The Author’s Note—Yes or No?

A_practical_treatise_on_rail-roads _1825 _Plate_6Andrea here, musing today on that oft-overlooked part of a book: the Author’s Note. I’m one of those readers who really likes getting an inside peek at what information an author thinks will enhance the enjoyment of the main text. The dreaded “info dump” that can often bog down the actual storytelling tends to shine in its own special place, and I, for one, find that understanding elements like the facts behind some of the plot twists, or the inspiration behind the book really does add to my appreciation of the author’s creation.

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Hands-On Research

Viking weaving threeChristina here. As we’ve mentioned before, authors take any chance they can to do a bit of hands-on research when it’s on offer, and a couple of weeks ago I did just that – I tried my hand at Viking weaving!

I’ve been a member of my local weaving guild for some years now, although I don’t attend very frequently as I don’t have time unfortunately. It all began with me doing a weekend course in Scandinavian band weaving, which of course sounded right up my street. Since one of my neighbours is Swedish as well, we decided to try it, and it was such fun we then signed up for a course in proper weaving. And … we were hooked.

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Perfume Unmasked

Pat here: As I may have said before, one of the fun parts of writing historical novels is the dive down research bunny holes. I’ve just spent a lovely few hours scrounging around in the insane details of British law, how magistrates were appointed and criminals brought to court, when there was essentially no police force in rural environs. And along with that, I followed a side trail into manorial law, an entire blog by itself. Suffice it to say, my hero, as heir to a manorial estate, is a law unto himself. He doesn’t like it much, though.
(above photo is manor and accompanying village–not quite the one I imagine as I write but pretty anyway. See the manor way in the background?)

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Support Your Local Drug Dealer

Rose_^_Co_Apothecary_-_panoramioI’m pretty sure I’ve started writing a Regency soap opera. I’m not at all sure if this is a marketable direction, but my Muse is temperamental. After the pandemic isolation, she became a ghost of herself—which may be why I ended up writing about ghosts. But I wanted to go back and try my hand at writing straight Regency historicals again—and soap opera is what happened. I’m calling it a mystery, but that was only after I went back in and added clues and eventually came up with a dead body.

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Regency Gas Lighting

The_centennial_of_the_United_States_Military_academy_at_West_Point _New_York._1802-1902_(1904)_(14757253966)

West Point 1820

Pat here:

I am not all certain why I dove down the bunny hole of gas lighting (And no, I don’t mean gaslighting. My characters won’t be psychologically manipulating anyone! That’s just mean.)  other than that the hero of the next historical is most probably a US Army engineer. (Yes, West Point was already turning them out in the early 1800s, probably only two or three a year but we don’t want to get picky about back story, do we?) The point is, I needed to know what kind of lighting my isolated manor might have and if it could be updated. And the answer is yes, yes it can. . .

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