“The Beauty of Wynona,” my novelette set in 18th century England, is in the October issue of Lacuna…or at least it will be once the editor sorts out a publishing glitch. A few of the stories apparently got lost in the publishing queue, but Ms. Arkenberg is working to sort it all out, and my story, set at an English country manor, should be available soon (Note: everything is up and running now).
This story was great fun to write, and I got to channel my inner Jeeves to capture the voice I wanted for the narrator: a gentleman’s gentleman to a world-famous portraitist. Here’s an excerpt to whet your interest:
Our carriage jerked to a stop before wide stairs leading up to the pillared entrance of Penketh Manor, the country estate of Mr. Prufit and his new wife. The end of our long journey north from London should have been a joyous occasion, but Master Hurlock, the world’s foremost portraitist, frowned as he squinted out into the afternoon sunlight.
“I am not up for this, Stevens.” Master Hurlock drew back from the carriage window, letting the curtain drop and casting us back into shadow. A man of modest build and swarthy complexion, he looked unusually small in the darkness of the carriage, as if he had been reduced under the weight of his concerns.
I had initially attributed my master’s recent melancholy to an imbalance of humors, but of late, I had begun to suspect that he had taken recent allegations, always spoken under breath, to heart.
To read the rest of “The Beauty of Wynona,” head over to Lacuna, and while you’re visiting, check out the other stories in the October issue. Lacuna publishes some very good historical speculative fiction and wonderful period artwork to accompany the stories. I hope you enjoy.