Prince Rupert of the Rhine: Pirate Prince of the Caribbean #17thCentury #StuartAge

One of the most dashing and iconic figures of the War of the Three Kingdoms is Prince Rupert of the Rhine. The son of Frederick V, Elector of Palatine, and Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James VI of England, he fought for King Charles I’s against Parliament. The force and swiftness of his cavalry charge usually struck terror in the Parliamentarians (although it could have been more disciplined). To this day, portraits of Rupert still causes hearts to flutter.  While Rupert is mostly known as a Royalist cavalry commander, he did enjoy a brief sojourn as a Pirate Prince, sailing…

How the second novel is like a middle child

Advice to the parent writer Works of creative fiction are really like children. The first novel, aka the debut novel, is a big miracle. It’s a wondrous burst of creative energy and an absolute marvel when you finally hold the finished product in your hands. It started out as a wee kernel of an idea, and it was just you and that kernel for so long (cough…seven years). Some writers share their kernel with anyone who will ask—baristas, busboys and the counter girl in the bakery—while others keep it close to their chest until it’s nearly ready. You can get…

Sugar Production in 17th century Colonial Barbados

Part of researching my next novel, The Severed Knot, included learning about sugar production in 17th century Barbados and how this sweet substance transformed the island. Sugar wasn’t just a luxury commodity. It served as the chief form of currency on Barbados (slaves and servants were paid for in pounds of sugar) and fuelled British colonization in the Caribbean. Colonial Barbados was at the centre of the sugar trade going back to the mid-17th century and was known as the Sugar Island. Colonizing Barbados The earliest English settlement was established in 1627 through a private venture corporation headed by the Courteen…

A 17th century sugar plantation in the Caribbean #Barbados

I’ve been quiet on the blogging front as I’ve been writing a new novel that continues on the next leg of the journey on the road to the Restoration. The Severed Knot picks up on the fate of the Scottish prisoners (at least one in particular) following the Battle of Worcester and how they were transported to Barbados as indentured servants.   I find that starting a new novel can be both exhilarating and nerve wracking as I wrestle with my Muse to get the story down. One of the most enjoyable aspects of starting a new historical fiction novel is…

Writing Historical Fiction: Make Sure You Write the Right Thing

I had the pleasure of getting to know E.M Powell, initially when she was one of the co-editors of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, and continuing through our work on the HNS Social Media Team for the Historical Novelist Society. She is a bestselling author of medieval historical thrillers and has always been very generous with her time and encouragement of other writers. I first approached E.M Powell to participate in a genre discussion about how historical fiction and historical romance often co-mingle in works not typically considered romantic. The result is this wonderful guest post about understanding one’s…