Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Worlds of Ink and Shadow"

Lena Coakley is a young adult author living in Toronto. She is the author of the YA fantasies Witchlanders and Worlds of Ink and Shadow: A novel of the Brontës.

Coakley applied the Page 69 Test to Worlds of Ink and Shadow and reported the following:
From page 69:
All her stories were finished now. All Charlotte’s beautiful characters were to be put away in a box like toy soldiers—the lords, the ladies, the innocent maidens, the heroes, and the villains.
While page 69 doesn’t represent my entire novel, it certainly tells the reader what my main character, Charlotte Brontë, is feeling at the beginning of my book.

For much of her life, Charlotte and her brother Branwell have had the ability to make the fantasy countries they write about become real. They are able to travel to these places, though they jealously hide the secret of how it is done from their younger sisters, Anne and Emily.

In these invented worlds, Charlotte has been able to escape her drab existence as the daughter of a poor parson in the factory town of Haworth. For years she and Branwell have played lords and ladies in fine clothes, enjoying the scandals and romances of the characters they created.

However, Charlotte knows that this magic has come at a terrible price. Now that she is eighteen, she has vowed to stop writing forever, even though for her this is like cutting off a limb.

Of course, this is Charlotte Brontë. We know she will not quit writing forever. The story of Worlds of Ink and Shadow is partly the story of how Charlotte invents an adulthood that allows for writing, that allows for the expression of her creative self.
Learn more about the book and author at Lena Coakley's website, and follow her at Facebook and Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue