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The World of History Buffs: Behind the Scenes of Everyday Life

IMG_0803I went to high school in the days when our curriculum was laid out for us and there was very little choice about what subjects we studied; hence, History was on my timetable for four years!  And I barely endured it. Learning facts such as the number of Roundheads fighting in 1641 England (I had to look them up again!) and spouting them back on foolscap was pure drudgery for me. I preferred perfecting my French accent or writing stories.

Who knew that as I got older my tastes would completely change? My reading of historical fiction led to reading history books themselves which eventually led to writing my first historical novel. Along the way the subculture of history buffs became apparent.

I treasure the conversations with those who love my genre. We share great book titles and spectacular authors, spreading the words like breadcrumbs, each of us anxious to follow the paths of history as we learn more and more. I scrounge for everyday details that show how ordinary people lived. I own cookbooks bought in museums and have used them when deciding just what specific dishes John and Lucy (The Loyalist’s Wife) might be eating or the way to skin a raccoon out in the wilds.

My most interesting discovery has been the world of re-enactors. A couple of weeks ago I signed up to sell my books at a historical museum in Niagara-on-the-Lake. While the number of people through the museum that day was disappointing to say the least, those that I did meet were amazing.

One of the authors used the event for his book launch and he brought in about twenty people in period costume, my period! Many came to my table and some bought my book but more exciting was the feeling of shared interests. With wide eyes we talked about the Loyalists and how they came to be. I even met the author of a book which mentions my Garner ancestors. Gail Woodruff knew immediately the story of my people. I was enthralled.

I have yet to connect with the awesome lady who offered to take me to a re-enactment this fall. Of course we’re into the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812-1814 and The Loyalist’s Luck (book two in the Loyalist Trilogy) covers that period so I am ecstatic about that whole idea. I have to finish this post and send off an email to her.

What intellectual excitement it is to meet these people who, like me, thrill at the discovery of our history. I just wish that History class in high school had held the kind of emotional pull that discovering my Loyalist roots does now.

Find The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler

on Amazon and in many other fine bookstores.

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Authors, General, History

 

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An Invitation From John And Lucinda

IMG_7304“Mrs. Cougler, Mrs. Cougler!”

Wow, that’s formal. Who’s yelling at me?

“Hello, hello. Can you hear me?”

Well, yes, you’re yelling inside my head. Is that you, Lucy?

 Yes. John and I were just wondering if you would interview us before my book launch this Sunday?”

Your book launch? Didn’t I write The Loyalist’s Wife?

 Of course you did, Mrs. Cougler. We had no intention of making off with your glory.”

Well, John, you’re in on this, too, I see.

“He is just excited about the book, you understand. May we do an interview? Just a short one?”

I guess that might work. Will you answer all my questions truthfully?

 “We promise, don’t we, John?”

Hrrumph.

Does that grunt mean you agree, John? You strong, silent types crack me up. Well, here are your questions.

1.  What is your book about?

A young Loyalist couple living in the wilds of New York State have to fight for their very lives as he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her behind to look after their isolated farm.

The pigheaded man goes off and abandons her to face the war all by herself, you mean, John!

2.  Ah, was that a problem, Lucy?

Of course it was, you know because you wrote in as many terrible trials as you could. I still haven’t forgiven you for any of it, especially what you did to my father.

Hush, Lucy. She had to make it exciting, didn’t she?

3.  John, why did you choose to fight for the British anyhow?

Ah, you would ask that. Let’s just say there are things in my past that affect what I do today.

Or let’s say you have your reasons and I, as your wife, must abide by your decisions, no matter what it costs me as well as you. You’re lucky I’m so obedient.

4.  Will you both be at the book launch on Sunday?

Of course we will. It’s for us, isn’t it?

We will be most pleased to join your guests, Mrs. Cougler.

BOOK LAUNCH

SUNDAY OCTOBER 6 2:00-4:00

PROGRAM

2:00 Meet Elaine: Cash Bar; Snacks Provided

2:30 Readings from The Loyalist’s Wife

Lynne Dunlop

Matt Holmes

Sally Moore

Elaine Cougler

3:00 Mingle. Refresh. Snack. Relax. Enjoy.

Quality Inn, Woodstock, ON

The Loyalist’s Wife

by Elaine Cougler

Come out and help Elaine celebrate book 1 of The Loyalist Trilogy.

Watch for book 2,The Loyalist’s Luck, in 2014.

No Admission. Everyone Welcome!!

Door Prizes.

Elaine will be pleased to sign copies of her book.

http://www.elainecougler.com

The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler

Available at Amazon.com and many other places

including the launch on Sunday!

Put in links and the flyer Ron made up.

 

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Where Do New Historicals Come From?

attawondaronkJ.R. Montgomery is not a household name. Yet.

His first book, however, is ground-breaking for its telling of the Attawondaronks who lived in Southern Ontario at the beginning of the sixteenth century. And Rick adds to the excitement with his story of a life-long preoccupation with these early peoples, so much so that he is an authority on the topic.

I have known Rick for many years but I never knew about his writing or his interest in history, two interests that we definitely share. Today I take great pleasure in giving my readers the gift of a new historical author about whom we shall definitely hear more.

EC: People often want to know how long the writing of a book takes. Would you discuss that but include all the work and research that went on before you ever started writing, perhaps even telling the story of Read the rest of this entry »

 
13 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Authors, General, Publishing

 

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7 Sites Re Historical Fiction

A writing friend of mine pointed out a couple of days ago that historical fiction is not a genre and that got me thinking. Just what is this category of books I’ve spent most of my life loving to read? My own definition goes like this: historical fiction books are about actual historical events and people brought to life through fictional characters and events set against the backdrop of history. Some of my favorite historical writers over the years have found their way into my posts before today. Check out Favorite Historical Fiction Authors which elicited a lot more excellent suggestions for HF books in the comments section.

Wikipedia defines the category this way:  Historical fiction tells a story that is Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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