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Agatha Christie

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The Secret of Red Gate Farm, Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene

Favorite Historical & Mystery Authors

It all began with a gift of Nancy Drew tweeds from my mom & my love of mysteries was born. My ancestors were Irish, came over during the famine, my Irish grandmother loved to tell stories & my mom loves to read (my parents even built a small library in their house), she also loves history. I love historical mysteries and cozies, thrillers, and noirs. Here are a few of my favorite authors:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four
Agatha Christie, all Hercule Poirot & Miss Marple
Rex Stout, all Nero Wolfe
Sue Grafton
Jacqueline Winspear
James Runcie
David Liss, A Conspiracy of Paper
Alan Furst
Diana Galbadon, Outlander
Dick Francis
John D. Macdonald
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
Jane Austen, Emma
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Mark Twain
Dickens

Historical Research & Sources

In conducting research for the first book in the series, I found newspapers from the late 1800’s. My novel actually began as a short story about a lumberjack creature called the Wendigo or Hidebehind (a ghost story) called The Three-Fingered Lumberjack. My beta-reader told me that it was so good (normally a very tough beta-reader) that I should expand it to a novel — so I did! I’ve researched and studied the era. I came across this interesting quote in an old newspaper about Minnesota: “Like Daniel Boone, we want plenty of fresh, pure air – and we want plenty of elbow-room. We want a good large spot for playgrounds; and a good pasture for a horse, a cow, a few fat porkers, a Shanghai rooster and his seraglio of hens. And above all, we want to live among men of liberal ideas; men of generous and ennobling impulses – men who will not dicker all day long for five cents, as some of them will do in the densely populated portions of these U. States. It is because we possess such spirit that last spring we tore ourselves away from New York and turned our face Minnesota-ward and settled in Stillwater.”

I also researched early medical history, traditional Chinese medicine, and the history of The Barbary Coast. I focused on fashion, also, to understand women in this era, their roles were changing and they were trading corsets for bicycle bloomers and careers. In history, I’m an autodidact. I also gave my character a Bohemian soul, she shares that with Sherlock Holmes. Bohemianism was a real thing in the Victorian, Edwardian and Gilded Age. I’ve read A Bohemian in London as research for my Sherlock Holmes story, “Bohemian Soul.” So while my female sleuth’s voice may sound contemporary to some — we shan’t forget that 1900 was fairly modern and not that long ago — she is also ahead of her time, especially as a woman in the upper Midwest. Being that she’s from San Francisco, a town more wild than Dodge City at that time, she would have been. Being also that she is a Bohemian, she embraces being unconventional while still being herself, which is to say — still somewhat conventional. I think Sherlock Holmes summed it up best:

sherlock

My writing philosophy is best summed up:

writingquote

I’m grateful to my family and the powers that be in the universe to allow me keep on creating and inspiring and entertaining & writing.

Blessings,

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Contact adnortontmwl {at} gmail {dot} com ~ Follow me on twitter: @adeerLA

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adn

published writer, mom, wife, reader, mystery geek, history lover & caretaker of one crazy lovable border collie and 3 rescued tree frogs.