Saturday, January 05, 2008

Historical Research and Spymaster's Lady

Writing about spies, one does wander into military matters, rather as cooks lead us to eggs and Olympic swimmers leave their trail of chlorine and damp towels.

I didn't study battles and weapons and armies on the march, per se, because I'm not wildly interested in that sort of thing.
My spies, though, are.
So I had to know something or sound like a fool.

Fortunately, there's any amount of primary source material on life in Napoleonic armies. Memoirs. Diaries. Harry Smith, for one. And there are pictures. Give me a picture of soldiers eating dinner around the fire over any number of battlefield maps and tactics.

Mostly though -- when I needed a military or weapons detail, I'd go looking for that specific bit. There's many downloads of antique guns in the innards of my computer.

As to the medical details ...

Anneka at work on the bullet arose from a desire to have her do important, useful, heroic and at the same time at least vaguely plausible things. Taking out a bullet falls into this category.

Let me just mention the balance of power in the book, because it's something I gave a LOT of thought to, in writing.

At this point in the story, we have her in a position where she should be entirely powerless.
I'm trying to show that her real power -- her ability to affect events -- continues strong as ever.

That day, Grey shows his power by keeping her from running away.
She shows hers by chosing to save a man's life.
Who has the real power that day?

As to the operation itself, I have a Masters in mammalian physiology. I've done a fair amount of small animal surgery, so I come to that scene with a 'feel' for how this would work. And I ran the final draft of the scene under the eye of a physician who hangs out at Compuserve Books and Writers who's kind enough to advise writers on medical things.


  1. Your Review is up on Coffee Time Romance Reviews--

    Take Care,


  2. Hi Maura --

    Thank you soooo much for the beautiful and kindly reveiw. And thank you for letting me know when it went 'live'. I loved reading it in pixels. This is just great.


  3. Ms. Bourne - I just finished reading your book and I LOVED IT. Absolutely LOVED IT. A friend mentioned it on a website I swap books on ( so I decided to get it from Amazon and I do not regret that decision. Please tell me a sequel is in the works for Adrian's character?

    best, Susan

  4. Hi Susan --

    Here's the thing about Adrian's story ...
    I only know part of it. I'm not quite sure who he's going to end up with.

    So Adrian will be a secondary character for a bit, till I decide how his story goes.

    I'll enjoy writing it when I get there.

    I didn't know Paperbackswap Had a place to discuss books. We live and we learn.

    Thank you so much for liking my book.


  5. May I ask - is there a synopsis of My Lord and Spymaster?

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Thanks for the link but it took me to a synopsis for The Spymaster's Lady not My Lord and Spymaster.


  8. Hi Susan --

    Blast. You're right.
    Here is the synopsis for MLAS -- though the story has changed a bit since then ....