Archives for May 2010
I write historical fiction. My first book comes out in October 2010. It’s not what I was trained to do. In school I studied history. In the real world I wrote legal briefs and designed software. Not until I began writing about stories that take place in the past did I find something that made me happy. Something that didn’t make me feel like I was faking it.
I have always been fascinated by the stories and personalities in history (I studied Tsarist Russia, so there were plenty of stories). My approach to history was multi-disciplinary. History, Anthropology, Art, Language, Literature, Economics, Political Science…. I loved circling my subject from all these angles – Never diving in so deeply that I couldn’t come back up for air. But the way I had to hedge every insight with footnotes and alternative theories drove me crazy.
When you write historical fiction, you get to play. You can shift dates (a little – so long as you explain in the author’s note). You find a tidbit, a rumor, and it becomes a whole sub-plot. You read two different versions of an event and your story drives a truck through the inconsistencies. Even a disproved theory, a controversial fact – all of it can be used. Bliss!
My first book is about a British Princess in 1837. My second tells the story of a girl who grows up in Colonial Africa and becomes an international phenomenon. My work in progress is about painters in Renaissance Italy. Sometimes I feel like a bird pecking at different kinds of breadcrumbs. Alas, I can’t use every tidbit I find. My critique group won’t let me. So I offer them up to you… along with musings about odd historical morsels found out it the wild.
So let the breadcrumbs fall where they may.
“A splendid view of the Victorian world; a warm and engaging novel. I loved it”
PATRICIA REILLY GIFF
Two-time Newbery Honor Winner forLily’s Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods.
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Looking forward to reading your reviews!
Prisoners in the Palace has been named by Publisher’s Weekly as a Debut to Watch and a Galley to Grab at the Book Expo.
I will be attending the Book Blogger Reception at the Book Expo on Thursday May 27th!