I’m thrilled to welcome one of my friends, Juli D. Revezzo, to my blog to intrigue us with an excerpt from her new paranormal romance, The Artist’s Inheritance. She’s going to let us in on some of her research secrets.
Researching can be fun and productive by Juli D. Revezzo
When I started work on what became my debut novel The Artist’s Inheritance, I thought, the story had to go back into history but I wanted it set here in Florida. I knew about Henry B. Plant and his hotel to which Civil War era soldiers came to recuperate, but somehow that didn’t work. I wanted battle. Now, I had an uncle who was a well-known historian on the Tampa area; unfortunately, he passed away several years ago. What little I could find in the library about the battles here (out on Bayonet Point, but mostly centered in Tampa Bay) didn’t quite fit the story.
I hit the Internet and sent my friend Debra some emails and we ended up finding Fort Pickens up in Pensacola, Florida.
Now that wasn’t exactly the area I wanted, but it was still in the good ole Sunshine State so I thought okay, and took a look at the articles. The fort is still very much in tact and that fit the landscape I saw in my head. There were even some really nifty photos that fit the dark tone of the story. Oh, boy! Did those spark some ideas!
A few dozen runs through Google and I had a good working beginning.
Fort Pickens, it turns out, was built expressly for the war—the Union seized it and occupied it for the duration.
The Union? I couldn’t believe there was a Union-held Fort in Florida. My intrigue deepened and I noodled around for weeks, checking out books on the civil war and trawling Google and other search engines, combing through the archives of the University of South Florida (and bugging Debra. ;)). I even contacted a friend who lived in the area for some of his recollections.
Unfortunately, those were all based around the time of the Indian wars. Yeah, the little fort in Pensacola Bay started out as a Civil War base, and from what I gleaned, most people only knew it as the holding cell for Geronimo.
I kept reading and hit dozens, and dozens of sites (check out
(Battle of Pensacola Bay/Fort Pickens November 1861)
among many others). Then, my Trevor’s ancestor Roland popped up and said, “Lookee here, girl, you know I was at that fort. Trevor and his family may think I’m nuts but—”
Yeah, well, how can I believe anything out of his mouth? He’s not only crazy, but…well, a ghost. Would you believe him? *eyes crazy soldier* Well, Roland’s a little old school, and he’s got a hero streak a mile long (even if he is crazy—and did I mention, very transparent?), I suppose I’ll have to believe what he says.
Either way, after tons of research in a very short time, I think I got the fort right. I hope I did, because, you know what? I fell in love with the little structure. J See what a bit of research will do? It resulted in an interest, and a book, or more than one, if my dear Colonel Fulmer gets his way. ;)
Wanna know more about The Artist’s Inheritance? Okay.Here we go:
Settling into their new home in Gulf Breeze, Florida, Caitlin finds strange changes coming over her husband Trevor. He seems obsessed with a beautiful chair he’s carving.
When the nightmares deepen and ghosts begin lurking—she knows something’s not right, and not just her newfound precognitive abilities. It’s the damned chair, she’s sure. Could it be just what it seems: a mundane piece of furniture? If so, why is it attracting dark forces—the forces she suspects drove Trevor’s siblings to insanity and suicide?
Before the same happens to Trevor, Caitlin must convince him to sell his art. But armed with only a handful of allies, and little experience of the supernatural, she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family. If she succeeds, she will break the ancestral curse. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.
The book is available at Amazon:
Check out the book trailer
So, what are some of your favorite little known local factoids, folks? Any good Civil War ghost stories to tell?
Thanks Debra, for letting Roland and me come over today! I hope your readers enjoy our story of the area around Fort Pickens, (even if my soldier pal’s a little out of his mind).
Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Tampa Area Romance Authors, and the special interest RWA chapter Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal.The Artist’s Inheritance is her first novel.
Juli D. Revezzo’s site links:
on twitter: http://twitter.com/juliannewrites
On Good reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782712.Juli_D_Revezzo