I had never written any sort of historical story before I wrote Tender is the Knight, and to be perfectly honest, I was more than a little intimidated. I'm not afraid of research or trying to get my facts straight, but obviously historical accuracy is very important in undertaking a specific period in time.
Details can make or break a story whether it's contemporary, historical, paranormal, etc., so adding aspects like food, color, material and specific names for clothing, are always important. You'd think that doing research would be a breeze on the Internet with so many options, so many sites, and so many supposedly official opinions, but sometimes too many sources can be detrimental.
One of the most difficult things for me was figuring out how my characters would talk—the words they'd use, the ones they wouldn't, how they would address others, even how they would speak in a more intimate situation. It got to the point where I felt hopelessly stuck before I even began. Eventually I pulled on my big girl panties and sought out a source that, though not the right country or even time frame, was somewhat similar in formal speech and very familiar to me—anything and everything to do with Alexander the Great.
You see, I became hopelessly addicted to the great Alexander and his childhood friend and lifetime lover, Hephaistion, when I saw the movie then started reading fanfiction. Eventually I wrote some of own, but I also enjoyed the research part of it. I devoured anything to do with Xander and Phai, and in some strange way, my addiction got me over the hump in dealing with Tristan and Clayne in Medieval England. And it really wasn't such a chore to have to watch Colin Farrell and Jared Leto speaking to each other. Rawr.
Despite all my new and old research, I did cheat a little. Tender is the Knight is set in a universe similar to Camelot and King Arthur so I did get to play with some of the facts just a wee bit. Hopefully it all came out good in the wash, and my first semi-historical story will find someone who enjoys it. Cheers.
Tender Is the Knight by K-lee Klein is now available at Amber Allure.
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