Guest Post: "Digging Into the Past: Research for Historical Romance" by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy 2013

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Guest Post: "Digging Into the Past: Research for Historical Romance" by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy 2013

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:18 am

2013 2013 2013 <div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-chZF9Z5hQx0/Uh_76sVyfWI/AAAAAAAAFQQ/pPdMekqzcpY/s1600/Hear+the+wind+blow+official+cover(1).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-chZF9Z5hQx0/Uh_76sVyfWI/AAAAAAAAFQQ/pPdMekqzcpY/s1600/Hear+the+wind+blow+official+cover(1).jpg" height="400" width="265" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Foodies have their favorites. Wine connoisseurs possess knowledge of vintages and grapes. Readers know the genres they enjoy and they expect certain standards. Romance readers prefer a happy ending, whether it’s the classic happily ever after or just happy for now. Historical romance readers also expect a solid historical background. Although I read – and write – various flavors of romance, nothing shakes me out of a story faster than historical inaccuracy. If the heroine’s name is something modern such as Tami and the story is set in the 18th century, I’m turned off. If the characters chatter about modern pastimes or use 21st century slang, I’m done.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">And, if they store their food in a nice electric refrigerator prior to the common use of such appliances, I’m outraged. But I’ve seen all of the above in various works and I strive to never make such a glaring error. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">History is a passion of mine. I grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri, an old river city with a rich history. Many westward bound pioneers set off on their journey from St. Joe. The short-lived but long remembered Pony Express began there and outlaw Jesse James died there at the hands of one of his own gang. Old houses, vintage buildings, and noteworthy places once first of their kind west of the Mississippi River abound in the older parts of town. I grew up in a Victorian brick house and every relative on either side of the family lived in an older home. When I first visited a modern ranch house in suburbia, I realized everyone didn’t have clawfoot bathtubs, carved staircases, attics filled with odd bits of memorabilia from the past or antique furniture. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">In college, although I majored in both English and history, I knew I would write. Over the years, I honed my writing skills and eventually turned to my first love, writing fiction. My first few novels were contemporary and paranormal but when I first wrote my first historical romance, I was hooked. I loved bringing the past back to life and painting images of another time to give readers a little taste of history. With my background, I vowed to make certain I got facts and research right. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">How do I go about writing a historical novel? First I come up with a story set in a favorite time period or place. Then I refresh my memory and read about the period. Whenever possible, I use firsthand sources. When I wrote In The Shadow of War, a World War II novel set in the small town where I now live, I used as many personal memories, printed recollections, and original source materials as possible. I also relied on some of the family stories I heard as a child. When I wrote Guy’s Angel, a 1920’s romance with some paranormal overtones, I set the story in my hometown of St. Joseph and in the old neighborhood, not mine but my grandparents’ old stomping grounds. I used local newspapers from the decade, hands on research, 1920’s slang, and some of the old tales. Although my next historical, Dust Bowl Dreams, is set in Oklahoma, I also relied on family lore and experiences. I also read extensively about the “Dirty Thirties”. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">My next historical romance will be out September 3 from Rebel Ink Press. Hear The Wind Blow, Love begins in November, 1918 just after the Armistice and end of the first World War. It’s set in the Ozarks where I now live. Here’s the blurb and a brief excerpt: </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u><i><b>Blurb:</b></i></u></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">When the Armistice ends the Great War in November 1918, the end comes too late to save Maude Whitney’s husband, Jamie. But Maude realizes her heart still belongs to Harry, her brother-in-law who courted her first. He’s been her rock in Jamie’s absence while they shared quarters with the grandparents who raised the brothers. But Granpa died and Granny moved to town so when Maude invites him to move back under the same roof, it’s sure to be a scandal in the rural Ozarks. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Before gossiping tongues can spread the news, the Spanish influenza wreaks havoc in the area. It brings death close to home for Maude and Harry. As they fall deeper in love and plan to wed, their troubles are just beginning. Old feuds erupt and the day after Christmas, Harry’s hauled into custody and accused of a murder he didn’t commit. Harry must prove his innocence and survive a serious bout of flu or there’s no happy ending for the star-crossed couple. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hr_24WDBSzM/UZ_7h9_kJRI/AAAAAAAAEgg/lIRoFAXkvEU/s1600/excerpt+copy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hr_24WDBSzM/UZ_7h9_kJRI/AAAAAAAAEgg/lIRoFAXkvEU/s1600/excerpt+copy.jpg" height="72" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Despite an occasional hitch in his bum leg, they sailed around the room in graceful rhythm and for Maude, the large, bare room in the old farmhouse vanished. She twirled in Harry’s arms through a ballroom of her imagination, some place she’d never seen but in pictures and those rare. Maude dreamed up a wide room with beautiful black and white tiles on the floor and golden tapestries hung from the walls. Princes and their consorts, dukes and their duchesses danced beside them and the scent of soft pine mingled with roses in the hall.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">She became someone else, a titled lady or a fairytale princess for those moments, and basked in the glow of dreams. Her plain, ordinary housedress became a gown made from the finest silk or satin, edged in lace. Every flounce and furbelow trimmed the imaginary garment and she could all but feel the swish of the rich cloth against her legs. Although Harry offered more than the average man’s share of romantic moments, this one ranked high and Maude knew she’d keep this memory forever. She’d talk about it to her daughters and granddaughters if she had any, the story preserved and pressed into her heart like flowers into a memory book. Only toward the end of their dance did she realize Harry had hummed the tune throughout so the music wasn’t just in her head. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Jamie would’ve never done this. He’d said it was hug dancing and wrong, sinful. If I danced alone, he would’ve mocked me, laughed and told me to stop being so silly. He didn’t have a dream in his head, I don’t think. For a moment, Maude felt a pang at her thoughts and wondered if she was disloyal. She considered it and decided no, she recognized reality. And the truth wasn’t wrong, it just was. Then she put Jamie, poor dead Jamie, out of her mind and waltzed with Harry, living a dream and feeling a rush of love powerful enough to shoot them to the stars. Maude had never danced with such joy. No wonder they call it tripping the light fantastic!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8hk4Vw-BaLE/UZ_8dWbum5I/AAAAAAAAEgs/ZhYFj_rpnmg/s1600/UpsideDown.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8hk4Vw-BaLE/UZ_8dWbum5I/AAAAAAAAEgs/ZhYFj_rpnmg/s1600/UpsideDown.jpg" height="48" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Hear The Wind Blow, Love will be available on September 3 (and maybe a day or so before) from Rebel Ink Press on All Romance.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and other sites where romance titles are sold. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u><i><b>Links:</b></i></u></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Twitter:<a href="http://twitter.com/leeannwriter" target="_blank"> @leeannwriter&nbsp;</a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/From-Sweet-To-Heat-The-Romance-of-Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/287540748010934?ref=hl" target="_blank">From Sweet to Heat: The Romance of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy</a> </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/e/B004JPBM6I" target="_blank">Amazon Author Page&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/#!/leeann.sontheimermurphy" target="_blank">Facebook</a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">A Page In The Life </a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy&nbsp;</a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lee-ann-sontheimer-murphy/22/3a4/a75" target="_blank">LinkedIn </a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4543214.Lee_Ann_Sontheimer_Murphy" target="_blank">Goodreads</a> </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><br> 2013 2013 2013 <br><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-chZF9Z5hQx0/Uh_76sVyfWI/AAAAAAAAFQQ/pPdMekqzcpY/s1600/Hear+the+wind+blow+official+cover(1).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-chZF9Z5hQx0/Uh_76sVyfWI/AAAAAAAAFQQ/pPdMekqzcpY/s1600/Hear+the+wind+blow+official+cover(1).jpg" height="400" width="265" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Foodies have their favorites. Wine connoisseurs possess knowledge of vintages and grapes. Readers know the genres they enjoy and they expect certain standards. Romance readers prefer a happy ending, whether it’s the classic happily ever after or just happy for now. Historical romance readers also expect a solid historical background. Although I read – and write – various flavors of romance, nothing shakes me out of a story faster than historical inaccuracy. If the heroine’s name is something modern such as Tami and the story is set in the 18th century, I’m turned off. If the characters chatter about modern pastimes or use 21st century slang, I’m done.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">And, if they store their food in a nice electric refrigerator prior to the common use of such appliances, I’m outraged. But I’ve seen all of the above in various works and I strive to never make such a glaring error. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">History is a passion of mine. I grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri, an old river city with a rich history. Many westward bound pioneers set off on their journey from St. Joe. The short-lived but long remembered Pony Express began there and outlaw Jesse James died there at the hands of one of his own gang. Old houses, vintage buildings, and noteworthy places once first of their kind west of the Mississippi River abound in the older parts of town. I grew up in a Victorian brick house and every relative on either side of the family lived in an older home. When I first visited a modern ranch house in suburbia, I realized everyone didn’t have clawfoot bathtubs, carved staircases, attics filled with odd bits of memorabilia from the past or antique furniture. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">In college, although I majored in both English and history, I knew I would write. Over the years, I honed my writing skills and eventually turned to my first love, writing fiction. My first few novels were contemporary and paranormal but when I first wrote my first historical romance, I was hooked. I loved bringing the past back to life and painting images of another time to give readers a little taste of history. With my background, I vowed to make certain I got facts and research right. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">How do I go about writing a historical novel? First I come up with a story set in a favorite time period or place. Then I refresh my memory and read about the period. Whenever possible, I use firsthand sources. When I wrote In The Shadow of War, a World War II novel set in the small town where I now live, I used as many personal memories, printed recollections, and original source materials as possible. I also relied on some of the family stories I heard as a child. When I wrote Guy’s Angel, a 1920’s romance with some paranormal overtones, I set the story in my hometown of St. Joseph and in the old neighborhood, not mine but my grandparents’ old stomping grounds. I used local newspapers from the decade, hands on research, 1920’s slang, and some of the old tales. Although my next historical, Dust Bowl Dreams, is set in Oklahoma, I also relied on family lore and experiences. I also read extensively about the “Dirty Thirties”. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">My next historical romance will be out September 3 from Rebel Ink Press. Hear The Wind Blow, Love begins in November, 1918 just after the Armistice and end of the first World War. It’s set in the Ozarks where I now live. Here’s the blurb and a brief excerpt: </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u><i><b>Blurb:</b></i></u></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">When the Armistice ends the Great War in November 1918, the end comes too late to save Maude Whitney’s husband, Jamie. But Maude realizes her heart still belongs to Harry, her brother-in-law who courted her first. He’s been her rock in Jamie’s absence while they shared quarters with the grandparents who raised the brothers. But Granpa died and Granny moved to town so when Maude invites him to move back under the same roof, it’s sure to be a scandal in the rural Ozarks. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Before gossiping tongues can spread the news, the Spanish influenza wreaks havoc in the area. It brings death close to home for Maude and Harry. As they fall deeper in love and plan to wed, their troubles are just beginning. Old feuds erupt and the day after Christmas, Harry’s hauled into custody and accused of a murder he didn’t commit. Harry must prove his innocence and survive a serious bout of flu or there’s no happy ending for the star-crossed couple. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hr_24WDBSzM/UZ_7h9_kJRI/AAAAAAAAEgg/lIRoFAXkvEU/s1600/excerpt+copy.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Hr_24WDBSzM/UZ_7h9_kJRI/AAAAAAAAEgg/lIRoFAXkvEU/s1600/excerpt+copy.jpg" height="72" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Despite an occasional hitch in his bum leg, they sailed around the room in graceful rhythm and for Maude, the large, bare room in the old farmhouse vanished. She twirled in Harry’s arms through a ballroom of her imagination, some place she’d never seen but in pictures and those rare. Maude dreamed up a wide room with beautiful black and white tiles on the floor and golden tapestries hung from the walls. Princes and their consorts, dukes and their duchesses danced beside them and the scent of soft pine mingled with roses in the hall.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">She became someone else, a titled lady or a fairytale princess for those moments, and basked in the glow of dreams. Her plain, ordinary housedress became a gown made from the finest silk or satin, edged in lace. Every flounce and furbelow trimmed the imaginary garment and she could all but feel the swish of the rich cloth against her legs. Although Harry offered more than the average man’s share of romantic moments, this one ranked high and Maude knew she’d keep this memory forever. She’d talk about it to her daughters and granddaughters if she had any, the story preserved and pressed into her heart like flowers into a memory book. Only toward the end of their dance did she realize Harry had hummed the tune throughout so the music wasn’t just in her head. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Jamie would’ve never done this. He’d said it was hug dancing and wrong, sinful. If I danced alone, he would’ve mocked me, laughed and told me to stop being so silly. He didn’t have a dream in his head, I don’t think. For a moment, Maude felt a pang at her thoughts and wondered if she was disloyal. She considered it and decided no, she recognized reality. And the truth wasn’t wrong, it just was. Then she put Jamie, poor dead Jamie, out of her mind and waltzed with Harry, living a dream and feeling a rush of love powerful enough to shoot them to the stars. Maude had never danced with such joy. No wonder they call it tripping the light fantastic!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8hk4Vw-BaLE/UZ_8dWbum5I/AAAAAAAAEgs/ZhYFj_rpnmg/s1600/UpsideDown.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8hk4Vw-BaLE/UZ_8dWbum5I/AAAAAAAAEgs/ZhYFj_rpnmg/s1600/UpsideDown.jpg" height="48" width="200" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Hear The Wind Blow, Love will be available on September 3 (and maybe a day or so before) from Rebel Ink Press on All Romance.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and other sites where romance titles are sold. </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u><i><b>Links:</b></i></u></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Twitter:<a href="http://twitter.com/leeannwriter" target="_blank"> @leeannwriter&nbsp;</a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/From-Sweet-To-Heat-The-Romance-of-Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/287540748010934?ref=hl" target="_blank">From Sweet to Heat: The Romance of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy</a> </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/e/B004JPBM6I" target="_blank">Amazon Author Page&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/#!/leeann.sontheimermurphy" target="_blank">Facebook</a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">A Page In The Life </a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy&nbsp;</a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lee-ann-sontheimer-murphy/22/3a4/a75" target="_blank">LinkedIn </a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4543214.Lee_Ann_Sontheimer_Murphy" target="_blank">Goodreads</a> </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><br>2013 2013 2013 <br> <a href="http://www.matrixar.com/" title="Matrix ">المصفوفة : أجمل الخلفيات والصور</a>

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