Third Time’s a Charm

 by Rebecca S. Buck


The Locket and the Flintlock is almost here. Which is a wonderful feeling. I’m so excited. I am incredibly proud of this novel. Clearly, I liked my first two novels, Truths and Ghosts of Winter but there is just something about my third novel that makes it my favourite.

Perhaps I’m a better writer now than I was two years ago. I’ll leave that to the reader to judge. Certainly, practice makes perfect and the expert guidance of my wonderful editor, Ruth Sternglantz, has helped a lot. Instead of something to wrangle into shape, words have become a tool. A paintbrush with which to paint a world in whatever tones and hues I choose, to colour that world with emotion and life.

As a historical novel, it would be tempting, I suppose to paint this one in shades of sepia, or the yellow of an old manuscript. It is certainly lovely to see history in that sort of soft glow. But for me, it’s never been like that. I love The Locket and the Flintlock because even though I crafted a romantic tale of Regency England, it is vibrant. Not just because it is also an adventure story with action and danger, but because I can see the colours of the leaves on the trees, the mist of the characters’ breath in the night air, the glinting of the light on a stolen ruby necklace. Those details are so important to me when I write historical fiction. Not to make it more “accurate” but to make it more real. I want to remove the “otherness” of history. I want my readers to see it as I do. A colourful world, full of detail. Not faded and distant.

In The Locket and the Flintlock I am especially excited to invite my readers into my favourite period of history: The Regency. That period in British history where the King was declared insane and the fat, indulgent Prince Regent reigned in his stead. The time of Jane Austen and Romanticism. Also the time of the Napoleonic Wars, the Industrial Revolution, rapid urbanisation and enclosure, of failed harvests, revolutionary poets, protest, a bloody penal system, and general unease. It’s a period which has always fascinated me and, in this novel, I wanted to bring together some of the aspects of it that make it such a wonderful time to explore. There is a gentlewoman who, on first appearances, could have walked out of a Jane Austen novel. But her world soon collides with the darker side of the Regency. Many are starving and turning to crime, risking the hangman’s noose in order to make a living. Workers are so dissatisfied with their treatment that they turn to machine-breaking in organised gangs, apparently swearing allegiance to a mysterious General Ludd who hides out in Sherwood Forest. The rules of civilised society still dictate that women often marry for money or social advancement. I wanted to lead my characters through this world and see how it affects them, and their developing love story.

I was also keenly aware that the Regency was a very fleeting period. Times would soon change. The Victorian era, arguably England’s greatest and most in/famous age, obscures the Regency from view in many histories of the nineteenth century. These years were the last years before photography and the window into the past it allows. The last years in which workers still laboured in their homes rather than factories. The last time it was feared Britain might have another revolution in the manner of the French. It was the last era that highway robbers still prowled the streets, before turnpikes and formal, organised policing wiped them out. The sense of time passing and things changing is something I wanted to capture in my writing too. A moment in time preserved forever, before things changed inexorably.

It will be up to my readers to tell me if I captured the essence of this period successfully. I’ve not loaded the novel with historical detail. I want you to feel the Regency, not read about it. I am so incredibly passionate about this time period, and in The Locket and the Flintlock I feel as though I’ve painted a colourful picture of it. I hope I have. It’s why I’m so especially proud of this book.

That, and because the overriding theme is all about freedom and making choices. I think a book captures a particular moment in its writer’s life. At the moment I’m all about freedom. When my characters gallop on horseback through the woodland…I can feel the wind in my hair with them.

24 Responses to “Third Time’s a Charm”

  1. 1 Joni May 8, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    It thrills me to no end when I see a story like this available for those of us who know there’s so much more that history didn’t say! Bravo…… and thanks for taking me there!


    • 2 rebeccasb May 8, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      Thank you, Joni and you’re very welcome! I’m so pleased you’re excited by it. I adore history…but there’s so many gaps I’m just itching to fill in! Writing is a wonderful outlet for that. 😀


  2. 3 Samantha E. Ruskin May 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Sounds like a great book and I am going to order my copy next week…payday in this house. I plan to write a review as well because I never forget to feed the bard.


  3. 6 G May 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    If your book is a smidgen as good as this blog it will be great, you have completely sold me your book. Wrong side of the Border for me to be home but I love history wherever it may be from. 😉 Look forward to making this prchase.


    • 7 rebeccasb May 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Thank you! I’m always delighted to meet more history fans. And I adore blogging because it allows me chance to get excited about books and history and all kinds of things! I hope you enjoy The Locket. 🙂


  4. 8 firedragonblue May 8, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I got the e book as soon as it was out and couldn’t stop reading until I got to the end. After the story was finished, I spent about a week acutely missing being inside the book. Brilliant once again Rebecca. Now hurry up and write another…. Please!!!


    • 9 rebeccasb May 8, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      Thank you so very much. I’m so excited you loved it. I often miss being inside a book after I’ve finished it…to know I’ve created that effect in someone else is actually very moving for me. And okay, I’ll keep you up to date with the progress on the new one! I’ve started the research, having exhausted my latent historical knowledge! 😀 xx


  5. 10 nimbike May 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the writing process. I’m really looking forward to reading the book!


  6. 14 Erin Saluta May 8, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    You make history sound like it will be exciting as you capture it in your story. I’m looking forward to reading it.


  7. 16 Devlyn Sixtyseven May 9, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    I am looking forward to this one, it is already on my Sony Reader just waiting for me to hurry up with my current book. Thanks for sharing on your blog.


  8. 18 Kim May 9, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Reading my ebook copy now and you certainly have achieved your goal of taking the reader to another time and place. Thank you for the advetnure.


  9. 20 Cindy May 9, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    As a fan of your writing, Rebecca, I didn’t know if I could like a story as much as I did both “Truths” and “Ghosts”, but you’ve proven that your skill as a storyteller just keeps getting better, because I love “The Locket” very much! I think alot people have the ability to write, but not everyone can paint such an aritistic portrait of everyday people, or give them such meaning and life… not everyone can tell a fulfilling story. You show with each story you create that you hold the brush firmly in your hand, and that you write from your heart, while also giving the reader characters and events to really think about. You tell a story that I can’t stop reading.. yet don’t want to finish! Like “firedragonblue”, I find I miss the characters and visiting the places very much once I close the book… so I never miss the chance to re-open the cover and start again… you write stories I’ll never tire of re-discovering! Thank you for sharing your remarkable gift, and such a wonderful glimpse of your favorite period in history! You make me love it even more! 🙂


    • 21 rebeccasb May 9, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Thank you so much Cindy, for so many wonderful and kind words. I’m so happy you love my books and even happier you like the period of history even more because of them! 😀


  10. 22 Melissa McGuire May 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Removing the “otherness” of history is something you really excel at. It’s one of my favorite things about your writing. History is never really gone, it’s just around the last bend in the river, as vibrant and alive as it ever was. The Locket allows the reader to step in and visit a fascinating time that feels as immediate and vivid as the present. I love that. Now get busy with the next one. ;-D


    • 23 rebeccasb May 10, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      Thank you Melissa! I love that idea that history is “just around the last bend in the river…” And my brain is working on the next one. I’ll start typing soon, I promise! 😉


  1. 1 Link Round Up « The Lesbrary Trackback on May 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

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