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Friday, July 4, 2014

My Historical Leap of Faith - a guest post by Stacey Agdern

I love to worldbuild, create the rules within the world my characters live and even the rules my characters live by.  I’m a political science geek, so it’s great fun to play with political scenarios and watch how they effect the lives of my characters. I also love to write contemporary, somehow managing to chronicle the world I live in, tweaked with a little bit of optimism( okay…more than a little bit of optimism …).

My writer’s voice is the sort that can cover both paranormal and contemporary, with SF being the wonderful genre that can allow for both.  It’s a nice voice when it comes down to it.

So what do I do when I’m invited to contribute to a groundbreaking anthology featuring trailblazing authors like Kate McMurray, Alyssa Cole and Lena Hart? I say yes, of course.  Except for one problem: It’s historical.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love reading historical romance. I love historical research. But writing historical isn’t usually my cup of tea.  But sometimes, when you’re trying to bring attention to underrepresented voices, you need to close your eyes, swallow your fear and write.  How exactly did I do it?

First of all, like everything else I write, this was to be a romance. Two characters who needed to go through particular obstacles in order to earn their happily ever after.  That I could do.

Second, I realized that I had to worldbuild.  Using the same skills I apply to writing my sf or paranormals, I had to use what I found in my research to create a realistic vision of the era that I was writing in.  I even had to find resources that allowed me to bring a dying language to life.
How did I do with my attempt at a historical?  You tell me.

Be Not Afraid by Alyssa Cole
Elijah Sutton thinks his country, and his freedom, are the only things were worth fighting for until he meets Kate Foster, a runaway slave who has joined up with the British. The Crown has promised slaves freedom if they enlist with the Loyalists, and Kate thinks Elijah a fool for siding with the Patriots. Despite their difference of opinions, there is an irresistible attraction between them that neither can deny. When Elijah is taken prisoner by the Brits, he and Kate are thrown together on an inevitably divergent path. Before their dueling loyalties and the ghosts of Kate's past threaten to tear them apart, they must decide what price they're willing to pay for love.
A Sweet Surrender by Lena Hart
Siaragowaeh of the Onyota’akatribe has a love for all things living and when a fallen British solider is severely wounded, Siara secretly nurtures the officer back to health, putting her own position in her tribe at risk. Sergeant James Blake of His Majesty’s elite assault troops vaguely remembers the ambush that left him at the mercy of a beautiful native woman…a woman he isn’t yet certain he can trust. When a narrow escape from Siara’s village forces them on the trail together, desire soon flares even brighter between them. In a journey driven by duty and complicated by loyalty, Siara and James must determine if they will follow their predestined paths or surrender to their hearts and chart anew…
Rebels at Heart by Kate McMurray
Charles Foxworth is among New York City’s most fashionable men, though he is only pretending to be a dashing British aristocrat. Still, he is content with his role and has little interest in the war. His companion, Isaac Ward, has more invested in the coming conflict; Isaac was born a slave, and though he is now free, that freedom could be guaranteed if he chose to pick up arms. Then war arrives on the shores of the city and Charles’s idyll is over. He quickly realizes that the war could take from him the very thing he holds most dear: Isaac.
Home by Stacey Agdern

In December of 1776, the British occupy Manhattan and a large part of the city's population of Sephardic Jews decide to decamp to safer ground in Philadelphia. When the New York wedding of her dreams is placed in jeopardy by the mass exodus, Abigail Gomez takes matters into her own hands. Her fiancé will ruin her, and they will marry in the place she calls home, with those she loves surrounding her. When Jacob Maimon is confronted with his betrothed's daring plan, he finds himself torn between his desire to fight for his adopted country and his desire to spend the rest of his life with the woman he is increasingly beginning to consider...home.

Stacey Agdern is a writer, reviewer and award winning bookseller. Her reviews and commentary can be found at various locations across the internet.  Her most recent attempt at fiction is a story called ‘Home’, found in an anthology called ‘For Love and Liberty.’ She is the romance buyer for an independent bookstore located in Grand Central Terminal.  She lives in a small town in New York, known for it’s connection to literary history.

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