Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Henry VIII, My Husband, and the Pissing Drunkard

Travel is a writer's perk. I've often journeyed far from home to research the world of my books.

For my historical novels, I tramped England in the footsteps of soldiers and queens. For my thriller The Experiment in which my heroine lives aboard her sailboat, I explored a funky New York City marina where a skipper took me sailing on Long Island Sound. For The Man from Spirit Creek I interviewed a ranching couple in northern Alberta who invited me to stay for dinner where I ate the best strawberry-rhubarb pie I’ve ever tasted.

In researching one book, though, I discovered an eye-opening resource close to home. My husband.

  

The Queen’s Lady is set in England during the reign of Henry VIII. Now, Henry and my husband share no similarity regarding tyrannical rule and beheaded wives – I married a thoughtful, peaceable man. He is, however, endowed with the standard issue male anatomy, and this helped my research.

Here’s how.

In my first draft of the novel, I’d written a scene of a Midsummer Eve celebration in which boisterous revelers dance around bonfires, lovers steal kisses, and a drunk old man pisses as he staggers through the crowd.

Wait a minute, I thought. Can a man do that – urinate while walking?

I took the problem to my husband. “Can a man do that?” I asked.

“I’ll go see,” he said, and walked out the door.

Thankfully, we lived then on sixty rural acres at the end of a dead-end road. Not a soul around.

Five minutes later he came back in. “Yup,” he reported.

You can see why I value this resource, right?

These days, with the pandemic keeping us all close to home, I’m lucky because I can turn to my husband again as a resource. I’m at work on a mystery novel in which the main character is an animal rights activist, and Stephen has worked with animal rights organizations for years. That’s him in the picture above, with an otter friend. His stories about the fine people who protect animals inspired this new book.  

I’ve enjoyed my travels, but right now close to home feels just fine.

Barbara Kyle is the author of the bestselling Thornleigh Saga series of historical novels (“Riveting Tudor drama” – USA Today) and of acclaimed thrillers. Over half a million copies of her books have been sold. Her latest is The Man from Spirit Creek, a novel of suspense. Barbara has taught hundreds of writers in her online classes and many have become award-winning authors. Page-Turner, her popular how-to book for writers, is available in print, e-book, and audiobook. Visit Barbara at www.BarbaraKyle.com  

 

 The Man from Spirit Creek 

When Liv Gardner arrives in the rural town of Spirit Creek, Alberta, she has nothing but her old car and a temporary job as paralegal with the local attorney. But Liv’s down-market persona is a ruse. She's actually in-house counsel of Falcon Oil, a small oil and gas company she co-owns with her fianc√©, CEO Mickey Havelock – and they are facing financial ruin.

Farmer Tom Wainwright, convinced that lethal “sour” gas killed his wife, is sabotaging Falcon’s rigs. But Wainwright is clever at hiding his tracks and the police have no evidence to charge him. With the sabotage forcing Falcon toward bankruptcy, Liv has come undercover to befriend Wainwright – and entrap him.

But Liv never dreamed she’d become torn between saving the company she and Mickey built and her feelings for the very man whose sabotage is ruining them. On a rain-swept night, Spirit Creek is stunned when one of their own is murdered. The evidence does more than point to Tom Wainwright . . . it shatters Liv’s world.

"A stunning thriller. A must-read with sabotage, murder, intrigue and romance." - Goodreads review


 

Page-Turner: Your Path to Writing a Novel that Publishers Want and Readers Buy

"Kyle is one of the few authors who can break down both the art and the craft of writing in a way that is entertaining and easy to understand.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong

 

14 comments:

  1. Husbands do come in handy from time to time, Barbara. The anatomy research assignment gave me a chuckle. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a title - and what a good sport your husband is!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lol, re your husband's research assistance, Barbara! I finding myself needing to visualize this, however.... // If anyone is looking for an excellent book on the process of writing a novel, I highly recommend Barbara's book, PAGE TURNER. It is itself a page turner!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so appreciate this from you, T.K. - such a fine fellow writer. Cheers!

      Delete
  4. Hilarious. It would be my husband's luck that even if we lived on sixty acres in the middle of nowhere, that would be the moment the UPS guy came up the road.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ha above and beyond! Your husband is a treasure. So excited to learn all about you, Barbara.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Donnell Ann, I'm so pleased to be part of the Gang.

      Delete
  6. LOL! Give that man an acknowledgement at the end of the book, for sure! And welcome, Barbara.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Done! And thanks for the warm welcome in your "Welcome to the Gang" post, Saralyn.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I enjoyed your post, Barbara. Research requiring travel is my favorite type of research. My Sydney Lockhart series is set in historical hotels, all of which I visit for extended periods of time. I too have a mystery series with an animal-rights activists as the main character. Each one takes her to a new location, which means more travel for me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I enjoyed your post so much I ordered one of your books to check out your writing. Your post made me laugh. I love that.

    ReplyDelete