…Authoress friend, Dorothy Anne Spruzen, illustrates how easy it is to misuse ‘period’ WURDS…

As an author of historical fiction, I’m always on the lookout for things like this. You need to consider the linguistics of the region and the era alike.

Seumas Gallacher

…today’s Guest Blog is by courtesy of my dear friend, Authoress, Dorothy A. Spruzen… an erudite piece on writing, from a spectacularly insightful scribbling lady… enjoy:

Welcome to you all, and thank you for having me. Seumas invited me to write something for his wonderful website, so I thought that I would share some of the tips I pass on to my creative writing students concerning historical research for writers of fiction. I know some of you are readers rather than writers, but I hope this will nevertheless prove interesting.

I’m not going to give a discourse on how to perform historical research in the broad sense, but rather to point out some of the ways in which one might avoid embarrassing little blunders. Some reader, somewhere will pick up your errors with a malicious sense of glee and self-congratulation.

For me, and I think for most people, if…

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Phantom of the Opera Challenge – Days 27-30

poto challenge

As I looked at the rest of the challenge days, I realized that the remaining questions didn’t apply to me so much.  Also, since it’s my blog, I can choose to combine them … so here we are on the last post.

Favorite Cast Member Ship

For those unfamiliar with fandom lingo, that’s pairing worship … and I don’t really go in for it.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, each actor brings something new and different to the role.  So, you won’t see me doing the Rierra (Ramin and Sierra) or Gemmy (Gerard and Emmy) or anything similar.

Your Favorite Fan Art

I have a number of friends who make fan art.  I don’t have a favorite piece.

Your Favorite (Personal or Otherwise) Head Canon

PrintAgain, for those unfamiliar with fandom lingo, this is something that is true in your head of a particular piece of fiction, but not true in the work itself.

Have I mentioned my Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series?  It takes place after the events of Leroux’s novel, and introduces opera equestrienne Claire Delacroix into the Phantom’s tale.  It’s available at the usual booksellers.

Your Favorite Thing About the Phantom Story

This story is not only biting social commentary about the shallowness of Parisian society, as Leroux intended, but also a story of redemption.  It’s not so much a story of love; it’s clearly more about obsession.  However, in the end we see that the Phantom has gone on a hero’s journey of sorts, changed very much from the beginning to the end.

Thanks to readers who have stuck with me through the entire challenge; I know it was quite a departure from my usual features.  All the same, I enjoyed sharing my thoughts in celebration of Phantom’s 30th anniversary on Broadway.

Speaking of challenges, stay tuned for an announcement of my 2018 Blogging from A to Z theme.  This is going to be a good one.

Phantom of the Opera Challenge – Day 26

Favorite Phantom Item You Own

This is a hard one, to be honest.  There’s the mask autographed by Franc d’Ambrosio, the custom jewelry by Stephanie Piro, and even the autographed photo of Gerard Butler in the Red Death costume.

At the end of the day it came down to this item.  Several years ago, the props and costumes from the 2004 film were sold in a charity auction.  I won the mask that Monsieur Reyer (Murray Melvin) wore in the “Masquerade” sequence.  Not only is it a delightful piece of memorabilia, but the money was in a good cause:  the funds went to a battered women’s shelter.


Watch for the conductor and you’ll see the mask!


Like Short Fiction? Check out the “… Later” Trilogy

I had the good fortune to participate in each of these books, published by Thinking Ink Press as charity projects.  A percentage of royalties from each volume has been donated to library systems in San Jose, Calif., Dixon, Calif., and Modesto, Calif., thusfar.

I’m in exceptionally good company on these anthologies as well, sharing space with the likes of Harry Turtledove, Lillian Csernica, A.J. Sikes, Kirsten Weiss, Anthony Francis, T.E. MacArthur, and more.

My stories in each volume are as follows; please click through on the book titles to purchase.

Twelve Hours Later

The premise in the first book sets the tone for the rest of the series:  two stories, each 12 hours apart.  Fans of Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes will be particularly interested in this volume, as we return to the Opéra Garnier in Nous Sommes Deux Heures and Nous Sommes Quatorze Heurs (2 AM and 2 PM, respectively).  Apprentice woodworker Lucien Dubois is determined to learn more about the opera house in which he works … and his curiosity takes him to the fifth basement, where he finds far more than he bargained for.

Thirty Days Later

This time, we enter the world of Les Misérables with Two Days in June, Parts 1 and 2.  Long-time friends Jean-Claude and Henri plot their place in the June Rebellion of 1832, while their lady friends face their own challenges.

Some Time Later

Flowers of London and Flowers of Paris introduce charming rogue Thaddeus Flowers, would-be inventor.  Thad takes us on a trip to the Electrical Exhibition in London and to the opening of the Eiffel Tower in Paris … where he also encounters a masked genius who until recently lived beneath the city’s elegant opera house.

Reblogging: Executive Order 9066, Signed on This Day in 1942

Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the reason that Japanese-American citizens like actor-activist George Takei and his family were taken to live in concentration camps. Before the camps were built, many Japanese-Americans had to live in the stables at race tracks. One of them, Tanforan (which is now a shopping center), is only 45 minutes from where I live.

via Facts from My Fiction: Executive Order 9066 – Sharon E. Cathcart