From my blog...

The Historical Blog Slog

Whenever I put together a history-related blog post, it’s not something I’m writing off the top of my head even if the material springs from research I’ve been doing for the past nine years. I need to double-check everything to make sure that I have my facts straight. Sometimes I’m writing about something that is only tangential to the novel I’m working on, so I have to research it in as much depth for the blog post as I would if I were going to include it in my book. It usually takes several days, so I do not commit to such a blog post lightly. I am absolutely certain that I am not alone in this. If you’ve read history-related posts on any of the historical sites on the internet, you are probably seeing the results of a great deal of hard work. The website English Historical Fiction Authors a website to which many wonderful historical novelists contribute, is an excellent example.

Sometimes, as in the piece I posted on this site last December about Anglo-Saxon Art, the research material is right on my bookshelf.

A selection of my research books.

A selection of my research books.

Other times I have to go further afield for information. The essay titled Mapping England that appeared on the EHFA website in January, for example, demanded a couple of trips to UC Berkeley to pore over their map collection using books I couldn’t possibly afford to have on my shelf.

The bucolic UC Berkeley campus.

The bucolic UC Berkeley campus.

Once I’ve gathered all the necessary information it has to be distilled and combined into a thoughtful (I hope) essay that is not so terribly long that readers will give up half-way through. I try to keep my posts under 1000 words, preferably closer to 600. (This one is almost 400 words.)

And that brings me to a 4-part series of historical posts that I’ve written for the EHFA website that will appear there on Sept. 7, 8, 9, & 10. The series is about medieval Britain’s 4 royal roads. If I’d combined their fascinating histories into a single blog post it would have been so long that a reader’s eyes would cross. Therefore, at my request, author and web-mistress Debra Brown has given me permission to spread my posts over those 4 days. So, starting this Sunday and continuing through Wednesday, I will be, essentially, hijacking the EHFA website. I will post a link on this page, and I hope that you will come along for the 4-day ride.

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6 Responses to The Historical Blog Slog

  1. Debra Brown says:

    I’m looking forward to the posts, Patricia! Your hours (years) of research is much appreciated and lends to fascinating articles.

    • Patricia Bracewell says:

      Debra, I am always astonished and impressed by the breadth and depth of the posts on the EHFA website. When I write a post, I’m only trying to measure up to all the others.

  2. Candace says:

    I’m SO looking forward to this!

  3. judith schara says:

    So glad to read this! My first book developed over a period of almost ten years (a steep learning curve, excessive research, a big change in format the last two years etc) so when I attempt to write a blog post it is almost like new research to find quotes, photos, etc. Thank you for confirming I am not alone.

    • Patricia says:

      Judith, you are definitely not alone. The photos, especially, drive me nuts. Not just finding them and preparing them for the internet, but wrestling with whatever program I’m using for the post to get them placed properly.

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