Sunday, June 10, 2012

History, travel and research


I'm so lucky to have another great guest author on my blog today with another fascinating historical post about the joys of England--specifically the joys of researching English history to create an authentic historical novel. Meet Anne Brear, author of The Gentle Wind's Caress, just released by Knox Robinson. And thank you Anne for visiting my blog! 

Over to you... 

 
For any historical author, and most contemporary set writers, too, researching has to be done to make the book read as authentic as possible.
The smallest item can seem suddenly very interesting, and also extremely difficult to find the history about! Hours can be spent pouring over library books and the Internet searching for the right answer. We tear our hair out wondering if a certain item was invented and widely used in our period, etc. It can be terribly frightening, but also very rewarding when we do find the correct answer. I think it is very important for historical authors to get the period they write – right! However, that said, we are only human and we make mistakes no matter how hard we try not to. We can’t know everything (although we like to think we do) and that’s where different types of researching comes into it.
Sometimes, if we are lucky, we can travel to the places we set our books. Visiting castles, manor houses, streets and landscapes all help us to ‘see’ the place as our characters do. Of course over the years places and buildings change, but we have imaginations, good ones as writers do, and we can see how it would look through our characters’ eyes. Taking numerous photos of one building, hill, village or street becomes common place for a writer.

Aside from traveling to a place, we can use our TVs and watch documentaries and movies to help set the mood. One of the best DVDs I have for my research is a walking guide to places around the Calder valley and Hebden Bridge area of West Yorkshire. Thankfully, I have been to that area myself, but if I hadn't just by watching the dvd I could see the steepness of the walks, the hills, etc, and that information would help write the book.


Research books are one of my favourite expenses. There is nothing like buying a large research book filled with interesting information and beautiful pictures to capture my imagination. I can never have enough of them. I sigh over them like some women sigh over a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or a Gucci handbag. Tragic, I know. But I don't want the cure.




June 7th is the date of my next historical novel release. The Gentle Wind’s Caress set in the Victorian era.
 
Blurb

Halifax, 1876. On the death of her mother and sister, Isabelle Gibson is left to fend for herself and her brother in a privately-run workhouse. After the matron's son attempts to rape her, Isabelle decides to escape him and a life of drudgery by agreeing to marry a moorland farmer she has never met. But this man, Farrell, is a drunkard and a bully in constant feud with his landlord, Ethan Harrington. When Farrell bungles a robbery and deserts her, Isabelle and Ethan are thrown together as she struggles to save the farm. Both are married and must hide their growing love. But despite the secrecy, Isabelle draws strength from Ethan as faces from the past return to haunt her and a tragedy is set to strike that will change all of their lives forever.

The Gentle Wind’s Caress is available in paperback and digitial formats and such places as Amazon.com.

You can learn more about Anne Brear’s book on her blog: http://annebrear.blogspot.com







3 comments:

Sheila Deeth said...

Thank you Anne. It's lovely to meet you here.

maryrussel said...

Your book sounds wonderful, Ann.
Researching is a large part of the fun in writing historical novels for me too.

Cherie Reich said...

Wonderful tips on research, especially the idea to watch those TV programs. :)

Congrats with your novel!