One of my favorite aspects of writing a novel is doing the research. If readers are trusting me with their time, I want to make every effort to deliver a book that is both enjoyable and accurate.I try to do as much work as I can prior to writing. It’s there that the ideas really start flowing, where inspiration is born from actual life—many times from past events.
I have always been drawn to Boston’s Revolutionary history and knew a story was waiting there for me. After learning more about the Boston Massacre and the complexity of the event, coupled with the fact of how well it paralleled my contemporary story which was based on events from the Boston Marathon bombing, I felt I could really dig into my research.
Before I began writing Freedom’s Ring, I read everything and anything I could get my hands on regarding Revolutionary Boston. This included both nonfiction and fiction, children’s and adult books. The poor librarians at my local library. Sometimes they’d have to give me my own shelf for all the books I placed on hold!
In addition to reading, I watched many History Channel and PBS documentaries, along with the spectacular HBO miniseries John Adams. These all helped me get a feel for colonial Boston.
Then I dragged my family to Lexington to see the reenactments, and then on to Boston and the Freedom Trail over and over again. I loved visiting the places I was writing about. All this history, practically right in my backyard. What a treasure!
Another special trip was to the New England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston. Before I visited, I took advantage of their amazing website, which holds tons of archived webinars and online learning programs—all extremely helpful as I constructed Brad and Annie’s search into the past. I had never done any genealogical searching myself, so I had a lot to learn!
When I visited NEHGS, I spoke to David Lambert, one of the chief genealogists at the society. He sparked an idea that really helped me connect the contemporary and historical stories in Freedom’s Ring.
I spent at least three months researching for this book before I began the actual writing. By that time I was so steeped in Revolutionary Boston, I could better write from the view of Liberty, my historical heroine.
I loved every moment of this research and learning about the brave colonists who longed for independence. Freedom’s Ring releases August 8th and I can’t wait to share it with you!
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