Monday, February 16, 2009

On my bookshelf

I blogged on my shopping trip last Friday, but I wasn't very explicit on what I actually purchased. I picked up a couple books that were right up my alley on topics I love, such as The Secret Common Wealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies (which I already own a copy of, but this one had sketches and a couple other 'perks' my copy doesn't include.) What I'm really excited about though, are the history books I purchased.

Okay, first of all, I have to say that History was never my favorite subject in school. It's not that I abhorred history, it just didn't particularly interest me unless it was presented within the context of say, mythology, religion, or art. I'm not great at dates and names, so while I have a general understanding of the major events which occurred in the past, I'm rather clueless on the specifics. And, well, that has always been okay.

This apathy, I realized the other day, might present an issue in the coming months as the second novel in my Haven series centers heavily around the vampires in Kita's world. Most of these vampires have been around, some of them a very long time, so by default these vamps are not only familiar with history, but lived through a portion of it. I could probably swing one or two characters not knowing or caring about what occurred in the decades or centuries they lived through, but I'm thinking the reader might feel slightly cheated if every character walked through their lives without a clue what occurred in 'the real world.'

With that in mind, I picked up several 'time-line' type books. Hopefully by utilizing these books and establishing where my vampires were in the past, I can discover what was happening during that time period. Such a basic glimpse at history won't take me far, but if I find particularly interesting wars or rulers, I can do more focused research.

While I was browsing these books, a friend (who is also a bookseller) turned me on to another book called A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking true Stories of History's Wickedest. Weirdest. Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors. It is a fun, if not terribly educational, read. If nothing else, my vamps might have some good (really old) gossip. Who knows. Research is a funny thing which I believe should be all but invisible in a story. (As some of you might remember me saying before in this post)

Are you a fan of history? What was your favorite time period? Favorite rulers? Wars?

Happy Monday everyone. New week ahead of us (but only four more days until the weekend . . . )


J Murgia said...

Ok, my favorite is definitely the story of the Countess Bathory in 1572. When I first hear of her I was grossed out and intrigued at the same time. Could you imagine slaying innocents because you believed their blood would preserve you forever? What a concept!

Kalayna Price said...

Oh Bathory is a good one! (And someone I actually know a good deal about since she is steeped in superstition and legend.) I agree, perverse intrigue must be acknowledged when reading up on the Bloody Countess and her torture of young girls and showers in blood.

J Murgia said...

If you haven't already, read THE BLOOD CONFESSION by Alisa M. Libby. What a great fictional peek into the Countess's world, it almost makes you feel compassion for her.Even the pages are "tinged" with blood!

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