Living in Medieval Times by Michelle Miles

I’m excited to have Michelle Miles with us on Magical Musings talking about her latest release, One Knight Only, which releases today. Take it away, Michelle!

Thanks to Misty Evans who invited me here today! I was very excited to write this blog post and talk about the historical research I did for my latest release, One Knight Onlyfrom Ellora’s Cave.

When I first started writing this book, it was around 2005. I know six years is a long time to work on a book, isn’t it? But it actually started out as a straight historical and then morphed into a historical with paranormal elements. My heroine was Grace, she had a brother named Lars, Elyne was nothing more than a handmaiden, and the hero was Sir Drake.

But as I wrote, I realized my heroine was too wimpy, so I changed her name from Grace to Maggie and she became a modern woman with modern sensibilities. My hero wasn’t very interesting either, so I changed his name from Sir Drake to Finian and he became a Scottish knight with a gambling problem. For good measure, I threw in a snarky faery princess who befriends Maggie.

The main story stayed much the same. I still had the book set during a jousting tournament in the mid-1300s. I’ve long had a fascination with the Middle Ages and specifically jousting. I was that girl at Scarborough Faire (our annual ren faire here in the area) hanging off the fencing watching the make-believe jousts. The one who wanted to go to Medieval Times and sit in the front row to ogle the knights. I was the girl who wanted to sleep in a castle. (The closest I’ve gotten is Excalibur in Las Vegas. But as God is my witness, I will do that before I die.)

I started researching the book about the time I started writing it. I bought books on jousting and spent a lot of time searching specific information about jousting, tournament banquets, the Tree of Shields, where they lived during tournament, etc. I picked the mid-1300s because of some research I found that King Edward III held a tournament in England after one of his victories in France in the early years of the Hundred Years’ War. I also searched for information on speech. I found a great resource for speech of the time where I learned great phrases like, “God’s Teeth!” and the insult, “a plague-sore boil upon humanity.” I feel sure I can use that in everyday conversation today, don’t you? I also enjoyed using words like mayhap, anon and huzzah.

One of the things I wanted to write into the book was actual jousting. So I did a lot of research on how to do it, what they wore, how they rode, etc. Then I knew I wanted my heroine to do the actual jousting. How did I pull that off? You’ll have to read the book to find out. :)

Another thing I researched was card games and dice games in the Middle Ages since I had a heroine with a gambling problem. The dice game, Hazzard, was the predecessor of today’s Craps. Playing cards were actually introduced to the Western Anglo world in the mid-1300s. The suit system that we know today (hearts, clubs, spades, diamonds) was adapted by the French in the fifteenth century and referred to as a French deck. Other regions had their own suits (e.g. Germany, Italy, Spain) which included cups, swords, coins, and batons (or sticks); others had animals, flowers, etc. For my story, I went with the familiar and used the French deck during the gambling scenes.

Did I mention my faery princess likes to gamble, too? ;)

This story was a lot of fun to write and has a lot of great characters. I’d spent so much time with them during edits that I actually missed them when I turned in the book. My head had been in the Middle Ages for so long, it was hard to pull myself out of it and back into our everyday world.

I hope you enjoy reading One Knight Only as much as I enjoyed writing it. Book two has been planned and is underway. Elyne, my snarky faery princess, was insistent that she get her Happily Ever After. Who am I to deny her that?

Author Michelle Miles

Michelle Miles writes contemporary, fantasy and paranormal romance. She believes in knights in shining armor and HEAs. For more information about her and her books, visit her website at http://www.michellemiles.net where you can also sign up for her monthly newsletter, The Monthly Grind.

About Misty Evans

USA Today Bestselling Author Misty Evans writes the award-winning Super Agent series, as well as urban fantasy and paranormal romance. She likes her coffee black, her conspiracy theories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When her muse lets her on the internet to play, she’s on Facebook and Twitter.
This entry was posted in Guest Posts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Living in Medieval Times by Michelle Miles

  1. Pingback: One Knight Only Releases Today!

  2. Berinn Rae says:

    congrats on your release, Michelle!

  3. Misty Evans says:

    God’s teeth! Great to have you here, Michelle, and I LOVED this post. So informative and interesting. One Knight Only is a fabulous story (I had a sneak peak of the opening chapters) and I can’t wait to read the finished copy.

    Here’s to many sales!

  4. Michelle Mwoes says:

    LOL Misty! Thanks for having me! I hope you enjoy the book. I had a blast writing it. :)
    Michelle Mwoes`s last blog was …Step Into Sexy!

  5. Edie Ramer says:

    Michelle, it sounds like a super fun book, and I’m going to check it out now!

  6. Wonderful to have you here, Michelle!!
    And a big congrats on the release of ONE KNIGHT ONLY — sounds fabulous ;).
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Romantic Love Books

  7. Liz Kreger says:

    Great post, Michelle. Isn’t it cool when you find a time period you love and just absorb everything there is to learn about it? I understand the trick is to avoid over-doing it when it comes to facts and information.

    Congrats on your release. Sounds like a fun read.

    • Hi, Liz! I really enjoyed writing in this time period. It was great fun. There were so many details I wanted to add, but I tried to keep it from bogging down the story. Hopefully, I achieved that. :)

  8. Congrats on your release! Same thing happened to me with my first historical, started out straight historical and morphed into paranormal. Just makes it so much more interesting! lol.

  9. Welcome to MM, Michelle, and congrats on One Knight Only. It sounds like a lot of fun.

    I really enjoyed the movie A KNIGHT’S TALE because of the jousting in that. And I just realized the character that plays Chaucer in A KNIGHT’S TALE, Paul Bettany, was one of the main characters in THE TOURIST, which I blogged about on Wednesday AND Rufus Sewell was in A KNIGHT’S TALE and THE TOURIST as well! No wonder that movie sprang to mind :)
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Guest blogging at author Cynthia Eden’s blog

  10. Congratulations, Michelle! I love that you shared having started and stopped the book, and how that helped everything gel for you! All the characters sound amazing, and I know I’ll love this story!

    Light,
    Nancy Haddock

Comments are closed.