Monday, June 8, 2015

What's Happening Over Here and My First Few Days at the Depreciation Lands Museum

Hey everyone,

Well, two new interviews with me are available in which I discuss my book, music, and film projects. So check the out:

Authors Interviews
Monsterdiggare.net

Also, if you've missed my updates on social media, I have announced the cover reveal for Kindred (The Birthrite Series, #2) and Saturn Sun: A Novella (The Birthrite, #2.5) for June 29th. The covers will be revealed at this blog along with a few others. So stay tuned for the cover designs, the synopsis, and chapter excerpts!

I will also be linking to the other blogs participating so you can check them out and show them love. Afterwards, there will be a pre-order option and some giveaways involving Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement: A Novelette (The Birthrite Series, #1.5)

In other news this week, this blog will be hosting an interview and book giveaway with Paranormal/Historical Romance author, April Holthaus. At the end of the interview, she will be giving away digital copies of one of her books, so stay tuned for that.

In my efforts to have a good amount of depth and realism to my fictional stories, much research went into creating and building the worlds, plotting of events, and people residing within those historical, yet fantastical, worlds. As I mentioned before, I did read books and peruse websites that seemed pretty credible. And that is all good. However, even with that, there is only so much that can be done to create well-rounded worlds and characters. There truly is something about getting firsthand experience (or in this case, as firsthand as you can possibly make it).
Recently, I began work at the Depreciation Lands Museum in Allison Park, PA, including as a costumed interpreter (which I start this coming weekend). In addition to the period attire, they actually encourage you to fully partake in (or partake in as much as time permits you to) the culture of the area in the 18th century. For one, they encourage you to make your own outfit (though it isn't absolutely necessary to do so) out of period appropriate material, and they also offer classes in various colonial lifestyles, such as cooking over a campfire, cooking in a beehive or hearth oven, and drop spindle (I will be taken a class in the latter).
Now so far, I have visited the museum on a few days on which it has been open to the public. I also have gone to a board meeting, participated in their costume night at their tavern (a night to work on making the period attire), and have taken a few very informative books out of their library. In that short time, I have already acquired new insights and access to information that I wish I had when I started writing my book series. However, the good news is that The Birthrite Series has only begun, which gives the subsequent books more room to grow as delving deep into history is part of the story. As I mentioned previously, I do feel that this endeavor and journey into the past will add more depth to my stories and just my writing in general.

Now, here are some rather cool and interesting findings from my last couple times there:
- Abby, the young woman who was the schoolmarm this passed Sunday, showed me one of the schoolbooks on display in back of the schoolhouse. The book belonged to a girl named Sadie Marshall in the year 1888 (as per the inscription in the book). Her handwriting was impeccable (as many back in the day had gorgeous handwriting), and the pencil inscriptions were still fully in tact. Paging (very carefully) through the book, not only did you get her written list of her classmates, but a few love poems in the margins. In the "read up and down" fashion.

- Although it is typically seen as a man's job, it was actually not uncommon to see a woman working in the blacksmith's shop in many areas. Women often made nails for extra money (this information was told to me by the Depreciation Museum's own blacksmith). So I also might be learning blacksmithing as well as that was offered to me as an option.

While I will be blogging about my findings and learnings at the Depreciation Museum here, more detail will be gone into at my monthly newsletter. The newsletter is absolutely free and you can opt out at any time. You will also have first access to giveaways. So head on over to the JOIN OUR COMMUNITY page and sign up. :)

Last but not least, here are a couple pictures from the Depreciation Lands Museum. More will be posted at my online magazine, The Parting of Veils. I will be covering the museum there as well, since it also has its own residential ghost, The Deacon.


 At the entrance: Joanna (or Christina Taggart Sample when she's in period attire) and Rebecca



Inside the tavern 
(as a side note, this is sort of how I pictured the Fleming Orphanage dining hall in my book series, The Birthrite, though the main inspiration was the dining hall at Seton Hill University)


The schoolhouse
(where I will be this weekend!)

So if you happen to be in the Pittsburgh area, drop by and visit this awesome piece of history. :)

Depreciation Lands Museum Website


Til next time, stay tuned for April Holthaus's interview and giveaway!



*****

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Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


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"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
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