Hello Kristen and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about Escapement!
To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your novel Escapement?
Hi Passages to the Past and Readers, thanks for having me! Escapement is my second novel and a work close to my heart. The book takes place in Europe during the Romantic era and the writing is inspired by the lyricism of that time. The story revolves around the relationship between a housekeeper and her employer, an up-and-coming composer But the tale is really a meditation on passion — not just for a person, but for art and beauty as well.
What inspired you to write Escapement?
Well, the truth is, the idea actually occurred to me many, many years ago. When I was a sophomore in college, I took a music history course that explored the great classical music repertoire. As a child, I’d never really listened to classical music and was completely overwhelmed by what I heard. I became enchanted and obsessed at the same time. I basically fell in love – hard – not only with the music but with the stories and lives of the famed composers and musicians themselves. In fact, I was so inspired that I decided to learn how to play piano. I found a teacher and took some basic lessons and then played for hours and hours and hours. Literally. Finally I could start to play some of the music that had so enchanted me and it was the most amazing experience. So it was then, when I was eighteen and obsessed, that the seeds of the story first took root. And it literally stewed inside my mind for decades.
What type of research did you do for writing Escapement?
I don’t know if it was research as much as drawing on years of impassioned study. Since that year in college I’d been listening to classical music and reading about the composers’ lives and work. So in a sense it was really about finding a practical use for the information I’d been gathering. I really didn’t undertake any formal research before I began writing. I mostly drew on what I’d already learned. And let it guide me. Going in I felt that I had a solid understanding and knowledge of the characters and subject matters at hand and I wanted to run with that intuition, and trust it.
Did you find anything in your research that was particularly fascinating or that helped shaped the novel?
Ahh, that’s a great question. And an easy one to answer. Ever since I can remember, I’ve only been able to write when there is peace and quiet. But, to my great surprise, when I began Escapement I quickly discovered that I could only write when I had music playing. In fact, I kept the second movement, the Adagio, from Brahms’ First Piano Concerto playing on a repetitive loop. It would just wind down to its ominous conclusion and then start right back up again, over and over. When I completed the first draft, I checked the little counter on iTunes and it said I’d listened to that piece over 2,500 times. I was completely shocked when I saw that! But, for some reason, I had to have that music playing while I wrote. Maybe it brought on a sort of musical trance that helped to enter the composers’ state of mind, I don’t know. Naturally I thought I’d discovered a secret to my writing process that would make every book so much easier. But when I picked what I thought would be a conducive soundtrack for the writing of my third book, I was completely surprised to find that I couldn’t stand listening to music at all! It was entirely distracting and uncomfortable! And so I realized that listening to music was just something special and essential for the experience of writing Escapement, and not a practice that would carry over to other projects. When I think about it now, it probably shouldn’t be all that surprising, but it really was!
What was your favorite scene to write?
All the scenes in which characters were performing or composing music.
What was the most difficult scene to write?
To be honest, I think this book had sat in my imagination for so long, I didn’t really have a struggle with it. Which was an entirely new experience for me!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know that I “knew” anything. I was just always writing. Since the moment I could hold a crayon.
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?
Doubt. I haven’t yet. It’s both my worst enemy and my greatest muse.
Who are your writing inspirations?
Too many to list. A few off the top of my head: Jeanette Winterson, Barbara Kingsolver, Chang Rae Lee, Anne Michaels, Mary Oliver, Shakespeare.
What are three things people may not know about you?
I have a wicked sense of humor. I’m an ambidextrous lefty. Every time I watch the film “Babe” my eyes well with tears when the farmer says, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.” It just gets to me. Every. Single. Time.
What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?
I’m also genre ambidextrous. In fact, my next two books take place in the present and the future.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
Be in nature. Read. Hike. Daydream.
Lastly, what are you working on next?
At the moment, I’ve just published the audiobook version of Escapement — which includes a full cast and piano solos by a renowned concert pianist. It turned out beautifully and so I’m busy promoting that. At the same time, I’m exploring turning my first two books into films while also writing a third. For some reason, though, I can never really talk about a book when I’m working on it. I don’t know why. Maybe it feels like it dulls the spark or something? But I certainly hope your readers will come back to have a look! And I just want to say thank you, again, for having me here — I loved it!
We loved having you here, thank you so much! The AudioBook sounds amazing!
Escapement - An Exquisite Tale of Love and Passion
by Kristen Wolf
Publication Date: August 1, 2018
***WINNER of the 2018 IndieReader DISCOVERY AWARD***
From the bestselling Author of THE WAY, hailed by O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE as “A Title To Pick Up Now!”
Henri keeps many secrets. Some even from herself...
Prepare to be transported into a sensual world of possibility by this lush, heart-wrenching and gorgeously-written tale. Brimming with passion, intrigue, extraordinary characters and breathtaking surprises, ESCAPEMENT will arouse the senses and seduce readers of every persuasion.
“Wolf is a masterful storyteller who has created an enchanting novel… It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt passion.”
Cristofer's star is poised to rise. Everyone expects the dashing and gifted composer to soar to the heights of musical genius—an expectation that terrifies the young artist as much as it drives him.
Walking into the fire with Cristofer is his housekeeper, Henri, a passionate and handsome young woman who takes pleasure in dressing as a man. Tending to her employer’s domestic needs, Henri has crafted a carefree life of routine behind which she hides the truth of a tragic past. Possessed herself of an extraordinary talent, she covertly guides her employer through the trials of his artistic and romantic pursuits while carefully guarding his most closely-held secret.
But Henri’s deceptively simple life is ripped apart when a wealthy and ruthless patron grants Cristofer a spectacular commission, then unwittingly hires Henri—whom he believes to be male—to give piano lessons to his alluring wife.
The resulting entanglements rise to a dangerous pitch as Cristofer struggles to create music of epic proportions while Henri is ignited by a love more powerful than any she has ever known. But when the monstrously ambitious patron catches wind of a duplicity, he and his henchmen mobilize quickly to target the threat and soon the only hope for either friend’s survival depends on one publicly exposing the other’s hidden truth—an act that would defy the bonds of love and loyalty and bring all their lives crashing down.
Can Henri stop the oncoming tragedy and still hold onto her greatest love? Or must she lose everything?
"ESCAPEMENT is a symphony of words marked by lyrical phrases and exquisite rhythm... a testament to the artistic spirit... breathtaking."
“A passionate story.”
Available in Paperback & eBook on Amazon
About the AuthorKRISTEN WOLF is an award-winning author, creative and wondernaut living in the Rocky Mountains. Her debut novel, THE WAY, was hailed by O, The OPRAH Magazine as “A Title to Pick Up Now!” Her second novel, ESCAPEMENT, is a *WINNER - 2018 IndieReader Discovery Award* and received this praise: “Wolf is a masterful storyteller who has created an enchanting novel... It will resonate with anyone who has ever felt passion.” —IndieReader
To learn more about Kristen's books and other creative projects, subscribe to her Newsletter at www.kristenwolf.com/subscribe. You can also find Kristen on Twitter, Book Bub, and Goodreads.
Blog Tour ScheduleMonday, August 6
Feature at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 7
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Friday, August 10
Feature at Donna's Book Blog
Monday, August 13
Review at Bri's Book Nook
Tuesday, August 14
Guest Post at To Read, or Not to Read
Wednesday, August 15
Feature at Author Naomi Finley'a Blog
Friday, August 17
Guest Post at The Book Junkie Reads
Monday, August 20
Feature at What Is That Book About
Friday, August 24
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Wednesday, September 5
Review at The Slytherin Book Lady
Sunday, September 9
Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings
Monday, September 10
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, September 12
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, September 13
Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All
GiveawayDuring the Blog Tour we will be giving away two signed copies of Escapement and two $5 iTunes Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US, UK, and Canada residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.