The Hollows (Kinship #2)
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message 1: by Jess (new)

Jess Montgomery (jessmontgomeryauthor) Research... the backbone of writing historical fiction!

Often I'm asked which I prefer more--researching or writing. I have to say writing, but researching is an essential part of the process. It's not putting words directly on paper, but it is as much a part of the process as brainstorming character motivations, creating character bios, or planning out plot points.

For me, researching involves reading background material, going on to eBay to find period pieces (to look at --usually not to buy!) from the 1920s, such as old maps or household utensils or clothing, interviewing experts or witnesses to history. For example, I once interviewed a woman whose father was a contemporary of and knew Fletcher and Maude Collins--Maude was Ohio's first female sheriff in 1925, and the inspiration for my protagonist Sheriff Lily Ross.

I also like to visit the sites I'm writing about--even if not much is left from the time period I'm exploring. One such site is the Moonville Tunnel, after which I patterned my site, the Moonvale Tunnel. You can read more about that experience in this article I wrote for Criminal Element. (There is an additional giveaway of THE HOLLOWS via Criminal Element--to enter, click on the link to go to the article, then follow the directions to comment directly on the article. Of course, for the giveaway HERE, just comment on one of my posts HERE--or on the group's FB page--this week! :-) )

Of course, I only use about 10-15 percent of what I learn in my novels. The idea is to weave in historical accuracy to bring the era and the story to life--not to write a nonfiction historical account (which are terrific, but not my genre.)

Readers tell me that they love to learn new and surprising bits of history from the fiction they read. What about you? Do you love that, too--and what is a surprising historical fact you've learned through fiction?

message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (drpowell) | 376 comments The historian in me loves the commitment to research. Helps those of us who teach!

message 3: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Myers | 74 comments Totally agree!

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