I’m sorry. I slipped on getting this month’s interview out on the first Friday of the month. Or the second, for that matter. But here it is–welcome to Scandalous Victorian, Christine Koehler.
Why do you write historical?
Because there are so many fascinating eras out there that I love, and love learning more about. Plus there are all sorts of restrictions, whenever the time was. Who could do what, when, and with whom. I enjoy writing them, then breaking every mold I can find. I also have a ‘news’ problem – I hear a story and must write something about it. It makes for infinite plot ideas, but makes it hard to focus on one time period or story.
What part of the Victorian era/setting do you write in?
Right now, it’s late Victorian England, 1882. I plan on expanding that within the loosely connected series to include Philadelphia, Egypt, and other parts of the world. Apparently I’m antsy and can’t enjoy one era for long.
What is it about the era that most intrigues you?
The clothes, the traveling, the sarcastic politeness – really enjoy that! The changing mores, the new enlightenment so to speak of social concerns. Plus there’s all that technology we take for granted today but was new and shiny to them, and as exciting as the internet was to us back in the day.
Where do you get your information?
Books, web, wikipedia. I really like that last, it’s easy to use, fast and you can get pinpointed information in a flash. On the other hand, it’s best to double check those facts before putting them in your story. As for the web, I love Googling something and then inevitably get lost in some tangent or another. I work in a library, so I have a lot of books at my fingertips, and can easily order more from elsewhere whenever I need them. This has its downfall, as I also have way more books than is normal stacking high in my house.
What are you working on now?
Erm…the better question here is what am I not working on? Philadelphia and Egypt 1882, a turn of the century story in Australia, Germany 1934, a contemporary or 2, toying with a Rome story, Russia 1917 and contemporary – they’re connected in the one story.
How many books have you written?
Finished? Three. Nearly so? Three more.
Do you write outside of the Victorian era, genre?
Oh yeah, but I do adore this era because of all the changes in society.
What challenges have you faced in your career?
The time it takes publishing houses to return an email. I don’t think that’s a ‘challenge’ per se, so much as a frustration. Also, finding time to write, plot, research, write, query, research publishers and agents.
What is you writing schedule like?
Every chance I get, I try to write something. Even if it’s a note or 2 for a plot idea, or to tinker with a plot, or random dialog for something already started. I have little enough time to sit and start from scratch, so my theory is that if I have something to work with, it’ll go smoother.