Jan132012

Things an Alt-History Writer Researches (Behind the Magic)

With your kind encouragement, Gentle Reader, I present to you the occasional series . . . weird things from my search history! A sampling of things I’ve done and researched for Deportment & Deceit Finishing School Book the Second (so far).

Tasks . . .

  • Made an outline (failure)
  • Made a mind map (success!)
  • Drawn a massive dirigible schematic plan
  • (Which made me get my Brambly Hedge books out of storage, great house plans in there)
  • Clipped printed and sketched characters
  • Noted additional world facts and thoughts
  • Formulated more complete series arc

Look up . . .

  • Oil Paintings from 1814, any with blue dresses in them?
  • Deadly plants that grow in England
  • Events in 1852 London
  • London Protocol (Treaty of 1852)
  • Fashion in 1852
  • Queen Victoria’s children and pregnancies
  • Wicker Hassocks
  • Evolution of Exams in Schools
  • History of Wedgewood Pottery
  • Internal schematics of early steamers
  • Etymology of the slang term peepers.
  • Serving tea & tea services
  • Introduction of military elements into lady’s dresses in the 1850s (used English Women’s Clothing in the Nineteenth Century)
  • Portraits in 1852
  • Opening of the season in London (family return just after Christmas, being associating in March, larger events begin in May) thank you What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew
  • A meal for mid March. (Things a Lady Would Like to Know March 16: Vermicelli Soup, Leg of Mutton and Current Jelly Sauce, Potatoes and Broccoli, Bakewell pudding)
  • Ways to tie a narrow cravat
  • Etymology of the word whizz
  • Expense and toxicity of oil paints before 1900
  • When did England officially abolish slavery? 1833
  • How to spell turbot
  • Location of British coalfields in the 19th century
  • History of drinking straws
  • Names of the parts of a piccolo

Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Writing rough draft now.

Etiquette & Espionage ~ The Finishing School Book the First: Copy edits done! Awaiting galley. Release date Feb 2013. Have seen initial cover mock-up and it is stunning!

Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 1: Artwork is complete. Chapter by chapter serialization (online subscription required) ongoing at YenPlus. Printed volume releases March 1. Have seen initial cover mock-up for Soulless Vol. 2 (AKA Changeless) and it is beyond fabulous!

Timeless ~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last: In production. Releases March 1. Preorder now if you wish.

Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date fall 2013. She’s started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

Book News:
Wildy Read reviews Heartless despite hating the cover.

Quote of the Day:
“A book is to me like a hat or coat – a very uncomfortable thing until the newness has been worn off.”
~ Charles B. Fairbanks

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