barbara_hambly (barbara_hambly) wrote,
barbara_hambly
barbara_hambly

One of the problems I've had in writing historicals - particularly earlier on, when I was researching from libraries rather than the Internet - is when after the book came out (usually about a year after), a book that would have been REALLY REALLY USEFUL for my research on a particular topic will appear, and cause me to say, Grrr, dammit... In one case the discrepancy was great enough that I phoned the editor and asked that a couple of paragraphs be changed in the next printing... I don't know if they ever did that or not. (And then, of course, there's stuff that I've never managed to find, even on the Internet, like the differences between French and British law concerning the disposal of unclaimed corpses - at least I wasn't able to find it at the time I needed to.)

On the other hand, it's always gratifying when a book comes out confirming that I got something right. Fact-checking about some tiny detail in the new Ben January, I ran across another example of what were called "County Seat Wars," something you'd mostly find in the West but in this case was in Alabama: where there was competition between two towns to be the administrative center of a new county, and gangs of men from Town A would literally go raid Town B, steal all the county records, load them in a wagon and carry them bodily back to Town A. (Which is a major plot element in the Ben January book "Lady of Perdition" - only on a much larger scale). Some of these raids ended in bloodshed and deaths. I'm glad I got it right - that it evidently wasn't as unheard-of as I'd thought - but it's pretty horrifying all the same.

In other news, George's collection of short stories - Budayeen Nights - will be downpriced to $1.99, digital, US and Canada, on Monday, June 28. The Budayeen books were his most popular series, partly I think because of the setting, the Budayeen itself - essentially an s-f version of the French Quarter. In a novel, you have to stick with the main plot-line. This is what's going on in the background, day-to-day.
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