A young girl, Agnes Wilmore leaves her small and charming village of Castle Combe to pursue her dreams in the bustling City of London. A metropolis full of shady characters from all walks of life. Merely surviving the Bubonic plague and all her siblings dead, the young lady was determined to live her life to the fullest. Immediately upon her arrival in London, an obsessive psychopath takes advantage of Agnes, and she soon has a baby. The young woman was still relentless and won’t stop at nothing to make a life for herself and her child, despite all the daunting challenges she faces in London.
What new challenges await Agnes along the cobblestoned streets of London? To find out, Devin Asante, author of The Burning and I have set aside a little time today to explore this historical fiction novel. Devin, what inspired you to return the London of the past?
The London Fire of 1666. Historical events about the fire never told and only a few knew about it.
It can be tricky writing about time periods, like the 1660s when you haven’t directly experienced. Did you find that you wove stories or experiences from your own life into the story’s tapestry to make sure that your tale was living?
Yes, I draw on my travels around the world and how people from different cultures interact. If you have lived in a city for a long time you can easily spot out strangers. Criminals easily pick on that as it happened in the book for poor Agnes who dressed different, sounded different and was a victim.
It sounds like you’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the characters, in your book. Looking back, do you still remember how they came to life?
The characters slowly developed as I wrote the book. Their personalities, behaviors and actions came out as I wrote the book.
Do you get excited and energised about the prospect of writing book with characters like what you’ve created in The Burning?
I enjoy writing a great deal. It energized me to put my imaginations into words
What do you felt you learnt by taking the effort to put your book into words?
People are the same across centuries, countries, culture.
Tell us a little about central commonalities between people that struck you as the most important idea to share with readers in this book?
Life in London in the 17th Century. It had people from all walks of life. The city was divided between the rich and the poor. The poor lived in wooden houses and shacks with families cramped into small rooms.
You know it really sounds like you’ve poured over pictures of these houses and the city to build a vivid picture of what life was like in the 17th century. Do you focus on these pictures as you write?
I like to write books that are descriptive and appeal to all the senses of the reader. In that sense, I put myself in the place of the character and get very consumed in their lives.
Looking back over your work, do you think that your technique of story immersion has helped improve, and perhaps even push forward your writing?
Writing a process. My goal as a writer is not to write books with suspense, action and drama but to tell a little bit of history in a fun way.
Which leads me to the question, what little bit of history are you telling through your stories right now?
I am working on two books to be released in December of 2018. Fermi’s Promise is a Science Fiction, and Lincoln’s Paramour is a Historical Fiction about our 16th president. The man had a secret love story never told.
Two new stories well on the way, that’s fantastic news for readers who blast through their copy of The Burning! With so much adventuresome tales in the near future to complete, I’m sure you’ll be busy, so we’ll leave our chat here today, but make sure to return soon to share your latest success with myself and the readers!
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘THE BURNING ( ASIN: B07BPM5G3P )‘.
Want to find out more about DEVIN ASANTE? Connect here!