One of the most common questions I am ever asked is: What motivates your writing? My answer: Deadlines.
The second most common question is: How many words do you write each day? My answer: ????
I’m never quite sure how to answer this one, because my writing process can be very wonky. In fact, it’s […]
In 2013, my husband and I visited Osborne House, in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, a short Red Funnel ferry ride from Portsmouth. I specifically wanted to visit Osborne House to see if I had gotten details correct for it in LADY OF ASHES. I seem to always be visiting places after I’ve […]
Longleat is one of the most fascinating places in Wiltshire, England. Actually, you can’t call it a “place,” as it is really three different things:
First and foremost, it is the home of Alexander Thynn, the 7th Marquess of Bath. A very eccentric figure who resembles Richard Branson, the Virgin company tycoon, Thynn […]
For those who have read both LADY OF ASHES and STOLEN REMAINS, you know that Windsor Castle is a large royal residence where Prince Albert died on December 14, 1861. Today it is the preferred weekend home of Elizabeth II, but Queen Victoria thought it gloomy, much preferring her seaside retreat of Osborne House on […]
Catherine and William Gladstone in later life
William Ewart Gladstone was born December 29, 1809, and became prime minister for the first time on December 9, 1868, just before his 59th birthday. He would enter parliament for the fourth and last time in 1892, at the age of 82!
Prior to his election as […]
The entire plot basis for A GRAVE CELEBRATION was the opening of the Suez Canal in Egypt. The canal was the brainchild of Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805—1894), a Frenchman with a varied and distinguished diplomatic career before successfully completing a waterway linking the Mediterranean and Red Seas, effectively linking East and West with dramatically reduced […]
Over Halloween weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Gettysburg Battlefield Books & Collectibles for a signing. You might think, “What does Violet Harper, Undertaker Extraordinaire, have to do with a hallowed Civil War battlefield site?”
Well, many of the mourning customs practiced in Great Britain were also practiced in America, and in no greater […]
Isabella Beeton, ca. 1854
If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I like to periodically offer tidbits of advice, recipes, and household cleaning solutions from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management.
Who was this Mrs. Beeton? And how did she come to write a 1,000+ page tome on the art of domestic […]