Please give a warm welcome to Mary Lindsey, the genius behind the book SHATTERED SOULS (A PJV Favorite) and here to promote her new book ASHES ON THE WAVES her forthcoming novel from Philomel. Mary has been talking about her POE novel for awhile and finally it is almost here (June 27th) – it always seemed so massive and extraordinary, I couldn’t wait to read it. Now she gets to tease us with more talk of her novel…but only a few more days to go before it can be mine!!!!
And now I’m handing the blog over to Mary Lindsey…
I’ve always been an Edgar Allan Poe fan. From the first time I read “The Tell-Tale Heart” in fifth grade until now, he has always been one of my favorite authors.
I did not consciously go into my second novel searching for a fairy tale or classic to retell, it came about organically. My husband had a collection of short stories on his nightstand, and while I waited for my ereader to charge up, I grabbed it.
It flipped open to Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, Ligeia. I had read it many times before, but for some reason, it resonated with me that night and I started thinking of how cool it would be to expand that amazing story into a novel. I woke up pretty excited and bounced the plot line off of my seventeen-year-old daughter, Hannah.
Hannah was used to being a sounding board, so she acted interested (as usual) and settled in to listen to my inevitably long and animated description of my premise. But instead of smiling and nodding as usual, she stopped me. “You can’t do that. It’s already a complete story.”
She was wrong, of course. It’s been done successfully many times with short stories, but I held my tongue because good plotters and listeners are hard to find. 🙂
She suggested instead, that I take one of Poe’s poems because they are more like a story spark. Re-imagining one would not seem like a simple expansion or a fan fic.
A bit put-off that my ideas of how to novelize Ligeia had been smushed like a bug, I challenged her to find the perfect poem for expansion into a novel.
Never daunted by a dare, Hannah took it upon herself to research all of Poe’s poems. I bought a Poe anthology, and she went to work. After a weekend at our river house, she handed down her results of the three poems she felt best suited for my project.
1. “Annabel Lee”
2. “The Haunted Palace”
3. “The Raven”
Then, she handed me the anthology and went back to reading Book 4 in the Game of Thrones series. When I opened it, I discovered she hand annotated all of the poems.
Now, how many writers have that kind of help? I’m lucky, huh?
Once I read through “Annabel Lee,” things just clicked into place. There are those who propose that the narrator is supposed to be Poe and Annabel, his wife, Virginia. That’s only a theory, but I liked the idea of the narrator being Poe, so I started with a biography of Edgar Allan Poe, and the protagonist Liam evolved from there.
Even though “Annabel Lee” ended up being the source for the story, the title itself comes indirectly from Ligeia. A poem, “The Conqueror worm,” is in Ligeia. My character at one point, in discussing why bodies are cremated rather than buried on the island in the book, says, “The spirit has long departed. It makes little difference whether the body left behind becomes food for the worm or ashes on the waves.”
When I wrote the line, I knew it was the title. I love the fact it stemmed from Ligeia, my original inspiration to write a Poe-based book.
Thank you so much for the fun topic and for hosting today’s stop on your blog!
Mary Lindsey lives in Houston with her husband, three kids, two dogs, her daughter’s pet rats, an Australian bearded dragon, and dozens of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (The roaches are along story. Don’t ask).
She is the author of Shattered Souls (2011), Ashes on the Waves (2013), and Fragile Sprits (2014), all YA from Philomel/Penguin. Mary also writes paranormal romance under the name Marissa Clarke for Entangled Publishing. The first book in the Underveil Series, Love Me To Death is scheduled for release in 2014.
A sexy gothic romance based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee”
Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.
With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied, but the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.
Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem Annabel Lee, with references to many of his other works including The Raven, Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.
Perfect for fans of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, Kendra Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood, and Kelly Creagh’s Nevermore.
Praise for Ashes on the Waves
“Achingly beautiful and darkly sensuous … an extraordinary read that left me breathless at every turn!” –Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Firelight
“Mary Lindsey, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, has created a haunting, mystical world. I loved this tragic, romantic story.” –Cate Tiernan, author of Sweep and Immortal Beloved
“A romantic potpourri of doomed amour, Celtic lore and mystery-laden suspense.”–Kirkus Reviews