Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Remember When . . . The Culper Ring Hit the Small Screen?

Okay, this was not what I intended to blog about today, but a friend shared the link, and now I'm too excited to write about anything else. =)

In a recent press release, AMC (as in, awesome channel that has Mad Men and The Walking Dead and those other hit shows...) has ordered the pilot of a new series called Turn...based on the exploits of the Culper Ring as told in Alexander Rose's Washington Spies.

Now, if you've been reading my blog for a while, then you know that Washington's Spies is the book I used as my primary research for Ring of Secrets. So the fact that a TV show will be based on the same...well, that's pretty cool!


It looks like production of Turn will start in 2013, which means Ring of Secrets will be out well before the show. My gut-reaction to that is that this is good--it'll be clear that my book isn't a spin-off of the show, but if Turn takes off (as AMC's series have done lately), then anyone looking up similar books will find mine. Sweet! 

Curious as to my take on this book that has inspired a series? Well, I posted a review last year, which I'm happy to share again.

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Originally posted on 5/17/11

Would you believe I haven't read any fiction in the last week-plus? Primarily because I've spent my free time doing research for a story idea. So I figure, eh, might as well talk to you about that! =)

I'll confess it from the start--I don't read much non-fiction. Why? Because I read so much of it during college that I just got burned out on it. But apparently it's now been long enough since then (where did that time go, anyway?) that I can read it again without feeling at all put out about it. Handy, since in looking up info about the subject of my newest idea, I came across a very interesting-sounding book that I knew would be helpful: Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose.

My library didn't have this one, but thanks to the wonders of ILL, they had it for me in three days, and I cracked it open with genuine enthusiasm. I haven't read any non-fiction on the Revolutionary War since college (and then it was more political treatises of the era, not history of the war), so I found this to be a wonderful refresher on the history in general. Better still, it focused entirely on the use of espionage in the war, by both sides. And really, what could be more fun than that? ;-)

Rose doesn't follow a strict chronology in this--he follows stories, usually about the particular people, and uses those to take him from point to point. Which means you know exactly where to flip back to if you need to remind yourself about where someone was born, or who his father was, but locating a date for a particular action of his requires the help of the index.

The writing of this book was never dry and at times downright witty. I actually chuckled at several places. And at several others I found it necessary to interrupt my reading to share a particularly interesting factoid with my hubby. Mr. Rose found many ways to integrate little-known facts from the day that only had the smallest thing to do with the main subject; and he integrated them in such a way that you knew without doubt he had submersed himself fully in this era as he wrote the book. Something I, as I writer, certainly appreciate.

I did find a few typos in the dates given, like saying something happened in 1778 that happened in 1780. Typos which I understand, but which confused me endlessly, LOL.

Overall, if you're a history buff who loves reading about lesser-known portions of well-loved times, this is a fabulous book. It presents a fair, honest picture of what life was like from 1776-1784, not embellished by glamorous ideas or romance.

But no worries--I plan to embellish with plenty of romance when I write a novel set in the time. ;-)

3 comments:

  1. I just finished Ring of Secrets, as I review books through NetGalley, and I have to tell you that it is amazing! I admit that I eat up Christian historical fiction because I am a big fan of pairing fiction and history to create something imaginative yet realistic. Ring of Secrets is the first book I have read of yours, and it was truly inspiring and different from most in the genre. I look forward to reading your other books and the rest of The Culper Ring series. Thank you for all of your hard work!

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    1. Okay, it is still SO WEIRD (in a good way) to hear people saying they've read Ring of Secrets already. =) I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Jennifer! I have to say I'm still totally in love with this one, and praying it's well received.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! Now I suppose I should go back to edits on book 2. ;-)

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