Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guest - Kerry Adrienne

Good morning all! Today's guest is author Kerry Adrienne. Kerry lives in North Carolina though she pretends she lives in either NYC or Rome, depending on how she feels when she wakes up. She is a professional costumer and artist and teaches fiction writing classes at the college level. As Kerry Vail, she’s also an Associate Editor at Entangled Publishing. One day she’ll own a cave with electricity, internet access, and a stream—and lots of cats.

Kerry is offering a giveaway so make sure you read all the way to the end to see how to enter.


Historical Research

Sure, we all have to research our books. I remember days of looking through books at the library and photocopying pages and pages of reference books that couldn’t be checked out. I would make scads of folders for my lateral file and fill them with research for novels and shorts. I’d clip photos from magazines and newspapers—any little detail that I could use to add a touch of reality to a scene set in another time period. I spent so much time organizing my research…

In some ways, we writers today get to be a little bit spoiled (I am not complaining!). We get to use the Internet! So much is out there—waiting to be re-discovered. One of the guys in my writing group asked recently (on Facebook, I think) “Who actually looks beyond page one of the Google search results?”  Uh, me ? Doesn’t everyone? I often find myself on page 27 or 30. Still digging for answers. I frequently skip the first five pages—that is where everyone else is looking! I like to look for more obscure references and details—and those are often found on smaller web pages—not on page one.

I always look at Google maps (and the satellite view and street view) to see a modern view of the area—including streets and ruins. I like to get a perspective of things as they sit beside other things, and see how the classical fits beside the modern. I know these views aren’t available for every area—but surprisingly, they are for many.

Looking at photographs of the area (if recent enough) is a great way to get details of most anything (furniture, food, clothing) to describe. In SENATOR, MINE, I was able to look at photos of the temples as they look today and then envision them in their classical grandeur. I have spent hours upon hours looking at Civil War era photographs on Ebay, and also Victorian photographs. Looking on Ebay is free—and very inspiring.

I look at travel videos, too. People love to post their personal videos of travels—and if you can get over the oft-found motion sickness, these are spectacular tools for the writer! Some travelers will focus on things that normal tour guides will not—and inadvertently give the writer a terrific view. I encourage you to use YouTube as research.

Although I hold a minor in Classical Studies, I did a lot of research for this short work, SENATOR, MINE (it took longer to research than it did to write). Keep in mind that when you research for historical fiction, you will often find conflicting views on how things actually were—and it will drive you crazy if you always have to find a definitive answer. The earlier the time period—the truer this is. Simply put—we really don’t know EXACTLY how everything was. We can only put things together the best we can from the evidence and the writings that have survived from the time period. As we discover more, those deductions likely will change a bit more. Do your best diligent research, try to be as accurate as possible, and then move on. It is all you can do.

Thanks for reading! SENATOR, MINE is part of Decadent Publishing’s fabulous 1Night Stand series—you can check all the titles out at The book is a time travel romance, and is the first in my “All Mine” series, the second of which (Druid, Mine) will be coming out around summer solstice in June 2012.

            Eleanor’s dream of a romantic tour of Italy shatters when her long-time boyfriend breaks up with her in Pompeii. Determined to enjoy the once in a lifetime vacation, she enlists the 1NS service. She continues her trip, stopping to buy a small golden signet in a mysterious antiquities shop in Rome.

           Darius, a hard-working Senator in Ancient Rome, is puzzled by the Sibyl’s words: You will not find love in your lifetime. Hoping to find a measure of happiness, he agrees to the Sibyl’s quest. In the olive grove, he spots Eleanor, a barbarian wearing his stolen senator’s ring.

         A night spent together may be just what they both need to break down the columns of time that stand between them.

“What is it?” She moved closer to examine the object he held.
“A senator’s ring from the time of Augustus.” He waved the item with a flourish. “A rare and beautiful find, for a deserving young woman.”
The golden circle sparkled in the half-light like the wedding band that shone in her dreams. She tried to control her sharp intake of breath.
“A rather personal memento, wouldn’t you say?”
“It’s beautiful.”
“Which senator?” Gorgeous. What a find. Was it legal to take it out of the country? Surely it held historical significance.
“Yes, it can be exported,” the shopkeeper said. “We don’t know who owned the signet, as many records of the Senate at that time were lost, but it has been cleared by the Antiquities Commission.”
She hadn’t mentioned exporting it aloud. Had he read her mind? No, that wasn’t possible. She squirmed. Nothing about the shop or its contents felt normal. One thing was certain. The ring was amazing. And perfect.
“What does the engraving say?” she asked.
She drew in a quick breath, as a gasp of warm air breezed across her neck, making the hairs stand. She shuddered. I’ve been watching too many old movies.
“As common as the name was at the time, no senators named Darius are on any rolls.” The shopkeeper pushed it closer to her face. “And Madame Eve recommends it. What do you say?”
“How much?” Eleanor whispered.
“Ah.” The shopkeeper grinned. “What price would you pay for a little ring that will change your life forever?”

Buy Links:
Decadent Publishing:

One e-book copy of SENATOR, MINE to someone who leaves a comment by April 30th AND emails me their email addy at vail@mindspring(dot)com. Winner will be chosen on May 1.

You can find Kerry:

-- Lynda Again
    Wow, the excerpt sounds terrific! And wow! Love the cover!
    Okay, everyone, follow her instructions above to enter the drawing. Good luck!

    Have a Blessed Day!


Barbara said...

Eeerie. But tantalizing. I'm looking forward to this book. The premise is so fun. Can't wait to see how you work this out LOL.

L. K. Below said...

Good to hear this book is so accurate! One of the reasons I love historical fiction is to learn new things without burying myself in dry textbooks (though that can be fun every now and again too!). The more I hear about this book, the higher it squeezes on my TBR list. :)

D L Jackson said...

I already own this, but I'll leave a comment. It's at the top of my pile to read, when I have some time. I definately feel a binge coming on.

Love the cover. Love the time period.


Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic story (have it already:) and I'm looking forward to reading Druid, Mine!

bn100 said...

Very nice excerpt. The book sounds good.


Jennifer (JC Page) said...

Yes, how much would one pay? How intriguing and a real page turner! Thank-you, for the wonderful excerpt....

Kerry said...

congrats! I'll be contacting you privately to get your free copy to you! I hope you enjoy it. :)
Kerry Adrienne