Sunday, February 10, 2008


It's Sunday and I was supposed to post on Friday. How the heck did that happen? Where did Friday go? And Saturday for that matter...

I do recall thinking, "Oh yes, I must come up for something this week." I don't recall actually coming up with something...

I do have good news though. I have finished (really finished this time) a rough draft of my latest WIP proposal. It's Regency-set and deals with the "Table of Affinity", which aren't in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer anymore. I don't know if they are in the current UK BCP.

Anyway, they're based on the rules in Leviticus (and given my husband's chuckles, it sounds like "The Year of Living Biblically" by AJ Jacobs will be a good read on the complexity of those rules). However, it was Judah and Tamar's story in Exodus (please don't ask me to quote chapter and verse) that inspired me to write this one.

Until I found out about that Table of Affinity (I keep wanting to writ "Infinity") and how it was an ecclesiastical crime in the UK to conduct and be a party to such a marriage. And shortly after the Regency period it became a civil crime to do so. The main problem being that such a marriage (and its offspring) could be rendered invalid if a husband returned, say, from a long sea voyage, or turned up coming back from a war after all.

Oh crap, thought I, that tears it.

Fortunately though, the Austens came to the rescue once again. Her brother Henry married his wife's sister -- had to go overseas to do it admittedly, but they don't seem to be shunned by society for so doing. I think the sympathies lay in their court though. Henry had small children who needed a mother, if I remember right.

My heroine doesn't have any children, but still, I thought this was a way cool idea. I still haven't figured out how much of what I've written will actually make it into the book, but I think I'm on the right track this time.

Next, the synopsis. *groan*

So my question for you all today is: authors, how many of your stories have been inspired by a historical tidbit; readers, do you get disappointed when the inspiration that you've read about a WIP and the final product don't seem to match up?


Kate Pearce said...

Well I remember a discussion on the RWA Beaumonde loop a long while ago about Turkish pirates and battles and sieges, which made me think about white slavery which them made me think about what if the slaves weren't women at all?
Which led to Lord Valentin Sokorvsky appearing in my head with his Russian name and English title and low and behold "Simply Sexual" and "Simply Sinful"-confused ? I was...

Pam Rosenthal said...

It's always history for me, at least in the romances -- but of course history that strikes a responsive chord. Like, gosh, after Waterloo the British government suspended habeas corpus, hmmm, that sounds familiar.

Which on the face of it, isn't as yielding of erotic possibilities as Turkish pirates and such, but it seems to work for me.

brownone said...

As a reader, I don't get dissappointed because I don't want to read the same story over again. I like the kinds of stories that get into the "minds" of minor characters. Like in "The Other Boleyn Girl"..yeah, I know Anne's gonna get her head cut off, but I liked reading Mary's perspective.

Jane Lockwood said...

It seems like every time I start off with an idea: Forbidden Shores was inspired by reading about the English abolitionists altho I don't think Mr. Wilberforce et al would have approved at all.

Kate, did you read White Gold by Giles Milton?

Kate Pearce said...

"Kate, did you read White Gold by Giles Milton?"

Nope-probably should have, but probably won't now because I'll realize all the stuff I should've put in the book and didn't :)

Sharon Page said...

Your WIP sounds intriguing, Celia. I think my stories have been based on historical things that intrigue me, and then I try to branch out from there. Sometimes it works the other way for me--I come out with some weird idea for a character or plot event and find a historical event that makes my idea actually plausible.
My new WIP is inspired by two real murders. I don't know why they've stuck in my head, but they have.