Ever since self-publishing became popular a few years back, I’d noticed a certain name climbing the charts…Rose Gordon. Yep, Rose is one of those self-made authors who through hard word and smart promoting has taken the self-publishing world by storm. In fact, she even landed on the USA Today Besting Selling list! A couple years back I had the opportunity to meet Rose at a conference and she’s as smart as she is sweet; a truly deserving author.
I have to make a confession: As much as readers love to read great stories, I love to do research just as much or maybe even more.
I work with kids a lot: I teach the youth class at church, lead the Wednesday night program, act as fill-in secretary in my boys’ rural school that believe it or not has only 14 students AND I have two of my own children.
Every once in a while, mainly on the first day of a “new year” for our program or when new kids come, I get asked, what I do.
“I write books.”
Their eyes all gloss over. “Books? Books are boooooring.”
“No they’re not.”
Contrary to what some might believe, there is actually a lot of research that goes into books—even romances.
My latest series led me to research all sorts of fun and bizarre things:
- What color feather did the men wear atop their shako in the 1840s?
- What kinds of guns did military men use at the time and place the book was written?
- What major roads/high ways existed near this fort at the time of the book?
- How on earth did the men/women pass their time while at the fort?
- What is the order of military officers (Lieutenant, Captain, etc)?
- What are the exact rules of the game Rounders?
- What was the extent of their medical knowledge and what supplies would they have available?
- Did the men wear underwear in the 1840s…
All of these (and so many more) are vital questions to be asked when writing a novel—and believe me, for my Regencies, the questions are every weirder…
Of course there are other, far more interesting ways to do research than to just go look in a book or “Google it”.
For this particular book, I drove to the fort where it was set, snapped nearly 1,000 questions, pelted the poor man who worked there with questions, found out from a local when they were having re-enactments so I could come back and observe (just for notes, I promise!), plagued another poor man at the Antiques Roadshow about military guns from the 1840s, watched videos on YouTube of spider bites until I thought my lunch might reappear and insisted my husband, kids and a few others play a game of Rounders with me. All in the name of research. Do I have fun? Absolutely! Do I love what I do? Without doubt.
Now, if you’re curious how all of these odd topics tie together, you’ll have to read for yourself in my latest two books The Officer and the Bostoner (which is currently on sale at a total steal for .99!) and The Officer and the Southerner.
Rose Gordon is a USA Today bestselling author and writer of eight bestselling, unusually unusual historical romances that have been known to include scarred heroes, feisty heroines, marriage-producing scandals, far too much scheming, naughty literature and always a sweet happily-ever-after. When not escaping to another world via reading or writing a book, she spends her time chasing two young boys around the house, being hunted by wild animals, or sitting on the swing in the backyard where she has to use her arms as shields to deflect projectiles AKA: balls, water balloons, sticks, pinecones, and anything else one of them picks up to hurl at his brother who just happens to be hiding behind her.
And everyone is a winner because Rose’s ebook, Intentions of the Earl is free! Find it at B&N, Amazon and with other major book sellers.