Friday, May 9, 2014

Unspeakable Blog Tour - Guest Post

As part of the blog tour for Unspeakable, I was able to get Caroline to write a brief guest post to share something about the novel. Since the novel is inspired by the real sinking of the Empress of Ireland I was immediately curious about this aspect of the story. I asked Caroline to discuss the benefits and challenges of grounding her story in a historical event.

Her answer is enlightening, and wonderful...
Great question. My series, GREENER GRASS: my new release, UNSPEAKABLE; and my upcoming Fall book THE GOSPEL TRUTH, are all historical fiction. Each one is set in very different time periods and circumstances but in all, the historical event is a huge part of the setting and the plot from the Irish potato famine, to the sinking of the Empress of Ireland, to slavery in the south. Not only do the characters deal with the struggles we all have in every day life, on top of that they are caught up in an incredible moment in history.
 For Ellie, in UNSPEAKABLE, it’s the night she barely escapes the sinking of the Empress of Ireland. How can she go on, how can she ever be happy again, when so many did not survive? I read a lot of Titanic survivor accounts to get a sense of lives after the tragedy. I love both reading and writing historical fiction because it really makes history come alive.
 Researching and learning as much as I can about the time and the events is an obsession, really. :) The challenge for me is to know when to stop researching and start writing. I try to balance it by focussing on the fictional characters. That way, the story isn’t just about what happened -- but who experiences it and how it changes them.
I also reviewed Unspeakable today (spoiler - I loved it) and urge you to check out this wonderful novel.  

If you happen to live in the Ottawa area there is going to be an exhibit showcasing artifacts salvaged from the wreckage at the Canadian Museum of History starting May 30th. As someone who didn't know anything about this prior to reading Unspeakable, it's certainly inspired me to learn more. I will definitely be checking out the exhibit.

Here are some links to where you can purchase a copy of the book

Chapters // Amazon Canada

What do you think of novels that are based, even in part, around a real life event? How important is accuracy to you?

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