February Theme: I Love Research!

Stephanie J. Blake

I should have majored in history. I love it. I could look at black and white photos for hours, imagining what kind of lives people had "back then." I love reading historical novels and discovering all of the details that make the setting so real. I love historical movies, and don't get me started on Downton Abbey. It's really no surprise that my debut is a historical.

I've been working on three very different manuscripts off and on for a couple of years, but none of them are truly working in "real time." The problem is, I've failed to fully commit to the kind of story I want to tell. I've been hit with too many ideas at once.

I have realized something important this week. I should be writing another middle grade historical. Thus, I need to do a ton of research. (Good thing I'm in love with it!)

Yesterday, in the history section of my local library, I found myself filling my arms with books and couldn't stop. I could barely carry the bag to the car and came home with several fun books.

Four of the books are about the 1980's. Three are about the roaring 1920's. Two of them are about Telluride, Colorado. One is about the 1970's. One is about prominent women in the history of Colorado.

I have a hankering to write a middle grade about Butch Cassidy and the gold rush in Telluride in the 1880's. I'm in love with the roaring twenties and would love to do a noir. I want to explore a character with a mom who starts marching for women's lib in the 1970's. I  have an angsty teen character in mind for a story set in the 1980's.

Whoa, Nelly! So many ideas, so little time. My agent would like an outline sometime in the near future--like before spring break. So, here's the plan. I'm going to read all of these books and pick ONE idea and run with it.

Looks like I'll be doing a ton of reading this weekend.


  1. Research is fun! I don't realize how much I forget from my history classes until I start researching it all again. I seem to learn a lot more anyway when I'm doing it myself because there's more time to get everything in without the restrictions of school.

    Have fun with your research, Stephanie!

  2. Research is exciting, isn't it? I wonder which idea you'll pick! Keep us posted ...

  3. You would write such a good Roaring '20s novel!!


Post a Comment