Sunday, November 30, 2014
A little history goes a long way
One of the things I love about writing fiction is that you can pretty much improvise wherever you wish in the book. BUT and that's a big but, historical romance readers often know their history and adding things in the story that really couldn't have happened, can often bring some negative comments from readers. I know as an author, I want to ensure the accuracy of the historical elements that I add. I will sometimes tweak them to suit my character's needs, but will remark on it at the end of the book in an author's note.
I absolutely love research. Some authors may hate it, but for me it inspires. I often get ideas from reading historical webpages, books, and articles. Doing this research helps to flavor the story with an accuracy of the time, which is extremely important to the reader.
In One & Only - Gunn Guardsman Series (book 1), the king, King William of Scotland was reputed to having many bastards. I of course used that to my advantage by making the heroine one of them. And I wanted William seen in a good light, so I had him be caring and thoughtful of the child. I think William is one of the most wonderful kings of Scotland and I enjoyed my research of him.
In On A Highland Hill - Gunn Guardsman Series (book 2), the king, King Alexander (in my research) I learned he was the first to use a standard of Scotland (flag). That fact inspired me to have the heroine's sister create a pinsel for the young Alexander. The king did indeed have some rough years there and I weaved that in, along with the creation of the pinsel to bring about a little mystery.
A Highlander In Peril - Gunn Guardsman Series (book 3), I loved reading about court life in Scotland. It probably wasn't as vicious a place as England's court, but ladies did have to be careful. Our heroine (must like myself) wouldn't want to be embroiled in the political drama. Again, King Alexander makes a showing, and must ensure the villain is the culprit before enacting his punishment. Although I think the king probably would've just had him hanged or beheaded without proof, I trust that King Alexander was a reasonable king.
In In Love With A Warrior - Gunn Guardsman Series (book 4), I take you to Wales. The rich and wonderful history of that country filled my heart. I am sure going to have to consider writing a series there! Llwyelen Iorwerth, the unofficial king of Wales, one of the Princes, was a great leader and did indeed meet in battles against Sir William Marshall's (the greatest knight that ever lived) son. I would've loved to have made the younger Marshall more villainous, but I couldn't do so. He had to have taken on some of his father's gallantry and so how he deals with our heroine must be considered. The Wales king was indeed one that I enjoyed getting to know.
So readers, when you're immersed in a historical romance, please know that many of the fiction your reading is woven with some historical fact. I know many historical authors take pride in ensuring the places, time, people are as accurate as we can make them.