When gargoyles come to life…an overview of The Beautiful and The Cursed.
Following a freak accident, Ingrid Waverly and her family flee London and arrive in Paris, ready for new possibilities.
But it seems they haven’t left the tragedy behind them. Even from the instant they arrive, weird things start happening. Ingrid’s twin brother, Grayson (who was supposed to meet them there), has mysteriously disappeared. Ingrid, her mother and her younger sister, are left to stare in awe (and slight fright) at the abandoned abbey he has left for them to call home. The roof is lined with ancient gargoyles that appear much too life-like for comfort.
Then Ingrid meets Luc, a handsome servant of the abbey, who bedrudgingly leads her behind the scenes of another world beyond her own. It’s terrifying. And real. And full of living, breathing gargoyles. But she must push past her fear in order to rescue her brother and once again make sense of her life.
We sat down with author Page Morgan, to talk about her author inspiration, perspiration and advice for those just starting out.
What inspired your book?
Page Morgan: I never really gave gargoyles much thought, until I came across this photograph (t’s on my pinterst board if you wanted to check it out). It was this Notre Dame gargoyle, a black and white picture. In the background you see the Eiffel tower. There was just something about it that was really intriguing to me. I knew that I wanted to tell this gargoyle’s story. It seemed just from the way that it was shaped that it had this great burden on its shoulders, so my imagination just started to go a little crazy.
I did some research on gargoyles and I found that they’re supposed to protect humans, so if they’re on a building, they’re meant to scare away evil spirits and protect the humans inside. I thought I could do something with that. Everything just took off from there. The story sort of percolated for a couple of years and then finally I got the courage to actually start writing it. So, it was a long process.
Why did you decide to set the novel in the 1800s in Paris, as opposed to modern day?
PM: I love history, so I chose the 1890’s. I knew it was going to be in Paris and I wanted it to be revolving around some specific event. I had the girl’s mother coming to Paris to open up an art gallery and then I learned that there was the Paris expedition, it was the big world fair. So, I was going to have their mother’s art gallery open up in conjunction with the 1900 expedition.
I just decided Paris 1899 there had to be some great fashion back then and everything was changing. Paris was becoming a mix of old and new, and I liked the feel of them wanting to be more modern and sort of clinging to the old as well, so it just seemed like the right fit for the book.
<p”>How difficult was the publishing process?
I got an agent. And then we worked on my first book. It was an interesting process because he was very hands on, so we did a lot of editing before sending it off. It was a challenge because, as a writer, you’re by yourself. I had never shared my work with anyone. It’s very scary, absolutely. But the more I do it, the easier it gets.
How long did it take to get published?
Years. Definitely about three or four years of just writing, querying, getting lots of rejections and writing some more. I think I wrote about three or four different novels before I actually got my agent. So, a lot of practice books, I guess. I think I queried maybe 50 or more agents before I had the one bite. So it really does only take one.
What would be your advice to writers just starting out?
Just keep doing it. Keep trying, because you’re going to get rejected. It doesn’t matter how successful you are, you know with JK Rowling, she had that enormous success with Harry Potter and then she wrote the Casual Vacancy, and that really wasn’t well received. Everybody gets rejected. Write the story that you want to write or write the story that you haven’t read yet. Just keep trying, because it will happen if you really want it.