*This is a guest post from author Karleen Koen.*
I wish I were creatively mad. Perhaps then I wouldn’t worry so. But when I think about it, creative madness does have me. Why write about a family in the early 18th century and become so engaged with them that you take the story backwards instead of forwards to write about the grandmother? Why take the story backwards instead of forwards? Why spend your days imagining what a character might have said or how she/he would react? Why read biographies and social commentaries and memoirs and funny old almanacs and recipe books? People around me rise at 7 am, go off to work in a cubicle. I can stay at home in my pajamas and daydream about other centuries and people who aren’t real, or who were real but now are gone. That’s crazy, that’s madness. That’s creative……………..
The best part of creative madness is when I know I have the story. It’s when the characters become as real as someone I live with. To leap off the reams of biography and commentary about Louis XIV and know him when he was 22 and vulnerable and wanting to live up to an ideal was crazy and incredibly liberating. I became very fond of him in Before Versailles. I hope you do, too.
Karleen Koen (www.karleenkoen.net) is the New York Times bestselling author of Through a Glass Darkly, Now Face to Face, and Dark Angels, an Indie Next List bestseller and a BookSense pick. Before Versailles is available now.
Meticulously researched and gorgeously brought to life by Karleen Koen, Before Versailles focuses on four intense months of King Louis’s young life. It’s the summer of 1661, and after the death of his prime minister, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s still a young man, and in a way quite inexperienced and shy, but also very determined, intelligent and headstrong. He’s used to having anything and everything his heart desires—land, women—including his brother’s wife.
As the love affair between the two burns, it sets the kingdom on the road toward unmistakable scandal and conflict with the Vatican. He must face what he is willing to sacrifice for love. At the same time, there are other problems lurking outside the château of Fontainebleau: a boy in an iron mask has been seen in the woods, and the king’s finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, has proven to be more powerful than Louis ever thought—a man who could make a great ally or become a dangerous foe.