This week I am delighted to spotlight fellow Triskele author, Liza Perrat. The first of her books that I read was actually the sequel to Spirit of Lost Angels. Wolfsangel is a fast-paced novel brilliantly set in an atmospheric rural French countryside. I had the pleasure of not only formatting Liza's novels for printed publication, but designing the cover for her first book, Spirit of Lost Angels, pulling together various elements of the book to create something that would catch the eye of those who love historical fiction, whilst realising the location and flavour of the novel.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator.
Since completing a creative writing course ten years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine and France Today.
She has completed four novels and one short-story collection, and is represented by Judith Murdoch of the Judith Murdoch Literary Agency.
Spirit of Lost Angels, published through Triskele Books is the first in an historical series set against a backdrop of rural France during the French Revolution. The second in the series ––Wolfsangel –– will be published through Triskele Books in November, 2013.
Friends, Family and Other Strangers From Downunder is a collection of humorous, horrific and entertaining short stories set in Australia.
Liza reviews books for the Historical Novel Society and Words with Jam magazine.
Liza’s thoughts on her first year as an indie publisher:
Early in March of 2012, JJ Marsh and Gillian Hamer invited me to join them in setting up the author collective, Triskele Books. They’d already done all the thinking and homework, and knew a hundred times more than I did, which was a big fat zero.
At that stage, I had heard the stories of poorly-plotted, badly-edited self-published novels, and was against the idea for my books. After all, I had a reasonably polished manuscript and an agent, didn’t I? But then I thought about things, and realised that after a year, the agent had not sold my manuscript, nor was she trying any longer. My debut novel would now slide into the archives of my hard disk, and there it would sleep, forever, if I did nothing to change that.
The three of us talked about how we would work as a team, helping each other with covers, critiques, editing and proof-reading, besides also hiring professionals. We would also work together in terms of marketing and promotion. I considered their offer to join Triskele Books for about five minutes, before leaping on board.
And a year later, I’m so glad I did! Despite the rollercoaster ride to prepare my manuscript, and learn about indie publishing, and all that accompanies it, I don’t regret my decision for a second.
It’s been a hard slog, full of ups, and a few downs. But mostly it’s been a lot of fun. Tasks are so much easier working in a team, each of us bringing, and taking, different things from the collective. And we’ve come a damn long way in just a year!
I look back and realise how much I’ve appreciated having full control in publishing my book: content, cover design, formatting, blurb and launch date, and I’m not about to give all that up in a hurry. It’s been wonderful, having the support and encouragement from the other girls, and I’m immensely enjoying our journey together. A great moment was seeing the photos of our published books displayed on a shelf of the New Title Showcase stand at the London Book Fair this year, with their gorgeous covers from JD Smith Design.
Triskele Books has several new members now, who will be “Spotlighted” here on the blog in the coming months, and we hope to recruit more, like-minded Triskelites in the future.
Spirit of Lost Angels
Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her impoverished peasant roots.
Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in the capital, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancien régime of 18th century Paris.
Imprisoned in France’s most pitiless madhouse – La Salpêtrière asylum – Victoire becomes desperate and helpless, until she meets fellow prisoner Jeanne de Valois, infamous conwoman of the diamond necklace affair. With the help of the ruthless and charismatic countess who helped hasten Queen Marie Antoinette to the guillotine, Victoire carves out a new life for herself.
Enmeshed in the fever of pre-revolutionary Paris, Victoire must find the strength to join the revolutionary force storming the Bastille. Is she brave enough to help overthrow the diabolical aristocracy?
As Spirit of Lost Angels traces Victoire’s journey, it follows too, the journey of an angel talisman through generations of the Charpentier family. Victoire lives in the hope her angel pendant will one day renew the link with a special person in her life.
Amidst the tumult of the French revolution drama, the women of Spirit of Lost Angels face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse.
Snippets of Reviews For Spirit of Lost Angels:
5-star Goodreads rating from best-selling author, Karen Maitland.
…. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE when a book sucks me in and is so engrossing that I get ticked when I have to put it down. As a reader, it made me feel as though I was being written into the pages of the book. I simply love when that happens. I always say to people that those who refuse to read indie published books lose out on dynamic novels and this book is definitely an example of why I feel that way. I would not be surprised if this is a book I find in the collection of a large publishing house in the future … Naomi B, A Book and A Review.
…. how well written and detailed the book is as the author clearly outlines the path of a commoner's life and the hardship of Victoire's life from childhood to adulthood.....very intriguing.
…. an historical book about enduring, accepting, regret, love, loss, family, hope, coming home, and an angel pendant that held it all together for each of the women who wore it. 5/5 ... Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
An incredible page turner … Spirit of Lost Angels is an exciting novel to read with its many plot twists and high degree of conflict and emotion ... Mirella Patzer, Historical Novel Review.
… impressed with Perrat’s knowledgeable treatment of the role of women during one of France’s most tumultuous times, as well as the complexities of insular village life ... Darlene Williams.
The writing is superb, the sights, sounds and smells of a city in turmoil is brought vividly to life …. Josie Barton, Jaffareadstoo.
Spirit of Lost Angels is a tale to lose oneself in … Liza Perrat persuasively combines fact and fiction in this engrossing novel. The peasants fury, the passion building up to the Bastille storming, and the sense of political explosion are just a few of the vivid illustrations in Spirit of Lost Angels ... Andrea Connell, The Queen's Quill Review.
… a truly astounding book that will have you reaching out to the characters, feeling for them, and fiercely cheering them on … engrossing, absorbing and you won’t be able to put this down. … a book not to be missed … perfect for fans of historical fiction ... Megan, Reading in the Sunshine.
… escapist fun –– Francophiles will want this one and those who enjoy historical fiction that doesn't focus on royals …great fun for the summer read –– and I can't wait to see what Perrat does next ... Audra (Unabridged Chick.
Liza Perrat brings to life the sights and sounds of 18th century France. Her extensive research shines through in her writing, from the superstitions of the villagers to the lives of the more sophisticated Parisians ... Anne Cater, Random Things Through My Letterbox (Top 500 Amazon reviewer).
Liza shares a few of moments from her first self-publishing year:
Interview by Jo Barton on Jaffareadstoo.
Interview by Lorraine Mace on The Writer’s ABC Checklist.
Interview by Janet Skeslien Charles.
Interview by Laura Armstrong on Colorimetry.
Interview by Andrea at The Reading Lark.
Interview by Heather at The Maiden’s Court.
Indies Unlimited features Spirit of Lost Angels.
Spirit of Lost Angels
is an Awesome Indies Approved novel.
Featured Author Group Read, June 2013, Historical Fictionistas Goodreads group.
Spirit of Lost Angels is listed on these "Best of 2012" sites:
Recommended at the Historical Novel Conference in “Off the Beaten Path” recommendations.
Shortlisted for Writing Magazine Self-Publishing Awards 2013.
Finalist EFestival of Words 2013,
Best Novel and Best Historical Fiction categories.
Selected for the
Indie Book of the Day Award, 13th July, 2013.
Next book in L’Auberge des Anges series coming in November, 2013.
Second World War France. The village of Lucie-sur-Vionne is under the heel of the German occupation and farm girl, Celeste Roussel walks a treacherous tightrope when she falls in love with a German officer. As her friends and family are deported to concentration camps, Celeste gains strength and comfort from the bone angel talisman bequeathed to her through her healer kinswomen.
Eventually though, she must choose which battle to pursue: illicit love, or answer the call of General de Gaulle and join the French Resistance collaboration to banish the Nazi enemy and hasten the release of her loved ones.
Seventy years on, Celeste still recalls that hot June day of 1944 when Das Reich troops marched into Lucie-sur-Vionne –– a crime she cannot forgive. Least of all herself.
Family separation, ill-timed passion and world chaos irrevocably change the lives of the women of L’Auberge des Anges. Wolfsangel is a testament to their tragedies and triumphs, and represents a new generation of women. ...
a heart-stopping page-turner of love, betrayal and courage which will leave you shaken and profoundly moved...' Karen Maitland, bestselling author of Company of Liars.