Some of you who follow this blog may remember a story I wrote called "A Question of Boundaries." The heroine is Caroline Featherstone who is searching for her father, the inventor Gideon Featherstone, whom she fears has been kidnapped by scoundrels who want to get their hands on his latest invention.
The setting is an alternate history in which Thomas Jefferson accepted the crown and became ruler of the United States. It is true that it was offered to Gen. George Washington, who refused and subsequently became our first president. What is not as well known is that a secret committee traveled to Europe to offer the crown to Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) then living in Florence, Italy. It is reported that he refused. This is an obscure historical fact, but you can look it up.
There are some, however, including Nathan Llewellen, who believe the threat of plague disappeared decades earlier and want to open the borders to commerce and immigration (the labor force is getting decidedly sparse).
As Caroline and Nathan join forces, our plucky if naive heroine finds leaving her safe and boring home puts her in several dangerous situations. She also meets some strange allies and discovers that there is more to the world than she imagined.
I wrote this purely for fun, filling it with paranormal creatures and alternate worlds within an alternate world, along with some good old-fashioned fist-fights and subterfuge.
I sent it out a few times, but no one was interested. Then I received a rejection for a different story from Astraea Press. The editor asked if I had anything else to submit.
The only manuscript I had ready was "Boundaries." So I sent it in.
It was accepted. and, I might add, the acceptance letter languished in my SPAM mailbox until I decided to check it a week later.
I did a happy dance for the story I'd had so much fun writing. I hope others will place their tongues firmly in their cheeks and go along for the ride.
I'll let you know when it becomes available. Meanwhile, I am sending Caroline and Nathan to New Orleans, the capital of Floriana, where they are sussing out the political climate for King Thomas the Fourth.
And yes, Louisiana became a state in 1812 and the borders were closed in 1815. So how did Louisiana get on the wrong side of the border and why did it join forces with Florida?
That, I hope, will be in Book Two.