Writer Tech: quoting sources in historical fiction

Yesterday an email came in asking me a technical question about writing historical fiction about a real person. “My subject wrote an autobiography in the 1940s…. How does one handle first-person material without plagiarizing? If your subject recounts a conversation, can you paraphrase that conversation? If you rewrite the conversation with different words, are you … Read more…

Why don’t (s)he write?

Remember that line from Dances With Wolves? Kevin Costner and a teamster come across a skeleton and the teamster says, “Somewhere back east, his sister is wondering, Why don’t he write?” I’m not dead, but I’ll  put it this way: 1500+ people have climbed Mt. Everest. Only 67 have completed this ride. About 4:30 yesterday, … Read more…

Some pianos ARE too awful to play!

This morning, I drove into Tombstone early, hoping to beat the heat and the crowds. Spotted mining archeologist  Carey Granger and had a chance to ask him some additional questions, including, “Wait — they had two ice factories in Tombstone? How did they make ice?” He said they used ammonia and fire. “Did you ever … Read more…