Today's post is by Caddy Rowland, author of the sexy and delicious Gastien series. I know you will enjoy this one.
Why I Choose to Write About a Crazy Bohemian
Caddy Rowland, Author of “The Gastien Series”
When I started to write the first book in The Gastien Series I didn’t plan on writing a series at all. In fact, I simply thought I was going to write one book about a fictional artist living during the bohemian art era (nineteenth century France). Boy was I in for a surprise! The first surprise was that the first book was over 1,000 pages long – and that was after editing! I quickly realized that there actually was a logical place to end a first book and make the darn thing into two novels. The first book would be about Gastien’s struggle to become an artist. The second would be about his life once he had achieved the dream. Both books were full stories, able to stand on their own.
Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream was born. I was a new writer and didn’t think about what that title implied. Now I realize that to some people it sounds like the story is only a half of a book, so down the road I may change it to simply Gastien: The Cost of the Dream. It would make sense to, but I’ve been working like crazy to complete the series first.
You see, I knew as soon as I published the first book that this was going to be a series. I thought it was going to be a trilogy, but then the second book came out. I knew then that there were going to be five. The series would tell the story of Gastien’s family, with the fifth (and last) book closing the circle. The fourth book just came out on November 7th, and I will be working on the fifth book before Thanksgiving.
I had always wondered how authors picked their subjects, their characters, the time period their books take place in. For me, it was a no brainer. I am also an artist. I paint in oils, acrylics, water color, ink…you name it and I’ll try it. Because of this the whole bohemian art era has always fascinated me. That era was when Impressionism started, and from there painting took on all kind of new faces. This era took place the last half of the nineteenth century and lasted until about 1914.
The location was Paris, most specifically the area of Montmartre. More famous artists came from that time period than any other period in history. Renoir, Degas, van Gogh, Picasso…the list goes on and on. Why so much talent? Who knows! But I tend to think the cliché “great minds think alike” is a cliché for a reason. With so many talented men (and there were only one or two women) hanging out together painting and socializing, art was bound to get set on fire.
Plus, the camera had been invented, making it necessary to paint in new ways or become redundant. Paint in tubes was also new. Big deal? You bet it was. For the first time in history, artists could easily pick up and go paint outside. That’s how Impressionism started. Thank the camera and paint in tubes for giving us all of those wonderful artists and all of their unique painting styles.
I’m surprised that more novels and movies don’t take place during this time. It’s one of the most decadent and wild times in history. Those men didn’t only know how to paint, they knew how to party. For better or for worse, they made ancient Rome look staid – and the future Roaring 20’s would pale in comparison! That makes for a fun time period to place your characters in.
Life was hard for these artists. Extremely hard. No wonder they partied with such gusto! Yes, the bohemian artists were undisciplined, sexist, poverty-stricken, and prone to all kinds of excess…but, wow, could those men paint. Oh, yes. Those men could paint.
When young Gastien Beauchamp flees the farm for Paris, the late nineteenth century bohemian era is in full swing. Color has always called to him, beseeching him to capture it on canvas and show people a new way of seeing things. His father belittled his dream of being an artist and tried to beat him into giving it up. The dream wouldn’t die, but Gastien would have had he not left.
He also yearns to become a great lover. After the years of anguish he has endured at the hand of his father, it would be heaven to feel pleasure instead of pain.
However, the city of Paris has a ruthless agenda. Unless a man has money and connections, Paris unfeelingly crushes dreams and destroys souls. With neither of the required assets, Gastien faces living in alleys, digging in trash bins for food, and sleeping where a man is often killed for his threadbare blanket.
Left with nothing but his dreams, Gastien clings to the hope that the impossible is possible. He pushes on, regardless of the cost.
Adult fiction for men and women over age 18
Buy links for Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream:
http://tinyurl.com/3ecu8ku For Kindle readers
http://tinyurl.com/3ue4a7h For NOOK readers (Part 1)
http://tinyurl.com/bx3edem For Kobo readers (Part 1)
http://tinyurl.com/3luddg7 To order paperback (Part 1)
Gastien Fanpage: www.facebook.com/Gastien.Beauchamp
Author Blog (Writer of Fiction, Painter of Life & Energy: www.caddyrowlandblog.blogspot.com
Additional books in the Gastien Series so far: