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Showing posts from September, 2022

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

#HistFicThursdays - Horrible Histories 9 - The Plague Song

 As a child, there was no book scarier than the Weetabix history book's page about The Black Death. Forget horror or ghosts, plague was really scary! It took me a long time to realise that "plague" did not refer to a single event, too. One of the things which led me to this was trying to make sense of the much-loved book The Children of Green Knowe , in which the ghostly children died in the plague three-hundred years after I knew The Black Death had occurred. I don't know at which point I became fascinated with the history of medicine but, around that time, I stopped being so scared of the plague. When, years later, I began writing Day's Dying Glory , one of the key characters just had to be a doctor. Doctor Fotherby became central to what grew into a family saga. Reluctant to let him go, he had a very long life before I conceded that I just could feasibly have him lasting much longer! But Doctor Fotherby belonged to the 18th/19th Centuries, long after this song

#HistFicThursdays - The Old Dragon's Head - Justin Newland - Guest Post

It's #HistFicThursdays, and I'm so excited to be sharing a guest post from  Justin Newland ,   as part of his  Coffee Pot Book Club  tour. Find out all about how China inspired Justin's fantastic book  The Old Dragon's Head . But first, let's meet the book... Blurb The Great Wall of China may be constructed of stone and packed earth, but it is home to a supernatural beast – the Old Dragon. Both wall and dragon protect China’s northern borders from Mongol incursion. Just beyond the fortress of Shanhaiguan, the far eastern end of the wall protrudes into the Bohai Sea – that’s the Old Dragon’s Head. Bolin, a young man working on the Old Dragon’s Head, suffers visions of ghosts. The local seer suspects that he has yin-yang eyes and other supernatural gifts. Bolin’s fief lord, the Prince of Yan, rebels against his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor. In the bitter war of succession, the Mongols hold the balance of power. While the victor might win the battle on earth, China’s Dr

#HistFicThursdays - The Inspiration of Place - Angela Sims - Guest Post

Today for the #HistFicThursdays blog, it is my absolute pleasure to welcome Angela Sims. Her book,  The Rose of Florence , is being published next year, and here Angela shares the inspiration the city has given her. Read on to discover the world of the Renaissance in what was arguably its birthplace... The priest raised the host, and the communion bell rang through the cathedral… Anyone who has visited Florence, the capital city of the Tuscan region of Italy, will know that it is teeming…teeming with tourists and teeming with history. Some years ago, I was one of those tourists (I now consider myself a regular visitor!), and even while jostling with crowds, you can’t fail to be moved by the city, the architecture, the art and the stories that surround you.  One of the stories that captured my imagination was of the murder in the cathedral, The Pazzi Conspiracy. At the time of this event (1478), Florence was a republic, with the Medici family holding the majority of power. While power h

Book Review - The Fall of Roman Britain - John Lambshead

This book looked absolutely fascinating and it didn't disappoint! The journey followed through the pages demonstrates a multidisciplinary assessment of Roman Britain: its fall, and the gradual shift away from all things Roman. The different approaches - scientific, historical, linguistic - merge and blend as succinctly in the text as they did in the evolution of culture from Brythonic, through Roman, and into Saxon. The distinct and maintained differences between cultures was fascinating to read about. This book is clearly well-researched, and the author supports every theory he puts forward. I appreciate too that he makes the point all these theories are just best-fit conjecture. I loved the layout of the book, like a series of essays each with their own argument to establish and conclusion to reach. This prevented an overwhelming presentation of facts, but managed each subtopic as a self-contained and effectively structured assignment. The ultimate conclusion ties up the contents

#HistFicThursdays - The Eisenhower Chronicles - M.B. Zucker - Book Excerpt

This week for #HistFicThursdays, I'm delighted to once again be teaming up with  The Coffee Pot Book Club ! Today I'm sharing an excerpt from the brilliant book, The Eisenhower Chronicles  by M.B. Zucker! So let's begin by meeting the book... In 1938 he was a lieutenant colonel stationed in the Philippines; by 1945 the world  proclaimed him its savior. From leading the forces of liberal democracy against history’s most evil tyrant to the presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower fought for and kept the peace during the most dangerous era in history. The Eisenhower Chronicles dramatizes Ike’s life, portraying his epic journey from unknown soldier to global hero as only a novel could. He is shown working with icons such as FDR, Winston Churchill, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and confronting challenges like D-Day, the Little Rock Crisis, and Sputnik. Eisenhower’s legacy is grounded in defending the world from fascism, communism, and nuclear weapons. This novel shows how he accomplis

#HistFicThursdays - Guest Post - Brenda W. Clough - Make it Believable: Slang in Historical Fiction

It is #HistFicThursdays once again, and today I'm delighted to be sharing a guest post from Brenda W. Clough, in which she explores the creation of believable speech and the power of slang! My great power in historical fiction, the thing reviewers praise me for, is making my characters sound genuinely historical. You would never mistake the people in my novels for the folks in Bridgerton or Dakota Jackson movies. I make them think and talk and react like they were born in 1819, not 2009.  The trick to this, as you might expect, is research. You can find out how people talked when Victoria was queen. The great charm of the 19th century for the novelist is that there is so much material! Newspaper archives, paintings, periodicals on line, books, massive memoirs and biographies of the main players of the period – you could research forever, and never come around to writing your novel. But be careful to consult the right sources. Google, for example is unreliable. Those sites ‘Twelve V