Thursday 20 September 2018

One Day I would Dearly Love to Write Historical Fiction...

reflected-destinies, florence-keeling, book, blog-tour

One day I would dearly love to write a historical fiction novel. I love history, it was one of my favourite subjects at school and it is definitely my favourite genre to read. The Tudor period and Philippa Gregory books are just amazing. I am in absolute awe of how she manages to add so much detail to her books but still make you feel that you are actually living alongside the characters, that you are living and breathing with them.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that she actually has a Tardis and travels back in time to do the research for these books. She brings the Tudor period to life so vividly that I actually feel that I am there.

Any author that has the time and patience to do all the research it must take for these books is an absolute legend in my eyes. It was a shock to me just how much research I needed to do on the small amount of history I used in Reflected Destinies.

Simple things like when the national loaf came into existence? Did Britain have supermarkets in the 1940s? Remembering that smoking was quite commonplace in the 1940s and that no one had any idea about how bad they were for you.

With it being quite a recent period in history and one I had learnt about in school or watched TV programmes on I already had a basic amount of knowledge. I just had to check dates and names of things. I could remember that people built Anderson shelters in their gardens so with Ben being a builder I imagined that he would have taken this one step further and used his skills and knowledge to build a more secure air raid shelter.

I went to write something about the national loaf in the book and then when I checked the date I realised that it came in much later in the war than I had realised. I’d assumed it was something that was introduced in the beginning when in fact it wasn’t until 1942.

reflected-destinies, florence-keeling, book, blog-tour

The National Health Service was something else that Ben would never have known about. I had to look into ambulances, hospitals and of course our wonderful 999 service.

The white feather campaign, where women would pin or send white feathers to men not on active service was something I believed had happened in both wars but after looking it up I discovered it was much more prevalent in the First World War. I managed to find personal recollections of it happening in the Second World War so although I don’t know for certain if it actually happened in Coventry, I felt that it could definitely have been a possibility.

So when my dream of being a full-time writer comes true and I have the time to research the necessary information I will be looking to write prequels to Reflected Destinies. I want to write the story of Ben’s parents and how the mirror was made and in the book, I mention the Salem witch trials. How fascinating would it be to write a novel based on these events?

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great-Grandmother's name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool's Day. She is married with two teenage children. Born and raised in Coventry, England, she now lives just outside in Nuneaton. Reflected Destinies is her first novel and is available to buy now. 

For more information about Florence and her work, you can keep up-to-date on Twitter.

Would you ever consider writing historical fiction? Let me know in the comments below!

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