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The (Writing) Beat Goes On. And On. And On.

Here’s  the view outside my writing room last week. Vibrant blue sky setting off the sun and shadows on pristine snow. But it was cold. 35-40 degrees Celsius below zero overnight (with the wind chill factored in). Even in Ontario that’s unusual and some records were broken. Made me glad to be inside at my computer.

home snow

 This week I’m writing my blog on the other side of the country and outside my window the morning sun streaks across the parking lot to encourage spring’s flowers to push out of the bushes. Everywhere I look as we drive around Victoria, colour brightens my day–violet heathers, yellow daffodils, and bountiful budding trees. The whole city is alive and greening up. I particularly like the pink flowering trees and the rich rose shades of the camellias.

This is the view outside my daughter’s window, temporary though it is while she and her family wait a few months for their house to be finished. But even here it’s sweater and/or coat weather.

Beth Rich appt

 

No matter the weather, no matter the location, this writer’s life goes on. Isn’t that great?

It’s as simple as bringing a laptop or an iPad and keeping up with email, checking the latest posts of other writers, and moving book 3 of the Loyalist trilogy ahead. This month I’m working on plot outlines centred around the various characters and story lines that are converging in my head after months of research about the period 1815-1837. Whatever did we do before we had computers and computer technology? I love my devices.

Confession Time

For the last five days I’ve been leaving off the bit about working on my novel. Yes, it’s true. I’ve been playing with my 7-year-old granddaughter, helping my daughter and family with their move, and finally getting outside to walk. I needed to get my walking legs going as lately Ontario has just been too cold for leisurely exercising outside.

But today I’m back at writing. I’ve decided to write out the plot lines for various characters in the new novel as a start. As soon as I finish this blog post and go for a walk with my husband. And because I’m on the west coast of Canada it’s still early here so I have the whole day to fit in my walking and my writing. I can hardly wait to get started.

Oh, and I’ll be saving to the Cloud and to Dropbox, both platforms easily accessible either here or in Ontario. Don’t you just love technology? Leave me a comment to say how you keep up when you’re traveling.

Writers need reviews on their books. If you haven’t already done so, how about writing a review of the first two Loyalist books on Amazon or Goodreads? I’d do my happy dance…

 

 

 

 

 

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Today I’m Versatile!

theversatilebloggerThanks to my writing friend, emerging author Sally Moore, for including me on her list of 15 bloggers she watches. The Versatile Blogger Award means people are paying attention and that’s great. I’ve been blogging for a lot of years now including the years as Beadergirl. More on that below.

I love connecting with people and writing a blog is an excellent way to do that. You can make contact with all sorts of other people or narrow your focus to readers, writers, and others in this specific business. That’s what I’ve done with On Becoming a Wordsmith. And the fact that I love to write doesn’t hurt, either.

Here are some of the blogs I’ve been following over the last year. You’ll notice that many are marketing blogs from whom I get ideas about marketing my books. Others are directly linked to books and reviews so it’s not hard to see my passion there. Finally I have a number of other authors I follow, some of whose blogs I’ve guest posted on. I’ve used this meme as a list of people I’m connecting with at this point in time even though I’m sure some of these will be unable to do the actual versatile blogger post.

Blogs I’m Following Just Now

  1. Oh, For the Hook of a Book!  Erin is an upbeat and interesting reviewer of books whom I treasure among my online friends. You can get a sense of her style in this review of my book last fall.

  2. Sharon Clare is a Canadian author who is always improving her already excellent writing style. She does workshops and readings and even has an online marketing strategy I wrote about last year.

  3. Helen Hollick is a relatively new online friend but one whose breezy and happy style just makes me want to know her personally. I wrote about her a couple of weeks ago. What an accomplished writer of historical fiction she is!

  4. Amy Bruno of Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours’ blog is a veritable feast of historical fiction novels. She runs tours to help promote historical fiction, one of which my second book was on last fall.

  5. Patricia Zick writes well herself and features other authors on her site every week. She blogs often and I happened to read about her book on her ancestor who was in the Civil War. I bought the book and loved reading the words of the real day-to-day life of a soldier.

  6. Danny Iny and his team at Firepole Marketing just teach so much about how to get our work to the world. I’ve learned a lot from Danny and have a number of his free downloads. And he lives in Montreal! He also lets  you choose how much mail to receive from him so I like that.

  7. John Morrow’s Boost Blog Traffic is a site with loads of cool ideas about how to get known and recognized on the web. Read the About page here for an interesting story about John.

  8. Brian Feinblum’s BookMarketingBuzzBlog is a wealth of information on just about anything. Check out his topics (and his disclaimer at the bottom of the page.) He’s a big name in online marketing.

  9. Tim Grahl’s Outthink Marketing site is another with training and loads of good ideas. I’ve not had time to listen to all of his lessons but hope to make time soon.

  10. Denise at So Many Books, So Little Time is one of my favorite reviewers because she has such a positive style. She finds the good in the books she reads but is not afraid to mention less stellar parts.

  11. Sally A. Moore is an emerging author who takes the time to get her writing perfect. Her stories are intriguing and insightful and her blog posts always take me to something new while teaching me all manner of things.

  12. Meyette’s Musings is another interesting blog because she, too, writes about the American Revolution only from the American side. Elizabeth lives in Michigan, not far from me in Ontario, and we’ve joked that we should do a book tour together–her, with her American view books and me with my Canadian/British view of the same war. What great fun that would be.

  13. M.K.Tod’s blog, A Writer of History, has unique aspects to it. Check out her About page for the author interviews she’s done with very well known historical fiction authors such as Sharon Kay Penman, Edward Rutherfurd, and Elizabeth Chadwick, to name a few. And she’s Canadian, don’t you know!

  14. Linda Poitevin came to my attention on Goodreads, first because she is a Canadian and then because she writes such interesting posts and always has several things in the Goodreads blurb I get every Sunday. She does a good job of explaining how to do writing-related posts such as this one. She says she writes “Kick-Ass Supernatural and Romantic Fiction.” :-)

  15. Copyblogger is one final site from which I’ve received a lot of value. Here’s an article I’ve had starred for a few months but make sure you check out the whole site. And don’t worry about signing up. I didn’t have any flood of annoying emails. Everything they send is useful to a writer.

7 Things to Share About Me

This part is hard but here goes.

  1. I grew up in a large family of thirteen children, 9 boys and 4 girls. And I’m glad I did.

  2. I have a degree in French and Spanish, almost another complete one in English, but taught Computer Studies for the last six years of my teaching career, never having taken a computer course. I was all self-taught.

  3. One summer I remember sitting on our screened-in porch reading a wonderful book by Jean Little (Listen for the Singing, YA, for a course I was taking) and closing it after reading the last page. I stared unseeing out over our yard where my kids were playing and tears just started to flow as I wished with all my heart I could be a writer like her.

  4. For most of my life I have sung in choirs, groups, and even on occasion as a soprano soloist but the best singing I ever did was in duets with my mother’s wonderful harmony beside me. She was the source of all our musical talent. I wrote a song for her a few years ago–I Can Hear My Mom Singing–and it brings a smile to my face whenever I sit down at the piano and sing it.

  5. One time when I was teaching and came upon a 15-year-old misbehaving, after repeatedly speaking to him and getting no response, I grabbed his collar and shoved him into the locker. He didn’t understand my soft voice but he understood that and ever after was my best buddy both at school and in the small village where we both lived.

    Jewelry pic

  6. I started my blogging career when I was deep into making jewelry, especially with a very good girlfriend. Here is one of the last posts I did there on Beadergirl Jewels.

  7. My husband and I consider our two children and two grandchildren the joys of our lives. I did a 10-generation picture book of my father’s family so my little grandchildren would have a direct line on my side of the family that they could understand. Now I just have to do the other one from my family and the two from my husband’s family. Yikes!

The Versatile Blogger Award Rules:

  • Display the Award Certificate (cut and paste it from my post)

  • Write a post and link back to the blogger who nominated you – that’s me!

  • Nominate 15 other bloggers

  • Inform them of their nomination via comment on their blog

  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself

 
17 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Authors, Helpful Web Sites

 

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Do You Have the Right Writing Team?

Team of 4-yr.-olds on stage

Team of 4-yr.-olds on stage

We hear it all the time: You’ve got to be a team player. Take one for the team. Come on, team. Let’s win this.

And it starts young. At summer camp my wee grandson is on stage performing with his group. (Read team.)  We applaud their cute antics as they learn to work together and perform a song or act out a skit.

“All you ever need to know you learned in kindergarten.” So goes the saying. Of course I never went to kindergarten but you get the idea. We all have to learn to coexist with the other people on the planet and most of what we do is with, for, or instigated by others.

So it goes with writing. Yes, I know. The actual putting words on screen is usually a solitary process but after that loads of people are crucial to me.

This graphic from last year’s Ontario Writers’ Conference demonstrates how together we make something beautiful. The organizers took the last names of all of those registered who had published a book that year and made this lovely picture. Each of us has our name up there several times, large and small. I was delighted to be a part of the larger whole.

On front wall at writers' conference.
On front wall at Ontario Writers’ Conference.

In a similar way I am surrounded by amazing people who help me achieve publication. For the first two books in my trilogy I used an interior designer from Paris, France for helping to choose the typeface, the setup of chapters, and generally the whole look of the interior of the books. Her knowledge and helpful suggestions saved me hours and hours of learning all this myself.

Even more so, my cover designer, a suggestion from my awesome printer in Victoria, British Columbia, was, and continues to be, a ready and reachable source of knowledge on everything from just what the purpose of the cover is to formatting my manuscript for the different e-book platforms. And she is a dream to work with, always sunny and excited about the project at hand.

So, too, my printer, who does rush orders for me with nary a whimper, smooths out any little bump in the printing road, and is just generally a pleasure to work with.

But what about before those people get their hands on my work?

I get to bounce ideas off my friend, author and poet Robyn Marie Butt, and various others of my friends who are writers and readers. Luckily my inner circle allow me to natter on about my work in progress and offer ideas and suggestions when I ask. My family does this all the time, especially my daughter and my husband. My son, with his question to me when I confided my writing dreams, got me thinking large enough to write a novel. He asked “If not now, when?”.

And my beta readers! These people are the ones who keep me honest and searching to improve all the time. Millie, particularly, gives me an excellent critique and is wonderful at discussing the work-in-progress. The others offer insights, too, all from the vantage point of their particular talents and experiences. We writers do not see everything about what we’ve written. We need fresh eyes on the work and I, for one, really treasure those who help me by venturing into the final (?) draft of my novel.

I’ve used two different editors, both excellent and both thorough, for edits large and small. Because I taught senior English for twenty-some years my eyes are pretty good at sourcing out grammar or other errors but these editors are good at looking at the overall novel. I may not use all of their suggestions but I definitely consider them thoroughly.

So there you have them–the people behind my author’s name on the cover. And here’s a great big THANK YOU to all of those on my writing team as I work on the third book in the Loyalist trilogy.

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction! Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

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How Do You Get That Pie-in-the-Sky Review?

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Every morning I start my day eating my cereal, fruit and milk while checking my email. It’s a good way to fire up my writing engines and rev my gas pedal even before I get showered and dressed. Between 10 and 20 emails greet me as I open Outlook and I’ve become pretty adept at deleting, replying, and filing some for further consideration. A few days ago my eyes popped when I saw a certain sender: Helen Hollick at HNS Reviews.

Since I read and write historical fiction, the Historical Novel Society magazine is a must-have subscription and, once The Loyalist’s Wife was published I wanted a review by HNS. Ten months ago I sent my first query to that magazine and received a polite reply where the gentleman said he would see if anyone was interested in reviewing it. I sent the file electronically as instructed.

On October 19, 2014, the second book in the trilogy made its debut and I soon emailed my contact once again about getting reviews for the two books. I also suggested I’d be happy to ship print copies. He jumped at that and I sent them off. He let me know when they arrived and then I heard nothing. Until last Thursday.

Helen Hollick, whose Pendragon series I’d read and written about on Goodreads, was sending me an email! From the Historical Novel Society! She had my attention.

Congratulations your book has been reviewed here:  http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-loyalists-wife/

You can read the review by clicking the link. It’s pretty nice. I’m happy. And this whole thing reminds me to just keep up with my marketing forays and good things will happen.

Things I’ve Done to Increase My Readership

  1. I’m not shy about talking to people about my writing. Last December I met a couple of readers at a monument to the Battle of the Longwoods in 1814. We got talking and they both wanted my bookmarks and website information as they are history fans. They may or may not look up my books but they certainly wouldn’t if I didn’t tell them about them. It’s just fun to hear other people’s stories in those situations.

  2. I walked into a London bookstore and asked them to take my books. They did and I did a signing there, too. It wasn’t wildly successful because I picked a bookstore in a mall where most of the customers were rushing to buy kids clothes or new boots. I learned being in a book store where those who come in are actually looking for books was a much better idea.

  3. I contacted a lot of museums and historical sites and got several places who wanted my books. And they buy them outright usually. (The consignment stuff gets a bit tedious because the author takes all the risk.) I even got a speaking engagement at the wonderful Fort Erie Historical Museum in Ridgeway, Ontario. All it took was an email.

  4. I’ve contacted and been contacted by a number of book clubs and organizations asking me to speak. These are a lot of fun because so many love history and historical fiction. The questions I get are really fantastic and make me think. And I sell books.

  5. Another simple thing I do is include my author signature with every email I send. That means that in my capacity as Speakers Committee Chair for a large organization I get to connect with a lot of speakers who are writers. One of those, Terry Fallis, winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, actually read my manuscript and gave me a back cover quote. And it was a good one! It doesn’t hurt all of those who get my emails to see that I am a published author.

  6. Being a writer is so rewarding when people come up to me and tell me they enjoyed my book. I’m getting better about asking them to write a Goodreads or Amazon review. You can do this, too. And use the technique for your own books. You can even do a post on just how to write a review.

  7. One of my best sales was to my financial advisor when my first book came out. He emailed me and bought a large number of books to send to his clients, so excited was he for my success. I just had to ask.

Somewhere I read that we authors must market every day for at least 3 years. Sounds a lot but I find it’s a mindset. As I go about my daily life opportunities just suggest themselves. I wonder what I’ll do today to keep my books out there? Oh, for sure I’ll tweet about the Author and History tour I’ve been asked to join. And I’ll find somewhere else to do a speaking engagement. My Powerpoint presentations are growing in number. Lots of fun. And I’ll keep in mind that pie-in-the-sky things happen if you just open the door for them.

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

 

 

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Historical Fiction, Marketing Books

 

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What I Found in My Research Today

One of the joys of writing historical fiction is the gob-smacking stories I find while researching. In the second book of the Loyalist trilogy I wrote about a true story found as I researched the burning of Niagara (present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake) when the American troops ended their occupation of Fort George and headed back across the border to the United States. The snippet was about an old woman, too sick to leave her bed that cold December night of heated tempers and hot flames. For me this was a nugget for my own story of Lucy and John’s experiences.

Here is how I integrated the story into The Loyalist’s Luck:

Soldiers ran from one house to the next, their flaming torches setting each and every building alight. The wind blew the flames as they ate up the insides, the roofs, the chimneys, and finally the walls themselves of the little town. Perhaps the cruellest cut of all came with the knowledge of just who was setting the fires. Along with the American militiamen a group of American sympathizers called the Canadian Volunteers tossed torches into their own neighbors’ homes.

People howled in the streets. When the torchers reached the house next door they learned that the old woman who lived there was sick and could not leave her bed. The soldier gave the order to carry her, bed and all, outside into the snow where she lay shivering under her blankets as her house burned to the ground. Lucy ran to the bed and heaped her spare blankets on the woman but they gave no comfort to the woman or to Lucy.

Just now my days are filled with searching for information about the early to mid 1800’s  in Upper Canada (Ontario). Part of that is trying to get a feel for just what was happening at the time with respect to settlers, crown lands, politics both local and across the ocean, escaping slaves, treaties with First Nations people, and especially day-to-day living in this part of the world. Yes, it’s a huge task.

Knowing that I’m studying my own history helps enormously. These are the times my people lived in.

I Came As a StrangerI Came As A Stranger: The Underground Railroad has turned out to be so interesting that I am reading the whole book even though much of it is about times after my field of research. Here are a few of the tidbits I’ve found:

  • Even at the time of the 1837 Rebellions in Upper Canada and Lower Canada the widespread fear that the United States might invade again caused  “coloured people” to come to Niagara by the wagonload and volunteer to fight in order to keep the Americans out of their new country.” (p.42) For us, today, that distinction between Americans and Canadians is just not present. How fearful the times must have been not only for blacks but also for those multitudes of whites on both sides of the border who abhorred slavery and did all they could to fight against it.

  • John Brown was one such white man who gave his life in his fight against slavery. (p.83)

  • Many slave owners resorted to illegal moves to entice their former slaves back across the border. I read of a turnabout. One owner was seized by his former slaves and whipped with the same number of lashes as the former slave brothers had seen their mother’s naked back receive under the owner’s hand. Following that he was sent back across the Detroit River presumably to return home. (p.95)

  • In Niagara a former slave owner trumped up horse theft charges against his former slave so that the slave could be extradited and punished in the United States. A huge crowd of blacks from the Niagara area freed their friend, taking the law into their own hands. Two of the rescuers were killed in the melee. (p. 97)

Wednesday I am lucky enough to be going to hear the author of I Came As a Stranger, Bryan Prince, speak at a library about a half hour away. Coincidentally this library is in the area where my next book takes place so I am doubly excited. I’ll be going early to check out the original documents which pertain to the area and to my own family history. Yes, the next book will have a large fictional component but how exciting for me to be recreating a world where my great great great grandparents first settled north of London, Ontario.

Once I finish Bryan’s book, I’ll be on to another and another and another as I spend the rest of February searching sources and spinning stories in my head for book three, The Loyalist Legacy. Let me know of any pertinent sources I should research and you could find your ideas in the next book!

 

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

 

 

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

 

 

 

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7 Sites for Historical Writers and Readers

Have you ever wondered just what is out there on the web for your own personal interests? Of course you have! And, no doubt, you’ve done what I did yesterday–taken a flyer with nimble fingers and flicking eyes. Just to check it out.

I have just one question: did you manage to stay on track? Or did the multitude of swishing colours and beckoning keywords pull you ever and further away from the designated task at hand?

Luckily my keywords sourced up some pretty interesting stuff which all kept me on task and I’ve compiled just a little of what I found.

7 Super Sites for Historical Writers (and Readers!)

Historical Map on My Wall

Historical Map on My Wall

 

  1. If you want to read or write about American history, this edtechteacher site lists dozens of excellent historical sites on subjects from Lewis and Clark to the Chicago Fire. Clicking on its links allows you to delve deeper and deeper into fascinating topics.

  2. Likewise this list of history websites can just take you away and you’ll have a tough time finding your way back to the task at hand. I was just looking at a bunch of letters written home in WWI. So interesting to read the actual words of the soldiers and wonder what happened to each of them.

  3. Another way to find details is to visit one of the mapping sites which specialize in historical maps. This one has a map of South Africa which looks suspiciously like the world map up on the wall in my school room many moons ago. Surely it’s not an ‘historical’ map???

  4. Another thing you can do is look for historic sites by country. Take a look at the map of Great Britain here, so filled with push pins you can’t read any of them. Nevertheless these show all the hundreds of historical sites there.

  5. Part of my research for my Loyalist series has been delving into aboriginal backgrounds. Although I didn’t find this site until now Canada’s first peoples are well represented in this list of books. From art to lifestyle, history to daily diet, these books inform.  I am particularly intrigued by The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America.

  6. Many sites offer beautifully rendered historical maps for sale and these are useful for study as well, right on the screen. This sample is pretty cool as the whole northwest of Canada, including Alaska is just not there. It hadn’t been mapped yet.

  7. This last is an example of the excellent blogs that are out there which can be so helpful. This one is exciting for readers and writers alike as several different authors write pieces relating to their fields of research. Writing Historical Novels encompasses  a huge topic but one with loads of room for specialization according to interest. I liked the continuously moving band of titles and related photos streaming across the top of the site. Very much an eye-catcher which puts this blog into the well done category.

In the Comments below try listing one site you’ve found which has made a difference to your writing and reading.

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

 

 

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2015 in General, Research Tips

 

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There are Two Sides to Every War

Today I’m guest blogging on Elizabeth Meyette’s lovely blog. While my books are from the British and Loyalist point of view, Elizabeth writes from the American side of the same conflicts. Come join us!

 

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 21, 2015 in Authors, Historical Fiction

 

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