Copperfield Review Interview

Meredith Allard has just posted an interview with me at the The Copperfield Review–A Journal for Readers and Writers of Historical Fiction that you might find interesting. The Copperfield Review is an electronic journal that reviews historical fiction (including poetry), and historical non-fiction, as well as does interviews with historical fiction authors. I found the questions very thought-provoking, and I appreciated the chance to write a little more about my journey as a historical fiction author and my participation in the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative. You can find my interview here. M. Louisa Locke, July 3, 2013

“The Dude Abides:” Changing Definitions of Words and Historical Fiction

Yesterday, as I was searching for descriptions of San Francisco Theaters in 1880 (I am hoping to have a scene in a theater in my next historical mystery, Bloody Lessons), I ran across the following paragraph and laughed out loud. “Last evening, as I was hurriedly walking along Dupont street, near Post, in the gloaming, I saw before me a young dude, who, instead of minding his business of walking decently, was projecting his face and hat into the visage of his girl companion to the left, while with his dexter paw he twirled a light cane, which extended half Read more…

How realistic must we be when writing historical fiction? Victorian San Francisco Mistresses and Maids

I had planned to write about the social structure of Victorian San Francisco when two recent events got me to thinking about the tension historical fiction authors feels between accurately portraying the past and telling a good story. The first event was a mixed review I got for my most recent mystery, Uneasy Spirits. The reviewer suggested my treatment of the relationship between my protagonist Annie Fuller (who runs a boarding house in addition to being an amateur sleuth) and her staff was “unrealistic” because she treated her servants as friends and permitted them to have a Halloween party. The Read more…

Getting Past the Sally Field Moment: Personal Reflections on selling over 10,000 copies of Maids of Misfortune

You see, I had planned to make a big deal of it when I passed the 10,000 mark, you know, balloons, go out to dinner, celebrate. Then today, when I needed a break from writing, that thing writers do to procrastinate, I added up my sales to date and discovered I had passed the mark some days ago. I confess I had my sixty seconds when I thought, OMG, 10,000 people like me/ahem I mean 10,000 people like my book, but pretty quickly I realized this number had a much deeper meaning to me, as an indie author and as Read more…

The Streets of San Francisco: Detoured, diverted, and derailed by historical research

Several weeks ago I had carved out a few days for uninterrupted writing, and I was firmly committed to making significant progress on my new book. I already had the first five chapters written (about 10,000 words) of Uneasy Spirits, the sequel to my historical mystery, Maids of Misfortune, and my goal was to get another 4-5 chapters done. I started out well, briefly reviewing my outline, and then I began writing the chapter where my protagonist, Annie Fuller, was to travel from the O’Farrell Street boarding house she owned to the residence of Simon and Arabella Frampton, spiritualists she Read more…