Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Historical Fiction from the Dutch Golden Age: The Bulb of Greet Prys

Okay, in her infinite wisdom, my good blogger buddy Sarah Ahiers (aka Falen) tagged me to share a little about my next WIP which just so happens to be THE BULB OF GREET PRYS. Sarah knew that it was time I updated my blog, so I am grateful to her for lighting a fire under my you-know-what to get it done. You can read a little about her own fabulous WIP on her blog Sarah Ahiers Writes.

I am still trying to decide if my latest WIP would fit better into the Historical Fiction or Women's Fiction genre, so if you have an opinion on the subject, I'd love to hear about it! And now, on to the questions!

What is the working title of your book?

Just stated it above AND it's in the title of this post, but to plug it JUST one more time, it's THE BULB OF GREET PRYS.

Where did the idea come for the book?

Since I have been living in the Netherlands for twenty years now, it has been a longtime desire to write a novel based on life in the 17th century in Holland during the Golden Age. Back in college, I majored in Art History and my favorite works of art were most definitely the Dutch masters Rembrant, Vermeer, van Ruysdael, Claesz, among others. I guess what goes around comes around, because I am finally combining my love of art with my love of writing to create a story I am very passionate about.

What genre does your book fall under?

That is where I need a little help. I am leaning towards Historical Fiction, but because the story skips back and forth between a modern-day woman and a woman from the 17th century, I could also see it being Women's Fiction. The jury is still out on this one.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I will take a stab at this by choosing the actors that I can see playing the characters, but keep in mind that I'm not a professional casting agent:


Greet Prys - Dakota Fanning

Johan Stryker - Asher Book


Jonkheer Wilhelm Op Den Graeff - Alex Pettyfer

Lord Simon Jongbloed - Geoffrey Rush

 Carolyn Kleinsma - Amanda Seyfried

Mark Whitman - Henry Cavill

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Uh, right. Can't do it in one sentence. But here is the blurb that would go on the back of the book:

Beauty is fleeting.

When a lost Rembrandt surfaces at auction, Carolyn Kleinsma is the young art dealer determined to obtain it for a client to save her stalling career. But when the secret memoirs of the painting’s beautiful subject suddenly come to light, Carolyn gets more than she bargained for and discovers that the Dutch Golden Age has a dark, tarnished past.

Living in The Netherlands in 1631, Greet Prys’ life is anything but golden. With no dowry, her dreams of marrying the son of the wealthiest merchant in Leyden seem unreachable, but when she finds a tulip bulb in the street, her luck suddenly changes. Mapping out plans to cultivate the flower in order to secure her future at the height of tulip mania, Greet is blind to the disaster looming on the horizon just before the nation’s bulb market is about to crash…

Captivated by the spirit of a woman immortalized by the greatest master painter of all time, Carolyn is doomed to suffer a similar fate if she can’t learn from Greet’s mistakes before it is too late.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?

Off the top of my head, it would have to be Girl With A Pearl Earring, but with a lot more spunk and a better storyline. No offense to its author, Tracy Chevalier, but unlike her, I have actually lived in the Netherlands for many years and also speak the language. Hopefully this will help in creating a more natural "flavor" authenticity in the book.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

At this point, who knows?! I think I happen to have a pretty good premise that at least a few agents would be interested in, but I'm not sure if I need or want one. I will be publishing two books in 2013 without an agent, so I guess I'll wait and see. To be continued...

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I already answered this question above. Next...

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

If the book blurb above doesn't do it, then I don't know what will!

Now is the fun part. I get to tag the following peeps:

John Krissilas
David List
Terri Rowe