Some readers have been asking questions about THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST and I thought it would be a good idea to compile my answers in one chapter. Please feel free to ask your own questions about my story in the comments and I'll make sure to answer them!
What inspired you to write THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST?
I love Historical Fantasy and I wanted to write a story set in 1920s London with a supernatural twist. My goal was to give my readers what they expected from such a historical setting (flappers, jazz music and World War I veterans) and surprise them by adding a supernatural mystery to the mix. I also wanted to write a story that would show how girls can be brave and strong in different ways. I threw in some friendship issues, a couple of handsome boys, a few horse races, tea parties and masked balls, and of course a scary villain, and THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST was born!
Who made the cover?
The cover was created by the very talented cover designer Amalia I. Chitulescu.
What does the title mean?
It mixes two expressions from the 1920s.
The Bright Young Things (or Bright Young People) were a group of young fashionable aristocrats and socialites in 1920s London. They became known for their enthusiastic and ambitious outlook on life, as well as for their exuberant and outrageous behaviour, and their bohemian lifestyle, which were reported on in the press. For example, they organised elaborate nighttime treasure hunts and extravagant fancy dress parties. Authors like Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh were part of this group and later wrote books about it.
On the other hand, the expression the Lost Generation was coined by Gertrude Stein to name the generation of young men who came of age during the First World War, many of whom fought in the trenches. A lot of them died, and those who survived returned changed forever, to the point that they became known as a generation of disillusioned men - "lost".
In my story, Vita, and to some extent Izzy, are members of the Bright Young Things. Meanwhile, Archie, Vita's uncles, Mr. Lawrence, and even Dr. Finley, are men belonging to the Lost Generation. The title refers to them, but it's obviously also a metaphor for what the characters go through in the story: all of them struggle between bright social lives and dark secrets, between a desire to be loved and a fear to become lost and forgotten.
What's a flapper?
In the 1920s, a flapper was a fashionable young woman who wanted to have fun and didn't really care about social conventions. Vita is the perfect example of a flapper.
Why do all these characters smoke?
In the 1920s, people weren't aware of the dangers of smoking yet. During the First World War, soldiers were actually given cigarettes along with their uniforms and other necessities. Many of them continued smoking after they returned home, and fashionable young women took to smoking as well.
So Vita has an English father and an Indian mother?
Yes, she does. As you know, in the early 20th Century, India was still under British rule and when I was doing my research for this story, I came across the biography of actress Merle Oberon (1911-1979), whose father was British (Welsh) and mother Indian. She became my inspiration for Vita.
Is Izzy racist?
Vita, as someone with an Indian mother in Britain in the 1920s, would have encountered racism in her daily life. She would have been looked down upon by many people in her social circle – even the people closest to her like her friends and their parents. Obviously I do not in any way share the racist views expressed by the characters in this story, but I thought it important not to hide the reality of how Vita would have been treated by others at that time. I am, of course, always open to feedback on this particular point.
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The Bright and the LostHistorical Fiction
#WATTYS2017 Winner - HIGHEST RANKING # 5 - DOWNTON ABBEY meets Libba Bray's THE DIVINERS in this YA Historical Fantasy set in 1922 England. Unlike all the Debutantes she knows, eighteen-year-old Vita couldn't care less about her coming out ball. Tra...