28 March 2019

Evernighties Week 13: What I learned when researching my book

This week posts the question: What I learned when researching my book. I'm not quite sure what this question is supposed to be because I've written over fifty books/novellas, and whenever research was needed I made sure to do it. I've written a few historicals over a time, and each one presented something unique. 

For instance, in "The Song Bird", it's set in San Francisco during the 1850s. The Barbary Coast, as it's known today, was called Sydney Town back then. The area had a layer of coal dust coating it, making it a fire hazard. People worked diligently to make sure fire never got out of control.

In my book "The Scarlet Dove", I mentioned that Benjamin Franklin was on the fifty dollar bill. In the 1880s, money wasn't quite as finite as it is today. He appeared on various bills in different denominations from different banks. 

I had to research and learn about the cause of The Great Depression for my book "The Treasure Hunters", and how trickle down economics caused a world wide devastation. 

But I think the most interesting story I've ever researched and written is my book "When Lightening Strikes". In that story, my heroine Henrietta came forward from the year 1794. I wanted to make her story unique so I researched the first money of the new United States and came across the name Robert Scot who designed the 1794 Liberty Flowing Hair silver dollar. It sold at auction in 2013 for 10 million dollars. It's the most expensive coin ever sold at auction. This little fact became the basis of my story. 

But it's just not history I have to research. If there's something I don't know how it works then I make sure to interview people or find out everything I can before I write it into my story. And if I do make an exception, I note it at the back of the book. In "The Song Bird", I moved up the time line for a historical figure a few months to fit within my story's narrative. 

The main thing as a writer is always fulfill the due diligence to give your book not only the accuracy it needs, but to give the reader the respect he or she deserves. After all, they just spent money on your book.

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