Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March Secret Agent #17

TITLE: The Most Happy
GENRE: Historical Women's Fiction

The sun greets the morning sky, sparkling on the frozen castle grounds. Several birds share their song, welcoming the new day. But there is nothing good about today.

I stare out my open window at the waking morning, clutching the tattered letter in my hand. A soft snore draws my attention back to the large bed in the far end of my room. The sun falls across his smooth, milky skin and I smile at the sight. But my joy is short lived. I won't be seeing him this way again soon, if ever.

After today I’ll be a Lady of King Henry VIII’s court once more, a woman of value to my family, a Boleyn seeking an advantageous marriage even if my family has already forced one to come to an end. And he will be nothing more than the married poet he was when we left. I want to mourn our life together, but I know I cannot.

Sighing, I glance back out the window. A part of me always knew I would be returning one day. A part of me always knew that Thomas Wyatt wouldn’t be my husband.

“Anne.” His deep voice calls to me and makes my heart flutter as it has since the day we met. I look back to him with a smile.

“Good morning, Thomas,” I say.

Thomas groans, stretching his muscular arms overhead. “Come back to bed.” His bright blue eyes gaze at me, dancing up and down my body.


  1. I love Anne Boleyn stories, and your imagery is beautiful, but my heart isn't wrenching for her in the way I think your writing wants me to. Because this story has been done so many times, there needs to be a new angle. If you have it, bring it to life right away so the reader knows it.

  2. I like this, but then again, I haven't read any Anne Boleyn stories.:)

    As Emily said, it would be great for us to ache more for the reader. I feel like you're almost there, but really make us mourn the fact that she never gets to be with Thomas.

    Also, and you can completely ignore me with this, but as I finished your excerpt, I was thinking about how Thomas' eyes probably looked like the sky she was viewing at the opening. Maybe start with her looking out, the blue sky reminding her of the life she could never have. The reader will question why, but a few paragraphs down, you'll describe Thomas' eyes, and say something about how his sky eyes dance up and down her body, no need for the sun to warm her. Or something like that. Just a thought.:)

  3. I wonder, if you closed the distance between these two physically, if we would connect with them more? If instead of being across the room reflecting, she was still next to him in bed, but having the same thoughts, we might feel the ache she is experiencing at having to have a separation.

    I've read this snippet before, and think it is getting tighter. Great job!

  4. I think it would be more powerful to begin the story with the second paragraph. You can incorporate weather, etc. into it, but as soon as you introduce the letter, I'm curious to know what's in it.

  5. The writing here is well done and matches the category well. I like distant feeling of her looking out, then looking back, as sort of a moment in suspension before what happens next.

    This is more of a marketing & pitch thing, but like the first commenter noted, putting forward your angle on a story told many times is key. Perhaps that can be saved more for a query--to showcase how your Boelyn story is set apart from others, though it may be of consideration to get that angle in the first few pages as well. Based on writing alone, I liked this!

  6. Yay! I'm a big fan of Anne Boleyn stories so this is fun for me to read. Know, though, that the market of Henry VIII era stories is crowded so your take will have to have a unique angle if you want yours to stand out.

    I'd caution you against opening your book with a new day beginning and your character looking at her lover sleeping because that feels a bit tired and I bet there are more unique ways that you can show Anne having a sad moment about having to leave Thomas. The letter is worn, which makes me think she's known this day was coming for a long time. She has probably had several unique moments where she's said goodbye to an aspect of her relationship with Thomas. All relationships have a shorthand and tapping into that for them might help you figure out which goodbye moment was the most wrenching for Anne. I bet you anything it isn't the actual morning that she's leaving. You can easily have her turning that moment over in her mind as she waits to see Henry or as she travels or even as she kisses Thomas goodbye--however you choose to play that out.