Today I have a tour stop for Blackwell by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor. I have a great guest post all about why the author choose the Victorian Era as the setting as well as some of the research they did.
Hell has a new master
In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all.
When Magnus meets Jacob O’Conner—a Harvard student from the working class—an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets.
Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him.
Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies.
The Victorian era for Blackwell was chosen for two reasons: the time element and the period itself.
Because book one in the series lays the groundwork for the ghost story to come, it takes place long ago. The greater the amount of time that has passed, the easier it is to bury information. In a time where there was no computer, telephone, or the only means of disseminating information was the newspaper, a person’s past could be lost. As the series unfolds, that difficulty will enhance the story of Magnus Blackwell.
The other component adding to our choice was Magnus Blackwell. Because he is wealthy, aristocratic, and a man, he can get away with a lot. We wanted him to come from an era where being a privileged male added to the story and the character. If the novel had taken place in the 1940s or 1950s, Magnus would have been entirely different. Lucas and I wanted to return to a time when a man had no fetters on his morality. In the Victorian age, he could be and do whatever he pleased.
The series deals with Blackwell’s journey through a debauched life, revenge, misfortune, and his eventual demise, only to discover that death does not end the penance for a person’s crimes; it is only then their redemption begins. Book two will take place in the modern era. A spectral Blackwell will have to deal with a lot, including rehashing his attitude toward women. All the idiosyncrasies he had life will need to be adjusted to continue in today’s world as a ghost. He starts a long road to redemption and his Victorian ways are not easily laid to rest. Magnus will have to overcome his past and find his future as an ethereal being. The Universe never forgets, and Magnus Blackwell will spend his afterlife paying for the wrongs he has done.
As far as the research, we spent a great deal of time getting the clothes, manners, and interaction between the sexes down. Combing through research articles were essential. Mount Desert Island and the facets of its unique culture were studied, as well as characteristics of turn of the century architecture and design. The past in New Orleans and voodoo were other avenues to explore. Because parts of New Orleans have never changed—Alexandrea Weis was born and raised there—experiences of places and legends were easier to write. If you are from New Orleans, the past seems just as readily embraced as the present.
Writing Blackwell was a labor of love for both writers. In the end, the character of Magnus Blackwell was the impetus for creative avenues chosen in the storyline. We needed to justify his dastardly deeds and set him in a dark and mysterious world that could awaken his cold-hearted desires.
From New Orleans, Alexandrea Weis was raised in the motion picture industry and began writing stories at the age of eight. In college she studied nursing and went on to teach at a local university. After several years in the medical field, she decided to pick up the pen once again and began her first novel, To My Senses. Since that time she has published many novels. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning books, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable.
Alexandrea Weis is also a certified/permitted wildlife rehabber with the La. Wildlife and Fisheries. When she is not writing, she rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She is married; they live in New Orleans.
Giveaway is not sponsored by Reading Away The Days