Why I should NEVER write historical fiction…

So I’m writing Daughter of Baal for Ylva’s The Law Game collection. It’s only 25k so you’d suppose it should be a quickie – wrong. I decided, in my wisdom, to write about a 1920s society girl turned detective and her sexy six-foot American Indian chauffeur. I like this duo, they have chemistry, Lady Margo Quince-Patrick and Jones. Or Quincy and Jones, as they come across in my head. It works – believe me it does. I know when I’m writing a dud.

What doesn’t work is the 1920s. What was I thinking?  The research is constant and time consuming. I stop every few lines to go check on what shoes she would wear to afternoon tea? Who were the leading dress designers of the era? What do they drive around in? What’s Navajo for jerk? How the hell did Georgette Heyer do this for decades and get anything published?

The action takes place at a society wedding in the English countryside – cue servants, etiquette, manor house architecture, the food they eat, what wine do they drink, what brands of cigarettes do they smoke? How did forensics and autopsies and police leg work pan out in 1920s? And the slang, it’s the berries!

Writing contemporary romance is applesauce and I didn’t know it. I take so much for granted when I write about todays world. The Daughter of Baal will be out in early October. Enjoy it, I won’t be writing another one soon.


  1. yup that’s why I would never write historical fiction either.. hard enough doing research on contemporary notions, like how to become a legal guardian and police procedures without venturing into the past


  2. Or… you now have the 20’s nailed and could do another much more quickly! 🙂 But, I love your contemporary writing and don’t mind at all if you ignore this little bit of smarta–ness and move on! 🙂


  3. Think of the research as part of the fun. You learn all kinds of new things. I had to research the same exact period for a short story that I wrote for Through the Hourglass. And, yeah, it was all that stuff–the clothes, the cars, the music, the drinks, etc. But it was all so fascinating.


  4. The problem is it slows me way down. Way, way down. And I feel so melancholy for all these bright young things cos I know the Wall Street crash is just around the corner along with WW1. This generation deserved their fun because the world was waiting to mug them.


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