Into the Research Trenches with Author James Musgrave
I’m continuing the research into my next historical novel tentatively entitled Sleeping Beauty and the Beasts of the Past and Present. Those of you who read my historical mysteries understand that I’m an academic, and I enjoy bringing modern-day issues to the past to show how history doesn’t change much in that we keep repeating the same mistakes, it seems, not learning from them.
I read dozens of books to get the facts correct, and then I weave my fictional plots like a smooth tapestry of imagination. In this specific case, I’ll be showing the first person point of view of three main characters. One, who is presently sectioned in a mental hospital for six years in Wales, U.K. The second will be Ida Craddock, who spent three months in a mental asylum, but she was never declared officially “insane.” The third person will be a fellow who appears as a villain in my third and sixth mystery in the Portia of the Pacific series, by the name of Anthony Comstock, who began the “war on smut and abortion,” ultimately making both illegal.
I learned more about Ida Craddock from her suicide letter to the Public than from a lot of the facts in her life. We’re today living under similar circumstances with all the Republican pressures to make this country “pure of homosexuals and other deviant lifestyles,” exactly the same way Postmaster General Anthony Comstock, leader of the private thug group to eliminate “vice,” who made over 4,000 arrests and caused 15 suicides.
Ida’s suicide was one of the most heartfelt and honest because she was the most honest and educated of them all.
God knows, there will be more suicides these days if the “crusade against women, Blacks, history, gays, and books” continues in this country.
Finally, “present day character,” Amora Elizabeth Stanton, who is in the madhouse in England, will make love with this guru angel the same way Ida Craddock, in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, makes love with her wedded angels. This will be the “turning point” in the planned novel. Doing this research comes with a very specific purpose: to choose only those dramatic scenes that fit the intertwining of my characters so their experiences have a common purpose and theme. In my personal philosophy, all of reality is connected, beneath the surface of our hectic and tumultuous realities and most societies attempt to keep us separate so we don’t realize this connection made by this higher power called “synchronicity” by some and “fate” by others.
Please have a wonderful day and enjoy your reading freebies!