I do love a bit of research and my next book “The Lord of the Faran Hills” required a fair bit of it. Admittedly being married to a military historian does mean a lot of it can be done by shouting “Hey, babe” through the connecting wall and waiting for the answer, but some it has to have a bit more hands on experience…okay, not so much of the hands on, no fool was actually going to allow me to handle a matchlock musket, but I got shown a great deal and not just on You Tube…black powder smells delicious by the way, just like flowers.
But, having said that, here is an excellent film on how it is done. The noise is terrific.
The book is set at a time when armies are beginning to evolve into the sort of fighting units which is more familiar to modern eyes. The pikeman and the bow and the primitive goone will soon give way to the matchlock musket and in time will give way to the flintlock. In the book, as in Europe in the later Middle Ages, mercenaries are first with any new military development, they can afford it, and my Faran Lord will be the first of his kind to acquire muskets.
Below is a picture the type of weapon in the book. To be honest, I have cut out a couple of stages of weapon evolution to get to the more exciting stage, but they are using scouring rods, match cord and putting the ball and the wad down the barrel ( showing off technical knowledge here).
I’d love to hear from anyone also interested in early weaponry, so stick any thoughts you have in the comments.
A couple of weeks ago I was having a nervous break down about the quilt show I was organising. Remarkably everything went very well and we made £500.00 for the charity we were supporting this time.
I thought I would share pictures of the quilts made by me…trumpet blowing in fact.
The first is a traditional block quilt, it is huge, king size bed. I called it “Winter Warm” and I am keeping it for me.
The second one is called “Four Square Dance” after the block. I made it for my best friend for a special birthday.
I will be honest, I added the “monkey” bit because it sounded good, but there is a reason for the mercenaries and the muskets.
Currently with Dave, my lovely editor and undergoing his rigorous scrutiny is my next offering “The Lord of the Faran Hills”.
This is a bit of a departure for me, because it is fantasy, although fantasy without magic, I reserve magic for the weird stuff like in “A Solemn Curfew”, but it is fantasy and not science fiction.
However, I am returning to a favourite theme…soldiers. I have a soft spot for all things military, having been married to a military historian for quite a few years. Normally my soldiers are regulars, but this time I wanted to explore the world of the soldier of fortune.
Normally these guys get a very bad press and rightly so, but there are many who don’t deserve it. They are men who fight and defend a foreign power in exchange for a salary like The Swiss Guard who look after the Pope and The Gurkhas who serve with the British Army, technically these guys are mercenaries, but their honour and reputation is well established.
The same is true for the ones in my new book.
And then there are the muskets. I’ve has so much fun researching muskets. More of that next post.
The book will be out soon I hope and I hope some of you will find it as fun to read as it was to write.