My “Next Big Thing”: Heloise and Abelard

I’ve been tagged in The Next Big Thing by fellow writer David Ebsworth (website: and main blog on Goodreads: whose first novel, The Jacobites’ Apprentice, was nominated UK Indie Editor’s Choice for the Historical Novel Society Indie Review.

Thanks to David for including me in this series of blog posts by authors answering the question we all love to hear: What are you working on now?

What is the working title of your next book?

“The Song of Heloise.” That’s the title today. I’ve also titled it “The Seduction of Heloise,” “The Song of Abelard,” “Banish the Night,” “The Power of Destiny,” and “Heloise and Abelard.”

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I first learned of the tragic love affair between Abelard, the controversial and charismatic 12th century Parisian philosopher and Heloise, his brilliant young student in a Teaching Company lecture. What drew me in, besides the considerable drama, was Heloise’s spirit. She dared to live – and love — on her own terms in a time when doing so could be dangerous, especially for women.

What genre does your book fall under?

This is a an erotic biographical historical novel. Heloise and Abelard had a very passionate love affair.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I imagine a French film, with French actors. Because this tale is very, very French.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Before Romeo and Juliet; before Tristan and Isolde, Heloise and Abelard shocked the world with a passion so consuming, it threatened to destroy them both.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am under contract with Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I am still working on it.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Not a book, but a play: “Romeo and Juliet.” Or an opera: “Tristan and Isolde.”

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

None other than Heloise herself. A 12th century intellectual who turns down her lover’s marriage proposal because she prefers “freedom to chains”? That’s kick-ass!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

These famous lovers have been written about many times, but mine will be the first novel telling their story since the scholar Constant J. Mews revealed more than 100 letters and fragments of letters written between the couple while their love affair was in full bloom. These letters are full of beauty, romance, and passion, and have deeply affected my writing.

Now I’m off to tag five more authors to write posts of their own about their Next Big Thing. Stay tuned for details once they’ve all agreed…

5 replies on “My “Next Big Thing”: Heloise and Abelard”

  1. Mews did not discover the letters, he asserted that they were the work of Heloise and Abelard (which their original German editor had rejected.) Despite his vigorous self-promotion, few scholars accept his attribution.

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