Welcome to the Crimson Wonderland BLOG HOP extraordinaire!
Welcome, everyone, to Crimson Romance’s Wonderland BLOG HOP. Now, there are blog hops and there are blog hops, but this is truly a BLOG HOP, with prizes galore. To increase your chances of winning a $100 or one of two $50 Amazon gift cards, as well as individual prizes at most blogs, visit as many sites as you can between November 17-21, and leave a comment. And, hear ye, this is important, leave an e-mail address. We need to know how to get in touch with you if you win. The winners will be selected randomly, but remember, the more you comment on each blog, the better your chances.
In the meantime, enjoy the blogs posted by Crimson Romance authors. Our theme is “A Romance Wonderland.” Hey, what’s better than that?
Here’s my ditty on ESCAPE.
Ah, escape. Romance readers and writers thrive on this word. If we weren’t after a good escape every time we pick up a romance novel, we might as well be reading Popular Mechanics. I suppose, for some, that’s an escape. Maybe one person’s drudgery is another’s escape? But I digress.
The point is that creating escape is a dicey business. We romance writers want to take our readers to faraway lands and exotic locales, but we know that while we’re rowing toward Diamond Head or scaling Mount Everest, we need believable, authentic characters.
I learned a lesson in the 1980s from one of my favorite historical fiction writers, Diana Gabaldon. She said she could never have placed her heroine, Claire, in 17th Century Scotland without providing her with survival skills. Claire would never have been believable as a femme fatale, and she wouldn’t have survived. I took her cue when I wrote my Mayan time travel series. I knew my heroine was going to be running through jungles, escaping jaguars and poison darts, so I made her a college track star. Otherwise, she’d have been toast.
For my new book, The Gettysburg Vampire, I began my quest for authenticity with immersion in all things Civil War. I read extensively, but rather than concentrate on droll historical accounts, I focused on historical novels so that I could absorb the colloquialisms and family lives of the soldiers. Books like The Killer Angels, Gods and Generals, and The Last Full Measure swept me to a time and place when whiskey was more plentiful (and safer) than water, typhoid fever could wipe out a regiment, and a Gettysburg building could serve as a hospital where wounded Union and Confederate soldiers were separated by floors, united in suffering.
I also watched a lot of Civil War movies. I rented Ken Burns’ fabulous PBS series on the Civil War, as well as a more recent series on Ulysses S. Grant. I watched Ride With the Devil, which provided some wonderful Civil War aphorisms that I used to give color to the tour guide’s speech in my book. I bit my nails during Gettysburg when Joshua Chamberlain called for bayonets, and I infused my lead character, Union Colonel Malcolm McClellan, with that kind of bravery.
I poured over vintage maps to pinpoint Robert E. Lee’s entrance into Gettysburg, and I situated Malcolm and Sarah’s farmhouse directly on the general’s route.
Meanwhile, I developed an alternate, modern-day story, to juxtapose the Civil War conflict. While the war was rife with external conflict, the modern story’s intensity is fueled by the internal conflict of the lead characters. Will Malcolm reconcile the grief and guilt over his wife Sarah’s death during the Civil War? Will theatre professor Abby Potter accept Malcolm the man as well as Malcolm the vampire?
Here’s a blurb from The Gettysburg Vampire.
Students at Gettysburg College know the legend of the Stonewall Jackson, a Civil War ghost train. For this year’s winter holiday play, Theatre Professor Abby Potter has dramatized the popular tale using a little artistic license. She’s added a vampire. But she has one big problem—finding a decent thespian for the leading role. She bristles at the suggestion that Malcolm McClellan, a history professor at the college and a renowned Civil War re-enactor, would be ideal for the part. She’s avoided the brooding, mysterious man for years. But it may be perfect casting.
Now, leave a comment, and go forth…prolifically…to other Crimson author sites. Here’s where you’ll find the links.
Thanks so much for visiting, and GOOD LUCK with the contest! Oh, almost forgot, one random commenter on my site will receive a download of any one of my books, commenter’s choice.