The Boundary Stone
The Stockbridge Series # 1
By- Gail Avery Halverson
Genre- Historical Fiction/Romance
Bound since childhood to an arranged marriage with the restless and irresponsible heir of Houghton Hall, Viscount Miles Houghton; Lady Catherine Abbott, now grown, finds herself torn between duty to her family and her smoldering ambitions. Possessed of a nimble, curious mind, a love of science and the natural world, and a singular talent for illustration, Catherine desperately longs to accomplish something before she resigns herself to a loveless marriage and the idle, aristocratic whirl of parties and social gatherings within the confines of the palatial Houghton Hall.
Banished before his final year of medical training for pushing harder on the boundaries of scientific knowledge than any student at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, the mysterious and driven Simon McKensie has blurred the lines between research and criminality and must now choose between exile to the rural country village of Wells, or the hangman’s noose.
When the terrifying Great Plague of 1665 spreads from London to Wells, the town’s very existence is threatened and Catherine must confront her fears, her place in the world – and the burning passions she has long held inside.
Author Spotlight on Gail Avery Halverson
Please tell us about yourself using 3 adjectives, 1 quirk and a pop culture addiction
While I’m not particularly OCD, I have to remake the bed if the sheet hangs below the comforter. Even if I’m dead-tired, I just can’t do it…
Master Chef Junior! Those kids AMAZE me!
Top 3 Pet Peeves
Horrible grammar, both spoken and written - especially on TV, and really especially on commercials!
Slow people driving in the fast lane
Who do you consider the most swoon-worthy man/woman in the literary world? How about on tv/in the movies?
Daniel Craig as James Bond - or Daniel Craig in ANYTHING.
Top 5 Favorite Things:
My husband and son - and the rest of my family
Mussels with Chorizo pasta
French Country/bistro cooking
What are your thoughts on book covers- in your opinion do they make or break a book?
Covers are the first thing that compel me to look at a book, and I do believe they are a very big contributing factor to the marketing of a book. I also think they are an extremely hard element to nail.
What’s the last song you listened to?
Frank Sinatra - “Fly Me to the Moon”
How do you come up with character names? How do you come up with novel titles?
In “The Boundary Stone,” I used the names of my family liberally. The only name I did not use was my paternal grandmother’s first name, which was Erna. Not exactly period-specific… The title came from the real-life story that first interested me. It was the story of the plague entering the town of Eyam, England. It is said that a tailor brought a bolt of cloth infected with fleas to the town. The tailor died within two days and the Lord Mayor decided to quarantine the entire town in order to contain the plague and not allow it to spread further into England. They would leave notes and coins at the ‘boundary stone’ on the edge of town to pay for supplies from the outside world. I was absolutely fascinated by their story of bravery and sacrifice, and it was the starting point for “The Boundary Stone.”
Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?
Absolutely sit down and go for it! Set a writing schedule and make yourself a promise to stick to it. The schedule that most suited me was writing from 9:00am to 12:00pm, then taking a break to do chores or meet friends - and then writing once again from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. Every single weekday. Give yourself a reward when you reach certain goals. Give yourself a break if you don’t meet them, but sit down again the next day and go right back to it. Some days, it was all I could do to write and rewrite one single sentence. Other days, I was able to write two or three pages. I tried to write at least 500 words a day and if I wrote more than 500 words, I treated myself to a little reward. The other thing that really helped was being brave enough to tell people that I was writing a book, because after that, the thought of not finishing it was just too embarrassing. I also bought books on how to write a novel. I really enjoyed “How I Write” by Janet Evanovich and her writing partner. In the end, just believe in how much you want to do it, then go do it.
This or That-
*Morning or Night? Morning - by a long shot.
*Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate! My favorite stocking stuffer of all time is a box of See’s dark chocolates! I love the chocolate and maple, the chocolate and raspberry, and the dark chocolate and chocolate bordeaux candies with the little chocolate sprinkles on top. My mouth is watering just thinking about it…!
*Summer or Winter? I’m actually more a spring or fall kind of gal. I love transitional clothes - easy linens and soft cottons, but if I have to choose, I’ll go with summer.
*Ebook or Paperback? Paperback, for sure!
*Fantasy or Paranormal?
Nope. I’m way too literal for that… With the total exception of Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle In Time.” My absolute favorite book, EVER. I gain so much courage from the story I first read in sixth grade. The premise, which I have taught my son again and again, is that what we think are our greatest faults are actually our most greatest strengths. I absolutely love that.
About the Author-
GAIL HALVERSON is the playwright and composer of musical plays that have been performed for over 250,000 children since 2004. Writing for both theater and television, she holds a degree in English Literature and Communications from the University of California, Davis; and is currently at work on a television pilot for Double Trouble Productions, Inc. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son. The Boundary Stone is her first novel.