanted to make them part of the story. If you’ve read the book, you know that I ultimately succeeded … and used Gilbert Rochambeau’s talent as a painter to bring Claire and Veronique to San Francisco, just in time for the 1906 earthquake. That’s the storm into which they walk.
I was able to employ my knowledge of San Francisco history to good effect in the story, even if I do say so myself. I used to live and work on the Presidio of San Francisco, and some of that history is permanently engraved in my mind. I particularly enjoyed being able to write about people like George Torney, who was an unsung hero of the earthquake recovery, and the Buffalo Soldiers. I was also able to talk about the bigotry behind the Chinese Exclusion Act, which directly affects a subplot in the novel.
I loved writing this book. I am very proud of the research I did, and of the accolades it has received. I hope you will consider having a look as well. It stands alone, so if you haven’t read In The Eye of The Beholder you will still be able to follow the story. Still, reading both titles will give you a more complete picture.
Want your own copy of In The Eye of The Storm? Here are the back cover copy and purchase links.
San Francisco, 1948
When a mysterious stranger approaches Clarice Kaye in her favorite restaurant, his words trigger a voyage of discovery: “You look just like your grandmother, but you have your mother’s eyes.”
There was only one question in Clarice’s mind: how could he know?
Armed with family diaries that tell of the scandalous grandmother for whom she was named, Clarice embarks on a journey through Paris’ modern art movement, 1906 San Francisco, and the depths of the Opéra Garnier in this long-awaited sequel to In The Eye of The Beholder.
In The Eye of The Storm is the 2015 Silver Medal Winner for Best Fan Fiction in the Global eBook Awards.
Amazon (Click through on this link and it will automatically take you to the site for your country)
Blackwells (Great Britain)
Rakuten Overdrive (via your local library)