History and Research

BlogCarnOct14-01+(1)Well, it’s that time of month again… When I gather on a Wednesday with some of my writing friends & we all answer the same question. This month we are answering the question, “What is your favorite character name?”

I’ll start with some background. As Historical Romance Authors think about creating names and titles, there are three major pitfalls to be avoided. The first? Coming up with a title that sounds real but is not actually extant. To do this, I consult maps of England and look for names of small towns that sound appealing, pair them with a rank and then google it to make sure it’s not actually a real title (wouldn’t want to offend a Earl!). Next, there is the problem of whether or not a first name existed in the time period. For example, my own name, Wendy, is said to have been created by EM Barrie for Peter Pan, and doesn’t appear on birth records during the period I write (although I do have a 18th century Dutch ancestor whose name was Wyntie, but I digress). Finally, when using a carefully-chosen, period-appropriate name, a historical romance writer has to stay aware the use of given names was VERY restricted, and so, at the start of every book, the hero and heroine are unlikely to be on a first-name basis. Take, as an example, Jane Austen. In Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth’s parents refer to one another as “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Bennett” and in Emma, at the triumphant, love-confession moment, Emma declares “I need not call you Mr. Knightly, I can call you my Mr. Knightly.”

I tried to keep all of this in mind while writing my Furies series. Continue reading

BlogCarnAugust5-01Hello Writer Wednesday readers and writers!

Today’s topic asks us to report out last three search results. As you’ll soon be able to tell, I am not currently in the heart of researching or writing. When I was researching my Furies series, Lady Vice, Lady Scandal and the upcoming Duchess Decadence, some searches I did were: “secret rooms in 18th century houses,” “18th century quills,” “graphite holder,” and “extinct titles” (among many others!). boneteleAlthough those searches led to interesting places, I love when research happens in reverse, as it did when I found this article on recently discovered bone telescopes so interesting, I edited a scene in Lady Vice to include a bone telescope.

But I digress.

As usual.

Without further ado, here are my last three search results:

Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox: http://postmodernjukebox.com/

A friend of Facebook had posted a video by these performers and I was HOOKED. I missed their recent tour but I hope to catch them next time they come around. I love their smokey, jazzy take on current hits.

Stash Tea Cinnamon Apple Chamomile: http://www.stashtea.com/Cinnamon-Apple-Chamomile-Herbal-Tea/dp/B005DM5OQA

I’m, shall we say, a bit tense these days (see below). I’m also reaching the bottom of my container of various forms of Chamomile tea (or, as I like to think of it–‘calm-the-heck-down,-Wendy’ tea). Not good. So, I searched to find out if Stash still makes this unusual flavor (because I lurrves it, even though I try not to drink tea that contains ‘natural flavors’).

And, Continue reading

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