Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Remember When . . . Location Was Everything?

This past week, I've been doing a lot of research. I downloaded about a dozen free e-books to my Kindle, all from the Civil War, mostly memoirs and first-hand accounts. And, of course, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which I deem it a gross oversight on my part that I've never read. (Though I was in The King and I in high school and can't think of the book without breaking out into song: "Small house of Uncle Thooooooomas, small house of Uncle Thooooooomas, writ-ten by a wo-man, Harriet Beecher Stooooooooooooow-eh.")

When I first started writing this Civil War book, I thought, "Oh, good. I'll have two books to write in the next  year set in this era. My research will get to double up."

Except, of course, that these two books are about as different as you can get when set in the same era. In my current one, both hero and heroine and Confederates. From Savannah, with its unique Georgian culture. Under their unique Georgian laws. The other one will have hero and heroine who are both Union sympathizers, though my heroine will be a widow of a secret Confederate. It's set in Maryland, which had many who left the state to join the Confederacy, but the state itself was basically not allowed to, given the military presence.

Okay, so my fashion research will be able to double up. Otherwise . . . LOL.

And though it means more work for me, I really love how different stories can be when set in the same time. My colonials are good examples of this too. Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland is set in 1783. Hero and heroine are Patriots, and the heroine even observes that she's scarcely seen a Tory since the war began, which would have been true of Williamsburg, where she grew up. But in my next book, set in 1780 New York City (or rather, the City of New York as it was called at the time), my heroine is literally surrounded by Loyalists after growing up in a Patriot household on Long Island. Who had control of a place played an enormous part in what that place was like. 

In either the Revolutionary or Civil War.

Well, that's what I've been thinking about this past week. ;-) Do you have a particular era you love--and have you noticed the amazing spectrum of perspectives available in it? I'd love to hear about it!

Now back I go to my manuscript. My heroine has just gotten word that the hero is dead. Poor Cordelia!


  1. As you know, biblical fiction is like that too. Can't wait to read your next! And I've never read Uncle Tom's Cabin either - NEED to add it to my list!

  2. You should watch Gone With the Wind again as "research." I love the clothes from that time period too!

    1. LOL--I just watched the first half this weekend. =) Second half will be coming soon as I have the time!