I’ve just returned from the Historical Novel Society conference, a place where nerds unite! And I am one. A big giant nerd. I get to hang out with people who know minutiae about which poisons were used in Renaissance Italy to off the powerful, or info about the first steam-powered car. An don’t even get me started on ancient burial rites.
My writing partner, Hazel Gaynor, flew over from Dublin and we laughed enough to make our sides hurt, plotted our next book, and double-fisted pints of coffee and glasses of wine. (Jet lag is confusing.) I joined my fellow authors of the French Revolution collaboration (we’re calling ourselves the Scarlet Sisters) in a champagne toast to celebrate our book out this fall. It was wonderful catching up with so many friends, listening to panels about heroines of WWII, how to write dual timelines, crafting sword-fighting scenes, and discussing the way movements from the parallel and intersect with those of today. I had a blast participating on a panel discussing how to write the historical female during the #Metoo movement, the topics I consider off-limits, and what it’s like to survive backlash when a controversial subject arises in our manuscripts. And of course, I couldn’t be happier than to meet eager readers at the reader’s festival and book signing. The very thing for which every writer yearns.
I headed home, exhausted and happy with many books in tow. I was home only twenty-four hours before packing up the car and heading south for family vacation at the lake and a little R&R. As I ruminated on the events of the last few days, I blasted the soundtrack of Hamilton, the musical. The lyrics have become very familiar to me and my daughter, and we sang along, but I couldn’t help but be struck by one line in particular that day, especially fresh from the conference. The character of Aaron Burr sings: [Read more…]