I’m delving into the paranormal life and times of Japanese Gods and Goddesses. Not delving, let’s just say putting my toes into the ocean. So the first one of these series of blogs, one of the main ones for my sequel to Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai, is Benzaiten, or Benten. She is amazing. As you can see, women tattoo their bodies with her image. Why is she so popular? As a Goddesses, they don’t get much better. Even her name: … Continue reading →
Category Archives: historical fiction
(ALMOST) ANONYMOUS SAMURAI WARRIOR QUEENS
Watching the Smithsonian program, “Samurai Warrior Queens,” I found myself, again, marveling at how anonymous the historians (?mostly male) kept women’s contributions — anonymous. I am reading the kokinshū for the sequel to Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai, which I am currently calling The Samurai’s Daughter. The kokinshū is a massive Imperial collection of poetry from the early 10th century. And the translators/authors of this fabulous book speak of this very thing. The anonymity of women and their contributions. In the kokinshū many of the poems’… Continue reading →
ROMANCE FINANCE PISSANTS
Just to set the record straight—most of you probably know what romance is, and if you don’t know anything about finance, you’re in trouble— but pissants sounds so terrible, that even my voice recognition software wants to call it, “puissance.” But it has nothing to do with ants, usually, unless you are at a picnic where they are attending. The word, “pissants” is actually considered vulgar (but when did that ever stop anyone?). Pissants means a person place or thing that is insignificant or of no consequence or… Continue reading →
HISTORICAL FICTION READING & WRITING: PART DEUX
Why Historical Fiction? How to Write Historical Fiction? Why? BECAUSE: 1. Love 2. Learn 3. Lore 4. Leap 5. Live 1. Love For me, I came to love historical fiction when I was about 12. I introduced myself, I think by accident, to Mary Renault — The Bull the Sea — and their other classics. I fell in love with mythology, historical fiction and probably her and her writing. 2.… Continue reading →
READING HISTORICAL FICTION AND/OR JUST PLAIN READING
While this is not exactly the position I used to be in, if any of you had caught me as a young girl, but this is what I would be doing. Reading. I am one of those who used the flashlight under the blanket before we had Nooks and Kindles and iPads … with backlighting. I am an unabashed and total bibliophile and proud of it. A friend came into my office and kept looking behind me. Finally he said, “you sure… Continue reading →
MORE NEW, MORE OLD
I received an email from someone who said that Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai had passed her husband’s “test.” That got me to thinking. In my critique group, we are equally diverse: psychological suspense, science fiction, cozy mysteries, and historical fiction. So how can we critique each other? I think we do it by looking at the pieces, of which you can pick up any book on writing and find a whole bunch, but also by keeping the pieces together as one whole. That… Continue reading →
#3 in Historical Fiction—SIMPLICITY in the history, COMPLICATIONS in the story!
#3 in Historical Fiction—SIMPLICITY in the history, COMPLICATIONS in the story! I usually detest genealogies and long family trees with lots of names I cannot keep track of. I placed the genealogies of the Taira, Minamoto and the Imperial families in the back of my book, because some people need, want, and perhaps like these things. (I’m not one of them, usually. Except when I am trying to learn them to write my story.) I understand about different learning and reading styles, with my graduate… Continue reading →
#2 IN HISTORICAL FICTION—THE STORY!
2. THE STORY What do all of these have in common: Alison Weir, Anne Perry, Ann Woodward, Laura Joh Rowland, Stephen Saylor, Elizabeth Peters, Mary Renault, the early Jean Auel, Philippa Gregory, James Melville and Diana Gabaldon? THE STORY. Amazing plot-driven, character-driven, conflict-driven, history-driven, stories. The STORY is what draws me into historical fiction and the historical background is what keeps me there. IF the history is accurate (See my previous post) i.e. no anachronisms, or egregious errors. I was reading a… Continue reading →
#1 In Historical Fiction—ACCURACY!
There are four characteristics I value in historical fiction. I’ll be talking about each one in the next few posts. 1. Most important for me is ACCURACY. I truly like the facts to be correct. For example, I noticed that Harlequin Romances was advertising for historical romance. Great. I know a little (okay, a lot) about the late Heian period. BUT. But, I am familiar with their standards. The way the romances are supposed to go—is nowhere near the path the romances of the Heian… Continue reading →