I have been asked quite a few times how I choose the time periods for my books. I am a huge history buff, and because of my heritage, I am drawn to British history. It’s a serious addiction – one that has taken me on solo journeys to England almost every year since 1997.
When I took my very first trip over there, I ended up in Dover.
That is where I saw my first castle – still my favorite – and learned about the evacuation of Dunkirk.
It has been called the nine day miracle, and rightly so. In nine days, using every ship, pleasure craft, and small boat available to them, Admiral Bertram Ramsey and a small group planned and executed the rescue of over 338,000 British and French troops. Yes, that number is correct.
They expected to have one or two days at the most, and take a few thousand off the beach before the Germans turned them back. But luck, and bad decisions on the German side, gave them time to save so many more.
I spent four incredible days wandering Dover, and I have been back several times.
The Secret Wartime Tunnels at Dover Castle were declassified and finally opened to the public. I have walked through those tunnels numerous times, and was fortunate enough to be in Dover during the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII.
On that day, I met two veterans who were visiting Dover Castle with their families. Veterans who had been pulled off the beach at Dunkirk, and were returning to the town that had welcomed them back. It was a fascinating and emotional conversation.
My first trip to Dover inspired the first book of Love in Time. The descriptions of Dover, the tunnels, and the castle grounds are all from my time spent walking them, taking numerous photos, and absorbing the feel of each place.
For me, research is the most important, and the most fun part of the writing process. My research has taken me to unexpected and sometimes far flung places in England. I have walked every location used in the Love in Time series – from the evocative, windswept forts on Hadrian’s Wall,
to the quiet, remote village of Bamburgh, and its castle, sitting on the cliff.
I hope you enjoyed this peek into how I research. History is an important part of my life, and I love sharing that passion with all of you.
Until next time, read on. 🙂
*Find out more about the places I visited!*
Explore Dover Castle.
Walk Hadrian’s Wall.
All photos (except featured image) are the property of the author – taken on multiple trips in England.