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Monday, July 1, 2013

PBS is a Great Start

Picture Credit: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-
I have to give a shout-out for PBS's series American Experience.

For the last several years I have been playing with the idea of writing about the Spanish Flu Epidemic. But there has always been one thing that has stopped me: I write fantasy. I didn't want to be that author--you know who I mean--the one who jumps around from genre to genre so much that even once they publish something they can't keep any fans. Besides, I believe in the series that I've been working on.

Well, a few months back I decided to test the waters by doing a little research on the Spanish Flu. I went to my local library and checked out PBS's American Experience: Influenza 1918. I was amazed at how wonderful it was. PBS doesn't do things half-way. It was a quality production. Further, their website gives more detail about the epidemic as well as good recommendations for books and websites where I could learn more. Check out their site here. The information they presented, along with their suggested sources, gave me a great spring board into what I have studied every spare hour since then.

Now that I have spent a few months buried up to my eyeballs in research, I am ready to formally announce myself as a historical fiction author. The fantasy books I was working on are going back on the shelf--at least for now. I have to admit, though, as sad as I am to say goodbye to my old plans, I am equally excited about my new plans. And maybe one day I can dust off my old fantasy manuscripts and try them out again.


  1. You go girl! I'm rootin' for you in this awesome adventure, Rachel! Can't wait to read about the exciting new plot and characters you create. You're right, Miriam can wait until the time is right to rediscover her story. Love ya!

  2. Thanks Elsie! I can't wait for your book to come out! I'm excited that the countdown is on and that your cover looks incredible.

  3. I love research! Though one of the hardest parts after researching everything is using what you've learned, wouldn't you agree? =D

    1. Yes, absolutely. I find that I learn mountains of things about the topics I research and then there is only room for small hills of information in the books. I guess that's a good thing--it means they're novels and not lectures, but it's almost sad to leave out so much that you've gained.