historical fiction books | historical romance books


By Ana Brazil
February 28, 2020

Each Friday we take a break from writing (and promoting!) and think deep thoughts about many things. This Friday C.V. wants to know “What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?

Kathryn explains “The Casket Maker’s Other Wife was inspired by my own ancestors’ polygamous marriage.

Though I’ve added other details not found in family histories, I started my research by reading genealogical records and discovered that my great-great-grandfather had a notorious temper. So much so, he’d beaten his wife and children. That was a hard thing to learn and something I thought about leaving out of my novel, but I ultimately decided to include it in order to tell their whole story.”

While writing THE ALOHA SPIRIT, Linda “learned of the Hawaiian custom of hanai.

It’s an informal adoption system where families open their hearts to children of other families. Often this happened when the biological parents were unable to care for the child, but they wanted to make sure the child would be raised with Hawaiian culture. Extended families like this are so common in Hawaii, that anyone you are close to can be called sister (sistah) or brother (bruddah) if they are near in age to you. Older people are called auntie (antee) or uncle (anko). If someone uses a name after the title, like Auntie Noelani, they are probably related. If they just say Auntie, they are probably extended family.”

Katie declares “I. Hate. Alphas.

When I sat down to write A LADY’S REVENGE (actually, the precursor to Lady’s Revenge, which has since been scrapped), I intended to make John Arthur an Alpha male. I wanted to play with Regency tropes, and a common one is the Alpha Hero. I had read books where I liked Alpha heroes, but when I had to spend an entire book writing one, I couldn’t stand it. And I realized that my hero Lydia had no patience for that, either. She wouldn’t be attracted to that type of personality because she already is an Alpha. She doesn’t need another one in her life. And then it became clear (after I was deep in the editing stage) that in order to make the trope palatable to my own writing sensibilities, I had gender-swapped it. My brooding Alpha aristocrat who uses boxing to keep their head on straight was the Lady, and my lowborn, supportive, likeable, affable character was my male Hero.”

U.S. Marines recruitment poster from 1940. Just a few years before Ana’s father joined up!

Ana says, “I’ve certainly learned about fidelity.

Being faithful to writing—sitting down day after day after day to write—will eventually get the job done. I tried to write a version of FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER when I lived in Mississippi in my twenties, but I could never keep my butt in the chair long enough to get a draft done. Getting a word processor helped speed things along (does anyone remember the Leading Edge D?), but being faithful to my writing is what really works.

And of course, fidelity is good for so many other aspects of my life also!”

And finally, C.V.  shares that “When sitting down to write, I was most amazed by how my characters came to life.

Here I was writing about people I knew little about but it was fascinating to have their personalities come out and reveal some of their history. It would be a real trip if I could go back in time and find out if the character traits that appeared were at all real or just completely my imagination.”

Ana Brazil
Written by Ana Brazil

Ana Brazil writes historical crime fiction celebrating bodacious American heroines. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Historical Novel Society, and a founding member of Paper Lantern Writers.
Ana’s latest historical mystery is THE RED-HOT BLUES CHANTEUSE, which features murder, mayhem, and music in 1919 San Francisco. Her award-winning historical mystery FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER is set in Gilded Age New Orleans.

View Ana’s PLW Profile

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