Gen X: Free Range Children

This blog is mainly about 17th century history with the occasional article about creativity, but I’ve been inspired to tackle something that has cropped up lately with the pandemic: Gen Xers ability to cope during this period of self isolation/quarantine. I’ve never thought of myself as coming with a generational label. All I knew was that I wasn’t a Baby Boomer. Since those Boomers suck the oxygen out of the room, the generation that followed had to get used to being in their shadow. But recently, I’ve been hearing more and more about Generation X, and I’m rather delighted to…

#TenMinuteTales: Confessions of a Tooth Fairy

These days, while the world is under self-isolation or quarantine, people are turning to the artists to inspire and entertain. Historical fiction author and founder of Discovering Diamonds, Helen Hollick, has gathered a collection of Ten Minute Tales to share with the world. I was very pleased to contribute an early short story that, up until now, has only been available through Red Tuque Books anthology, Canadian Tales of the Fantastic. Confessions of a Tooth Fairy is quirky magical realism, very different than my usual stories which are historical and romantic. The story came to me while I was taking…

Inspired by travel: A guest post by Amy Maroney @amymaroneywrites #histfic #research #amreading

There’s nothing so exciting to a reader as discovering a new author, especially when that reader is also a writer. Most writers will express frustration at not being able to read the way they used to before the Muse tapped them on the shoulder, uncritically and forgiving. The problem is that we know what’s behind that screen, and it’s hard not to see the seams. But when we do find a book that flows and makes us forget that we’re also writers, that’s magic. This is how I felt when I read Amy Maroney’s The Girl from Oto, the first book…

Stubborn Characters: A study of Nathaniel Lewis #amwriting #DDRevsStorySong

I’m convinced that writers straddle the fine line between being creative and slightly delusional. Our characters are real to us, we’re not above having exasperating discussions with them, and we take great delight in their little quirks. All this is true for my character Nathaniel Lewis, barrister of Lincoln’s Inn, a title he never fails to add as though it were a suit of armour. I suspect it is to him. He appeared on my doorstep one day, legal brief in hand, offering his services to the heroine of the first draft of my first book, who was at her…

Pepys’s Passion for the Theatre: A guest post by Deborah Swift #17thcentury #StuartAge

One of my favourite series in recent years has been Deborah Swift’s Pepys series. Samuel Pepys is a famous 17th century diarist who wrote about his day to day life, his business, and yes, even his sexual indiscretions. Thanks to Pepys, historians have excellent insights into life during Restoration London. Deborah Swift has quite brilliantly written a trio of books based on women mentioned in Pepys’s diary. I loved the first two novels, Pleasing Mr Pepys and A Plague on Mr Pepys, so it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to the final book in the series, Entertaining…