by Joyce Elson Moore
I’m frequently asked where I get ideas for my story plots. truth to tell, they can come from the most unexpected sources—a snippet of conversation, a tour guide’s mention of an historical personage, a painting, or almost anywhere. However, my inspiration for The Tapestry Shop was not so much my seeking out the story, as much as the protagonist came to me. Yes, an obscure thirteenth-century poet/musician gave me the idea for my upcoming historical novel.
Years ago, in a college textbook (my Grout, for those of you who studied music history), I saw a woodcut of Adam de la Halle, a trouvere, one of those poet/musicians in northern France. He was also called “The Hunchback”, and I wondered why, and if he were really hunchbacked.
A little research turned up his interesting history. He wrote secular music and plays, which are still performed, and one of them was Robin et Marion. Since his writing preceeded the English ballads about Robin Hood, many musicologists believe that his Robin et Marion was the first penning of the Robin Hood legend. Adam lived in northern France, and since he was the protégé of Louis’ IX’s nephew, it’s quite possible he went to the English courts, or that his play was performed there.
I wrote the book, and it won an award, but never sold. I went on to publish other books, but Adam haunted me. A few years ago, I got out the manuscript, completely changed the heroine, retitled the story, and sold it to Five Star/Cengage. It’s about conflicting beliefs, women in the crusades, and the university in Paris, but above all, it’s about two people in love and the obstacles that challenge them on their separate journeys to self-discovery.
Joyce Elson Moore is an award winning author of historical fiction. In addition to her novels, her work has appeared in major newspapers and national publications, poetry journals, and anthologies of selected writers.
After a brief teaching career, Joyce turned to writing full time, and has reached a widening audience with her books. Along with previous awards and contest wins, she was First Place winner of the 2009 PRLA award for best published romance. Her books continue to draw praise and rave reviews, some of which are posted on her website www.joycemoorebooks.com .
Some early reviews for The Tapestry Shop:
from Renaissance Magazine
brilliantly illuminates the nuances of daily medieval life . . . . is highly recommended
from Romance Reviews Today
. . . meticulously researched . . . Beautifully written, this is an excellent novel for the fan of historical fiction.