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Thursday, September 1, 2016

33 Books Read!

Here we are at the almost three-quarter point of the year... and here I am with 33 books read!

What are you reading?

23. The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister #4) by Courtney Milan. Fiction/Historical Romance/Victorian England. 4 stars.

24. Plastic Smile (Russell's Attic #4) by SL Huang. Fiction/Science Fiction/Action/Thriller. 4 stars.

25. A Leaf on the Wind of All Hollows (Outlander #8.5) by Diana Gabaldon. Fiction/Fantasy/Historical/ Novella. 3 stars.

26. The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Cannandine. Nonfiction/History/Social history/Britain. 2 stars.

27. Collecting The Constellations by Emily Steers. Fiction/Mystery/Thriller/Contemporary. 5 stars.

28. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson. Nonfiction/History/American History/African-American history/Twentieth century. 5 stars.

29. Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing: Revised Edition by Libbie Hawker. Nonfiction/Writing. 3 stars.

30. Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand. Nonfiction/ Biography/History/Feminist/India/Britain/ Nineteenth century/Twentieth century. 3 stars.

31. A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley. Fiction/Historical Fiction/Women's Historical Fiction/Dual Timeline/Action/Romance/ France/18th century. 3 stars.

32. Making It In Historical Fiction by Libbie Hawker. Nonfiction/Writing/Publishing/Historical Fiction. 3 stars.

33. Talk Sweetly To Me (Brothers Sinister #4.5) by Courtney Milan. Fiction/Historical Romance/Novella. 3 stars.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

It's Saturday. Have an excerpt.


After effectively getting some creative juices re-flowing because, after I bitched and moaned about this latest writing project to my best friend, she broke out into song: "Chapter 18/I hate Chapter 18/That's two thousand words/ I gotta delete," I have decided to re-read said Chapter 18 and figure out why I hate it quite so much. (Upon reading it over, I see that it's actually not so bad. Why is writing so annoying like that sometimes?)

Also, I need to figure out where the heck the pacing went in this section of the novel, because it's taking a bit to get to the frickin' point already.

In the meantime, have an excerpt from about thirty pages ago.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

5 Things I Learned About Colonial India

My main character, one Miss Victoria Ponsonby-Courtney, was born in India in 1873. Although my story takes place in England and Victoria was sent to England to live at age six, she carries a few memories of her Indian childhood and they help illustrate her insecurity--in herself and her familial and social position. It's not a huge portion of the story, but it's important to the character and the era.

Queen Victoria wasn't the Empress of India for nothing, after all, and the 1890s, when Victoria lives, was very much a time of the British Empire.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Authenticity vs. Accuracy

Among historical fiction writers, the authenticity vs. accuracy debate is a thing. That is, depending on the kind of historical fiction you're writing, you are going to have to balance historical accuracy, the absolute facts: the year of certain Big Events, the layout of cities and towns in whatever era you are writing, the politics and social conventions of the time, the clothing, attitudes, maybe even language.

I guess I'd say authenticity is integrating all the factual things with the elements of fiction--characters, a plot, atmosphere, dialogue--and making the history work in the context of the story (and with your perspective of the history)--and to make sure all of that is readable and entertaining.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

An Interview With Author Emily Steers

Emily Steers and I both went to Emerson College and I remember sharing at least one writing class--there may have been more. Emily just released her first novel, Collecting The Constellations, a mystery-action-adventure story. So naturally, I had to interview her for the blog.

Charlotte Daly is goal-oriented, inquisitive, and tireless— ideal for her role as a researcher at a prestigious museum. She’s celebrated as an up-and-coming talent. She just never expected her greatest find to come from her great aunt’s basement.

It’s dazzlingly unique—a dagger made entirely of blue sapphire, flawless except for a few specks in the handle. To determine its secrets, Charlotte convinces her boss to let her re-trace her aunt’s travels to its source– with the accompaniment of her longtime friend and co-worker, Rory Hobbs.

Charlotte’s clues take her to Kathmandu, where they discover Charlotte’s aunt may not have been the noble adventurer she imagined. Conspicuous wealth, violent attacks, and grand myths plague the pair as they jump into a world of secret societies and treasure hunters they never knew existed.

The book is available in paperback and on Kindle. I've read it and I can assure you that it is a well written, entertaining ride of a story.


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