Beginning a blog is like beginning a new novel. I haven’t done this before, but decided it’s time to give it a try. And for those of you who want to write and haven’t begun yet, there’s only one way to begin. Start writing.
I have been trying to write a new book every two years since I retired from teaching. My last novel, Marguerite’s Landing, the first volume of a trilogy I hope to complete about the du Bignon family of Jekyll Island, was published in 2016. I probably owe the readers of my books about coastal Georgia an apology, because the book I am writing now is not a part of that trilogy.
Perhaps I should explain that I have had two major interests in my writing career (and even then have occasionally diverted attention to other fascinating topics, as I did when I published A Titanic Love Story: Ida and Isidor Straus and The Boys of Shiloh. But my two primary interests are the history of coastal Georgia, especially Jekyll Island, and twelfth-century French literature and history. I’ve loved working in both fields, different as they are. I’ve even found my background in French to be useful in writing about Jekyll Island, where the du Bignon family, members of the French merchant nobility, settled in 1792 to escape the French Revolution. So many documents, so much correspondence is in French.
The topic of my new book is Marie de Champagne, the oldest daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII of France. I have done research on her court and various writers connected with it for many years. And this is a book I have wanted to write for decades, having done various articles about the topic. It will be historical fiction, but, as always, based on substantial research. It doesn’t mean that I don’t invent and provide dialogue, motivation, and such of my own imagining. But it does mean that I make every effort not to write anything that can be disproven. The working title is Eleanor’s Daughter, but titles frequently change in the process or at publisher’s request. I hope that even you readers of my coastal Georgia books will give it a try.