Monday, September 17, 2018

Research is Fun and Educational When Writing Historical Fiction

Writing Historical Fiction is such fun. If you do good research, it helps you to understand how the people of that century lived. Even if the country or area is fictional, you need to do research. When writing historical fiction, research is imperative so the story is believable. I wanted to write a series that had mystery, adventure, and romance set during the late 1700s. Even though I created a small country that had its own problems, I needed to research that era.

As I developed The Rebel Series, I wanted the time period to be authentic, so I researched the type of clothing that was popular during the late 1700s. But that was not all. How did the people live during this time? Did they have a stove? What type of lanterns did they use? Oil or gas?

I love a rogue who fights for justice. It was a bunch of rebels who fought for their freedom during the American Revolution. Robin Hood and his rebels fought against the injustice of a wicked king. Liberty is something that I dearly cherish. As I pondered what kind of story I wanted to write, I decided upon a small country that struggles to be free. The people finally refuse to be ruled by a monarchy any longer. In this Period Romance, The Rebels of Cordovia, I decided to have a strong woman character who happens to be the leader of a rebel group. This book has clean romance for both young and old alike.

As I wrote the second book in The Rebel Series, I found there were several women journalists in history. Since my heroine in The Highwayman of Cordovia was a journalist, I needed to research the subject. In France, Anne-Marguerite Petit du Noyer (1663-1719) was the most famous female journalist. In fact, her articles were read all over Europe. She wrote about the negotiations that led up to a series of peace treaties and she also reported on scandal and gossip.

In this same story, I wanted to have a ball. What dances were popular in the late 1700s? When I did some research about the “waltz,” I was surprised at what I found. The peasants were the first to dance the waltz. It was such fun that bored noblemen would sneak out and go to the country-dances. The Oxford English Dictionary back then called the waltz “riotous and indecent.”

In a 1771 German novel, someone complains about the “newly-introduced waltz” among the aristocrats. He wrote: “When he put his arm around her, pressed her to his breast, cavorted with her in the shameless, indecent whirling-dance of the Germans and engaged in a familiarity that broke all the bounds of good breeding—then my silent misery turned into burning rage.” I was so intrigued by this description. The waltz finally became fashionable when the wife of a Russian ambassador endorsed it.

As I wrote the third book, The Fox of Cordovia, I discovered some interesting facts about lamplighters. They were a faithful lot, lighting the lamps every evening at dusk. Many a young man applied for the job because it suited their schedule, but the city was careful whom they hired because lamplighters also acted as night watchmen and needed to be trustworthy. In fact, the job was usually handed down from father to son and kept within the family.

During the American Revolution, there was a man known as the Swamp Fox and he influenced my story quite a bit. His tales were ones of courage and valor, so I named this novel after the Swamp Fox. In The Fox of Cordovia, I found that it was common practice for the king’s ranking officer to kick a family out of their home so he could house his soldiers and officers. No one had a say. No wonder the patriots decided to fight for their rights. They had had enough!

The inspiration for this series came from the stories of the patriots. Each book in The Rebel Series has its own plot, but the story continues on, giving a satisfying ending to this trilogy. This series has become so “well loved” that I finally had a narrator narrate all three books for Audible. Here’s the description of each book along with a sample of each audiobook.   

The Rebel Series

Historical Adventure Romance

The Rebels of Cordovia: Set in the late 1700s, Robin’s Rebels realize they must fight against the tyranny of a wicked king and help the people survive the oppression. In this battle for freedom, a tender love story begins to blossom. Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn’t realize that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin’s Rebels. Realizing the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin’s Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be?

“This creative take on a Robin Hood-like story is charming and touching, and teaches some great morals about agency and choice. It reminded me of childhood fairytales of good versus evil, with a nice romance weaved into it.” --Author Charissa Stastny

The Highwayman of Cordovia: In the country of Cordovia, the people enjoy their new-found liberty, but all is not well. A group of powerful men plan to take over the small country and replace the leader with a king. With the help of a bold highwayman and a young woman, they try to save their country from being taken over by a power-hungry leader. As they strive to stop the Kingmen and thwart their plans, Christine finds herself falling in love with Austin Knight. The only problem with their relationship is that she thinks he is her knight in shining armor instead of a highwayman. If she finds out his trade, what will her reaction be? As a pastor’s daughter, will love override her values?

“Austin and Christine had been friends as youth and separated through the years. As their paths cross again after many years, things spark up between them. Yet their lives do not appear to be headed in the same direction. The twists and turns will keep you turning the pages.” --Sunnie Reivews

The Fox of Cordovia: In this swashbuckling romance, a sinister plot has just been uncovered and its up to a former patriot and a young nurse to discover who is behind it. Caroline is engaged to the future mayor of Laketown, a man of influence and greatly respected. But all that changes when she overhears a conspiracy behind closed doors. After being discovered, she runs for her life. Caroline needs to report her findings, but whom can she trust? When she asks Jesse Conover for help, the adventure begins.

“This historical fiction is well written and is quite charming. Caroline is engaged to be married. All falls apart when she hears her husband-to-be plan a kidnapping of someone important to further his political campaign. When the plotters see her, she runs for her life, falling into the hands of the Fox of Cordovia. Mystery, treason and love is what you will find between its covers.” --Author Anna Del C Dye

LEARN HOW TO GET A FREE AUDIO BOOK FROM AUDIBLE! Receive this audiobook free if you join Membership includes two free audiobooks and you can choose from 150,000+ titles. Go to Linda Weaver Clarke’s Audible Page and find the book you’re interested in and sign up for some free audiobooks. My Audible Page:

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