Friday, July 13, 2012
Writing a Historical Novel? Research is the Key!
When I wrote my first historical romance, Love Find You in Last Chance, CA, I had a short panic attack. Not long, just a few seconds, as I'm not prone to panic, LOL! But I'd never written a historical before and wasn't sure I'd be able to find the information I needed to bring the story to life.
High school and one year of college taught me something about research, but that was years ago and so much has changed. The advent of the internet has opened a whole new world for fiction writers.
Here's what I ended up doing and have continued to do on each historical since.
* Did a Google search on the town, the time period, and key words contained in the book
* Joined an online historical writers' group where I could toss out questions and get help if I need it
* Read other books set in the same time period by authors I trusted who created a realistic depiction
* Checked out books from our local library. Some suggestions would be old memoirs, copies of journals from your time period, nonfiction books written about the area where your book is set, and any books
containing information key to your story. i.e., ranching or mining in the Sierra Nevada Mts. of California, etc.
* Visited the location and while there, talk to as many of the old timers as you can find. Visit the museums and historical society if available, and any local landmarks.
Next Week I'll be doing a blog and book drawing for Davis Bunn's book, Hidden in Dreams, a fantastic novel!! Be sure to check in and enter to win.