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.

The World of 1870 Paris

While launching Paris In Ruins, a number of authors and bloggers hosted guest articles featuring the world of 1870 Paris.

On the Washington Independent Review of Books, editor-in-chief Holly Smith invited me to write about The Enduring Allure of Paris.

Paris—a city ingrained in our imaginations. A city that is both grand and lived in, a city of massive cathedrals and quiet neighborhoods, a city full of mystery and romance. The city of love, the city of light. Why have writers flocked to Paris for hundreds of years? A brief dip into history sets the stage. In the middle ages, the Catholic church established schools attached to major monasteries to train scholars not only for the church, but also to serve in government. Read more …

On Sarah Johnson’s well-known blog Reading the Past, I wrote about the Delights of a Research Trip to Paris.

Paris In Ruins is set during the Franco-Prussian War, the Siege of Paris, and the Paris Commune. I arrived at these momentous events not by design but by calculating when two characters from an earlier novel, Lies Told In Silence, would be roughly twenty years old. I had imagined a novel about friendship between these very different women with a dash of romance and perhaps some tangled family dynamics. However, when I discovered a war, a siege, and a bloody insurrection, the plot took on much more drama. For more …

Author Elizabeth St. John and book blogger Davida Chazan hosted an article about Sarah Bernhardt’s involvement in the Siege of Paris.

In My Double Life, Bernhardt mentions her decision to establish a hospital (ambulance): “The Odéon Theatre had closed its doors, but I moved heaven and earth to get permission to organise an ambulance in that theatre, and, thanks to Emile de Girardin and Duquesnel, my wish was gratified. I went to the War Office and made my declaration and my request, and my offers were accepted for a military ambulance. The next difficulty was that I wanted food. I wrote a line to the Prefect of Police. A military courier arrived very soon, with a note from the Prefect containing the following lines … read more …

Rats, Trees and Breadlines was an article I wrote for author Judith Starkston’s blog

Imagine knowing that an army of more than 400,000 soldiers was approaching your city. How would you feel? What preparations would you make? Would you worry about your children, the men you loved who’d enlisted to defend the city, your friends and family? Would you wonder how you would feed your family and whether or not your job was secure? With winter only a few months away, would you be concerned about having enough wood or coal to keep your fires burning? Read more …

The spark of inspiration – or how Paris In Ruins came about – was hosted by authors Elisabeth Storrs and Char Newcomb.

Writers are not always masters of their own stories. There are editors to please, early readers who help tune the story, husbands and friends who offer suggestions—the list goes on. Each new story begins with a glimmer of an idea, that spark that ultimately leads to a finished novel. The challenge is to feed that spark and breathe life into the fire as the writing process unfolds. For that we need inspiration on an almost daily basis. Read more …

I hope you enjoy reading more about turbulent world of 1870 Paris. I’m deeply grateful to these individuals who supported the launch of Paris In Ruins.

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.