Historical Fiction

Tonight, tell us about your favorite historical periods, and how (if at all) they have affected the way in which you write. Do your characters favour antique modes of speaking or fashion that is out-of-date? (Immortal/long-lived characters in particular may find a lot to answer here.)

I have a number of historical periods that I write or have written quite frequently. The most I have done is set in Ancient Egypt, with my muse, sekhmet_mrytamn. I started writing her back in 1996, with the founding of the website, Ancient Sites, which is now Ancient Worlds. Before that site reformed, however, some friends and I put together the website, Pan Historia, which is a writing and roleplaying site. It was on Ancient Sites that I started to write Fanny and she just sort of grew from there. She was mainly set in the latter part of the 17th Century in a piracy novel called Ile de Torture. The 17th Century part, I came back to later, especially in the beginning half of it with the Three Musketeers fandom. With the appearance of allfor_one and all_forme. I did write her a little bit over on Pan Historia set in the novel Tombstone there. The writer for Wyatt Earp and I are co-owners of the site and we migrated a lot of what we had been doing earlier on the now defunct sites that had folded beneath us. We both, thankfully, were two happy little history geeks and surrounded by similar history geeks who were passionate about writing, roleplay and research. We were not afraid to explore.

Since Fanny is Sidhe and is Immortal, she does have a time period and I do spend a bit of time doing some backfilling. I used to use alot of odd spellings for her to indicate her Olde English type of spelling. Something that she has held on to is the fact that she does not use contractions in sentences in either speaking or writing – because she tends to be very formal. I have also put her in WWII in a writing and RP group here on LJ. It is not very active yet, but I am hoping to change this.

With Sekhmet, because I did and do a lot of work with Ancient Egyptian history because it is so integrated in my life, a great deal of that also seeps in to how she talks, the culture, the worldview and the ways in which Sekhmet Merytamun expresses herself as well. With nomanselizabth, I have always loved Tudor History and I was a Ren Faire junkie when I lived in Southern California. It is sort of something I have not been able to get away from.

Writing Sci-Fi posts in the future for her is a little more difficult. I have little practice with it, although I am a huge Star Wars fan. We shall see if I can do it.

If you write more canon characters than original characters, do they tend to come from a period of history you particularly enjoy? How much research goes into your historical characters?

nomanselizabth, walsingham are definitely from Mid to Late 16th Century Elizabethan England. I have done a great deal of research in that area, and I tend to list my resource materials exhaustively. I have a volume of the private writings of Elizabeth I, and it’s been interesting to get some insights into her this way. A great many of her concerns so show through those writings and dealings of her day.

I have an entire library of books on Egyptology for my own research and edification. I have an equal number of books on herbs and herbalism, magic, alchemy, 16th Century England, 17th Century France, folklore, mythology and faerie tales. In eeal life I have written articles about these things, and it is rare that you will not see me without a stack of books or a book bag jammed with the latest research I am doing for a post or for some other project. I don’ just collect the books. I am an herbalist and I have done a great deal of work in that area and have been in that realm most of my life.

I am very fortunate in that I have the writers for civ_barbarian, all_forme, a_roman_w_power who are also history enthusiasts to share ideas and research with. Rochefort’s writer and I have had a several year long obsession with the character and his family. The more we dig, the more we find out and the joy of discovery of something know is rich with fodder for the fictional mill.

Have you ever stepped out of your historical comfort zone and written far ahead or behind of your ‘chosen’ period?

It was a real risk for me to put Fanny in the modern era, and I did it when she started interacting with grissom_tm and then jumped into some storylines with civ_barbarian It was not exactly comfortable at first, and I did note that as she went on in history, she lost a great deal of her Scot’s brogue. I think Fanny found it served her less in the modern than it did in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. By this time, she was speaking several languages and had become more established.

As far as comfort zone, the futuristic eras are going to be a bit of a challenge for me if not for her. She has a good support system, however, and I am sure that both writer and muse will be fine.

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