Imagine if Queen Victoria twittered (“We are not amused todayâ€¦”) or Dickens posted a Facebook Profile (Relationship Status: married with ten children, Employer: law clerk turned freelance writer) or Jack the Ripper updated his status on his MySpace page (Mood: agitated. Headed over to Whitechapel).
What if you wanted to blog about Victorian England as your character? What challenges would you face? It was a different lifestyle back then with a different manner of speech, decorum and way of life. A world without Blackberrys and YouTube, yet a very civilized and fascinating world.
And more of a challenge than I realized when I set out to write a blog in the voice of my heroine in my February 2010 Spice novel, “The Blonde Samurai,” the story of an Irish-American heiress who weds a British lord then falls in love with a handsome samurai in 1873 Japan.
I was determined to offer readers an amusing and witty look at the world of Victorian England and Japan in the late nineteenth century. “A Naughty Victorian Lady tells allâ€¦” launched at the eHarlequin.com website with A Naughty Victorian Lady’s Christmas Stocking.
Everything was going well until–
I wanted to blog about the video I made in the voice of my heroine, Lady Carlton, showcasing “The Blonde Samurai.” Not plausible, since the first celluloid film (a few seconds long) wasn’t shot until the late 1880s, years after my novel takes place.
Fortunately, the idea of “moving pictures” wasn’t as outlandish to Victorians as one might believe. Several patents were applied for during this time, including a British patent for “â€¦moving images optically combined with a reflected ‘background’ ” and another for “Improvement in the Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in Motion.”
Interesting, but not the amusing and romantic tone I wanted for my blog.
What was a writer to do? Go with what I know best: romance. I combined Victorian England and Japan in a romantic setting to describe my video about “The Blonde Samurai.”
Here is an excerpt:
Believe that I have fastened together silk paintings and that I shall make them “move” by flipping through them; or that I have painted scenes on the ribs of a folding fan, then I shall open it slowly to make the scenes change from one to the next.
Imagine, if you will.
So I request that you transcend the world of London with its insufferable saffron-colored fog and the bone-chilling weather this time of year that makes you don flannel petticoats to keep the cold from darting up your backside–
And come with me back to the warm Spring of 1873 as I tell you the story of The Blonde Samurai in a most unique and charming manner…