Glad you stumbled in. I know you didn't intend to come here because this is a very new blog and a very new experience for me.
New experiences have been rife since my 2007 Golden Heart final, but the other finalists are such lovely ladies, they just keep herding me along into places I never thought I'd dare tread. Thus, the title for this first entry. I promise to get better once the scope of this new territory doesn't tie my belly into little tiny Gordian knots. Of course, after this comes the dreaded "web page," but not today. As Neil Armstrong said (with a bit of a paraphrase from me), "One small step for chicken kitty, one giant leap for scaredy-cats everywhere."
I called this blog Romancing History because, truth be told, history isn't, in and of itself, romantic. It's dirty, unsanitary, bloody, and a host of other unpalatable adjectives. Learning history in school required memorization of mind-numbing facts, dates, and names.
The names caught my attention.
People make history. Not dates, not battles, not rivers of slops flowing unfettered down horse manure festooned cobbled streets. People who laughed, cried, danced, bled, changed their babies, yelled at the dog. Biographies became my preferred reading.
I wrote my first romance--and I use the term loosely--sitting at a cafeteria table in junior high with a group of friends. I still remember the high-perch phaeton the hero swooped to a halt before my startled, and inappropriately named, heroine. We'd discovered Barbara Cartland, you see. It was all downhill from there---at least for me.
Writing historical romance requires research, and since learning about people still intrigues me, that's no hardship. I am, however, anal about facts. So many books have inaccuracies within that are, despite being SO wrong, accepted. Since when does accepted equate to correct?
I once entered my manuscript in a contest where the judge marked me down because I didn't call the heroine's home a "keep." Duh! Keep, as in fortified holding, donjon, castle, etc., is a Renaissance term and the Renaissance didn't come to England until the 1500s--more than a decade after my story takes place.
Chausses. Ah, yes. Several times now I've read about naked heroes bounding from their beds to don their chausses. Must have hurt. And the succession? Forgeddaboudit. Chausses are made of small metal rings. Webster's defines them as medieval armor of mail for the legs and feet. Chausses were worn atop thick, quilted hose for obvious reasons.
Why am I telling you this? Because there is no way to ascertain exactly--especially in the areas of clothing, armor, and personal items--what things populate a specific segment of time within an era. Folks I know were sporting elephant bells and tie-dyed shirts from the seventies before current fashion went retro. By their very nature, some things overlap. However, if I were to make a glaring mistake, I'd want someone to tell me, or at least caution me to check it out. Thinking of my stories thrown against a wall or into the dust bin---which is where inaccuracies end up in my world---doesn't sit well.
So this is an invitation to gently (I hate qualifiers too, but you know how it goes) correct me if you find an inaccuracy in my work. I will, sometime in the future, post some bits from my current WIP and will welcome your feedback.