The Joys of Research

One of my very first columns for the Soul Mate authors blog was called, Out of the Shoebox and Into a Book. In it I chronicled some of the unusual and fun things I’d found hidden away in my mother’s closet and, more importantly, how those items could be woven into a story.

Just last week I was outlining a new story, a turn-of-the-century historical about a young woman who’s promised to a man she intensely dislikes. In the story, I wanted to share some wisdom from a favored older relative, so I set out to do some research on the social moors of the time period.

one eyed snakeMy search reminded me of one of my favorite movie scenes … the advice from Granny in Runaway Bride to Julia Roberts’ character, Maggie.

One of the fun things I found during my web search was a link to The Good Wife’s Guide and Advice to a Young Bride. The entire post was hilarious but my favorite has to be the advice from the pastor’s wife regarding the wedding night.

Her advice was prudish, to say the least, but in keeping with the page, rather funny. Here’s a favorite quote from her letter:

At this point, dear reader, let me concede one shocking truth. Some young women actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and pleasure! Beware such an attitude! A selfish and sensual husband can easily take advantage of such a bride. One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust.

My, how far we’ve come!

As much as I would have loved to stay on that page, and similar ones, my plot had moved on to encompass the main character’s trials and tribulations of the arranged marriage. It was time for new research. Yet, I had to admit, I was drawn back to the different posts on social acceptability more than once.

While most authors strive to be accurate as possible in their historical facts, I believe readers also long to see the human side… perhaps the funny side… of the past. As both an author, and an avid reader, I appreciate the ability to do both.

I’d love to hear of other authors’ research finds as well as readers’ favorite fun facts found in romance novels.

Until my next turn on the blog, stay happy, stay healthy, stay well read and entertained!




About Nancy Fraser

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet, which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five beautiful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
This entry was posted in Nanobytes From Nancy!, Soul Mate Publishing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Joys of Research

  1. Hi, Nancy, I tried replying earlier this week, but if I want to reply, using my phone, WordPress insists I can only reply with my WordPress identity and I never have that password with me.
    Love researching. In 1840 neither bathrooms or safety pins existed.
    I am sending a character from 1840 to 1940 so I’m gettin
    g to do lots of research on both periods.

    • Nancy Fraser says:

      Susan, glad you finally got through. As you know, I love time travel, so I’m looking forward to your book.

  2. Beth Carter says:

    Hilarious “advice” from the preacher’s wife. Thanks for the chuckle. Research is fun and often necessary for contemporary romance too.

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