Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
I have a very special *surprise!* for you, as you may remember – I’ve been trying to bring more vlog interviews to Jorie Loves A Story. Two authors had to be rescheduled (ie. AshleyRose Sullivan & Stephen Zimmer) whilst a few others had a scheduling conflict – which is why today I am thrilled to bits to bring my second video interview to my readers! Isn’t this exciting!?
In March  as I was celebrating my *5th Blogoversary* I was honoured with featuring Ms Chris whilst conversing with her about her Road Ghosts Omnibus release for her Road Ghosts series! If you missed viewing the companion post where I gave live feedback on behalf of her responses to my questions, kindly make sure you visit after you’ve enjoyed this new conversation with Ms Lane.
I have been enjoying taking this journey with you and reading your reactions after you finish listening the conversations as they evolve. Although, these are vlog interviews – I encourage you to play them as they are embedded here, whilst having the JOY of reading my in-line reactions as I initially listened to them myself – seeing where the author & I each reacted to each other as we had this ‘virtual’ fireside chat and engaged in an intrapersonal way.
If you use YouTube directly, I encourage you to leave a comment on there as well as on this post in the threads below. This way both I & the author will know your thoughts, listening to your thoughtful comments & the conversation can carry forward. Bless you if you choose to share the video or this post on your own social networks.
Now, as you know – I am rather infamous for having delightfully in-depth conversations – therefore, before you hit the PLAY button, due yourself a kind favour? Brew yourself a cuppa & find a comfy spot to sit – this next interview is happily *thirty-five!* minutes in length as I truly like to ask a few challenging questions whilst also asking questions that might spark discussion as these vlog interviews are set-up a bit differently than my traditional interviews I conduct either by email or phone.
The fact I was able to pull this together whilst my whole family was struck down by one health affliction after another is rather the most remarkable footnote on this post. I, myself have been battling through a severe cold for a week now and the migraine which chased after the cold is the numbing kind which are hard to shake. To say I am just not myself this end of February is putting it mildly but evenso, I was thankful I could put this vlog interview together for my readers and have it anchoured to the last day of the blog tour – as I was thankful I was given this opportunity to host another one of these special features for Tomorrow Comes Media.
As you listen to the vlog itself – you will start to notice I truly wanted to carry-over the style I originally developed for this series of interviews when I interviewed Ms Chris but also as a carry-over effect from the kind of conversations I regularly host during @SatBookChat – where this style originated. I like to dig into the heart of how a writer approaches their craft of writing inasmuch as how they develop the series they are writing (if they currently have one in-progress, such as Ms Lane). This allows the reader to have a more intrapersonal glimpse into the story and the direction of the series – giving you a lot of fodder to chew on as you’re listening to the vlog but also to contemplate the larger themes of the story in the historical context in which it was written.
My questions were mere talking points wherein happily Ms Lane took as inspiration to broach upon more of the character back-stories and the foundational arcs in how this series is first introduced and rooted to how we meet Florentina as she is at the centre of the story. As you watch the converstation develop you will also become more privy to the historical nuances and timelines of what is included in the background of the story and how the research Ms Lane undertook also plays a strong role in how the story was then told.
I hope you’ll enjoy your visit with me today, as you tuck into this vlog interview where the questions I asked Ms Lane were to be a rounding of enquiry about the Night Flyer Trilogy, the characters and the particulars of how she wrote this Historical Fantasy series.
Published by: Past & Prologue Press
Available Formats: Softcover and Ebook
What I enjoyed about reading “Merchants of Milan”:
We first get to know Florentina through her reaction to the ingenious and beautifully designed clock – whose ornate design and the intricate ways in which the clock drew your eye to how it was designed showed how much she appreciated the artistry of engineering objects. Whilst it was her impression of Madelena which took her breath and held it; for she was a woman whose confidence was self reflected not just in her attire but her countenance and the ways in which she fluidly could articulate herself to others. Florentina for her sake was unable to formulate a witty response but allowed herself the chance to enjoy the randomness of their first conversation. You didn’t realise at first why this clock struck her as impressive until Maddie (Madelena) talked a bit about it and it was further revealled how it was an original design of Florentina’s father. I would imagine that parting image of seeing the clock against the tides of her own grief would have felt bittersweet; a lost remnant of his talent but one which thankfully had a place of honour.
It didn’t take long for both women to feel comfortable round each other and to feel as if they had met a treasure friend. They were each keeping their internal thoughts to themselves which was a bit of fodder for the reader to enjoy as their thoughts were merged together even though they hadn’t realised they were keeping their thoughts on similar territory to each other whilst in each other’s company. Both of them had an ease of comfortability which eluded to how they might be better matched together in other areas as well. For Florentina’s part, as a woman who was ready to scheme and watch her ideas take root after chasing after a goal she had in mind – it was the best outcome for her – as she not only won over the sister, but the sister’s brother who would become her employ! She had papers to prove her worth as an employable governess and as a woman who could tinker for the family – repairing what is broken wouldn’t be a challenge for her and it would allow her access to a family she had hoped to bridge herself into without too much attention placed on her reasons behind applying to them for employment. From that angle, Florentina accomplished what she wanted because on the surface of it all – she was exactly as she appeared and nothing more.
This is written within the background of 16th Century Italy – wherein Lane inserts some of the historical data behind where her characters are moving about their lives in the present timeline of her series. It was interesting in many regards, as whilst time travelling into the historic past, despite the lack of forensics and other investigative procedures, there were always rudimentary criminal processing of evidence and of investigative procedurals – however, this is the exception to that rule, where apparently in this part of Italy, nothing existed to excise a family’s right to know what happened to their loved ones who were either attacked or brutally taken prematurely from their lives. This is in effect what was launching Florentina’s mission and why she was taking great lengths to not just protect her interests but also her identity after she started to launch her plan(s).
When you get to see what Florentina has learnt from da Vinci – in regards of his flying apparatus it is truly a feast of wonder! I can tell why Florentina is happy whenever she is in flight – as it would be such a rush of joy just to take off and to feel the air beneath you but without the fear of simply dropping out of the sky! It was a true piece of craft, Lane has inserted into the story whilst at the same time, she treats you to a bit of back-history where da Vinci and Florentina shared a past and the revelations of what he was learning through his experiments. You quickly realise she was equally influenced by his curiosity of crafting new objects and new engineering marvels as much as she had been influenced by her father; both men were far ahead of themselves and it was what they had learnt through tinkering which had encouraged her own heart to chase after what inspired her own curiosity.
This first installment sets down the foundation of how Maddie and Florentina must join forces in order to seek the truth of what is happening in the shadows of Milan’s powerful houses. There is something untoward going on whilst the rest of the city is going about its business as usual. If the Night Flyer hadn’t started to make appearances and seek out truth from the shadows of night, they might not have learnt as much as they had now. It was only when they each started to question certain truths in their own lives did they start to discover the levels of deceit in their lives. The hardship of course is what to do with all the information once it is learnt? This became a bit of a battle of wills for the women as neither of them felt they would have anything to gain but vengeance and peace of mind for their actions.
The Night Flyer exists similar to Zorro – as a person for the people and the ones in their society without the voice to give light to the ills of the city. It is here where you start to see how the Night Flyer has taken on more than what they originally sought because it is too hard to bypass the needs of the people in pursuit of one man who wronged so many in his lifetime. It was a clever plotting how the Night Flyer could have a bit of duality – not only in their life when their unmasked but as a masked figure they had a certain layer of freedom and of movement that would not have been afforded to them if they hadn’t conceived of the masked identity. That in of itself spoke volumes about the greater purpose of the Night Flyer and also how hard it would be to find truer justice in this world that was severely unjust to the working class.
-quoted from my review of Merchants of Milan
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