The word “blizzard” makes me shudder. Not because I’ve ever been stuck out in one (although we did once have the most horrendous snow affected car journey) but because I used it in speech in a Regency story, “The Shade on a Fine Day”. Now, it sounds a nice old word, doesn’t it? You can imagine King Lear blethering on about blizzards on the blasted heath. It isn’t. It’s late Victorian and comes from North America so my nice, gay Regency curate couldn’t have used it, unless he actually coined the word and it then somehow crossed the Atlantic.
I have to admit that no readers have ever taken me to task for this mistake, because it’s not an obvious blooper, but I know, which is quite sufficient. Sometimes authors are their own hardest critics. I hate getting anything wrong in my historicals, although things do slip through and my wonderful editors usually catch those, but the odd bit of stuff creeps into the final text, usually because something sounds old and isn’t.
It works both ways, though. Sometimes my editors will point out that I have got an anachronism and it’s always a total delight to be able to prove that it isn’t anachronistic at all. In my last Cambridge Fellows book I had the wonderfully eccentric Dr Panesar discussing his vision of a device that would allow people to communicate instantaneously all over the world. The very first person who looked at the mss, many years ago, took me to task for his having ideas which nobody would have had so long ago. I was able to point out a wonderful EM Forster story, “The Machine Stops” which dates from a similar time and features something very like a computer and the world wide web!
It’s isn’t just editors that authors can play “get one up” on. I once had a reader contact me to say that Derek was an anachronistic name for an Edwardian Duke. I pointed him straight at the Duke of Albermarle (Derek!) – in a nice way, of course. Luckily, he didn’t take umbrage, and we began an e-mail correspondence in which I started to encourage him to finish a story, submit it to a publisher, and so begin his own writing career.
Oh, the naughtily smug feeling of being right. And the even better feeling of helping people fledge and take flight!
Title: Lessons for Suspicious Minds by Charlie Cochrane
A Cambridge Fellows Mystery
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Historical, M/M, Romance, Mystery
Length: 258 pages/Word Count: 67,800
In the innocent pre-war days, an invitation to stay at the stately country home of a family friend means a new case for amateur sleuths Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith. In fact, with two apparently unrelated suicides to investigate there, a double chase is on.
But things never run smoothly for the Cambridge fellows. In an era when their love dare not speak its name, the risk of discovery and disgrace is ever present. How, for example, does one explain oneself when discovered by a servant during a midnight run along the corridor?
Things get even rougher for Orlando when the case brings back memories of his father’s suicide and the search for the identity of his grandfather. Worse, when they work out who the murderer is, they are confronted with one of the most difficult moral decisions they’ve ever had to make.
Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a title from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excluding Lessons for Survivors.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 25. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!
Follow the rest of the tour HERE.