Historical Research

Fact Vs. Fiction: Getting It Right (Even When You’re Making It Up) by CiJi Ware

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 6 comments

For twenty years before I started writing novels, I was a radio and television broadcaster in Los Angeles, having worked for all three national networks and the local PBS station during that “other” career. I find, eleven novels and two nonfiction books later, that the skillset I acquired in that former chapter of my life has stood me in remarkably good stead, whether I write contemporary or historical fiction. Regardless of the genre, nothing annoys readers more than to see a misstatement or outright mistake in a book dealing with a subject that the purchaser knows about. Even worse, is to...

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Getting the Past Right Is Tough—Even If I Lived Through It by Peg Herring

Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Research | 6 comments

I enjoy writing what I call “vintage” mysteries, books set in a time that’s historical but recent enough that some of us were there. My newest mystery, Her Ex-GI P.I., takes place in the late 1960s. It’s actually a re-release of a book accepted by a publisher early on in my career and made available only as an e-book. I learned a lot in those first years, and two things about the book stuck out. First, the cover, in black with slinky females prominent (which was the publisher’s doing), put readers off. Second, the title, Go Home and Die, didn’t fit the G-rated, cozy-ish sub-genre. (That was...

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About Finding Joaquin by Steve Bartholomew

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in 19th Century U.S., Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | Comments Off on About Finding Joaquin by Steve Bartholomew

There’s a razor-thin line between history and fiction. Scholars used to think the Iliad was all made up, until the actual ruins of Troy were found. What fascinates me about the bandit Joaquin Murietta is that no one really knows how much of his story is true. My book Finding Joaquin is not the first fictional narrative about this man. In fact, one of the first novels written in California was inspired by his life. This was The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, by John Rollin Ridge. Note the difference in spelling of the bandit’s name. There are a number of other variations,...

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Haworth Then and Now by Karen Perkins

Posted by on Mar 27, 2017 in 19th England, Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 2 comments

Haworth has a great deal to offer today’s visitors, including a working steam railway, the iconic cobbled high street (thankfully lined by a myriad of interesting shops and teashops that provide very pleasant rest stops along the climb), and of course wonderful walks through the stunning moorland that makes up so much of Brontë Country. As a booklover, I can think of no more inspiring place than the home of my literary heroines, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, and I visit as often as I can. The Brontë Society and Parsonage Museum has lovingly re-created their home, demonstrating how they...

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The (Not Quite) True Story of the Real Cinderella By Libbie Hawker

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Ancient Egypt, Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 2 comments

I’m a big fan of podcasts. I listen to them whenever I get the chance—while I’m going for walks, working in my garden, cleaning the house, or traveling to the mainland to take care of all the errands and chores I can’t do here on the island. Not too long ago, I came across a podcast called Disney Story Origins, a well-produced and fascinating show that explores the real history behind all the best-loved Disney films. Sadly, the podcast hasn’t had any recent updates, but it led me to research the source material behind of many of the films that hadn’t yet been covered by Disney Story Origins....

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Research and The Return of the Raven Mocker by Donis Casey

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Fiction Influences, Historical Research | Comments Off on Research and The Return of the Raven Mocker by Donis Casey

Primary Research When the Raven Mocker returns to Boynton, Oklahoma, in the fall of 1918, he brings with him the great worldwide influenza pandemic that claimed fifty million lives. World War I is still raging in Europe, but Alafair Tucker is fighting her own war as the epidemic sweeps through like wildfire. What a perfect time for someone to commit murder. Who’s going to notice? In 2004, when I was writing my first Alafair Tucker mystery, The Old Buzzard Had It Coming, I was particularly concerned with the kind of life Alafair would have led in 1912, so much of my research consisted of...

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