Thursday, October 15, 2015

What Are You Working On ... Claudia H. Long?

I love running blog series. It's like inviting guest speakers into my classes. I get to sit back and enjoy! Today we hear from author, Claudia H. Long. If you enjoy historical fiction, you'll want to check out her books.

Claudia H. Long is the author of three novels: Josefina's Sin, The Duel for Consuelo, and The Harlot's Pen. Her fourth book, Marcela Unchained, will be out in 2016. When she isn't writing, she's a lawyer who acts as mediator for complex employment and other highly volatile matters. She enjoys belly-dancing, though she's not very good at it, tae kwon do (ditto), and hiking. She lives with her husband, several dogs and cats, and looks forward to visits from her two grown children. Follow her on Facebook,, Twitter, @clongnovels, and at 

Arleen, thanks for having me on your blog today. What am I working on? NOTHING! Yes, the most amazing moment in a writer's life is the one where the manuscript is off to the agent, the next two books are germinating, bubbling, multiplying and dividing (I'm a little weak on science!) in my brain, and I'm working on absolutely nothing!

My next book, Marcela Unchained, is finished. This is the third in the passionate saga of the Castillo family, literary-historical fiction set in 1690-1753 in Colonial Mexico. These three stand-alone works are connected by a silken thread of one or two characters, in different times, exploring the love, betrayal, religion and philosophy of very, very tumultuous eras. 
In 1690 the Inquisition was in full force in Mexico, and the beautiful Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was writing her haunting poems and daring letter to the Bishop claiming a woman's right to read and write. Josefina's Sin, my book of that time, brings a landowner's wife to the vice-royal court, where she is touched by the brilliance of the poet. She also learns the price of love, and the agony of betrayal. 

The son Josefina bears at the end of the book is a complex man with a soul-wrenching secret. He falls in love with Consuelo, the healer with a deadly secret of her own. The Duel for Consuelo shines the tendrils of the Enlightenment on those secrets in 1721.

In her search for a safe house for her secretly Jewish mother, Consuelo seeks shelter at the home of Susana. Susana's daughter Marcela, then seven, has learned the covert practices of the Crypto-Jews at her mother's knee. When Marcela is fourteen, in 1720, her mother is taken by the Inquisition in the last auto-de-fe in Mexico. Sent into exile to the sliver-mining city of Zacatecas, Marcela carves a life for herself in an unforgiving land, where to survive she has to give up everything she knows and loves. She grows into a woman of power and wealth, and it is only in 1753 that she learns what it really means to sacrifice. That's the story of Marcela Unchained, which will be coming to you in 2016. 

So for now, Nothing! But in the recesses of my mind a tower is being painted...and pastry is being dipped in honey. I can say no more!

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