I had a moment about a month ago when I was working up a new proposal idea, this one set in Civil War era Georgia. Yes, during that moment I realized my Civil War history was rather rusty. Ahem. But it was the "compared to" that gave me pause. Because you see, my Civil War history is rusty compared to . . .
* The Greco-Persian War
* The uprisings in Roman Jerusalem
*The Revolutionary War (and its aftermath)
*The War of 1812 (okay, this earns a sort-of)
* Certain key aspects of the Napoleonic Wars
And that's where my bafflement came from. How in the world did I become a writer of war novels??? I mean, seriously. I write romance. Love stories, if they're not typical romance. My stories always come to me as boy meets girl, they're driven by the characters.
Yet here I am again . . . plotting out a book set during a war. I shake my head at myself. And laugh. And get down to history. =)
I started with the things most pertinent to this story--the Confederate Raider ships and the Union blockade on the Southern ports, and finally the Battle of Port Pulaski. Really, this is barely a slice of Civil War history. In a way, that's going to make the research easier. But I still have to get the broader scope in my research so I know the hows and whys and whats and wheres that always enrich a story.
I've done some basic internet research, and now I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of a book through the wonders of ILL called Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War, by Jacqueline Jones. I'm really looking forward to devouring this book, which promises a fresh look at race relations, the impact of the war, and a look at everyday life in Savannah during the war. Exactly what I need to know. =)
So this not-a-war-writer who somehow keeps coming up with stories set against a backdrop of war is diving into yet another one. With the happy thought that some of my research will be able to double for another, later book I have planned too. You know, the one in the series that covers three different (you guessed it) wars.