Monday, June 18, 2012

Guest Post Molly Snow

Today I have author Molly Snow on the blog sharing with us how she researched for her latest book Royally BeSwitched which I reviewed last week.

Molly Snow, Founder of BreezyReads.com, wrote BeSwitched when she was just sixteen. As a bestselling author’s personal assistant at age twenty, she decided to do what her boss did and self publish. At age twenty-three, BeSwitched made its debut. Snow is married to her high school crush, has a set of silly twin boys and a bob-tailed cat named Meow-Meow.

Royally BeSwitched Research: 1730 France Vs. 2012 United States

I am no expert on 1700s history. Neither am I a history buff under any circumstance. I am just a writer who loved the idea of having characters from The BeSwitched Series go to another place in another time, when the art of romance and battles seemed unmatched by any other era. Surla and Jax, my main characters--a black cat that can switch bodies with humans and a handsome teen warlock--are thrust to a place in the outskirts of France, 1730; there the journey begins in Royally BeSwitched.

To pull this off, I couldn’t just rely on what little I knew from movies I have seen. I mean, there is only so much I can take away from Robin Hood: Men in Tights (Does that even take place in the 1700s?). Therefore, I was obligated to research. 

Any time I was about to write about even the simplest of things, I had to Google to make sure it was invented. Not only did I have to check whether or not certain “things” were in existence, such as zippers and match sticks or a kitchen tool, I had to verify names and last names went with the times and region. Each name from back in time had to be used in French with French last names . The prince’s name, Nicolas, is spelled without an “h” on purpose--The French usage is that way. Add to that, it was crucial to not mix modern day slang with that timeframe (unless used by Jax or Surla).

I didn’t kill myself reading book after book on French history. Just when I needed specific information on a thought, I would learn about that specifically. I also used a bit of my literary license to embellish or skew some things to fit my plot. There was a succession of King Louises in the 17th and 18th Century (maybe even before then), who ruled France. I learned that in history there could also be regional kings of certain provinces. So, I made up a small kingdom on the outskirts of France ruled by Jax’s ancestor, King Morreau.

For fun, here are some direct comparisons from now and then:

  • Today we mostly see the elderly scooting around canes at church or the local buffets; back then, kings would walk with canes, even if they didn’t need one, because they were fashionable!
  • Today’s women use compact powders for their faces, made by Maybelline and Cover Girl. Back then, women powdered their faces with food products, like potato powder.
  • Pies we eat today have a crust, while back then they were made slightly different and called shells.
  • Today’s kings have ruled as adults. King Louis of 1730 was King of France, starting from age 5!
  • A popular game to play today might be Apples to Apples, whereas Nine Men’s Morris was fun to those back when.  (Similar to those wooden boards with red and yellow pegs at The Cracker Barrel restaurant.)
  • We have the luxury of washing our faces and cleaning our dishes over sinks. They had what were called water basins that you would dip a rag into.
  • We are used to calling castles “castles” or “palaces.” French castles weren’t called castles or palaces but “chateaus.”
I’m still no expert on 1700s, French history just because I wrote Royally BeSwitched :) Random facts helped bring credibility to my story. Where there is more credibility, the reader has more of an opportunity to immerse themselves. Mainly, the research was fun and helped me imagine the place and time Jax and Surla experienced. This book, by far, was the most enjoyable to produce!

Contact @ Breezy Reads
            @ Molly Snow Fiction

3 comments:

  1. It's incredible how much research goes into on book and I loved reading this post about the 1700. I am happy though that we do not need to put potato powder on our faces anymore...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and me both, though I'm not exactly sure what is in the powder I put on my face. If I sent you the ingredients list would you be able to tell me if there was potato powder in it??

      Delete
  2. I love a well researched book. What you didn't know you get to pick up small tidbits that are just fun. Oh and I have to say, I love playing with those peg boards! LOL

    ReplyDelete

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