Sometimes, I think I spend too much time reading non-fiction history. I realized this the other day when a friend of mine asked me why Queen Elizabeth is Queen if Britain is changing their inheritance laws. She also asked me to explain the difference between a Queen Consort and a Queen in her own right. Without hesitating, I explained. I also veered into an explanation of Salic Law and how it didn’t exist in Britain.
Yes, these are the kind of facts I keep in my head, the kind I wait eagerly to whip out when an opportunity arises. Once, I was in a Denny’s near a college when three girls in the next booth started discussing William Wilberforce. I nearly jumped over the booth to join in the conversation. Yes, my enthusiasm for history is that powerful.
Combine my love of history with my equally powerful love of movies and watch out. Someone I know who lives in Virginia once said, “You know where they filmed Gone with the Wind, don’t you?” Without blinking, I said, “Yes, in Culver City on the MGM lot.” My friend then tried to correct me and tell me that the Twelve Oaks staircase scene was filmed in Virginia, according to some sign in some hotel in Richmond. Now, if there is one thing I know besides history, it’s Gone with the Wind trivia, and I know for a fact they did not shoot that scene in Virginia. Thank heavens for Google, or I’d have had to pull out one of my five books on the filming of Gone with the Wind in order to prove I was right. Remember those big, glossy coffee table books that used to be a film buff’s go to source before Google and IMDB?
Yes, folks, these are the kinds of facts crowding my mind. Thankfully, I also love writing about history, so I’m able to use all this great knowledge to entertain people. I used a great deal of my Gone with the Wind and golden age of Hollywood trivia to help me make Studio Relations, my fall 2012 release, more authentic and believable. Also, through my writing, I’ve been lucky enough to meet other history buffs. I’ve spent a great deal of time before signings or panels talking to other writers about Tudor England, the American West and Regency England. Speaking with other writers who love history helps remind me that I’m not the only one obsessed with history. My obsession is probably a sickness, and I’d do something about it except that Gone with the Wind is on TCM tonight.