Anyone who writes historical romance novels knows how much research goes into developing and creating a story. Since I'm a voracious nonfiction history reader, this is one of my favorite parts of the process, but it can be tough. History in broad strokes is easy to discover. It’s the small details of daily life that can be elusive. Sometimes I can find the details, other times I have to take some artistic license based on my knowledge of the period. Then there are times when, despite my research and my careful fact checking, I still manage to get it wrong
I was recently editing my latest regency manuscript, and double checking my facts when I discovered I'd made not one, but many mistakes. I'd read a sentence and something about it wouldn't seem right. Off to the internet or a research book I'd go, only to find out I was incorrect. Then I’d ask myself, “How did I miss this during the umpteen times I’ve read this story?” or “I know I looked this up before. How did I get it so wrong?”
Since catching mistakes and making changes is part of the editing process, I can’t be too hard on myself. Also, after listening to an interview with Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian David McCullough, I know I’m not alone. When asked about his research methods, he admitted that he continues researching right through the copyediting process. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard this. If a noted historian of his stature can keep researching until the last minute, then so can I. After all, in the end it doesn’t matter when you get it right, as long as you do.
Interested in seeing how my research is incorporated into my stories? Then check out my Regency novella Hero's Redemption, now available from Carina Press.