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Showing posts from November, 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

NaNoWriMo: How I Planned It - How I Wrote It

 Well, I won NaNoWriMo, actually with three days still on the clock to complete. That means I’m being inventive with writing my words if I want to get all my badges and, in turn, that means that I’m getting this blog written. I’ve been meaning to write a NaNoWriMo blog all month (Virginia wrote one which is available here ) but I’m only just getting round to it on 28th November. I can’t share great words of wisdom, because I’m not a great researcher like Ginny is, but I can tell you that this is the first time I have ever – ever, mark you – completely pantsed a novel. Here’s how it happened… Before NaNoWriMo comes Preptober, and I took it seriously this year. I came up with this idea of “Me: A 50 Piece Jigsaw”. This would be the story of a girl whose dad dies and so she joins the circus (or, more precisely, the fairground) whilst realising that she’s actually psychic. Oh, and there’s this villainous doctor in the shadows who is trying to “cure” people of psychic-ness and her friends wi

#HistFicThursdays - Horrible Histories 11 - It's a New World Song - HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 Being on this side of the pond, Thanksgiving Day was something which marked the start of the American Christmas in books and films. It wasn't until much later that I found out the background and, even now, I'm pretty sure I don't know it half as well as my Stateside friends. The history of Thanksgiving, from a writer's point of view, is an absolute gift. Why? Because it encapsulates all the human emotions which combine to turn humans into people - or, in writer-speak: words into characters. It's one of those situations into which you can drop any one of your characters and use it to solidify your knowledge of them. Would they have been a native or an immigrant? Would they have been afraid, excited, or angry? According to the song, the immigrants shot at the natives to frighten them off, but did they do that because of a fear or an arrogance? Would they have survived in that environment? And then, the best thing of all: the discovery that, just because a character s

Weaving History into Fantasy - A @WeeklyScribe Guest Post

This week's curator on the @WeeklyScribe account is E.L. Lyons ( @Lyons_Pen ), author of  Starlight Jewel . Here is her writing advice on drawing from history to incorporate into fantasy... When writing fantasy, the magic system always seems to be at the forefront of attention. Wands and dragons and spells are exciting. But when writing epic fantasy, where you’re creating a whole world different from ours, history is essential to grounding that magic and those cultures to make them seem real. If the history doesn’t feel real, or the world seems like it’s just starting, it gives the entire environment an inauthentic feeling.  Contrast this with the terrible E word… Exposition. The one thing that no fantasy author wants to be accused of. You have to craft your world’s history, lace it with magic, and then you can’t even tell your reader about it. But you also have to make sure they know it’s there.  I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons about this delicate balance with Starlight Jewel.

#HistFicThursdays - Taking Liberties With Histories

 This week is Book Week Scotland, and this month is NaNoWriMo. This makes it a very busy time of year! For me as a writer, these two things have something in common: taking liberties with histories! One of my favourite books by a Scottish author is Kidnapped . If you didn't love roguish characters before reading this (I always have done!) this book will change your mind, and you'll really be rooting for Alan Breck Stewart by the end. It's a book for all ages, and can be read on several levels. But, although I loved this book, it taught me one very important thing about historical fiction: it doesn't have to be accurate. I'm not sure how I feel about the fact Robert Louis Stevenson knew the history, but still decided to change it - blatantly change it, too, since the dedication makes reference to it in the first paragraph! I still love the book, though. It is a brilliant adventure through the countryside I know and love. This NaNoWriMo, I'm attempting to write an

#HistFicThursdays - Squire's Hazard (The Fifth Meonbridge Chronicle) - Carolyn Hughes - Guest Post

  It's #HistFicThursdays, and I'm so excited to be sharing a guest post from  Carolyn Hughes ,   as part of her  Coffee Pot Book Club  tour. Find out all about family life in the fourteenth century, as it features and impacts on her book,  Squire's Hazard . But first, let's meet the book... Blurb How do you overcome the loathing, lust and bitterness threatening you and your family’s honour? It’s 1363, and in Steyning Castle, Sussex, Dickon de Bohun is enjoying life as a squire in the household of Earl Raoul de Fougère. Or he would be, if it weren’t for Edwin de Courtenay, who’s making his life a misery with his bullying, threatening to expose the truth about Dickon’s birth. At home in Meonbridge for Christmas, Dickon notices how grown-up his childhood playmate, Libby Fletcher , has become since he last saw her and feels the stirrings of desire. Libby, seeing how different he is too, falls instantly in love. But as a servant to Dickon’s grandmother, Lady Margaret de Bo

#HistFicThursdays - Skull's Vengeance - Linnea Tanner - Guest Post

   Today for #HistFicThursdays' blog, I am delighted to be welcoming Linnea Tanner to the Crowvus Book Blog once more! This time, Linnea is talking about her fourth book in her  Curse of Clansmen and Kings  series,  Skull's Vengeance ,   as part of her book tour with  Coffee Pot Book Club . You can read about her inspiration in the Guest Post below, but first, let's meet the book... A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull. AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent's stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemin

A Good Death: The Stubborn Dictator and The Headstrong King - Inspiration for "Vercingetorix's Virgin"

I was thrilled to be asked to share a story for the Historical Writers Forum's Alternate Endings  anthology. This post is a little insight into the historical figures of my story, Vercingetorix's Virgin , and why I changed what I did... A Good Death: The Stubborn Dictator and The Headstrong King Memento Mori - Remember Death (This is actually in Nuremberg, but suited my purpose well!) Death is an inevitability. There is nothing which levels the playing-field more than the acknowledgement that everyone must die. All of humanity, whether kings or serfs, will end their days in death. Throughout history, across regions and religions, this has been a factor which has played upon the minds of mankind. Unsurprisingly, this has given rise to the notion of a "Good Death". The Vikings knew they could enter Valhalla if they died in battle, Christians knew they would be counted amongst the saints if they suffered martyrdom. But if there is a good death, there must also be a bad

Introducing... Alternate Endings: A Short Story Anthology of Historical What Ifs

 Yes, I know it isn't Thursday. But this is something which cannot wait! It is my absolute pleasure to share this New Release  with you! Eight members of the  Historical Writers Forum  were challenged to answer that niggling question all history-lovers ponder over: What If? All made very different choices, culminating in an eclectic mix of Alternate Endings . So, let's meet the book... We all know the past is the past, but what if you could change history? We asked eight historical authors to set aside the facts and rewrite the history they love. The results couldn’t be more tantalizing. What if Julius Caesar never conquered Gaul? What if Arthur Tudor lived and his little brother never became King Henry VIII? What if Abigail Adams persuaded the Continental Congress in 1776 to give women the right to vote and to own property? Dive in to our collection of eight short stories as we explore the alternate endings of events set in ancient Rome, Britain, the United States, and France.