Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Author Spotlight - Barri Bryan talks about Researching History and Writing Fiction

Originality does not always mean making something from nothing. It can mean making interesting changes in what has gone before. I have developed as a writer of historical romances by playing with material already in existence. Writing is always rewriting, it comes from the writer’s reading and synthesizing. I can enter into a world that previously existed and by innovation and imagination, make it my interesting and exciting little universe. I like to look at the decade that surrounds my story to get an overall view of events and happenings. I want to feel, as well as know, the attitude and outlook of that particular generation. I do this by zeroing in on important events, transportation, fashion, music, inventions, social movements and developments, politics, psychological trends, entertainment, and sexually related trends and movements of that time.

When I can, I use the raw materials of history; primary sources like daily newspapers. Many newspapers are achieved on line. For a small fee, you can gain access. I look for first-hand accounts written by men and women who lived during the time I'm writing about. These kinds of accounts are not easy to find. When located, they are not always cheap. If they are authentic, they are worth the time and expense it takes to find and read them.

I have learned to evaluate and interpret. When incorporating fiction with history, realism and background should blend with characterization and plot. I am careful to strike a balance between too many or too few facts. Figures of speech should fit the time and place.

My research for Forbidden was extensive, sometimes exhausting. I researched the oil boom in Texas during the 1980's, events that were happening at that time, such as the eruption of Mount St. Helen's and the hostages being held in Iran. I looked at what music was popular, what books were best sellers… There were times when, in the midst of writing a scene, I realized I needed to research some subject that, so far, hadn't seemed important, or even relevant.

Even if research is painstaking, sometimes painful, I love doing it.


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http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/foBook trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pessC9ClzWY

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  1. Delores Goodrick Beggs8 January 2013 at 11:31

    I love the authenticity of researched books too, and the fun of going beyond what I learned from history.

  2. Going beyond is for me, a challenge, but it's a challenge I love.

    Thanks for dropping by.