Friday, December 13, 2013

Exposition Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon Giftcard Giveaway!)

Title: Exposition
Author: Kyle Taylor
Series: N/A
Pages: 242
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Date Published: August 14th, 2013
Format: ebook
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours 

Meet Benjamin Wyatt, a handsome young architect helping create the magnificent 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. While immersed in work at the famous architectural firm of Burnham and Root, Benjamin’s pugnacious, social climbing father, Walter Wyatt, pushes him to marry the stunningly beautiful debutante, Evelyn Van Buren—thus securing the family’s position in Chicago society. Yet, when Benjamin meets the cocky young electrical engineer, Spencer Bowles, who is also working on the fair, his world and its ambitions are forever shattered.

Set amidst the opulent splendor of Chicago in the late Victorian Age, Benjamin must confront the perils of accepting his own true love and risk destroying everything he worked so hard to achieve. Meticulously researched and filled with lush images of the Gilded Age, Exposition, tells the epic story of a love that dare not speak its name.

~~~Researching Historical Fiction~~~
Hey Andra – Thank you for featuring Exposition on your blog! 

Let me tackle the topic of researching historical fiction. My two books, Billion Dollar Dreamer and Exposition and my just-finished manuscript, Wildflower: The Dramatic Life of Barbette – Round Rock’s First and Greatest Drag Queen each involved extensive historical research. 

The starting point for me are the images I’m trying to paint in the reader’s mind.  On the one hand, a writer doesn’t want to get too bogged down in details which might be boring, but the right amount of flavor of the time is so important to bringing characters and their world alive. 

The research for Exposition was extensive.  Every night, I would find myself having to dig into different aspects of the story.  A great deal of time was spent researching the building of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, and the personalities of the architects who guided the construction. ( I like to thread in as many actual spoken or written lines as possible, so when Daniel Burnham speaks, many of the quotes are actually from him.)   I studied gay Victorian culture and slang.  I researched Chicago brothels and the surly streets where they were located.  Technology – like the invention of the light bulb, and the use of automobiles needed to be understood.  I looked up women’s fashions, designers, styles of carriages and the horses that pulled them.  South Prairie Avenue in Chicago, a millionaire’s row of mansions, needed to be brought to life.  Louis Sullivan’s dramatic concert hall, the Auditorium, and Sarah Bernhardt’s performances there were studied – I could go on!  They were all incorporated to creating this opulent, gilded, yet gritty, world of Exposition.

Most of my research was from books, archives or online sources.  I did use aspects of a conversation with a former apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright’s who revealed the clandestine world of gay architects during Wright’s younger days with Sullivan.

When I finished with Exposition, I felt like an expert of the era.  Sometimes I had to spend a lot of time just understanding what happened – in order for the reader to only get a soft brushstroke of detail – but the work creating the brushstroke takes time.   I suppose it takes a certain type of writer who enjoys this element of discovery, which I do.  In the end, when you add these little bits and pieces to the story, it becomes all the more vibrant.  
~~~Try an Excerpt!~~~
He hurried into his chamber and shut the door behind him and felt a sense of relief once behind the door. His father and the unpleasantness of his encounter with Spencer were on the other side. In his inner sanctuary, he didn’t have to deal with either.

“Hey Benj,” Jamison said. Benjamin nearly leapt out of his skin! Jamison rested on his bed, wearing red silken pajamas and nothing on his feet. The room was only lit by the dying fire in the hearth Olivia lit hours before.

“Jamison! You nearly sent me to an early grave!”

“Sorry, about that.” He rested his head on one arm looking at Benjamin.  Not wanting to take his coat off in front of his brother, Benjamin asked, “what do you need, Jamison?”

“Need?” Jamison considered the question.  “Nothing. I just wanted to greet you when you arrived home. At the office again?” he asked sarcastically. He chose not to answer. Jamison sighed and sat up.  “Very well, I was simply wondering what you and father were talking about.”

“You will have to ask father. Now if you will, please. I have had a long day and I wish to get some rest.”

Jamison smirked.

“I asked you,” Jamison said.

 “Very well, Jamison, I attempted to spare your feelings because it is you who drolls on about always being the victim and never getting any attention. If you must know, father and I were discussing my pending engagement to Evelyn Van Buren.”

There was a look of panic on Jamison’s face.

“How soon?” Jamison blurted out.

“As soon as possible. I shall want you to be the best man when we marry, that is if you can hold yourself together until then.”

“This is preposterous!”

“You are preposterous.”

“You don’t love her. I can see it in your eyes,” Jamison said as he sat up in the bed.

“We share a great deal in common. Our love is only beginning to blossom, Jamison. Now, if you will please…”

“But you don’t love her, Benjamin!”

“Love is a choice, and I am choosing to love Evelyn.”

Jamison stared at his brother in disbelief.

“Are you all ambition? Is there heart left in you?”

“Don’t make me out to be some sort of monster. When you get older, you will understand these things of the world.”

“So you don’t love her.”

“Of course, I do!”

“That’s bollox. Bollox, Benjamin Wyatt!” Jamison stood up and headed for the door. “How anyone can look at Evelyn Van Buren and say they are choosing to love a woman like that…its madness. Pure madness.”
~~~More About Kyle!~~~
Kyle Taylor is the author of both Exposition and Billion Dollar Dreamer.  The Kyle Taylor character debuted in Billion Dollar Dreamer as a journalist who was assigned to write a story about high school history teacher cum overnight billionaire John Driskil.  Kyle has begun his next book, tentatively titled Wildflower.  He resides in New York -- and of course he is a work of fiction.
Kyle will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and as a special prize, Kyle's previous book, Billion Dollar Dreamer , will be given away free on Amazon the last day of the tour


  1. Great Review! Thanks for the giveaway

  2. Thank you Andra Lyn for being such a gracious host! I saw you were the first person to sign up to host the tour -- Thank you!

  3. I actually don't mind all the details. One reason I tend to enjoy historical reads.


  4. thx u for hosting...happy hollidays :)

    -nurmawati djuhawan-
    chiko_jubilee at yahoo dot com

  5. The research sounds interesting.


  6. We all need to use the word bollox more! Love it!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  7. thank you for the chance to win :)
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  8. I love anything historical! One of my favorite subjects! Loved the excerpt and loved the word bollox! I think it needs to be used more lol! thanks and good luck with your tour!

  9. Great excerpt! The best books have good research at the core. :-)

  10. Wow, that's a lot of work. I don't think I would be able to do all that research and write a historical fiction book. Kudos to you.


  11. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    Sounds really good!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  12. Thanks for the excerpt, loving the cover! ghwasd at gmail dot com