Who was the only Union general to be killed at Gettysburg?
What was the name of his lieutenant?
What does it mean that I know the answer to both of the above questions, especially after I’ve revealed that I collect books on the Arthurian legend?
It means that I love history. I absorb it. All phases of it. All eras and countries.
While I was still gainfully employed (as opposed to being a writer and making little to no money) and I was driving across the state for said employment, I listened to books on CD. For months I listened to almost all of Phillipa Gregory’s Tudor series. She wrote The Other Boleyn Girl…that was about Mary, Anne’s sister, who supposedly was also Henry VIII’s mistress. Gregory’s books take history and fictionalize actual accounts.
And then there are books by authors like Henry Turtledove or Robert Walker or (even my very own husband) Morgan Reinbold (“Through a Hole in a Cloud–a Twisted History”) who take history and spin it around. Turtledove does it with the Civil War; Walker with the Titanic. The love of my life mashes the Spanish American War with WWI and has German steam-driven war machines invade the US through Mexico.
So what am I be reading now? Robert Walker’s Abadon – a modern twist on the Witch Trials of Salem and Katherine Ramsland’s The Devil’s Dozen — about how forensics and investigation caught serial killers.
What am I writing? Elizabeth Peacock and the General’s Ghost. Elizabeth works with John Reynolds’ ghost to prevent a murder (Reynolds is the answer to the first question). Google the second question. You can do it. I know you can.
What am I researching? What happened to the metal cross covering the bodies of Arthur and Guinevere when discovered by the monks of Glastonbury Abbey? That metal cross was engraved with the phrase: “Once and future king.”
History…and books…take me on some marvelous quests.