One of the most enjoyable tasks that a writer engages in is researching his books. At least, it’s one of mine. You learn so much about a myriad of subjects. I’ve gained knowledge of everything from the metallurgical properties of welding and riveting aluminum to the archeological history of climate change. (believe me, the politicians don’t want you going there) Since historical fiction is my favorite, I spend a large chunk of my time in this endeavor. I’ve included a few pictures from one of my recent “expeditions.” This one was to northeast Florida and the pics are from visits to the Mandarin House Museum in Jacksonville and The Florida Museum of Agriculture in Palm Coast.
The items pictured are from work I’m doing for a four book historical novel series titled “The Clayton Chronicles.” It covers Florida history from 1780 through 1960. The artifacts are part of the fabric used in the series first two novels. (“The Clayton Chronicles: The Wild Wild East” and “The Clayton Chronicles: A Land of Death”)
History has taught me some important lessons. Like there are few to no absolutes. Almost everything we do has been done before. Though technology changes, the human animal’s basic psyche has changed little since we dragged our knuckles coming out of the cave. Though we have the same basic configuration (two hands, two feet, etc.) and needs, the greatest mis-judgement we make is that we’re all the same. We’re not. There’s this little thing called culture and it clashes with disastrous results at times.
If you’d like to learn how to do research for writing historical novels (and help your research with all others), you might want to sign up for a one day seminar I’ll be teaching for the Florida Writers Association in Tampa this Saturday. Check my previous post for details.
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