Victorian Fashion Sketches

Oh, how I love the research stage of writing a historical novel! I’m busy working on Rougemont #3, but I’m ready to take a little break, and I thought you might enjoy seeing the best of late-Victorian fashion in all its excessive, opulent glory.* The unwieldy bell-shaped skirts of the 1840-60s gave way to a […]

The Evolution of New Year’s Resolutions

January: I’m going to lose 30 pounds, get a master’s in anthropology, volunteer as a candy striper every Wednesday and at the library every Thursday. Call Grandma every Friday, vacuum the stairs and dust the picture frames every week. Teach yoga. First learn how to do yoga. Finish workout before watching TV. Quit yelling at the […]

Victorian Inventors

I don’t see what all the fuss is about — the upset readers who want to know what on earth I’m doing, with my Victorian characters sending telegraphs and fastening zippers. Considering DaVinci invented a machine gun, diving suit, and helicopter before Shakespeare wore diapers, you might not be impressed to hear vacuum cleaners were […]

I Took Art Lessons To Write My Book

To celebrate the re-release of The King of Threadneedle Street, I’m updating and reposting this article on art and drawing, which I originally ran in April 2013. Thanks for reading! I loved doing research for Book #2 in the Rougemont series, The King of Threadneedle Street. Shameless litte geek that I am, I enjoyed reading about the 19th-century […]

5 MORE Things The Victorians Did Differently Than You

1.  Dating  Expensive mistresses, sordid-themed clubs, reckless curricle racing, dueling with pistols, gambling away his inheritance… the Victorian bachelor sowed his wild oats and got away with behaving very badly indeed. Once his dowager grandmama gave him the ultimatum to marry or else, he then had the burden of keeping his naughty behavior from the notice of […]

5 Things The Victorians Did Differently Than You

1. Underwear  Let’s face it: this is why you’re here. You should be curious about Victorian underthings, because they were truly weird. 19th-century clothing was so complicated, a lady typically couldn’t dress herself. Before the mid-1800s, her innermost layer was a “shift,” or “chemise,” basically a shin-length shirt. “Drawers” (pantaloons being the American version) became popular in the mid-1800s once Victorian ladies understood […]

I Took Art Lessons To Write My Book

I loved doing research for my new historical, The King of Threadneedle Street. Shameless litte geek that I am, I enjoyed reading about the 19th-century global economy to write my financial genius hero, Andrew Tilmore. Luckily for you, I’m not blogging about that. I’d like to show you how I wrote my artist character, Alysia Villier. I wanted […]

Don’t Play It Again, Sam – Part 2 Inspiration from the Bargain Bin

Throw out your tired old bargain bin Classical Music album. Here are five lesser-known gems by brilliant but under-appreciated composers sure to provide inspiration for the most transcendent, sophisticated ideas you’ve ever conjured. 1.  If you watched Looney Tunes, you know the cross-dressing Bugs Bunny only prances with open arms toward the hoodwinked Elmer Fudd to the sound of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. With apologies […]

The Good Old Days Internet Shrine

Way back in 1992 *snickering* when I wrote a term paper on the de Medicis or amoebas or whatever, guess what I spent most of my time doing: A – Doodling my future signature, Mrs. Brain Surgeon, in the margins B – Wrestling with that %@$! dot matrix printer C – Wandering stupidly around the […]

How to Be “Eccentric” Instead of Crazy

Beethoven thrashed pianos. Van Gough sliced off his ear. Einstein smoked cigarette nubs left on the street. Pythagoras believed beans are evil. Tesla avoided touching any round-shaped object [insert dirty joke here]. I bet you’re smiling or chuckling good-naturedly. That’s because I cited some of humanity’s most revered geniuses. We all do weird stuff, and worse […]