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Today, we welcome our first guest blogger of 2017, Alison Morton, author of the acclaimed Roma Nova series. Her novels are set in the alternate reality of a breakaway Roman state that survived the fall of the rest of the Empire — and it’s run by women! There are six novels in the series, all edge-of-the-seat thrillers, but all involving at least one love story as well. So Alison is well qualified to blog here on the subject of…
Love. Ah, love! Nothing like a breathless heroine falling into the arms of her strong, yet conquered hero.
Yes, heroes are conquered by that heart-pounding, visceral but tender feeling as much as heroines are. But that’s just in romances, isn’t it? The classic “happy ever after” ending?
Er, no. Continue reading
That unique moment — we all know what it is when we come across it in a book or a movie, an opera. We recognise it the moment we see it.
Although feel it would probably be a better word. And sometimes we don’t even realise what it was until we’re describing the story to someone else.
Lots of people try to analyse it. But essentially, it’s visceral. More like a fleeting scent or a snatch of music than anything we can explain. Continue reading
I deleted it, unopened.
With a shudder. And I’d never even heard of viruses then. I just didn’t want to go there. Continue reading
Sadly, today is the last of our series on research. But we’re finishing with a bang!
In delectable medieval York.
Today, we welcome Pamela Hartshorne, a York specialist. Her credentials are beyond doubt — she has a PhD in medieval studies — but she manages to wear her research very lightly. She has written dozens of books for Mills & Boon, a publisher that definitely doesn’t want dry background material to get in the way of the love story between hero and heroine.
Every time someone asked whether she’d use her research in a book, her answer was always no.
Until, one day …
One day, no finally became yes. Pamela turned to writing historical novels set in her beloved York, where she’d done her academic research. Was she taking a risk? Could she make the jump from Mills & Boon romance to mainstream timeslip? Here’s her story . . .
By the time I sat down to write a historical novel, I was feeling pretty confident. I’d already written over 50 books for Mills & Boon, so I figured I knew something about storytelling. Continue reading
Katie believes falling in love is the best thing in the world, and she wants all her characters to experience it, and her readers to share their stories.
We readers love those stories for their warm-hearted characters, their gentle comedy and their guaranteed happy endings.
Katie sets her stories in the here and now. So she doesn’t need to do research, right?
Wrong. Katie Fforde does research too, some of it the hard way. Ray Mears survival training, anyone?
Read on for Katie Fforde’s very individual take on doing research.
Many years ago a friend who wrote historical fiction heard me mention doing some research. She said, “But you write contemporary, you don’t need to do research.”
How wrong she was!
How do you do fantasy research?
Do you actually have to?
Surely it’s all just make-believe?
Intriguing questions, aren’t they?
And we at Libertà didn’t have the answers, so we tagged fantasy and alternate-history author Kate Johnson to tell us how she does it. Being Kate, she gave us explanations with a side-order of slightly weird.
Enjoy the fun!
How on earth do you research things that don’t exist?
Well, here’s the thing: you might be writing about vampires or spaceships or magic paperclips, if that’s what your heart desires, but you’ve got to make them believable.
You’ve got to make the reader trust you, and if you get the details wrong, they won’t.
Sweat the small stuff. Continue reading
Today we begin our research series with a guest post from USA Today bestselling author Patricia McLinn. You may know her as a writer of romance and women’s fiction, but she loves writing on the dark side too, as you’ll see if you read on.
I was put in handcuffs back in August.
That was after I made another car spin out in a PIT maneuver. Though the handcuffs weren’t because of spinning out the other car. They were because, Continue reading
How often is hero allure part of what compels us to pick up a book?
Last week we asked people to vote on which qualities would hook them into the hero’s story. We were thinking of just that first engagement: what we learn from the blurb, the first few pages or Amazon’s sample.
With more and more novels to choose from every year, it’s becoming a major issue. I suppose it’s the literary equivalent of eyes meeting at a party. Something in you jumps to attention and says, “Oo yes, this one.” Continue reading