Writing Historical Fiction by Linda Bell Brighton

Today we welcome Author Linda Bell Brighton as she stops along her book blog tour promoting her book Wolgast Castle Book One of the Sidonia The Sorceress Series. Linda is sharing her tips on writing historical fiction. Enjoy!


Writing historical fiction is an exercise in precision. Every tiny thing must be exactly correct and differing opinions about what happened—or why it happened—causes huge debates.

That’s why I write historical fantasy. The difference, to me, is history is an inspiration. History is a framework to tell my story.

But the research is the same.

When Muse told me I’d be rewriting the Sidonia the Sorceress book written by Wilhelm Meinhold, I protested. Like the majority of Americans, I knew little European history outside England. Yes, I’d watched The Ten Commandments, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, and many others. But for enjoyment, not for history.

But I did love the people in history. They are larger-than-life. So, my protest to Muse was really hollow.

My series starts in the 16th century. This is part of what’s called The Burning Times, or The Witch Burning Times. I’d always wondered what brought about the witch hunting. If I were a historian, I’d probably have to go to the original documents. Instead, I Googled the term and had days of fascinating reading.

Part of what it led me to was the Martin Luther split with the Pope. Again, many a wonderful day of reading.

Then I needed to zoom in on my area of the story.

When I saw it took place in what was called The Holy Roman Empire, I near gave up. I knew the quote, “The Holy Roman Empire wasn’t Holy, wasn’t Roman, wasn’t an Empire.” And I had no idea what it meant. So again, back to reading. Wikipedia is good for facts, but mostly boring. It was time for books. Most weren’t on Kindle.

And I discovered the fascinating Habsburgs. You think the Ewings of Dallas had wealth, sexual struggles, intrigue, and power struggles? They don’t hold a wick to Hapsburgs.

Then, I zoomed even closer, to Northern Protestant Germany, to the castle (that no longer exists so I was free to use my imagination), and to the people as characters.

Only then did I discover the question sleeping in my subconscious all the time: What if witches really did exist?

That is what Wolgast Castle is about…

About Wolgast Castle, Book One of the Sidonia The Sorceress Series by Linda Bell Brighton

Forced to attend Princess Maria regent’s celebration at Wolgast Castle, 1560 Germany, Sidonia von Bork, fears her magical abilities will be discovered and she’ll be burned alive as a witch. When she discovers she is actually a member of an ancient shape-shifting race and the prophesied Golden One, she must face her destiny: to save the multiverse from the daemons determined to destroy all humans, and stay alive in the process.

Giveaway Info

Yes! Linda is giving away prizes, including an e-copy of her book at each blog stop on her tour AND three Grand Prize Giveaway of one Travel Mug, one T-Shirt and one Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with your choice of fan art, chosen from here: http://www.zazzle.com/sidonia_the_sorceres, shipped to anywhere in the world!

1)    To win a book: Leave a comment on this blog post to be entered to win a book. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends seven days after the post goes live.

2)    To win the Travel Mug or the T-Shirt or the Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with Linda’s fan art of your choice, click the link to go to Linda’s website here http://www.lindabellbrighton.com/ and enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. The three lucky winners will be selected by October 7, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Linda Bell Brighton’s Bio: Linda Bell Brighton fell in love with myths, magic, and monsters at an early age. On a thunder-storming day in the Keys, her father—in his bass reading voice—brought The Hound of the Baskerville to too-vivid-life. From that day forward, Greek and Roman myths merged with Wonder Woman and Super girl. After studying medieval and Renaissance literature in college, she now combines her loves by writing an alternate history of the Witch Burning Times that she calls magpunk: real history with myths, magic, monsters—and daemons, too.


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  • Brendan Carroll says:

    I was surprised to see that you watched all the same old movies as I did. I love history, historical fiction and, last, but not least, anything to do with magic, mystery and myth. I also have an abiding interest in the Holy Roman Empire that wasn’t and all things Habsburg even though I’ve always spelled it with a ‘p’ instead of a ‘b’. LOL
    Good luck with the tour and the book!

  • Linda Bell Brighton says:

    A soul friend! Yea! I used to spell in with a “p.” When I took a course on them she drummed into us, “It’s b!”

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