Missing in Action …

Dear friends – since beginning A Writer of History in 2012, I’ve posted twice a week almost every week. While there were times when I struggled to find a topic that would illuminate the topic of reading and writing historical fiction, for the most part the creative juices flowed with the able and welcome assistance of other authors, readers, and bloggers.

However, the last two or three months have been a challenge. Not only have I worked very hard alongside the wonderful team of volunteers putting on this year’s HNSNA – Historical Novel Society North America – conference, but I have also released Paris In Ruins and dealt with my increasingly frail mother. The workload has been heavy.

Beyond that, my mother’s decline has been difficult to watch and has affected me emotionally, draining my usual can-do attitude and approach to life.

Please bear with me …

On the good news front, on Thursday, author Sarah Taylor will share thoughts on dialogue and character in historical fiction. And when the conference is over, I’ll be able to share my notes from some of the panels and presentations I’ve moderated. So stay tuned!

Many thanks for your ongoing interest and support.

DON’T MISS OTHER POSTS ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION.  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, PARIS IN RUINS, is available for pre-order on Amazon USAmazon CanadaKobo, and Barnes&Noble. An earlier novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

Wise Words to Live By

One of my favourite newspapers asked readers to share their life philosophies and then published a series of responses in the letters to the editor section. Many letter writerss reflected the impact of the pandemic on their thinking. Several resonated with me.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Kindness is one of those actions that is so simple to do and open to everyone, young and old, female or male, wealthy or of modest means, highly or simply education. A smile, a helping hand, a listening ear, an email to let someone know you’re thinking about them, a harsh word left unsaid — each one a small act that can make a difference to the recipient.

You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything. The other day I said to my husband that Covid-19 has taught me something and that is the importance of family and friends above almost anything else. Ian commented that this was probably wisdom speaking – the kind of wisdom one acquires a bit later in life – and maybe it is. However, this simple truth will be a beacon for me going forward.

Ensure that the world is a kinder, happier place with you in it than it would be without you. No moaning. No doom and gloom. No angry words intended to wound someone. No nasty gossip. Build people up, don’t tear them down. Spread joy not hate. Sing. Send thank you cards. See rule #1.

You are not better than anyone. And no one is better than you. As my grandmother used to say, we all put our pants on one leg at a time. Money doesn’t make someone better than you. Celebrity doesn’t either, nor does power. Ethnicity, religious beliefs, colour, gender, age – these may be facts but they are in no way reasons to feel superior or inferior. I spent way too much of my career trying to overcome being sidelined as a female and resenting the way I was treated. Such wasted and negative energy.

Get off the sidelines. Get in the game. I’ve interpreted this as don’t watch life roll by, get up, get out and do things. Contribute in some way. Make a difference to someone or within your community. For the last 9 years, my writing and the historical fiction community have taken significant time and focus. But other communities are important to me, some that I have neglected, and I fear that I don’t have the right balance.

If you go to bed at night and you’re not proud of the person you were that day, you’ve done something wrong. I posted a variation of this some time ago in An Ideal to Live By. The quote I explored a that time was “every day should be a day I can sign my name to”. Perhaps following the philosophies presented above will determine my success in this endeavour.

Armed with these ideas, the rest of this year should be both meaningful and satisfying! Back to historical fiction next week.

DON’T MISS OTHER POSTS ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION.  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, PARIS IN RUINS, is available for pre-order on Amazon USAmazon CanadaKobo, and Barnes&Noble. An earlier novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

It Takes a Village …

Today’s post is a ‘shout out’ to all those who helped launch Paris In Ruins. These days, it takes a village to launch a new novel and with Paris In Ruins planned for release at the end of March, I began the marketing process last November with a request for endorsements from a small group of author friends. I felt particularly blessed when many agreed to read the manuscript.

In early February, I assembled a long list of authors, book bloggers, bookstagrammers, and others to ask for their support. These were people I’d connected with over the years in different ways: guest posts and interviews on A Writer of History, Facebook friendships, historical fiction groups and conferences, reader surveys, beta reading support, virtual book tours, and so on. Each had offered insights on historical fiction and the craft of writing. I had willingly learned from them and hoped that the feeling was mutual.

To my astonishment and great joy, more than 70 individuals gave their time and effort for tweets, FaceBook posts, guest posts and interviews, giveaways, Instagram posts and other ways to amplify the news. Several took the time to read Paris In Ruins and post their reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and other sites.

This incredibly generous village has launched Paris In Ruins with great style. My heart is full of gratitude.

DON’T MISS OTHER POSTS ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION.  FOLLOW A WRITER OF HISTORY

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, PARIS IN RUINS, is available for pre-order on Amazon USAmazon CanadaKobo, and Barnes&Noble. An earlier novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.