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Author of the Month > November 2014: Sabrina Flynn

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message 1: by A.L., Stormy Chronicler (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 998 comments Hi, I'm putting this up today as I'll probably forget else.
Welcome to the Author of the Month - Sabrina.

Please tell us about yourself, your books and answer the questions asked.


message 2: by Sabrina (last edited Oct 31, 2014 05:17PM) (new)

Sabrina Flynn Hi all!

Thanks so much for having me as the author of the month. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all. Feel free to befriend me. So a bit about myself...

Well you can follow this link to my author page and here is my website.

I've been writing all my life, and I can't seem to stop. Although I had been writing for years, I didn't think about publishing until a professional editor, who frequented a fanfiction site I was active on, asked me if I had anything of my own. From there, things sort of picked up momentum and I suddenly found myself published.

Besides writing and reading, I worked as a Registered Veterinary Technician for 15 years in an emergency and surgical practice that handled everything from hip replacements to spine surgeries to animals that were hit by trains, cars, set on fire, or shot with crossbows.

I love swimming (which is where I do most of my writing). I swim 1.5 miles 3x a week and recently did my first open water swim from Alcatraz sans wetsuit. I got to jump off a ferry!

About my books: I currently have two out. A Thread in the Tangle: Legends of Fyrsta 1 and From the Ashes: Ravenwood Detective Agency Mystery 1

I love books that have a mixture of adventure, suspense, romance, and humor, so I try to write with that same flair. But most of all, I like characters who don't make my skin crawl. Ones who I look forward to spending time with. So for me, a book is all about its characters.

I'll stop here, and let you all ask questions.


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Puttonen (mput) | 59 comments I took the ferry to Alcatraz as a tourist back in the mid 1970’s. I still have the ticket stub! Congratulations on making that swim, as I hear those waters can be cold and treacherous. How difficult was it?


message 4: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Michael wrote: "I took the ferry to Alcatraz as a tourist back in the mid 1970’s. I still have the ticket stub! Congratulations on making that swim, as I hear those waters can be cold and treacherous. How dif..."

How cool, Michael. Alcatraz is such an interesting place to visit because of all the history and, of course, the amazing views.

The swim was hard! But mostly because it was my first time doing anything like that. There were about 500 other swimmers in the water (and of course support kayakers). We all had to bob in the water for awhile waiting for the horn and when it sounded... the veteran racers took off at full swim. Unfortunately, everyone was packed together so tightly that you couldn't tread water without brushing someone else. I got kicked 4 times, then fell back and waited for the aggressive swimmers to get ahead.

It was sort of like swimming in a washing machine, with waves battering you from every side, and then you had to climb up the waves and back down. I started getting seasick until I pushed the sensation to the back of my mind. I think the hardest part was that I didn't have glasses and couldn't see the shore well, so I ended up swimming way off course.

The water temp wasn't too bad. It averages between 56-64 degrees. I grew up swimming in ice melt rivers, so this was more refreshing than anything. And since I grew up and live in the SF Bay Area, I'm used to the weather, which stays in the 50s to 60s most of the year due to the fog.

My book 'From the Ashes' is a historical mystery set in turn of the century San Francisco. At one point in the book, the protagonist ends up in the bay, and has to swim to shore. I had a reader comment that it was impossible and they'd freeze to death or drown... so part of my motivation for doing the swim was research. And I can say without a doubt that it is possible!

I definitely want to try again next year.


message 5: by Michael (last edited Nov 01, 2014 08:03AM) (new)

Michael Puttonen (mput) | 59 comments My visit to Alcatraz was part of a trip several U.S. Air Force friends and I took to San Francisco when I was stationed in central California. At that time, the prison buildings showed neglect and were in a state of disrepair, but that did not detract from the interesting sights, which included the opportunity to inspect the individual cells of some infamous Alcatraz inmates. The view from the island was spectacular on a gorgeous day. We got the chance to do other tourist things like visit Fisherman’s Wharf, drive down Lombard Street, etc. I enjoyed my brief visit to your fair city and the pleasant memories have remained with me.
I checked out the sample of From the Ashes (nicely written, by the way) and was curious about the turn of the century setting. This time period is within a few years of the great earthquake of 1906, and I was wondering if you planned on incorporating that momentous event into future writing, or if you already have.


message 6: by Sabrina (last edited Nov 01, 2014 12:43PM) (new)

Sabrina Flynn Michael wrote: "My visit to Alcatraz was part of a trip several U.S. Air Force friends and I took to San Francisco when I was stationed in central California. At that time, the prison buildings showed neglect and..."

How fun, Michael. I think they've really focused on preserving Alcatraz in the last few decades. Last time I was there, a whole section was closed for repairs, and now they have a whole pier area devoted to Alcatraz trips. If you ever come this way again. Muir Woods and the giant redwoods over in Marin are spectacular. As is Sausalito across the bay.

To answer your question about the 1906 earthquake: I think I'll probably get to 1906 eventually, but I'm in no hurry. There is so much interesting history before the quake.

The Barbary Coast was still alive and thriving in 1900, and the history of that infamous area in SF is a mystery writer's dream. You still had the tongs and their Hatchetmen, cow-yards (giant U-shaped brothels three stories high), cribs, dance halls, and shanghaiing was still active (though not as common). Throw in some extremely corrupt politicians, the birth of unions, gambling, prejudice against Chinese, and the major port of the West... and you have a rather exciting setting. SF was often referred to as the Paris of the West.

While I was researching and writing, I started a Pinterest board here.

Another interesting fact (and it's mentioned in the beginning of From the Ashes) there was a Bubonic Plague outbreak in SF. It spread from Honolulu. In Jan 1900, Honolulu burnt their Chinatown to the ground, because of course, the plague was blamed on the Chinese who experienced all kinds of prejudice. And although, SF's reaction was not quite so dramatic, officials did put a barbed wire fence around SF Chinatown at one point.


message 7: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) I remember when Native Americans took over Alcatraz. I was living in Concord. Is Jack London an influence?


message 8: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 1397 comments Do you always try and do hands on research for your books when possible?


message 9: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Stan wrote: "I remember when Native Americans took over Alcatraz. I was living in Concord. Is Jack London an influence?"

Didn't the take over cause a lot of the damage to the island, Stan? I seem to remember a mention of something along those lines in the tour.

While I enjoy Jack London's books, he wasn't an influence, not directly anyway. I read half of The Sea-Wolf while I was writing From the Ashes to try and get more of a feel for the language and time period. So maybe in that sense he was.

I've written a number of fanfiction stories set in Victorian London and found his book The People of the Abyss really helpful. I also have Tales of the Fish Patrol on my list of books to read for my next mystery novel in the series.

Whenever possible, I try to read newspaper archives and books as close to the time period as possible. Unfortunately, newspapers are often slanted by what was known as yellow journalism. Although Herbert Ashbury's The Barbary Coast, author of Gangs of New York, was very informative and surprisingly unbiased, which was written in the 1930s.


message 10: by Sabrina (last edited Nov 01, 2014 05:32PM) (new)

Sabrina Flynn Victoria wrote: "Do you always try and do hands on research for your books when possible?"

It definitely makes things easier when I can, Victoria!

Originally, I was going to set my mystery series in London, but then it occurred to me that people come from all over the world to visit SF. One just never thinks of their home as being very exotic.

I found that living in the setting of your book really makes a difference. For research, I took a weekend trip into Sausalito where some of the book is set (yay tax write offs!). And I was able to walk the streets that one of my characters walked in SF to see how long it took to walk.

When hands on research isn't possible, I improvise. Since one of the characters grew up sailing, (and I didn't have time to take sailing lessons), I joined a sailing forum and peppered them with questions to check that my research was correct. Eventually I'll have to take sailing lessons. But for the most part, I find that anything you could ever think of has been posted on Youtube. So, for example, during my research on period firearms, I was able to watch a collector firing the favored pistol of my detective.


message 11: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 1397 comments Sabrina wrote: "Victoria wrote: "Do you always try and do hands on research for your books when possible?"

It definitely makes things easier when I can, Victoria!

Originally, I was going to set my mystery series..."


That's really cool!


message 12: by Roger (new)

Roger Jackson Sabrina, what is your favorite time-period in history?


message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments Aaah, I love Frisco! If I ever move to the US, it will be either the Big Apple, the Windy City or Frisco! :D
Would you like to be interviewed for my blog? PM me your email and I'll send you my writerly questions! :)


message 14: by Ubiquitous (new)

Ubiquitous Bubba (ubiquitousbubba) | 413 comments Authors write for a variety of reasons. What drives one may not motivate another. Why do you write? Do you have an audience in mind, or are you writing for yourself? Do you write for entertainment, catharsis, education, or enlightenment? Is it more important to you to write or to be read? (There are no right answers here, by the way.)


message 15: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Victoria wrote: That's really cool!

And a lot of fun! I'm sure others have done interesting things in the name of research. Anyone have some interesting research topics they've had to do for their own book?

I've heard the comment that you know you've made it big as an author when the FBI has a file on you.


message 16: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Barbara wrote: "Aaah, I love Frisco! If I ever move to the US, it will be either the Big Apple, the Windy City or Frisco! :D
Would you like to be interviewed for my blog? PM me your email and I'll send you my writ..."


Will do, Barbara!

What country do you live in?


message 17: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Roger wrote: "Sabrina, what is your favorite time-period in history?"

Oh that's a tough one, Roger. I always think I'd like to live in a certain time-period, but then I start researching it and I go... UGH, no way.

I seem to be drawn to the eras where my favorite mystery novels take place. So 1900-1930s. WWI completely changed society, and as a result, the 20s were such an interesting era of change. Besides, that's the first time it was semi-acceptable for women to wear pants. I'd have been miserable in any era before that.


message 18: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Ubiquitous wrote: "Authors write for a variety of reasons. What drives one may not motivate another. Why do you write? Do you have an audience in mind, or are you writing for yourself? Do you write for entertainment,..."

Not an easy question... it's a mix of reasons. I think when I was younger, I thought I was writing for my own enjoyment. I started writing the first book in my fantasy story after reading a long string of fantasy books that totally obliterated my desire to read. I don't really like anti-hero books. I figure that if I want to see the bad guy win, I can just turn on the news. So I started writing stories to entertain myself, filled with characters who I enjoy spending time with.

Later on in life, however, I realized I was writing to keep my sanity. Writing is very calming and therapeutic. It gives the writer a voice when words get stuck in their throat.

I just finished A Long Way Home by Louise Penny and there was a great quote in there by Robert Frost:

A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.

I thought that was quite beautiful and applies to novel writing too.


message 19: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 1397 comments I love your answers!


message 20: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments E-mailed you... before coming back here, so... I'm Italian! ;) But I go to the US as often as I can afford intercontinental flights! :D


message 21: by Ubiquitous (new)

Ubiquitous Bubba (ubiquitousbubba) | 413 comments Since your characters are people with whom you'd like to spend time, do you find it difficult to let them go? Do they surprise you and take you in directions you didn't expect? Has one of your characters ever disappointed you? Do you conduct mental conversations with your characters? When you're busy doing something else, do your characters go along for the ride and comment on your activities?

Are your walls padded, too?


message 22: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Victoria wrote: "I love your answers!"

Thanks, Victoria! You guys are helping me warm up for my first panel at Bouchercon next week. I'm uhm...so excited. (I read some advice on new authors and panels, and it said you're not supposed to say you are nervous.)


message 23: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Barbara wrote: "E-mailed you... before coming back here, so... I'm Italian! ;) But I go to the US as often as I can afford intercontinental flights! :D"

Ooh, very cool. There's probably a lot of people in New York and SF who'd love to move to Italy! I went to Venice about 8 years ago. It wasn't what I expected. It was so crowded that it reminded me of Disneyland. And then all of a sudden, like at 8ish, everything closed down and everyone disappeared, and there were barely any lights. LOL, we got lost for like 3 hours.


message 24: by Sabrina (last edited Nov 04, 2014 10:46AM) (new)

Sabrina Flynn Ubiquitous wrote: "Since your characters are people with whom you'd like to spend time, do you find it difficult to let them go? Do they surprise you and take you in directions you didn't expect? Has one of your char..."

Good questions! I'm what is known as an organic writer, so I don't work off of an outline. I tell myself a story and part of the motivation for finishing is to find out how it ends! If I know the ending, I tend to lose interest.

My writing process is a lot like seeing a mountain off in the distance (the mountain being an idea), and then I start walking towards that mountain, but I have no idea what lies between, whether I'll find rivers, or valleys, or forests or plains, or who I'll meet. So it's always a surprising journey!

The same goes for my characters. One of the characters in my fantasy book, Marsais, just burst onto the page one day. He was fully formed with a personality and a history and mannerisms. I never know what he's going to say until I write it (and then I usually start laughing), but he is very much his own person.

My mystery detective Atticus Riot was more puzzling. He sort of meandered onto the page. In my mind, he was supposed to have an English accent, but it came out more like the calm drawl of a confident man. And he had a walking stick. I had no idea why he had a walking stick, since he didn't have a limp. I tried making him have a limp, but he refused to limp, so I just left the walking stick. Then on one page, he used it as a weapon, and I went, Oooh, that's why you have a walking stick. The same with his constant change of hats, from bowlers, to Homburgs, to fedoras... I was puzzled by it until I discovered that he had a hat collection and was rather particular about them.

And yes... they all get rather active in my brain. If I don't write, my brain gets rather busy, so each time I finish a book, it seems to clear some space and things quite down.

Basically, their personalities are set, and I am just along for the ride, whether I like what they are doing or not.

In summary... I should probably be put into a room with padded walls. And as a mother of two, I have often dreamed of being put into such a room... as long as the powers that be let me write and take me swimming once a day.


message 25: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments Sabrina wrote: "Ooh, very cool. There's probably a lot of p..."

Cool, we could swap houses for a month or two - if only I could quit the day job and take those months off, of course... :( Anyhow, I know who to tell next time I come on that side of the world! ;) And if you ever come and visit Rome, let me know (or any other part of Italy, really!)! :D


message 26: by Sabrina (last edited Nov 04, 2014 03:58PM) (new)

Sabrina Flynn Barbara wrote: "Sabrina wrote: "Ooh, very cool. There's probably a lot of p..."

Cool, we could swap houses for a month or two - if only I could quit the day job and take those months off, of course... :( Anyhow, ..."


That would be so neat, Barbara! I love those movies where people swap houses for like four weeks. Although usually some tall handsome man is involved and ends up being the neighbor.


message 27: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) Have you ever swapped houses? BTW, when I was 18 I lived in a old San Francisco bordello, almost at the top of Geary Street. Former bordello that is.


message 28: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 1397 comments I love that you let your characters tell you how they should behave and dress!

How do you come up with their names? Do they pick those themselves too? Or do they let you decide what to call them?


message 29: by Jessica (new)

Jessica West (jessica_west) | 60 comments Sabrina wrote: "Victoria wrote: That's really cool!

And a lot of fun! I'm sure others have done interesting things in the name of research. Anyone have some interesting research topics they've had to do for their..."


Research is, for me, a part of the process. I rarely write anything that I don't have to do at least some research for. I typically do all my research online, but it would be so cool to travel to a new place and use the experience in my writing.

Where is the most exciting place you've ever traveled to, and have you written about it? Fiction or Non-fiction.


message 30: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments Stan wrote: "Have you ever swapped houses? BTW, when I was 18 I lived in a old San Francisco bordello, almost at the top of Geary Street. Former bordello that is."

I haven't yet. And like Sabrina says, there should be a Jude Law lurking somewhere (I have a brother, by the way, he's not a widower, but he's split from his wife), except we'd probably get a Jack Black instead (RE: movie The Holiday)! ;)


message 31: by Michael (last edited Nov 05, 2014 01:32PM) (new)

Michael Puttonen (mput) | 59 comments I noticed you have Steven Moffat listed as one of your favorite authors. With From the Ashes featuring a detective character (and your fanfiction contest win), you must be a fan of Moffat’s TV series, Sherlock. Are you a Doctor Who fan, too? (I saw the “Bow ties are cool” quote)

I read The Complete Sherlock Holmes way back when I was a teenager. It was the biggest book I’d ever seen.


message 32: by Ubiquitous (new)

Ubiquitous Bubba (ubiquitousbubba) | 413 comments Oh, I have another question. When you read a book by an author you admire, do you ever think, "That's ok, but I would have done it this way..."? Do you take off your writer's hat (which I'm assuming is a beret for some reason) when you read?


message 33: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Stan wrote: "Have you ever swapped houses? BTW, when I was 18 I lived in a old San Francisco bordello, almost at the top of Geary Street. Former bordello that is."

I've never swapped houses, but it seems like fun. My husband and I did do one of those deals for our trip to London where you rent someone's apartment or a room in their house. It was pretty cool (and cheap). The guy who usually stayed there was gone. I guess he rents out his apt when he takes a trip.

And Stan, when I first read about you living in SF, I got all excited, thinking you were actually living in a bordello and was ready to ask you if I could pick your brain. Then you specified former... But still very interesting. I think there's a lot of former bordellos in SF and the surrounding areas.

How long did you live there?


message 34: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Victoria wrote: "I love that you let your characters tell you how they should behave and dress!

How do you come up with their names? Do they pick those themselves too? Or do they let you decide what to call them?"


I usually poke around baby name sites, or if it's for my fantasy, I'll look up older names with Norse and Celtic origins. Usually, a name will jump out at me though, and I know right away that it's a character's name. Although I have no recollection of naming Marsais. Maybe he told me his name...(I am sounding crazy to myself here, lol.)

The title series for my mystery (and the idea for it) came from a headstone that I spotted in Highgate cemetery in England. I just thought the name Zephaniah Ravenwood sounded really cool. And that sparked a whole series.

Sometimes I'll go with what has a nice ring to it, although this backfired on me for my mystery. A reader thought that I had purposefully put Doctor Who references in my mystery as an inside joke. I couldn't figure out what she meant for the life of me. Then she pointed out that I had side characters named Alex Kingston and Matthew Smith. DUR. I chalked it up to my exhausted writer's mind grasping for the familiar.


message 35: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Jessica wrote: Where is the most exciting place you've ever traveled to, and have you written about it? Fiction or Non-fiction.

That's awesome, Jessica. And you can find SO much online nowadays, from videos to newspaper archives, etc. I'm always in awe (and grateful) of what people take the time to post online.

To answer your question: I think the most exciting place I've been is to the Rheinfels Castle along the Rhine River in Germany. Some sections of the castle were over 600 years old. My husband and I spent all afternoon exploring it. You pay your fee at the little gate that has a sign saying they're not responsible for your life, they give you this little map, and let you lose. Unlike a lot of historic places in America, there wasn't any roped off sections, so we found ourselves in these tiny cramped mining tunnels or squeezing through cracks to find the bottom of a well. And I did use elements of it for a fanfiction story I wrote.

I think every writer draws from the a well of their experiences though. Or observations that they've collected and tossed in their well. So, while I don't always do everything that I put into my stories, I can usually extrapolate from my own experiences and write something realistic. It's paying attention to the little details that breathes life into a story.

Take a dangerous situation for example. There's the quickening of the heart, the rush of blood in your ears, the feeling of your skin bristling or hardening, and everything seems to move at a slower pace due to your heightened awareness. Terror is terror. If you've experienced it, then you can put it into any situation and make it believable.


message 36: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Barbara wrote: "Stan wrote: "Have you ever swapped houses? BTW, when I was 18 I lived in a old San Francisco bordello, almost at the top of Geary Street. Former bordello that is."

I haven't yet. And like Sabrin..."


That's the movie I was thinking of, Barbara. And so true. Although Jack Black turned out to be pretty nice if I remember correctly. (Still, he is no Jude Law.)


message 37: by Sabrina (last edited Nov 05, 2014 12:47PM) (new)

Sabrina Flynn Michael wrote: "I noticed you have Steven Moffat listed as one of your favorite authors. With From the Ashes featuring a detective character (and your fanfiction contest win), you must be a fan of Moffat’s TV ser..."

I love BBC's Sherlock and Doctor Who. I grew up on Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes version (which remains my favorite TV adaptation), and then later discovered Laurie R. King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice. The Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series is my all time favorite books. And the only books I have read multiple times.

I had avoided reading the original Canon for years because I always heard that Sherlock Holmes was a 'cold-calculating thinking machine' and a misogynist. But after I fell in love with Mary Russell, I went back and read the Canon and love those too. He wasn't anything like people made him out to be. I mean... Holmes actually giggled in Conan Doyle's stories.

I better stop. I can go on forever about Sherlock Holmes. I highly recommend the Mary Russell series though. Laurie R. King plucks Sherlock Holmes up from where Doyle dumped him at the end of His Last Bow in 1914.


message 38: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Ubiquitous wrote: "Oh, I have another question. When you read a book by an author you admire, do you ever think, "That's ok, but I would have done it this way..."? Do you take off your writer's hat (which I'm assumin..."

Hmm, interesting question. I am not an overly critical reader. If I love a story and the characters, then I get sucked into the story and don't notice much else. But if the writing style is jarring, then I find myself unconsciously moving paragraphs around and fixing sentence structure. I also stop reading after first or second page.

Most of the time though, I recognize that something is just not to my taste. The writing style might be great, but books are so subjective.

Now for my favorite authors like Laurie R. King and Louise Penny I am just in awe. And feel utterly inadequate as a writer. So after I finish a good book, I usually end up thinking about how the author constructed the story, and try to learn from their example.


message 39: by Jessica (new)

Jessica West (jessica_west) | 60 comments Sabrina wrote: "Jessica wrote: Where is the most exciting place you've ever traveled to, and have you written about it? Fiction or Non-fiction.

That's awesome, Jessica. And you can find SO much online nowadays, ..."


I'd love to visit a castle one day, and maybe write a historical romance while I'm there. ;)


message 40: by Sabrina (last edited Nov 05, 2014 05:46PM) (new)

Sabrina Flynn Jessica wrote: I'd love to visit a castle one day, and maybe write a historical romance while I'm there. ;)


Is there one in particular that you'd like to visit, Jessica? I've been to Hearst Castle a number of times in California. Although it wasn't ancient, it's history is so interesting and the tour is amazing. We went to Neuschwantstein Castle in Germany too, but it was never fully finished and Mad King Ludwig II only lived in for like 6 months. When he died, it was immediately turned into a tourist attraction, which kind of ruined some of its appeal for me.


message 41: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 1397 comments Sabrina wrote: "Victoria wrote: "I love that you let your characters tell you how they should behave and dress!

How do you come up with their names? Do they pick those themselves too? Or do they let you decide wh..."


You don't sound crazy to me; my characters usually get to decide almost everything too. Just the other day, for example, I finished writing something I'd planned to do as a mystery, but one of the main characters had insisted he was a wizard. Next thing I knew, the characters had gotten so carried away that I ended up writing a fantasy story instead. Luckily I realized what they were doing early enough that by the time I was mentioning the story to anyone but my hubby I was already calling it a fantasy story.


message 42: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 1397 comments Sabrina wrote: "Jessica wrote: Where is the most exciting place you've ever traveled to, and have you written about it? Fiction or Non-fiction.

That's awesome, Jessica. And you can find SO much online nowadays, ..."


I love visiting castles!


message 43: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments Visiting castles freak #...4? I'm into middle ages, and we have lots of those old stones here in Europe... One day I'll publish my historical novel set in the 12th century, but I wouldn't mind a couple of trips (Normandy, Lincolshire) to see the real places before publishing...


message 44: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) Sabrina wrote: "Jessica wrote: I'd love to visit a castle one day, and maybe write a historical romance while I'm there. ;)


Is there one in particular that you'd like to visit, Jessica? I've been to Hearst Castl..."


Can you suggest a castle in central Europe? I'm planning to visit next September.


message 45: by Roger (last edited Nov 06, 2014 09:07AM) (new)

Roger Jackson I like history and historical fiction, but I also like the freedom of looking into the future. Which do you prefer: historical, current, or future settings?


message 46: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments Stan wrote: "Can you suggest a castle in central Europe? I'm planning to visit next September."

if you get to France/Italy/UK, you can ask me... haven't seen any of the rest! :(


message 47: by Jessica (new)

Jessica West (jessica_west) | 60 comments Sabrina wrote: "Jessica wrote: I'd love to visit a castle one day, and maybe write a historical romance while I'm there. ;)


Is there one in particular that you'd like to visit, Jessica? I've been to Hearst Castl..."


I don't have one in mind, I just like the idea of wandering through endless halls and possibly even finding hidden passages!


message 48: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Jessica wrote:
I'd love to visit a castle one day, and maybe write a historical romance while I'm there. ;)


I meant to ask you, Jessica, if historical romance is your preferred genre? What time period are you interested in writing? You could always start writing and watch lots of travel shows and documentaries. Then visit after the first draft is done to tweak things.


message 49: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Victoria wrote: You don't sound crazy to me; my characters usually get to decide almost everything too. Just the other day, for example, I finished writing something I'd planned to do as a mystery, but one of the main characters had insisted he was a wizard.

I'm glad I'm not the only one, Victoria! I've heard writers argue that the claim that the characters do what they want and a writer has no control over their action is rubbish, but... I think maybe it depends on the writer.

I mean look at those awesome sculptors who did statues out of marble. I think it was Michaelangelo (not positive) who said that the shape was already in the marble, he just chipped away at the stone until it revealed itself.

And that's very cool about your story. Congratulations on finishing! Maybe your wizard wants to be a detective wizard?


message 50: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn Barbara wrote: "Visiting castles freak #...4? I'm into middle ages, and we have lots of those old stones here in Europe... One day I'll publish my historical novel set in the 12th century, but I wouldn't mind a co..."

How great, Victoria and Barbara! Yes, I will gladly join your Visiting Castles Freak group. I hope you get visit those castles Barbara. But then your in Italy! There's so much history there.

I was so amazed during my trip to Europe. There'd be a McDonalds in like a 300 year old building. America just doesn't have stuff like that.


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