It’s wise to avoid controversy or anything doubtful which has a hint of being anachronistic. It hasn’t so much to be correct as to feel correct. E.g: Soldiers did play baseball in the American Civil War. I believe they also played in a Jane Austen novel too. But the reader may found that hard to accept.
Societies traditions, moral mores and customs help to build the picture, but this is where even the most fanatical historian can come unstuck. Many time periods, such as the Regency, have become so stylised that you may actually be considered to have written an historically inaccurate book if you do not follow the “popular perceptions” of the period. Presenting a realistic, complex view of Society during a specific era can be the thing that makes the difference between a passable yarn and a gripping story.
|Marie de Medici|
The Queen and the Courtesan is what might be called biographical fiction, in that I have fictionalised the facts. Marie fell in love with Henry IV, to her misfortune, as it embittered her in a way. Rejection was something she could not deal with, because of experiences she'd suffered as a child. I think the hardest part of writing historical fiction based on fact, is that you can’t simply let your imagination run loose. I usually write character-driven relationship sagas but with this trilogy I had to search out every detail. It was almost like being a detective, finding out what these people were really like, the intrigues they were involved in, and what their motivation was. Fascinating, but scary too at times as I needed to read widely to gain every viewpoint before I could write with any confidence.
Henriette d’Entragues isn’t satisfied with simply being the mistress of Henry IV of France, she wants a crown too. Despite his promises to marry her, the King is obliged by political necessity to ally himself with Marie de Medici, an Italian princess who will bring riches to the treasury. But Henriette isn’t for giving up easily. She has a written promise of marriage which she intends to use to declare the royal marriage illegal. All she has to do to achieve her ambition is to give Henry a son, then whatever it takes through intrigue and conspiracy to set him on the throne.
The Queen and the Courtesan, published 29 June by Severn House, can be found as a paperback or ebook here: