History amended: Introducing Katharine Taylor

Let me introduce you to THE MAGIC QUILT, a historical fantasy for young adults that is set in 1775 Colonial America. The novel is a historical fiction story about the time before the Revolutionary War, but more importantly it is also a fantasy that I believe will capture adolescent minds.

Brief summary:
Katharine Taylor has never transmutated into an animal, a dragon or a mountain lion. She has never traveled to the past through her magic quilt, nor faced armies of insects and the evil wizard Dr. Ziegawart. All Katharine knows is an unhappy life with an alcoholic mother. But all that is about to change when she learns that she is a wizard and travels through time portals in her magic quilt to a turbulent time in Boston just before the Revolutionary War. Caught up in the dramatic events that pit the King’s soldiers against their own people, Katharine finds in her new friends the strength to face her destiny.

I have researched 1775 Boston so much, the world of 1775 seems as real to me as this time and place. As I mentioned in the last entry, this is my first attempt at writing a novel and I probably shouldn’t have started with a historical fantasy. I didn’t realize when I started it the amount of historical reasearch I’d have to do. After all, science is my field, not history.

I’ve spent several months correcting the historical portions of the novel. I’m finally done with that, whew. But the trickledown of minor changes in the history affected the plot so that I had to go back and rewrite about half of the novel.

My writing critique group has just reviewed one of the central chapters to the book, “The Midnight Ride,” and the last historical chapter. Katharine accompanies him on his famous midnight ride. As always happens with critique groups. You walk away with insights and sometimes more revisions. One of the women in my writing group wondered how the men of 1775 would react with Katharine accompanying Paul Revere and suggested that Katharine disguise herself as a boy – now why didn’t I think of that. The section starts with Katharine as a cat and Paul Revere as a dog. Another member said she kept waiting for Katharine and Paul Revere to change back into animals and she thought it would be more fun for kids to read with another scene with Katharine and Paul Revere as cat and dog.

So, as always after attending my writing critique group, I’ve got some revising to do. My goal is to finish editing “The Midnight Ride” over the long weekend — I’ve taken Tuesday off work —and then write the ending of the book, which has been hanging over my head for months. I wrote an ending that I thought was pretty good, with flying dragons and a battle with the evil Dr. Ziegawart, but Katharine didn’t play a large enough role in the end, so I’ve got to revisit it.

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