A Guest Post About Souls Astray

Introducing Kellyn Roth and her newest book,

First, let me just say … thank you so much to Esther for sharing about my book on your blog! It’s a huge help, and I’m so excited to get to talk to your followers.

 

Second, hello to Esther’s readers! I’m Kellyn Roth, author of the Victorian historical series, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy … and the series I’m publishing this summer, Kees & Colliers. The first book in this series is Souls Astray (which came out Saturday the 4th of this month), and I’m so excited that I get to share it with you!

 

Today I’m going to talk about the research I did to write Souls Astray, the novel this blog tour is spotlighting, as well as the research I did for the rest of the books in the Kees & Colliers series.

SA Blog Graphic

Now, when you’re a historical fiction author, obviously the things you’re writing about aren’t something you’re familiar with. Because, well, I’m not a hundred years old … I didn’t live during the 1920s, 1930s, or 1940s, where these books are primarily set.

 

So I spent a lot of time researching! The main things I had to research for Souls Astray were about WWI. I’d never really done research into World War One before, so it was definitely exciting. I read several books written and set during the era, and that helped a lot. I also read up on the military and where people were when!

 

But there were also minor things. Spanish flu? I can tell you everything about it—from epidemics to contagion to symptoms. How did property laws work? What about wills? What was the school system like for middle class Londoners? What about in the south of France?

 

And of course … what did people wear? How did they talk? Would they have used that word?

 

Then I had to research things that apply to all eras, like PTSD (as well as the historical thoughts and beliefs on that) and stages of grief and signs of domestic abuse.

 

It got complicated.

Quote 14 - Souls Astray

Since Souls Astray covers 1917-1932, I had to know about the 1920s and the early 1930s, too. How laws shift, how people change, and all the little details.

 

It sounds more overwhelming than it is, though! I knew a lot about the 1920s and ‘30s from earlier projects—and I was able to find a lot of it through the internet (multiple sources, of course) and books I read. I really enjoyed it!

 

I wasn’t all perfectly researched before I started writing, either. Halfway through November, when I was writing this novel, I realized … what do I know about the Spanish flu? Pretty much nothing!

 

So I dived into research. It was a grim day. I’m glad I did, even though it was kind of depressing (and some of it rather disgusting!). Reality is important—and I didn’t want to just say, “She doesn’t feel well.” I wanted to know exactly what was going on.

 

Reality is important in historical fiction stories. You don’t want to have a character pull out their iPhone and text their bestie before hopping into their subaru to drive to McDonald’s. That just wouldn’t fly.

 

Well, that’s about all I have to say for now! Thanks so much for reading this post, and have an amazing day!

Check out the giveaway

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A Delightful Pairing: “Captain Marvel” And “Trixie Belden”

Wednesday afternoon I started finishing “Trixie Belden The Mysterious Code”. Then I went and started watching “Captain Marvel”. I hadn’t finished either of them.

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From… Goodreads!!!

So an an hour before when I normally head to bed I got back to both.  I generally have multiple stories going at once, so that when one set of characters gets infuriating I can switch from them and go to a different set.

Brie Larson in Captain Marvel (2019)
From…IMDb

Naturally this is what I did to the aforementioned characters. It was great! When Trixie was her normal crazy self I could switch, then when the action got to much I would switch.

I loved reading about a girl/young woman who was breaking the societal norms, but also growing more feminine. And contrasting that was the the tale of a woman becoming a superhero, but not loosing touch with her family. I found that they complimented each other well.

Would you do something similar?

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A Blog Tour Stop; Dance With Me

So I signed up to help promote a book by an author who’s blog I enjoy and I agreed to do an interview.
  1. What is the least common thing you are a fan of?

The movie Grease is one of those classics that is widely loved and cherished. Most people aren’t even aware that there is a second Grease movie and most of those who do know about it, don’t care for it. But I LOVE it. It’s my favorite. In fact, I didn’t even watch the first one until I was a teen. But the interesting thing about the Grease movies is that they take place in 1960/1961. Dance With Me takes place in 1959, so I was working with the same time frame in American history. There were scenes/conversations where that young greaser personality came through and I know the movies had helped to inspire my understanding of the lingo and cultural attitude.

  1. What character that you wrote surprised you the most?

Arleen Thatcher from Dance With Me was one who surprised me. When I was first crafting the concept for this novel, I had meant for it to be a mystery. But the moment I met Arleen and caught a glimpse of her hidden story, I knew the mystery had to go so her personal struggle could shine. And I really think she’s going to be a character that lives on in the minds of readers for a long time to come. There’s a fresh, brokenness about her that feels so real.

  1. What is the oddest thing on your bucket list?

Traveling is typically on a person’s bucket list, so it’s not exactly odd. But as I studied Civil War history for my Ancient Words Series, I chose to work with a real regiment that came out of my home town. I’ve been able to visit 3 of their battlefields so far, but it’s my goal to visit all of them.

  1. What detail from your books are most proud of?

Crafting characters who the readers either feel like they already know or wish they could meet. I think the characters are the heart of the story, so it’s a blessing to me when readers comment back and say that they really came to life for them.

  1. What is your favorite detail from your books?

I would have to say the spiritual message. It’s an honor to do anything for the Lord. But to craft these characters and stories takes a great deal of effort. So to be able to tie it all up with a message for the soul that was woven in from the beginning and brought to light beautifully in the end, it’s a double honor. There are times when I wasn’t certain from the beginning how the spiritual message would come to light so it tends to blow me away when it does.

6. What character are you the tiniest bit envious of and why?
Oooh! Great question! I’m a bit jealous of Arleen. Ballroom dancing is something I would have loved to do. But I think I’m most jealous of Liz Cooke, heroine of If Only It Were Yesterday. Even though her time travel experience was all in a make-believe dream, for a time she thought it was real and she was able to experience what the rest of us history lovers long to experience.

Dance-with-me-quote

Author Bio: 
Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.
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Author Social Media Links: 

I’d love to hear from you. You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens.

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Dance 2 F
Book Description: 
Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?
In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible. Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades. God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.
The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

The Land I Lost By Huynh Quang Nhuong

This was a very interesting book, in my opinion. Usually when I read about cultures I know little about they are tales of Christians surviving persecution, missionaries coming in, the first real contact with Western Civilization, or all of the above. I frequently read about learning the new language, figuring out how to write it down for the first time. Adapting to a new culture. That sort of thing.

The Land I Lost: Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam
As per usual this cover comes from Goodreads

It was so different and interesting to read about a character that came from the culture. It was so strange to read about a culture that has had for a very long time it’s own writing system and school system, even though to me it seemed as strange as cultures with only recent contact.

Was the story a little gruesome at times? Yes.

Did it have horrifying tales of Monkey See Monkey Do? Yes.

Do I recommend it to any one over the age of ten? Yes.

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Also feel free to check out my Instagram to see my actual copy of the book.

Zorro (Am I A Fangirl???)

As recently as yesterday afternoon this was not the post I was planning for today, then yesterday evening we started watching a movie. And that movie isn’t Zorro, but it is basically British Zorro. I plan on writing a review about it soon, but first I thought why not talk about Zorro so when I say “It’s British Zorro” people understand what that means.

The first I was introduced to Zorro was in “The Mark Of Zorro” 1940. It is brilliant, black and white, and my favorite.

Mark of Zorro 1940.jpg

Next I came across Disney’s Zorro. It’s a TV show and admittedly I haven’t watched all of them, but it has like 78 episodes. The Disney Don Diego is my favorite guitar player ever.

Zorro 1957 show logo.jpg

Next I read “The Curse Of Capistrano” It is the basic story of how Don Diego came back from Spain and discovered California was under a dictatorship. So he hides his skill with the sword and acts like a dandy during the day, but at night goes out to help the people and overthrow the government.

My oldest brother R actually owns a copy of the next two that I watched “The Mask Of Zorro” and “The Legend of Zorro”. They are the most recent and as such the most feminist.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/52/Mask_of_zorro.jpg/220px-Mask_of_zorro.jpgThe Legend of Zorro poster.jpg

And finally being the only anime I’ve seen and the only anime Zorro we have Kaiketsu Zoro, which is also known as “The Legend of Zorro”. Like the other show I haven’t actually finished it but what I’ve seen was fun.

Kaiketsu Zorro.jpgThat is my history of Zorro. He is my favorite fictional “Super” Hero