“Fiction for History Buffs!”
I love historical fiction. It’s a chance to combine two things I enjoy—writing fiction and researching history. I first started my exploration into historical fiction with All Things Dark & Magickal: The Glass Watch. Although it’s a fairy tale retelling, I had to look up Victorian England when I built the world for the story.
In writing All Things Dark & Magickal: Bitter Fruit, I’ve researched other facets of world history—Ancient Rome, Medieval England, and World War Two. Big fun! Seriously!
Rounding out this year, I’ll write the first of The Falls Creek Sagas. The Legend of The Red Witch. If you’ve read the Hearts Duology or any of the Another Falls Creek Romance novels, you’ve met Elsbeth. She’s a witch who has managed to circumvent time. The female is over six hundred years old! She’s been through a lot of history.
I’ve started some of the basic research for her story. First, I wanted to know the significance of red hair throughout history. I found an article on owlcation.com that spoke on the subject.
Did you know there were redheaded Egyptians? There are stories about red-haired maidens who were burnt alive in an attempt to get rid of the color. The Greeks believed that redheads turned into vampires when they died. The Spaniards during the Inquisition saw that red hair was evidence that the bearer had stolen the fire from Hell and should be buried as a witch.
Talk about great support for Elsbeth being a fiery redheaded witch!
My character dates back to the sixteenth century which led to the question—what was the history of witchcraft during this time?
Imagine my glee when I discovered the above infographic on www.ebookfriendly.com. Although the information is predominately about Shakespeare and the supernatural, there’s a lot of good details:
- I didn’t know that there was a Witchcraft Act in England.
- King James VI of Scotland published a book about demonology.
- Pope Leo X had an instrumental role in executing people found guilty of witchcraft.
I also had NAMES to research—Agnes Waterhouse (the first woman hanged for witchcraft), Simon Forman, and Paracelsus.
My research includes looking up the various witch trials in creating Elsbeth’s backstory. She was found guilty of being a witch and was waiting her execution. Elsbeth used one more spell to free her from prison. She fled England on a ship bound for the Americas.
I’m also using this book in my research. If you’re a history buff and want to know about the Salem Witch Trials, this book should be on your shelf. Lots of documents with accounts from witnesses. In my story, Elsbeth finds herself accused of being a witch again. This time it’ll be from the man she thought loved her.
Naturally, my research will include lots of internet searching in order to set the scene.
If you’re a reader, what’s your favorite period of history? If you’re an author (published or not yet), do you write historical fiction? What influenced you to do it?