Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The importance of research

Since I write historical romance, one of my big concerns is
getting the facts right. Sometimes that can be a real
problem. I wasn't born two hundred years ago, and I can't really
go back in time, nor do I believe anyone can. But I write
about two hundred years ago, or even earlier.

I'm lucky, because I always liked history. I've mentioned
before how my father and mother both talked about their ancestors.
Of course, some of what they told us was not quite the whole truth
but it did make for a good story.

No, when I want to know about times long ago, I have to depend on what
experts have uncovered. But even that is not always completely true.
I think about all the information I've heard about the American
Indians, and yet, my own family had a real connection to one of the
Iroquois tribes, although I'm not sure which one.

For instance, I didn't know this but the whole nation had a great
respect for the physically disabled. Those afflicted were not destroyed
as some would have you believe. I know this for a fact, because my
(many greats) grandmother was capture by one of the tribes at Ruggles
Station in Ohio. She was born with one half an arm. Her hand was
attached to her elbow, the middle bones never developed. When she
lost most of her family, they were killed in the attack, she and two
brothers were taken captive. Some time later, she and her younger brother
were released in a swap in Detroit. I guess she could only save one
brother. According to her stories, she was treated well, considered
a good omen by the Indians, and released in good condition. She
must have been because she very lived a long and fruitful life, with
many children and grandchildren.

So the whole point I'm trying to make, sometimes, even the experts
get it wrong.

More later.

As Ever,

"Heartsong" named
Novel Of The Year
"A Treasure For Sara"
available now from Champagne Books

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