Today, I’m welcoming Griffin Brady to the blog to discover the journey that led to her writing The Heart of a Hussar.
For decades, I’ve wondered if I could write a work of fiction. I didn’t think I had a story in me, but I decided to challenge myself anyway and find out if I could pen a story at least two hundred and fifty pages in length (this was before I knew about word counts!).
I began with a story set in 1970s on a bleak island off of Nova Scotia. It was going to include some time travel elements, and I realized I needed to do some research on weapons of the 17th century. I don’t recall what words I typed in for my internet search that day, but several websites popped up, including one called “Bad*ss of the Week.” I clicked on the link and was led to a page about the Polish Winged Hussars. I had never heard of them, and I was fascinated!
I’ve always been a sucker for tales of chivalrous knights, and here was an entire category I never knew existed before. So I read, and I read, and I read, and inspiration swamped me. Soon I was downloading books and historian’s works, devouring every scrap of information I could find. A fire had ignited inside me.
One night as my husband and I shared pizza lots of beer at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, the story that would become The Heart of a Hussar and A Hussar’s Promise tumbled out of my mouth. My husband grew more intrigued as I laid out the storyline, which further fanned the flames inside me.
So I began to write, and write, and write. Before I knew it, my rough draft had swelled to over 1,400 pages. Thank goodness I had found a wonderful editor to help pare it down to a manageable level! The story is now a little over eight hundred pages long and is split into a duology.
Thank you so much for sharing. Isn’t is strange where our research takes us! Good luck with the new book.
Here’s the blurb:
Poland is at war. He must choose between his lifelong ambition and his heart.
Exploiting Muscovy’s Time of Troubles, Poland has invaded the chaotic country. Twenty-two-year-old Jacek Dąbrowski is an honorable, ferocious warrior in a company of winged hussars—an unrivaled, lethal cavalry. When his lieutenant dies in battle, Jacek is promoted to replace him, against the wishes of his superior, Mateusz, who now has more reason to eliminate him.
Jacek dedicates his life to gaining the king’s recognition and manor lands of his own. Consequently, he closely guards his heart, avoiding lasting romantic entanglements. Unscathed on the battlefield, undefeated in tournaments, and adored by women eager to share his bed, Jacek has never lost at anything he sets out to conquer. So when he charges toward his goals, he believes nothing stands in his way.
Upon his return from battle, Jacek deviates from his ordinarily unemotional mindset and rescues enemy siblings, fifteen-year-old Oliwia and her younger brother, Filip, from their devastated Muscovite village. His act of mercy sets into motion unstoppable consequences that ripple through his well-ordered life for years to come—and causes him to irretrievably lose his heart.
Oliwia has her own single-minded drive: to protect her young brother. Her determination and self-sacrifice lead her to adopt a new country, a new religion, and a new way of life. But it’s not the first time the resilient beauty has had to remake herself, for she is not what she appears to be.
As Jacek battles the Muscovites and Tatars threatening Poland’s borders for months at a time, Oliwia is groomed for a purpose concealed from her. All the while, Mateusz’s treachery and a mysterious enemy looming on the horizon threaten to destroy everything Jacek holds dear.
This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited
Meet Griffin Brady
Griffin Brady is a historical fiction author with a keen interest in the Polish Winged Hussars of the 16th and 17thcenturies. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. The Heart of a Hussartook third place in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2018 Colorado Gold Contest and was a finalist in the Northern Colorado Writers’ 2017 Top of the Mountain Award.
The proud mother three grown sons, she lives in Colorado with her husband. She is also an award-winning, Amazon bestselling romance author who writes under the pen name G.K. Brady.
Connect with Griffin Brady