Before I began writing historical fiction seriously, I was an avid reader of it.
I never realised just how much research in terms of dates and places and people was involved in writing these books, to make them realistic.
Many hours are spent looking through historic sources to find out who was where and when. My books may be alternative fiction, but I strive to have the important events of the time in the storyline, if only happening in the background.
I also want my characters to have similar relationships with the people around them, than they had in true history. When someone reads my book, I want them to think, ‘yeah, that could have happened, makes sense!’.
Working on my second book of the trilogy, I have two separate notes pages, one is quite vague and covers the third book too, and the other is more in depth with dates and other things to be included. It can get quite complicated working from them both sometimes!
I initially thought that the first book would take about six months to write, but it took a year (it is nearly 800 pages long….). I anticiapted the second book would be quicker as I knew what I was doing, but I am rapidly approaching the year for this one too!
Writing from a man’s perspective has proven a little more difficult than I had expected, though I am enjoying where his character has gone as he has grown in the story.
The first two months of work on this book was taken up with preparing the aforementioned notes. It is exciting to look through the historic sources and find snippets of information that you did not know before, well exciting to a history nerd like me !!