filed under How To Write A Book, Writing Historical Fiction.

I was asked this question during the week. And I laughed. The other alternative was to cry. Because I am not yet the kind of writer who can turn in my first draft to my publisher. I know some writers do this. How I envy them, that they can produce a first draft that is readable, coherent, and not something to be ashamed of. I can, hand on heart, say that I can’t see myself becoming the one-draft writer for a very long time, if ever. So, why do I do so many drafts? Let me tell you. I Don’t…

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filed under How To Write A Book, Writing Historical Fiction.

Because I’ve been blathering on so much about my recent research trip, I’ve had quite a few people get in touch to ask how to go about their own research: where to start when researching a novel just seems so overwhelming. Here are my tips. Daily Life in Another Era – Newspapers, Catalogues and Magazines For those researching a historical novel, one of the big concerns is getting the detail of the era right. What underwear did people wear in the 1910s, how much did the average person earn in the 1920s, when were doorbells invented, what did people eat…

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filed under The French Photographer, Writing Historical Fiction.

For anyone interested, here’s a rundown of what I did on my recent research trip to Europe. I was finishing up a last bit of research for The French Photographer (2019 book) and researching the seed of an idea I had for a 2020 book, which has now grown into much more than a seed! I started in Paris, staying at the Hotel Scribe in the Opéra district. The hotel was built in the 1860s and was used by the Allies as their press headquarters after the fall of Paris in WWII, so it features in my book. I headed…

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filed under The French Photographer, Writing Historical Fiction.

I’m off to Europe in late September for another historical fiction research trip so I thought it might be fun to share what I’ll be getting up to. And it’s a nice excuse to talk about the fabulous trip I have planned! I’m finishing up the last bits of research for The French Photographer (2019 book) and starting the research for the germ of an idea I have for a 2020 book. Paris I’m starting in Paris, where I’ll be staying at the Hotel Scribe. This hotel was used by the US Army as their press headquarters in WWII and…

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filed under Her Mother's Secret, Writing Historical Fiction.

I’ve said it before, but I love the research. I think, to write historical fiction, you have to. And the research I did for Her Mother’s Secret was fun and fascinating so I thought I’d share with you what I did to make the book come to life, as well as give you an insight into how an author goes about researching historical fiction. This is Part 2 in my series taking you behind the covers of Her Mother’s Secret. You can find Part 1 here. The Cosmetics Industry As the book is about the birth of the cosmetics industry…

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filed under A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald, How To Write A Book, Writing Historical Fiction.

For me, getting the heroine right in my novels is the most important thing of all. The heroine is the heart and soul of my book, she is the way readers connect with the story, she is the thing that hopefully lives on in the reader’s mind after they’ve closed the pages. So I thought I’d write a 3 part blog series all about heroines in fiction, starting with why compelling heroines are so important, moving on to how I write them, including tips for writers wanting to get engaging heroines into their stories, and finishing off with my favourite fictional…

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filed under Writing Historical Fiction.

So, I’m back from my amazing trip to Paris and New York where I was researching what I hope will be my 2018 book, The Seamstress from Paris. The trip exceeded all of my expectations and if you’re not sick of hearing about it, I’d thought I’d share some info about what I did and why I think it was such a success, including my 5 tips about researching a novel. Researching the Topic My book concerns the fashion industry in Paris and New York in the early 1940s. So, in both cities, I organised a one on one fashion…

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filed under Writing Historical Fiction.

My visit to the atelier yesterday was too amazing to describe in a Facebook post so I decided to write a blog about it instead. In case you somehow missed me blabbering on about it, I’m in Paris researching a book at the moment. The book is partly set in an atelier—fashion workroom—and I’ve just had a behind the scenes tour. The Atelier The business, Atelier Boutique Legeron, has been in the one family for 150 years, bought by the great-grandfather, handed down to the grandfather, then the father and now the son. Everything is made by hand with so…

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filed under Writing Historical Fiction.

In case you haven’t heard me babbling excitedly about it on social media, I’m in Paris at the moment, researching what I hope will be my 2018 book. I love visiting the places in which I set my books because while I always go to the city with a list of things I need to know, it’s the unexpected things I discover while researching a novel that make all the difference. Take today, for instance. A part of my book revolves around an old and once grand house, one of the Hotels Particulier in the Marais district, which is where…

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filed under How To Write A Book, Writing Historical Fiction.

A couple of weekends ago, I was talking to a bestselling author about plotting books and she mentioned the fact that it gets harder to come up wth plots the more books you write. That, as an author, you have to contrive your plots a bit more than in the early days when you haven’t yet used up all of your best ideas. It was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me because it so exactly reflected the way I was feeling about coming up with an idea for my fifth book. I had been wanting to just get a…

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