Thursday, May 30, 2013

Accuracy: Getting the Facts Right

Yes, for once there's no pic of old, dead people..... just me, with one of my young fans (Shayne) at a great book signing. You see, when I read a book, or watch a movie ('film', sorry folks back home) I'm constantly drawn out of the plot by bad continuity, bad acting, stupid plot-lines, or by the bane of my existence... inaccurate history. It wastes the film/movie for me.

Yes, I'm a writer.
Yes, I write historical fiction.
But I'm also a fan of FACTS.

In any of my books, from the 600 page Opportunites: Jamie Leith in Darien in the picture above to our Vampire High School series, accurate facts are researched for almost every paragraph. In my latest book,  A Connecticut Vampire in King Arthur's Court , I bring the two together- vampires and history.

But just because I'm writing in a genre that a lot of people dismiss as 'mush', doesn't mean that the story isn't good, or that the history is not researched. On the contrary, I think I over-research it. Apart from the vampire... every main or sub-character in the book is real; researched, and actually existed. Every town is real. Every historical fact, every action, every house, palace is real. The timeline of my plot is historically accurate to the day, even the hour. I maybe write for an hour, and 'research' for another.

Wikipedia is fantastic, but I've also got an extensive library at home, with many books on the period. When it comes down to it, I want you to be so immersed in my books that you never want them to end. That makes it all worthwhile.

Okay, my rant is over, I'm going back to Christmas Day, 1501.
Have a great day.

For more information on my writing process as well as other rants, please visit my main blog:
Ian Hall Author Blog

If you would like to hear more about the Vampires:

Vampire Don't Cry Blog

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Queen Isabella: Columbus Backer and Mother of Catherine of Aragon

Taken from a larger painting, this is Queen Isabella of Spain, quite a woman by all accounts.
She backed the voyage of Christopher Columbus.
She forced the Muslims and Jews either out of Spain, or to convert to Christianity (the invading Muslims gave the Spanish a similar choice, centuries before, but their alternative wasn't exile, it was death.)
And she gave birth to Catherine of Aragon, the wife of both Prince Arthur, and his brother, King Henry the Eighth.
I've been doing a fair amount of research for my new novel "A Connecticut Vampire in King Arthur's Court", and I can only marvel at the lives these powerful people led.
And let's face it, compared to many portraits of the day, Queen Isabella is portrayed as a good looking woman.

Her daughter, Catherine, above, takes that beauty and drapes it in mourner's black for the untimely death of Prince Arthur, Prince of Wales.
In my book, I find Prince Arthur a sickly fifteen year old, but with a name meant to unite England again, and a marriage to the top Princess in Spain, this union was meant to cement relationships, not hinder them.
By the time Prince Henry was fifteen, he lusted after his old sister-in-law so badly, he had to marry her.
Despite King Henry's many affairs, Catherine was pregnant six times, but only once did the child pass the six-day mark; the Princess Mary, who ruled England after Henry's death; the original Bloody Mary.
Research unearths many nuggets, and good books are made of them.
Come see me at;

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...