Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2021

Masterworks: Legacy - Samantha Wilcoxson - Interview

  Today is the last of a series on nine interviews I'm sharing on the Crowvus Book Blog. These are from the authors of the short stories included in the  Masterworks  anthology by the  Historical Writers Forum . We're running through chronologically, some are video interviews, others are written. I am delighted to welcome the fantastic Samantha Wilcoxson, who is sharing the artist inspiration for her short story Legacy , as well as the appeal of James A. Hamilton, and the delights of researching. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself, what you write (besides Masterworks!), and what inspired you to begin writing. I was inspired to write by my love of reading. After watching me read, write reviews, and keep journals for twenty years, my husband asked me why I didn’t try writing, so I did! Without really planning on it, I ended up writing historical biographical fiction. I’m drawn to a tragic tale but also to lesser known historical figures with emotive stories to tell

Book Review: "What It Means to Be Me" - Danielle Dawn Falk

Excerpt: I play outside and breathe sweet air. There are flowers and animals around me everywhere. Just like the wiggly worm, the curious cat, and the giant trees, My life has a special purpose; I am on a unique journey. This is what it means to be me. Review: "What It Means to Be Me" is a book with a great message - helping children to make sense of what makes them special and unique, but also what they have in common with others.  As a teacher, it made me think of the requirement in the Curriculum for Excellence for pupils to: "I recognise that we have similarities and differences but are all unique." This book totally has that outcome covered!  The book starts with a very lengthy opening, which I did feel may have been more audience-appropriate if it had been split over a few pages. The rest of the book carries on at a really good pace, mixing short snippets of advice and guidance with dazzling and/or dreamy illustrations. The book is written in a gentle rhyme, b

#HistFicThursdays - Finding the cracks and filling them in

 Did you ever play that game where you have to avoid the cracks on the pavement? The original version of it seems to be: Tread on a crack, break your back although we used the slightly milder version of: Step on a crack, marry a rat With hindsight, its more a cautionary piece of advice than a game, but it certainly was a fun game to play as a child, trying to gauge how many times to put your feet down on each flagstone. But the warning remains in place. Don't fall into or over the cracks... ...unless you're a historical fiction writer! At the moment, I'm writing a book for Sapere Books' Writing Competition . I have to admit, I originally recoiled from the idea of writing to someone else's brief, but I am putting together a submission for Brief 5 as a way of encouraging my sister to put in her entry for Brief 4! And I'm thoroughly enjoying the challenge. [It remains to be seen as to whether or not we submit our entries but, either way, I intend to take my charact

#HistFicThursdays - Writing from Artefacts

Last Christmas (no, don't worry, I'm not about to burst into song!) one of my sisters got me a box file. Inside it, were a number of artefacts linking back to - or around - the year 1863, including letters, a death card, a penny and several other things. On the box was written the challenge: It was a little bit sneaky of her because, after the Crimean War, I had decided to put my family saga to rest. But, given that I loved those characters so much and - more to the point - so did she, I re-awoke them and gave them a chance at an alternative sort of adventure: espionage. This was a very different way of writing. In the past, I had collected things which linked in with my story ideas or completed books. Now, the challenge was to start with the objects and built up from there. And what a mixed box of goodies it was! Included in the box was this letter from the esteemed polymath, Henry Thompson, to his daughter. It showed a very different side of him to the one you read about. Thi

#HistFicThursdays - Book Review - The Three Musketeers

Historical fiction is not a new idea, and the nineteenth century teemed with it. Literary giants like Walter Scott, Charles Kingsley and Robert Louis Stevenson all delved into the realms of the past to set their adventures, many of their stories recalling the bygone idealism of chivalry which was deemed as sorely missing from their own times. The restructuring of the class system, as the industrial revolution grew, created a certain amount of nostalgia and, from this, grew a renewed readership for the past. This wasn't just happening in Britain and, in the spring of 1844, Alexandre Dumas serialised what was to become one of the best known stories in the world: "Les Trois Mousquetaires" or "The Three Musketeers". This remains a title thousands of people recognise, but only a fraction of them have read. The Three Musketeers - yes, I read it in English because my French is limited to saying hello and goodbye - is my favourite book and I keep hoping to find a film w

#HistFicThursdays - Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

As anyone who knows me would be able to tell you, I am a massive fan of Byron. Let's be honest, he had a questionable moral compass but he was something of a genius and - although I suspect he would have hated the notion! - I actually feel quite sorry for him. History has remembered him with hatred or fascination rather than hatred or love. Rewind back in time, to a time when I had suddenly got a lot of money and, not being much of a socialite (not being anything  of a socialite!) what I chose to spend it on were collectables or odd little trinkets. I had an automatic eBay search rigged up to Crimean War memorabilia (the topic I was writing about at the time) and Lord Byron. It was from this search which I bought one of the weirdest items. This item was titled: victorian byron poetry mirror Sennacherib' angel of death War Horse / Army Assoc Great! thought I, this will link into my Crimean War book, and my love of Byron! Reading further, this revealed itself to be exactly what