Meredith Bond Talks About Historical Research

I don’t think there could be anything more enjoyable than writing a historical novel. Honestly! Actually, it’s not just writing the novel. Actually, writing the actual novel isn’t the most fun part (I’m a little embarrassed to admit). It’s the research.

Doing research is definitely the most fun part of writing historical novels. I’ve got a whole bookshelf filled with books on the Regency. I’ve gone to England and walked the gardens of grand estates and royal parks. I’ve walked through houses which were lived in by the aristocracy of the Regency. It’s amazing to feel the history there – and you can really feel it!

P1020122But not all of my books are set in England. A good half of An Exotic Heir takes place in Calcutta, and boy did I have a great time doing research for that! Travelling around Kolkata (as it has been renamed), walking through the Victoria Memorial’s museum which gives a wonderfully thorough history of the city, reading diaries of the English who lived in Calcutta during the Regency period. All that history is just seeped into those buildings, those letters and diaries! You can feel it just walking the streets of what was known as the city of palaces because of all the beautiful, huge homes built by the British when they lived there.

And then it struck me, as I accompanied my mother-in-law to the bazaar one morning to buy fish and vegetables: vendors have been hawking their wares in bazaars in exactly the same way for over 250 years! Yes. When you go to buy vegetables, they are frequently laid out on the ground on banana leaves just as they have been for hundreds of years. Sellers still weight the fruits and vegetables using hand-held scales dropping weights on one side to balance the precariously heaped vegetables on the other. There are only two adaptations which I have seen – bare electric light bulbs which are strung up in the evenings (although not all sellers have them, some still sell by candle light) and the cell phone which is tucked away under the seller’s legs because everybody has cell phones in India!

Exotic Heir Cover 6x8I had so much fun exploring the city, delving into its history and exploring the way people lived 250 years ago. I tried to infuse some of that into An Exotic Heir, to give a flavor of life during the British Raj. I hope you can feel it when you read the book, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.

If you do, tell me! I love hearing from readers. I can be found on Facebook at meredithbondauthor, on Twitter @merrybond or you can email directly at merry@meredithbond.com.

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About A Dandy in Disguise

dandySt. John Fotheringay-Phipps has nearly forgotten who he truly is. As the dashing, amusing dandy known to all in society as Fungy, he has hidden himself behind a mask of merriment. But he is reminded that there are pleasures beyond society — when he finds himself feeling responsible for the innocently lovely and fiercely intellectual Rose, the daughter of a famed archaeologist, and her charming, if socially inept, family.
Rose Grace knows that she cannot gamble with her future. She has suddenly been thrust into the role of mother to her two young sisters, companion to her brilliant, distracted father –and family savior.  She needs to do the right thing — to forget her own desires and quickly find a wealthy husband before the creditors come beating at their door. Then why is she distracted by the foppishly handsome Fungy, who seems so very irresponsible and pleasure-loving?  Surely he’s the last person whose advice she should follow!
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About the Author
Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith’s heart belongs to her husband and two children. Meredith’s second favorite pastime is teaching others to write.

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