April 26, 2010
Guest author Blythe Gifford: “You had to research what?”
The answer, of course, goes far beyond the expected of dates, kings, political and military history, and clothing. Here are just a few of the things I had to chase down in an effort to get the authentic feel for life on the Scottish border in the 14th century.
I’ve added just a hint of how I used each one – or didn’t -- in the final manuscript.
Medieval sheep farming in the Cheviot Hills. Much of the lord’s income came from selling the sheep’s wool, so I needed to know how they were raised, where they were pastured, and so on. (No Border collies in the middle ages. Not until much later.) In fact, the now famous Cheviot sheep breed came later, too. I’m sure you’ll be interested to know, since you won’t learn it from my book, that the sheep were small, perhaps knee-high, with “high-set prick ears.”
In the book: There are a few vague references to sheep.
So, what about you? As writers, have you ever chased an obscure fact? And as readers, what details seem to really pull you into the world? I’ll give a copy of HIS BORDER BRIDE to one lucky commenter.
Thanks to Anna Kathryn for having me here. You can read an excerpt from HIS BORDER BRIDE on my website, http://www.blythegifford.com/.
BLYTHE GIFFORD is the author of five medieval romances from Harlequin Historical. She specializes in characters born on the wrong side of the royal blanket. With HIS BORDER BRIDE, she crosses the border and sets a story in Scotland for the first time, where the rules of chivalry don’t always apply. Here’s a brief description:
Royal Rogue: He is the bastard son of an English prince and a Scotswoman. A rebel without a country, he has darkness in his soul.
Innocent Lady: Daughter of a Scottish border lord, she can recite the laws of chivalry, and knows this man has broken every one. But she’s gripped by desire for him—could he be the one to unleash the dangerous urges she’s hidden until now?
She loves to have visitors at http://www.blythegifford.com/ or www.facebook.com/BlytheGifford or www.twitter.com/BlytheGifford.
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ®and T are trademarks of Harlequin Enterprises Limited and/or its affiliated companies, used under license. Copyright 2010