Historical novels: alternative facts allowed?

Technically, novelists can make up anything they please, but getting things right is important to me, particularly when writing historical novels. I always try to create characters whose actions, decisions, dialog, and thoughts are comprehensible and who feel real within a narrative that seems believable. That's true even for science fiction like The Sparrow and Children of God, where the situation and all the characters are entirely fictional. Obviously, when Abraham Lincoln fights vampires, it's fantasy, not historical fiction; nobody's going to mistake the fun parts for what really happened. Personally, I hesitate to use a historical personage's name for a character ...
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DOC for $1.99 on Kindle

Doc is my personal favorite among the books. Click to find the special e-book offer.    ...
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Crass Commercial Message

The easiest and probably cheapest way to have me inscribe books is to order from Mac'sBacks. Order by Dec. 14th for delivery by Dec. 24th. http://www.macsbacks.com/mary-doria-russell-signed-books There's a COMMENTS box at the end of the order form where you type in if you want just a signature or an inscription like: To Janie, congratulations on graduating from dental school." Or whatever. The owner, Suzanne, brings books to my home to be inscribed and then mails them directly to you. If you buy from the Evil Empire, you'll have to pay Darth Vader for the book, then pack it up and mail it to ...
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Annie’s lasting legacy

She was the dog of a lifetime. A perfect fit, coming at the perfect time. Imperial and needy, ruling the household, enriching our lives. Annie Fanny was the dachshund model for Rosie Posey in Dreamers of the Day. She was not a speaking character precisely -- it's a political romance about the making of the modern Middle East -- but she was a supporting actress in the drama. True story: I was going to name the dog in the novel after Annie, because "write what you know," right? Publicist Brian McLendon advised me not to. When I asked why not, he said, ...
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Writer Tech: Connecting historical dots

While working on each of my previous six novels, I assumed it was either the only or the last story I'd ever write. Even follow-on books like Children of God and Epitaph came as a surprise to me. So I'm amazed to find that I've begun to do the research for an eighth novel. I am still immersed in writing Number Seven. Unremembered Lives is now a little over the halfway point. Ordinarily, 175 pages would be a long enough sample for my agency (Dystel, Goderich and Bourret) to offer publishers, but for any author, every new book is a separate ...
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Thanks for all your kind words

The loss of a beloved pet is something so many people have experienced and still feel years later. No other post has gotten so much response. Thank you all. I'm sorry to say that we've been turned down for Zoey and Bryant -- the rescue group that works in Ohio is looking for a young active family for that pair, and we don't fit that category any more. But the woman who fostered Annie Fannie saw our application and remembered our names because I'd sent her a copy of Dreamers of the Day to show how famous Annie had become. Kathie is ...
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Annie Fanny Sweet Feet, 2001-2016

Two weeks ago, kidney failure finally caught up with Annie. She was my constant companion for 12 of her 15 years, on my lap as we watched my mother die, at my side while I wrote A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day, Doc and Epitaph.  I still can't write about her without my throat closing up and my eyes welling, so I will simply say that she was a wonderful ambassador for both rescue groups and her breed. This morning, Don and I applied for Zoey and Bryant at Dachshund Rescue of Ohio. They're a bonded pair, both ...
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Every year at this time…

http://marydoriarussell.net/2012/09/26/days-of-awe/ ...
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Writer Tech: the chapter from hell

It took me three tries to pass statistics in graduate school, but one thing I learned is that sample size is crucial to discerning patterns. After 6.5 novels, I have finally realized that there is always a chapter that stops me cold. The chapter from hell usually comes about 2/5ths of the way into the story. Lots of important decisions have already been made. Tense. Tone. Point of view. The characters have been introduced. The plot is under way. I know more or less where I'm going and how to get there. And then... Bang. I slam into the chapter from hell. I ...
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