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Monday, January 30, 2017

Tips from a Writing Consultant: Family History

Hello!

It's Monday and Tips from a Writing Consultant day!
Today, I'd like to share with you an easy way to add more authenticity to your writing. Specifically, I am dealing with historical fiction, as that is the primary genre that I write. It's obvious to readers that nonfiction requires much research on the part of the author. Fiction as well though is often supplemented by research. If an author is writing about a plumber or a mechanic, he or she will need to learn the tools of the trade. I once spent an afternoon reading about driving a 1920s Model T, so that I'd be able to authentically allow a character in an upcoming novel to drive one.

Books and reputable websites on the internet are an obvious first choice for many writers. Some writers even joke about how awkward their Google search history looks to an outside observer, with a mishmash of information. This is especially true among crime writers!

For historical fiction writers, there is an extra need for research. Unlike contemporary writing, we live in a world that is removed from that which we are writing about. Unlike fantasy writers, the world was real and so it must be accurate. I've previously written about the excellent resources found in museums for writers. Visiting some of those museums and the beaches of D-Day in person helped inspire my first novel, Flight Before Dawn. You can read about that inspiration here and here.

Today I'd like to share with you another source: family history. Genealogy is becoming increasingly popular. Sites like Ancestry.com have commercials for tests to determine where your family came from. There is much to be gleaned from family records. Names recorded in a family Bible could provide you with character names for a specific period. An ancestor's profession may provide an interesting backstory for a character. Maybe your own unique combination of backgrounds makes for a compelling tale. If an ancestor overcame incredible odds maybe that will provide the strength that a character needs.

Or, maybe, you'll learn about an ancestor and it will compel you to learn more about something from their backstory. This was the case for me in What Edward Heard. I knew that some of my ancestors were among the first settlers of Virginia and that they had come from French Huguenot silk merchants. Through my research I was able to learn more about the history of what happened to this people and weave it into the narrative of What Edward Heard.

Sometimes family history is more recent and can lend itself to a good story. For my most recent release, North Star Home, the characters live on the prairie in 1875. You need look no farther than the dedication page to see that my family inspired the story, at least in part. Part of the story involves quilting. I have a teddy bear made by my great-aunt from a quilt that my great-grandmother made. Knowing the family stories of the quilts made the history of North Star Home more palpable.

An easy way to include family history is to talk to your family. Ask your grandparents about life when they were growing up. Remember stories from your childhood. How was life different for them? Where did they go to school? How did they react to the changing and modernizing world around them? The sky's the limit!

It is important to remember that you're not writing a biography of an ancestor and so you shouldn't only transcribe their story if you're writing a novel. Fiction is a blending of fact with the imagined. Historical backdrop, including family history, can be an excellent source to add authenticity.
Happy researching and happy writing!

My best to you all,
Megan



Monday, January 23, 2017

Introducing... New Historical Fiction Website!

Hello!
A week ago, I launched my third novel: North Star Home! I also recently launched a new website. You can still visit me at www.MeganEasleyWalsh.com for my comprehensive website and at www.ExtraInkEdits.com for all things editing. And of course, you can find me here where I blog. In addition, if you visit www.NewHistoricalFiction.com you'll have easy access to all of my novels including convenient buy links on the side from some of the major retailers. Please note that a more complete list of retailers is available on my main website (MeganEasleyWalsh.com). It is regularly updated, although new retail locations continue to emerge!

Thank you for reading! I love hearing from my readers. You can email me at [email protected] and reviews (on Goodreads, Amazon, and other book sites) are always welcome and appreciated if you've enjoyed my books.

My best to you all,
Megan

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Launch Day!

Today was the day. Red River Rock Falls didn't know it yet, but Ann Scarlet had chosen this day to make her mark on the town. 
It's launch day! Those lines are from the first page of North Star Home, my third novel and first historical love story. It launches around the world today!

About the Book:
Ann Scarlet is no thief, but when the Yankee sheriff catches her she might just steal his heart.

Ann Scarlet has a single goal when journeying from her home in Savannah to Red River Rock Falls, Nebraska in 1875: find Whitaker and get back the land deed he stole from her brother. It seems simple enough, until Sheriff Crambert finds her with her hands full of money as she rifles through a pile of land deeds.

Nathaniel Crambert has loved and lost before. Ann seems harmless enough and he decides to rehabilitate her into society. Falling for her? That’s not part of the plan. Falling for him? That’s not what she intended either.

With the help of Mol, the woman who raised him, and Quiet Dove, his Lakota friend, Ann and Nathaniel may finally get over the burden of their heavy pasts. If Whitaker appears, Ann will have to follow that trail. But, what about following her heart?

Now available from
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Ibooks
Google Play
Kobo

More retailers coming soon!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Introducing North Star Home!

Hello!
I'm excited to share with you the trailer for North Star Home, my third novel, coming January 16th!
My best to you all,
Megan
Ebooks are available for pre-order here.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Calling all Writers!


Hello!
I'd like to introduce you to an exciting new hashtag for the writing community. You are invited to join other writers around the world using the hashtag #2017write. The idea is to share your writing journey this year. In addition, I'll be sharing themes for all of us to use the hashtag with throughout the year. The first theme is describe your wip (work in progress) in five words. Have fun! And Happy Writing!
My best to you all,
Megan

Author of Flight Before Dawn, What Edward Heard, and North Star Home (Coming January 16th)

Writing Consultant, Editor and Owner