Pestilence by Pamela Taylor Blog Tour and Giveaway

Monday, June 22, 2020

At the dawn of the Renaissance, Alfred - the eponymous second son - must discover the special destiny foreseen for him by his grandfather. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Alfred’s brother is king. And it isn’t long before everyone’s worst fears are realized. Traditional allegiances are shattered under a style of rule unknown since the grand bargain that formed the kingdom was struck over two hundred years ago. These will be the most dangerous years of Alfred’s life, forcing him to re-examine his duty to personal honor and to the kingdom, while the threats posed by his brother constantly remind him of his father’s final words of advice. What choices will he have to make to try to protect the things he holds most dear?

Print Length: 234 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ASIN: B08563V87C
ISBN-10: 1684334810
ISBN-13: 9781684334810

Pestilence is available to purchase as a print copy and as an e-book at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound. Be sure to add this to your GoodReads reading list too!

Book Giveaway Contest

To win a copy of the book Pestilence by Pamela Taylor, please enter using Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Giveaway ends on June 28th at 11:59 PM EST. We will announce the winner the next day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author

Pamela Taylor brings her love of history to the art of storytelling in the Second Son Chronicles. An avid reader of historical fact and fiction, she finds the past offers rich sources for character, ambiance, and plot that allow readers to escape into a world totally unlike their daily lives. She shares her home with two Corgis who frequently reminder her that a dog walk is the best way to find inspiration for that next chapter.

You can follow her online at:

Author Website: https://pamela-taylor.com
Series Website: https://www.SecondSonChronicles.com
Twitter: @PJTAuthor
Instagram: PJTAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSecondSonChronicles
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/51487326

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First, congratulations on your new book! This is the third book in your series, Second Son Chronicles. How does it feel to continue this series?

Pamela: I’m having an absolute blast bringing Alfred’s story to life. It all started with the first paragraph of Volume 1 – which came to me in the middle of the night, but I didn’t really know quite what to do with it. Once Alfred got into my head and started telling his story, though, I knew it was more than one book. Originally, it was going to be a four-volume series, but when I got to the end of Volume 4, it was clear there were more threads in the tapestry of Alfred’s life that hadn’t been explored. And he kept talking, so I keep writing.

WOW: I love that! So, I am really impressed with historical fiction writers, because of the amount of research that goes into this genre. How do you approach the research angle of your book?

Pamela: For me, it’s mostly about immersion and osmosis. Lots of reading about the period I want to write about – fiction and non-fiction both. Primary and secondary sources are both important. Visiting places of the period – even if they’re now ruins – you can stand there and let your mind run free envisioning where people would be walking, what they’d be doing, how they’d be dressed, what that long-ago world must have been like. And it’s even better when the old places are still preserved. The physical images as well as what I’ve read stick in the brain and are something I can tap into as I write. (So are the pictures I take.) And, mostly, that’s how it works, but . . . there’s also what I call “just in time” research, and that’s where the internet is a writer’s friend. Need to know the name of the pope in a certain year? Do a quick search and you’ve got it – you don’t even have to break the train of thought of the scene you’re working on.

WOW: That sounds like such an amazing process. With a series, how do you make sure your characters continue to grow and evolve with each book?

Pamela: In many ways, a series isn’t that much different from a single book. For a book, there’s a narrative arc, and within the course of that narrative, your characters have life experiences – fall victim to their foibles, learn from those experiences (or not), face external threats, cope with their internal demons, love, suffer, grieve, celebrate . . . In a series, there’s an overarching narrative arc that spans all the books. So your characters’ experiences span a longer time period and more can happen to them. In fact, as I’ve been telling Alfred’s story, I’ve discovered that something that happened to him in an early volume can come back around later in the tale, but with a deeper meaning or a deeper understanding or even a startling revelation of what the event was all about in the first place.

WOW: I think that sounds so intriguing! How did your experience in the software industry prepare you for writing fiction?

Pamela: In some ways it did. I did a lot of writing, both technical and promotional, in my corporate life, and that gave me a good grasp of what effective writing looks like. But in other ways, fiction was an entirely new ball game. The novelist has a huge responsibility to readers to create characters who feel real, to tap into deep emotions, to propel the narrative forward at a pace that keeps readers engaged, to find the mix of serious and light-hearted moments that fit the story and the characters, and to make readers really care about what happens. It’s both art and craft, and I’ve had lots of pointers along the way from other writers, from my wonderful editor, from my critique group, from online writing communities, from writing conferences – I take in ideas wherever they come from.

WOW: I feel the same way! I love any help I can get. What is your revision process like?

Pamela: Constant. I’ve never been one to just throw all the words out there and then go back and fix it later – which is a perfectly acceptable approach, but just doesn’t work for me. I’m more inclined to try to get things as right as possible as I go along. So in that sense, my “first drafts” are more like what some would have for a second or third version. Then, depending on schedules, I either set it aside for a couple of months and come back to it with fresh eyes, or I hand it off to my editor for the first round of recommendations. Either way, I step aside for a number of weeks so that when I next look at it, I have a different perspective. Getting to the final manuscript that will go to my publisher involves implementing my editor’s suggestions, reading a printed version, a final review by my editor, and actually reading it aloud to myself. And I’m not at all averse to taking something apart and putting it back together in an entirely different way if that makes the story better.

WOW: It sounds like you have a thorough revision process down! I am so impressed to read that you are a private pilot! That must feel amazing. How does being a pilot influence your view of the world and how does that impact your writing?


Pamela: Well, they didn’t have airplanes in the 14th century, so it hasn’t made it into my novels yet :-) Perhaps there’ll be a story one day where I can actually incorporate it. Regardless, learning to fly was an exercise in both discipline and brain-building, but it was also great fun. I did this as middle-aged adult, so one of the things it reinforced for me was the enormous importance of constantly learning new things – and in that sense, it may have been an influence that told me to go ahead and try my hand at fiction and see where it might lead.

WOW: I totally agree. Learning new things awakens the brain and our creative energy. What are you reading right now?

Pamela: I recently finished Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire and am looking forward to the release of The Evening and the Morning this fall – it’s a prequel to the Kingsbridge series. Right now, I’m in the middle of Karen Brooks’s The Chocolate Maker’s Wife and Bernard Cornwell’s 1356 is queued up right behind it. Oh, and I’m binge-watching the Netflix production of The Last Kingdom based on Cornwell’s Last Kingdom series, of which I’m a big fan. There are lots of things on the TBR list including more from Brooks and Cornwell, Alison Weir’s book on Kathryn Swynford, and, of course, some purposeful research reading.

WOW: You have absolutely added to my own reading list. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat today and best of luck on your book and the tour!

--- Blog Tour Schedule

June 22nd @ The Muffin
What goes better with coffee in the morning than a muffin? Join us as we celebrate the launch of Pamela Taylor's blog tour for her book Pestilence. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win the first three books in her series The Second Son Chronicles.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

June 23rd @ Lisa Haselton's Review and Interviews
Stop by Lisa's blog today where she interviews author Pamela Taylor about her book Pestilence.
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

June 24th @ Rebecca Whitman's Blog
Visit Rebecca's blog today and you can read Pamela Taylor's guest post discussing the allegory (themes) embedded in the narrative of Pestilence specifically and the Chronicles generally.
https://rebeccawhitman.wordpress.com/

June 25th @ A.J. Sefton's Blog
Visit A.J. Sefton's blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://www.ajsefton.com/book-reviews

June 26th @ Jill Sheet's Blog
Visit Jill's blog today and read Pamela Taylor's guest post about getting historical details accurate.
http://jillsheets.blogspot.com/

June 27th @ Storeybook Reviews
Join Leslie today as she shares Pamela Taylor's guest post about her life with corgis.
https://storeybookreviews.com/

June 28th @ Reading is My Remedy
Visit Chelsie's blog today and you can read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

June 29th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony's blog today and you can read Pamela Taylor's guest post about the authors and books that inspired the creation of the Chronicles.
https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

June 30th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf
Visit Veronica's blog today and you can read a guest post by Pamela Taylor about the trap of linguistic anachronism – getting the language and word usage right for historical narratives.
https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogspot.com/

July 1st @ Rebecca Whitman's Blog
Visit Rebecca's blog again and you can read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://rebeccawhitman.wordpress.com/

July 2nd @ 12 Books
Visit Louise's blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://12books.co.uk/

July 3rd @ What is that Book About?
Visit Michelle's blog today and you can check out a spotlight of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://www.whatisthatbookabout.com/

July 5th @ The New England Book Critic
Visit Vickie's blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://thenewenglandbookcritic.com/

July 6th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony's blog today and read his review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 7th @ Fiona Ingram's Blog
Join Fiona Ingram today when she shares Pamela Taylor's guest post about data encryption in ancient times.
https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

July 8th @ Bev A. Baird
Visit Bev's blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

July 9th @ To Write or Not to Write
Visit Sreevarsha's blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.com/

July 10th @ Thoughts in Progress
Visit Mason Canyon's blog today and you can read a guest post by Pamela Taylor about deriving details for your setting from historical maps.
https://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/

July 11th @ Books & Plants
Visit Ashley's blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://booksbeansandbotany.com/

July 11th @ A Darn Good Read
Join Yvonne as she reviews Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://adarngoodread.blogspot.com/

July 14th @ Knotty Needle
Visit Judy's blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

July 15th @ World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole's blog and read Pamela Taylor's guest post about period-appropriate names for characters.
http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

July 17th @ Books & Plants
Visit Ashley's blog and read Pamela Taylor's guest post about ways to do historical research.
https://booksbeansandbotany.com/

July 18th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette's blog today where you can read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence. Plus you can read an interview with the author!
https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

July 20th @ Coffee with Lacey
Visit Lacey's blog where you can read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://coffeewithlacey.com/

July 24th @ Medievalists
Stop by Medievalists where you can check out a spotlight of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://www.medievalists.net/

July 25th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Stop by Linda's blog today and read her extensive interview with author Pamela Taylor about her book Pestilence.
http://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

July 25th @ Reading in the Wildwood
Join Megan today and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
https://readinginthewildwood.com/


***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

To win a copy of the book Pestilence by Pamela Taylor, please enter using Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends on June 28th at 11:59 PM EST. We will announce the winner the next day on the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 comments:

A. J. Sefton said...

Interesting interview - I'm just finishing the book now!

Angela said...

Thank you for this interview! Pamela, I loved hearing about your process, and it's interesting that your first drafts are so polished. I imagine all the research you do helps quite a bit! I'm curious, do you use a particular plotting method like beat sheets or snowflake, etc? I admire both historical fiction novelists and series authors because there is so much to track.

I also love that you learned to fly later in life. When I turned thirty, I bought a bike and got my motorcycle license. A pilot's license is also on my list. :)

Your book sounds fantastic. I read a review on Goodreads that said your book was an amazing read during our current pandemic because of the health-related parallels. Congratulations on your book launch, and good luck on your tour!

Pamela Taylor said...

I'm a total pantser, Angela. Does that mean I have to go back and fix things sometimes -- absolutely. One of the more challenging things I've had to keep track of in this series is the ages of Alfred's children. Can't have them acting like seven-year-olds when they're still only five :-)

Tabby72 said...

I loved reading about your process of "immersion and osmosis". Fascinating!

Sandra D. said...

Sounds like an amazing read.

TRIPPER2365 said...

I realy enjoyed the interview looking forward to reading your book .

townbar said...

Smile Please and thanks

Buddy Garrett said...

The book sounds great. I enjoy reading about this period of history.I wonder if the author has written anything about the Vikings.

lilyk said...

This book looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

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