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Book IV

Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:16 Jennifer Devore
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In the 237 summers which have come and gone since July 4th, 1776, the date has increasingly become a juncture for white sales and auto dealer blowouts. In fact, lost amidst the mall madness and car lot carnivals is a simultaneously fascinating and pedantic period of committee meetings, assignations, rewrites, copies, messengers, vote-taking and gallons of coffee, ale and wine. As I currently scribe the fourth novel in my six-part, historical-fiction series of books, Savannah of Williamsburg, Independence Day takes on a more front-and-center appearance than usual as research takes me through the 1750s, well into the meaty burgeoning of colonial revolution.

Even as I contemplate the importance and sacrifice involved with 237 years of sovereignty, I still can't help but fret over whether my red-white-and-blue argyle, Brooks Brothers ankle-socks will look fabulously Gatsby, or just clash with my red-white-and-blue striped, Unisa sailing pumps and the polka dot dress I've selected for my own Fourth of July pool party. Sure, the Fourth has vaguely patriotic elements incorporated into contemporary festivities, including fun, over-the-top, nationalistic fashion and cheesy, throw-away, dutiful décor at park picnics, beach BBQs and backyard pool parties countrywide. Still, maybe the best accessories and décor of all would be rolled up bits of parchment, feather quills and some sturdy, pewter tankards. Funny enough, I actually have all those things ... in multiples.

As King George III whiled away the time with amateur astronomy and overseeing his vast acreage of crops at Windsor Castle (hence the moniker "Farmer George"), he also spent a great deal of time making proclamations and conjuring new tax revenues for his rowdy, naughty, Americans across the Atlantic. Revenues were vital to the British coffers in the mid- to late-18thC., much needed to recover from the Seven Years' War (a.k.a. The French and Indian War) and various scuffles elsewhere with Spain and France. Who better to help pay than the beneficiaries of, in particular, all that French fighting in the forests of the Seven Years' War? Hence, the Stamp Act, the Townshend duties and more. By June of 1776, the original Thirteen Colonies had enough. Enter, Richard Henry Lee et al.

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Thursday, 18 April 2013 09:19 Jennifer Devore
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Savannah of Williamsburg devotees have been anxiously awaiting Book IV in my 18thC. historical-fiction series. Well, pour some tea and put up your feet, folks ... be prepared to wait a little longer. Happily, my non-Savannah writing affords me a bevy of opportunity: as of late, covering various comic book conventions, reviewing the odd TV series, interviewing other writers and some producers and actors, to boot. As I am inextricably bonded to geek culture, I heartily enjoy writing in this genre. Although, because it is raw-ther niche, the more I write, the more call I get to do so. It's a nerdy, vicious cycle, my pretties. Unfamiliar with some of my geek oeuvres? Find them at GoodToBeAGeek.com, under the pseudonym Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of the Hotel del Coronado, and syndicated at RocketLlama.com and, soon, Nerdspan.com!

Additionally, I recently wrote a children's book about Bigfoot, set in the northern California woods and incorporating Native American folklore of the local, Hupa Indians. This tale I scribed at the behest of a family member, whom thought she might stick a fork in her temple if she had to read the same bunny, bedtime story aloud one more time.

Submitting articles to the likes of New Yorker, Sunset, Fanhattan and San Diego Comic-Con have also distracted me from my dear Miss Savannah. The biggest distraction by far, however, besides beachwalks, cosplay, American Dad!, Seinfeld and Portlandia? Marketing my Savannah of Williamsburg series and, my fourth novel The Darlings of Orange County. Keep in mind, too, The Darlings (my first contemporary-fiction novel) was written and and published just after Book III in the Savannah Series was published. Phew! So, see, I haven't just been sitting on my Seven Jeans. Fret not though, loyal Savannah readers ... Book IV is finally in earnest motion!

Daniel Boone, Peter Jefferson, Paul Revere, George Washington, Queen Aliquippa (Queen of the Delaware Indians), Joshua Fry, Christopher Gist and a very wee Thomas Jefferson are all on board for this adventure! As the series moves closer to the Revolutionary War, my research becomes more diligent and the data more plentiful: diaries, letters, artifacts, military journals, government manifests, etc. The resources are seemingly endless. Trust me folks, this one's the hardest tale to write thus far. It will be worth the wait, though! Pennsylvania outposts, French Colonial trading forts, Scottish trappers, portaging, canoeing the Mississippi River, New Orleans, Creoles, Choctaws, Apaches, rushing rivers, cottonmouths and a whole host of new friends, fun, danger and adventure awaits our Savannah, Dante, Ichabod and Anthony behind every rock and tree of Colonial America and the Ohio River Valley. (Not to mention a new animal character: a French-Indian beaver named Mingo, Sorbonne-educated in civil engineering, naturally. Bonjour, Mingo!) Plus, there's plenty of action, political and otherwise, going on in the taverns, coffeehouses and gardens of Governor Dinwiddie's Colonial Williamsburg, the prosperous and powerful seat of King George II in 1754 Colonial Virginia.

In mid-18thC. America, when the Wild Wild West sat just west of Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the French and Indian War (a.k.a. Seven Years' War) burned and ravaged up and down the land, from Québec to New Orleans. Some historians claim the initial powder keg was a very polite dismissal by a French commander of a young, British envoy named George Washington, dispatched personally by Lt. Governor Dinwiddie in Williamsburg to the frontier wilderness of soon-to-be-Pittsburgh (founded in 1758) and its French forces.

A side-trip to Fort LeBoeuf, a glass of port, a flip of the wrist and a firm "Non, merci." later, young George hustled back to Williamsburg, mission failed: the French refused to vacate the Three Forks area of Pittsburgh, a strategic commercial and transportation nexus where the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers converge. Adding insult to injury, the French would now build a fort to assert their claim: Fort Duquesne (pron. English: /dˈkn/ French: [dyken]) in honour of the Governor-General of New France: Michel-Ange Du Quesne de Menneville, Marquis Du Quesne. Well, to be certain, that chuffed the British just a touch and, well ... that's where Book IV, Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington's Folly and the French & Indian Wars commences. Hold tight, folks. It's coming by year's end ... I promise both of us! It's time!

In the meanwhile, catch up on Books I-III, all available at via traditional paperback and digital formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, JennyPop (signed copies avail here!) and various other book outlets, online and in stores!

 

 
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 00:00 Jennifer Devore
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As of late, yours truly has been greatly distracted and engaged by the likes of my dear pal Miss Hannah Hart, ghostdame of the Hotel Del (her latest piece being a gracious and geeky ode to Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Leonard Nimoy on the former's 200th birthday); my Darlings of Orange County and it's forthwith release; the launch of my website JennyPop.com and the great fun of being @JennyPopNet.

In those spare moments when I'm not Tweeting, blogging, editing, primping, ghosting and pirating, I have been dutifully and diligently researching, developing and gathering facts, dates, details and tidbits like a perky squirrel gathering perfect branches and bits of shiny, gold string for her new nest. Sans doute, this next installment of Savannah of Williamsburg is proving the most difficult yet of all past titles.

Photo: Colonial Williamsburg FoundationAs the pre-Revolutionary, historical-fiction series moves closer to said-Revolution, more and more information, names, relationships and events become apparent and, happily?, available: diary entries, letters, museum and library archives and newspaper accounts, including digital indices for every, single edition of the London Gazette printed since 1665 ... sigh. I also found 7,500 letters to pick through via HistoryTales.org, including letters from George Washington to John Blair (President of the Governor's Council) and a number of other folks in Williamsburg in the 1750s. Similar to picking minced onions out of a tabouli salad, this is going to take a while.

Photo: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

I am well into my research and have set in mind, the death of a beloved mainstay, which makes for some interesting, very Goth, 18thC. funereal studies. As readers of the series will know, I also add a new fellow with each title, in addition to the main animal characters whom follow through the series: Savannah, Dante and Ichabod: Petruchio the brooding Mastiff in Book I, Pomeroy the happy-go-lucky Sea gull in Book II, and Sterling di Padua the flamboyant Fox in Book III. My newest animal? A French-Indian beaver named Mingo. I'm also thinking of adding a mischievous monkey named Bes, named after the Egyptian god of humor. (Thank you to a very special reader in Puerto Rico for that suggestion!!)

What I do not have is a strong, tight outline. I also do not have nearly enough antique, ship's decanters filled with port wine

Tarina Tarantino's Sparlicity Shimmer. Perhaps, introducing my new characters in one place might gel something in my noodle; and get me closer to my Sparklicity.

Meet the Characters: Savannah of Williamsburg: George Washington, General Braddock and the Western Frontier, Virginia 1755


Okay, back to work pour Moi.

Photo: Laine Corvus

 

I write like I drink: alone and with a monkey watching me. -Krusty the Clown

 

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Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

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Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

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Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!