Friday, July 10, 2020

Pestilence by Pamela Taylor


It’s a pleasure to welcome author Pamela Taylor here today as part of her WOW! Women on Writing Tour for her latest release, PESTILENCE.

Pamela will be joining us to talk about deriving details for your setting from historical maps. First, a brief synopsis of her book.

PESTILENCE
By Pamela Taylor
* Print Length: 234 Pages
* Genre: Historical Fiction
* Publisher: Black Rose Writing
* ASIN: B08563V87C
* ISBN-10: 1684334810
* ISBN-13: 9781684334810

At the dawn of the Renaissance, Alfred - the eponymous second son - must discover the special destiny foreseen for him by his grandfather. Now, the unthinkable has happened: Alfred’s brother is king. And it isn’t long before everyone’s worst fears are realized.

Traditional allegiances are shattered under a style of rule unknown since the grand bargain that formed the kingdom was struck over two hundred years ago. These will be the most dangerous years of Alfred’s life, forcing him to re-examine his duty to personal honor and to the kingdom, while the threats posed by his brother constantly remind him of his father’s final words of advice.

What choices will he have to make to try to protect the things he holds most dear?

PESTILENCE is available to purchase as a print copy and as an e-book at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Be sure to add this to your GoodReads reading list too!

Now please join me in giving a warm welcome to Pamela. Welcome, Pamela.

Maps as a window to the past

I’ve always loved maps. I remember the fold-up paper maps we got at the gas station to plan our route for a summer vacation when I was a kid. Later, as an adult planning a driving tour in Europe, I found the Michelin maps, and when I discovered the British Ordnance Survey maps and the amazing variety of scale, detail, topography, and so on in the various series, it was like I’d struck gold.

So, it’s probably no surprise that maps figure in the creation of my novels. The Second Son Chronicles are set in a fictional location that has some similarities to northern Europe, so it was entirely up to me to create the world of the story. That said, I still drew on information from maps.
I was very fortunate, several years ago, to stumble across some very old maps in an antique book shop, some dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. One gets a real sense from these maps of how people at that time perceived coastlines, the topography of the land, and even features like rivers and lakes. These maps also provide a real sense of what was important to a traveler in those days.

One of the most fascinating maps in my small collection is what’s called a ribbon map – it’s like you took a big paper map and cut it into strips that contain the route you want to travel – and threw everything else away. It shows details of the landmarks the traveler will encounter along the journey.  Leaving from the bottom left, the traveler would pass through an area with common fields on both sides. At two miles, the road goes uphill with common fields and buildings on the left and barns on the right.  At three miles, there are hedges on both sides.  About mile six, you’d come to a crossroads, but since the side roads don’t figure in your journey, the map maker treats them only as a landmark and truncates them on either side of your route.  The compass roses provide an indication of the direction of travel.

This particular map dates from a couple of centuries after the era of my stories, but I found it useful nonetheless for a sense of what a traveler would find important and how they would know they were on the proper route. Even a main road between big towns would have tracks leading off toward small villages or farmsteads. Signposts as we think of them today would have been non-existent. Perhaps there was the occasional stone marker or well-known landmark. When my protagonist Alfred’s family traveled from the royal castle to the country manor, they would start out on a road heading southwest toward the market town of Great Woolston.  But what identified the turn on the narrower track toward the manor? Perhaps it was something as simple as a barn on the left side of the road at the bottom of a small hill.

Pamela, thanks for joining us today and sharing this insight into how maps played a role in creating your story. Maps are quite intriguing.

Author Pamela Taylor
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the author, here’s some background on her.

Pamela Taylor brings her love of history to the art of storytelling in the Second Son Chronicles. An avid reader of historical fact and fiction, she finds the past offers rich sources for character, ambiance, and plot that allow readers to escape into a world totally unlike their daily lives.

She shares her home with two Corgis who frequently reminder her that a dog walk is the best way to find inspiration for that next chapter.

You can follow her online at the following sites:

Author Website: https://pamela-taylor.com
Twitter: @PJTAuthor
Instagram: PJTAuthor

You can also follow her along on her book tour by visiting these following sites:

·        June 22nd @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Join us as we celebrate the launch of Pamela Taylor's blog tour for her book Pestilence. You can read an interview with the author and enter to win the first three books in her series "The Second Son Chronicles."
·        June 23rd @ Lisa Haselton's Review and Interviews
Stop by Lisa's blog today where she interviews author Pamela Taylor about her book Pestilence.
·        June 24th @ Rebecca Whitman's Blog
Visit Rebecca's blog today and you can read Pamela Taylor's guest post discussing the allegory (themes) embedded in the narrative of Pestilence specifically and the Chronicles generally.
·        June 25th @ A.J. Sefton's Blog
Visit A.J. Sefton's blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        June 26th @ Jill Sheet's Blog
Visit Jill's blog today and read Pamela Taylor's guest post about getting historical details accurate.
·        June 27th @ Storeybook Reviews
Join Leslie today as she shares Pamela Taylor's guest post about her life with corgis.
·        June 28th @ Reading is My Remedy
Visit Chelsie's blog today and you can read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        June 29th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony's blog today and you can read Pamela Taylor's guest post about the authors and books that inspired the creation of the Chronicles.
·        June 30th @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf
Visit Veronica's blog today and you can read a guest post by Pamela Taylor about the trap of linguistic anachronism – getting the language and word usage right for historical narratives.
·        July 1st @ Rebecca Whitman's Blog
Visit Rebecca's blog again and you can read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 2nd @ 12 Books
Visit Louise's blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 3rd @ What is that Book About?
Visit Michelle's blog today and you can check out a spotlight of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 5th @ The New England Book Critic
Visit Vickie's blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 6th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony's blog today and read his review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 7th @ Fiona Ingram's Blog
Join Fiona Ingram today when she shares Pamela Taylor's guest post about data encryption in ancient times.
·        July 8th @ Bev A. Baird
Visit Bev's blog today and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 9th @ To Write or Not to Write
Visit Sreevarsha's blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 11th @ Books & Plants
Visit Ashley's blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 11th @ A Darn Good Read
Join Yvonne as she reviews Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 14th @ Knotty Needle
Visit Judy's blog and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 15th @ World of My Imagination
Visit Nicole's blog and read Pamela Taylor's guest post about period-appropriate names for characters.
·        July 17th @ Books & Plants
Visit Ashley's blog and read Pamela Taylor's guest post about ways to do historical research.
·        July 18th @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette's blog today where you can read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence. Plus you can read an interview with the author!
·        July 20th @ Coffee with Lacey
Visit Lacey's blog where you can read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 24th @ Medievalists
Stop by Medievalists where you can check out a spotlight of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.
·        July 25th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Stop by Linda's blog today and read her extensive interview with author Pamela Taylor about her book Pestilence.
·        July 25th @ Reading in the Wildwood
Join Megan today and read her review of Pamela Taylor's book Pestilence.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you find maps fascinating? I had not heard of ribbon maps before, had you? Do you have any old maps?

3 comments:

  1. Congratulations Pamela.
    I am also a huge map fan - the older the better. Some of the first early maps of the world are fascinating both in their accuracy and their inaccuracy. And I am awed at the people who made it their life's work (and sometimes gave their lives) to bring them to us.

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  2. How interesting to use maps for research! I think that's fascinating! The book sounds really interesting, too, and I do like a solid historical novel. Thanks for sharing, both.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.