Sometimes you find a niche where you know you just fit. That’s how I felt when I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and then the RNA Saga Writers group on Facebook. I was made very welcome and, in fact, was interviewed:on the Write Minds blog https://bit.ly/2VhEPg7, run by two of the members:Francesca Capaldi Burgess and Elaine Roberts. And today I’m delighted to be talking to one of them.
I wanted to discover how and why, like me, they wrote family sagas, with a little romance thrown in. So I asked if any of them would be interested in discussing that. I certainly received some fascinating answers.
This is the second of my interviews with a Romantic Saga Author, and today, as I’ve said, I’m so pleased to be with one of the authors who blog at Write Minds, Francesca Capaldi.
When you started writing your book, did you intend to write a family saga – or series of stories rather than one story
I only came up with the idea for Heartbreak in the Valleys originally, as the idea was sparked by my great grandfather’s war record. But it wasn’t long after I started writing a scene breakdown for Heartbreak that I came up with the idea for two further books, the second of which, War in the Valleys, has just been published. But I did also make each of them a standalone story.
Which do think is more important, the family story or the romance?
Originally the romantic element was uppermost in my mind, but as different members of the family made their personalities known, the family aspect grew. I’d say it’s probably half and half.
How important do you think it is to research the historical background, locations, features of the era, your characters live in?
Very important, both for the readers and for myself. I like to feel fully immersed in the period, as if I were there myself. Hopefully, that allows me to pass on this feeling to my readers. I’ve had a couple of readers tell me they’ve learnt something about the era through the details, which is very satisfying for me as a writer with a history background.
How do you manage to keep track of all the characters in your books over a stretch of time?
I have a file on Word with all the characters on it, right down to the very minor ones. I put in any details I know about them at the start, then add characters and details to it as I’m writing the story. It’s a huge help in keeping storylines consistent.
A saga demands change, both in its characters and its world. How important is the time period to the development of your narrative?
The time period I’m writing in, World War 1, is a seminal time in British (and world) history, not just because of the war but because of the rise of unions and workers rights, along with women’s rights and universal suffrage. All these aspects inform the story in some way, so yes, the time period is crucial to the narrative.
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Judith. I’ve enjoyed answering your questions.
It’s been brilliant having you here, Francesca. I absolutely love the cover of War in the Valleys, and I’ve found your answers fascinating. I’m sure your readers will as well.
About the author
Several years ago, Francesca Capaldi pursued a childhood dream and joined a creative writing class. Lots of published short stories, a serial, and four pocket novels later, she’s now explored her mother’s ancestral history for novels set in a Welsh colliery village. A history graduate and former teacher, she hails from the Sussex coast but now lives in Kent with her family and a cat called Lando Calrissian.
Heartbreak in the Valleys: amzn.to/2XUSTyB
War in the Valleys: amzn.to/2HxbDhT
Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/35REQ06