It is Less Than Three's fourth birthday. So happy birthday to LT3!
Less Than Three is an amazing press, run by amazing people who never cease to amaze me with how professional, author oriented and cutting edge they are. Really, one of the best (if not the best, but don't tell anyone I said that) publishers in the genre.
Seriously sometimes I don't know why they put up with me, but they do.
So this post was supposed to be about Sherlock Holmes but issues came up so now it's about my very favorite things ever:
The thing I love most next to writing is pretty much a no brainer. I adore history, really truly I do and I'm incredibly lucky that I do both writing and history for a living.
Usually when I tell people that I study history semi-professionally they get a kind of glazed-over look "wow!" they tell me "good for you, I always hated history in school."
I've learned to smile and nod through this since that's pretty much all I can do, I've always enjoyed history, I've never had the experience of hating it or finding it boring.
When I was a child was obsessed with mummification. My mom thought that it was weird, creepy and disturbing that her seven year old daughter loved pouring over pictures of mummified corpses. Looking back on it, it was a little weird and especially since my sister at the time was obsessed with ballerinas and her best friend with horses. I just thought mummies were awesome though, a person, who, in some cases, still looked like a person from thousands of years ago. Mummies allow us to know what people who have been dead for thousands looked like, what they eat, how they dressed. In some cases tattoos have been preserved on mummified flesh. The different kinds of mummification and what they could tells us about ancient societies fascinated me, as did the rituals around the way different cultures thought about death and the afterlife.
When I got over my fixation with mummies themselves I of course moved to being obsessed with Ancient Egypt. The richness of Egyptian culture, the sheer amount of things they left behind fascinated me and sparked my imagination. From there I moved to obsessing over Crete and spent years researching the controversies around Crete and Grecian history and archeology. The first story I ever sat down and tried to write was set in a mythological fantasy version of ancient Crete. I branched out into the early history of the Celtic Isles during this time as well although my love affair was brief.
In high school I moved on to become fascinated by Richard III and the War of the Roses. What interested me the most about this period of English history is the historiographical debate surrounding legitimacy of sources. Late in my high school career I began studying American women's history.
When I entered college I took a class in Asian American history and another in queer theory and history both of which changed my life. I have been studying both Asian American history and the history of gender and sexuality ever since. Also in college I studied Chinese history which was lots of fun and I still continue that research as a little side avenue today.
When I study history I love to get immersed into the culture, and society. I am a cultural and intellectual historian primarily so I don't do a lot of political, economic or military history. Instead I stick to what people did in their day to day lives, the places they lived, the jobs they held, what they eat and how they dressed. I also love to think about ideas and how the way we think and view the world has changed over time. I love to challenge myself to understand a totally different way of looking at the world and try and find trace elements of ideas lurking around in the historical archive.
It's really no surprised that when I sit down to create my own fantasy worlds they are always based on historical time period and cultures. Although I don't write historical fiction I do love to base my world building on one or possibly more historical settings. In fact writing first Heart of Water and Stone was what got me interested in researching and studying Viking age Scandinavia and Iceland which has been lots of fun so far. After all, I'm always up for more research.
in honor of my long standing love of history I am giving away copies of all of my stories, published thus far, with historical settings. So folks pretty much have the run of my backlist (and all published by LT3). I am giving away one (1) copy of each of these books so there is plenty of goodies to go around.
-Ebook copy of Heart of Water and Stone (inspired by Viking age Iceland)
-Ebook copy of The Kraken Lord and the Eater of the Sun (inspired by Viking age Iceland)
-Ebook copy of Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets (inspired by early Song Dynasty China)
-Ebook copy of Private Dicks: Undercovers which includes "Regarding the Detectives Companion" (inspired by 1840s Britain)
-Ebook copy of Changeling Moon (inspired by 1820-1830 (ish) New York City, United States)
So to enter:
comment: include what book you want and how I can contact you should you win it.
A nice note about the entry would be wonderful too.
The giveaway will close at 12: 00 am EST April 15th I will contact all the lucky winners on the 15th (after I wake up and have coffee) and if something crazy happens we can go from there.