Monday, March 5, 2012

On Being a History Geek

I am constantly awed by the life that I lead.  That I can combine two of my loves -- writing and history -- and create something that others want to read.  And I am so looking forward to hearing from readers and what (if anything) they find inspirational within the pages.

I've had many people ask me about the amount of research that goes into writing historical fiction for young adults.  And if it's hard.  Or tedious.

It's a lot of research.  And sometimes it is tedious.  But I love discovering little nuggets of information that can enliven and enrich my writing.  I love sticking tiny hints into the book that no one but another lover of Tudor history would find.  And I love reading more and discovering new things -- even if it turns out to mean that I haven't got everything absolutely accurate in the book.  Because history isn't a static thing -- someone is always coming up with new information or an interesting new theory.

Here are somethings I'm excited about today:

Claire Ridgway at The Anne Boleyn Files has published a book gleaned from her blog posts over the years.  Claire has an incredible work ethic and an attention to detail that I can only marvel at.  She's on a blog tour at the moment, and the first stop is an interview on the Tudor Tutor in which Claire divulges some delicious information on Thomas Boleyn.  Want to include this in a novel one day...

I'm going on a research trip to England again this year and can't wait to visit all the places I have planned.  The most exciting has little to do with Henry or his wives, but I've been wanting to go there for years.  Years!  Bosworth Field is the location of the battle where Richard III lost his throne (and his life) and launched the Tudor reign.  I am a devoted Ricardian and may not be able to stop myself from shouting "A horse!  A horse!  My kingdom for a horse!"

What excites you about history?


  1. Katherine, I was a math geek who hated history, because I thought it was boring. But as an adult, I love it. What excites me? Right now I'm thinking about writing a historical MG novel dealing with workhouses, such as in Oliver Twist.

    1. That sounds fabulous, Linda! Good luck with it and enjoy your research!

  2. What excites me about history? It's the story part of it - what could have made people do the crazy things they did. I've always found one place in particular interesting - Chateau Chenonceau in France. I visited it over ten years ago and can still picture the black room painted with tears. I had to look it up just now - it was Louise de Lorraine, the wife of Henry the Third, who was responsible for that particular decorating scheme.

    1. I love the story, too, Beth. And I love THIS story! Makes me want to go and find out more about Louise de Lorraine...