I'm chugging along, already in the fourth chapter of a historical. Here's the weird thing: I have no idea what year this book takes place. DAMN! I don't think I've done this before. I mean it'll be the decade I'm fond of, the 1880s. (I think I like those years only because I've read a lot about them.)

My characters wake up every morning and they don't know what the hell year they're in. Has a president been assassinated? (Garfield '81) Is there finally train service between their town and the city? Has the fountain pen been invented (1885)? Has the last guagga died ('83)? Have Allan Pinkerton and Gregor Mendel died yet? ('84) Can they buy Ladies Home Journal (first pubbed '83)? They don't know anything, those poor characters.

I've given my hero panic attacks. I figure I ought to use the experience somewhere, right? He's got post-traumatic stress disorder, naturally. Can't have a hero who just has panic attacks for no good reason. Rioters can be weak, not heroes.

I'm liking my characters, too. That's always more fun--and I have a lot of secondary characters who have personality.

books, books...My second historical seems to be having the same reaction with readers as it does with me: It fades away.

"I am reading Kate Rothwell's book!" says Monica, Karen and Bam. And then.....nothing. I'm waiting for a rant or a yawn. But nothing happens. Yah, well I can't pick it at all so I should complain. Funny thing is how many people have told me they like it better than my other stuff.

That book and the ebook The Last Mind Traveler--for me they are hmmhrrrmmm... far away. Not the end of the story (which I happen to like a lot), just the whole thing. Hard to explain. I don't try to, either. You can if you want, but I'll put my hands over my ears. The books are published, and I only listen to advice about my unpublished stuff.

Amy is still looking for answers. I'm looking too, but that's not the kind of research I do well.


  1. Hey, I wrote my own lil review of your book. So there! I win! Woooo!

    As for Amy, I have no answers - just huge amounts of sympathy.

  2. I think you should make the date 2080. Then you and I will be writing in the same genre ;o)

    Lest you balk: Neal Stephenson's book The Diamond Age takes place in a neo-Victorian future. There's lots of SF window dressing, of course, cuz you have to keep your fans happy. But that stuff is easy.

  3. You mean we're supposed to know when our stories take place???

    deletes everything, starts over

  4. Good luck with the writing, Kate--I am not always sure when my books take place, either. And yay to the mention of the Diamond Age, an amazing, fabulous book.
    See you next week!

  5. Doug you know To Say Nothing of the Dog, yeah?


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