Thanks Susan and ladies for having me here today. 🙂
Researching can be fun and productive by Juli D. Revezzo
When I began working on what became my debut novel The Artist’s Inheritance, I thought, the story had to go back into history but I wanted it set here in Florida. I knew about Henry B. Plant and his hotel to which Civil War era soldiers came to recuperate, but somehow that didn’t work. I wanted battle. Now, I had an uncle who was a well-known historian on the Tampa area; unfortunately, he passed away several years ago. What little I could find in the library about the battles here (out on Bayonet Point, but mostly centered in Tampa Bay) didn’t quite fit the story.
I hit the Internet and sent a learned friend, Debra Glass, some emails and we ended up finding Fort Pickens up in Pensacola, Florida.
Now that wasn’t exactly the area I wanted, but it was still in the good ole Sunshine State so I thought okay, and took a look at the articles. The fort is still very much in tact and that fit the landscape I saw in my head. There were even some really nifty photos that fit the dark tone of the story. Oh, boy! Did those spark some ideas!
A few dozen runs through Google and I had a good working beginning.
The Union? I couldn’t believe there was a Union-held Fort in Florida. My intrigue deepened and I noodled around for weeks, checking out books on the civil war and trawling Google and other search engines, combing through the archives of the University of South Florida (and bugging Debra and Susan and a few other pals). I even contacted a friend who lived in the area for some of his recollections.
Unfortunately, those were all based around the time of the Indian wars. Yeah, the little fort in Pensacola Bay started out as a Civil War base, and from what I gleaned, most people only knew it as the holding cell for Geronimo.
I kept reading and hit dozens, and dozens of sites (check out
(Battle of Pensacola Bay/Fort Pickens November 1861)
among many others). Then, my Trevor’s ancestor Roland popped up and said, “Lookee here, girl, you know I was at that fort. Trevor and his family may think I’m nuts but—”
Yeah, well, how can I believe anything out of his mouth? He’s not only crazy, but…well, a ghost. Would you believe him? *eyes crazy soldier* Well, Roland’s a little old school, and he’s got a hero streak a mile long (even if he is crazy—and did I mention, very transparent?), I suppose I’ll have to believe what he says.
Either way, after tons of research in a very short time, I think I got the fort right. I hope I did, because, you know what? I fell in love with the little structure. 🙂 See what a bit of research will do? It resulted in an interest, and a book, or more than one, if my dear Colonel Fulmer gets his way. 😉
I love ghost stories, Juli! Tell us more about your book.
Wanna know more about The Artist’s Inheritance? Okay.Here we go:
Settling into a new home, Caitlin notices changes coming over her husband. When nightmares deepen and ghosts begin lurking—Caitlin knows something’s not right, and not just her newfound precognitive abilities. It’s the damned chair her husband’s carving, she’s sure. Could it be just what it seems: a mundane piece of furniture? If so, why is it attracting dark forces—the forces she suspects drove Trevor’s siblings to insanity and suicide?
Armed with a handful of allies–a coven of helpful witches–she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.
Sounds great! Could you share an excerpt?
Caitlin tapped down a stack of pink birthday announcements. “Ex-boyfriends
changed into toads, 25¢ each?”
Heather wrinkled her thin nose. “Very funny, and here I come all this way to help you. Besides, I wouldn’t charge less than $25 each.” Her smile faded. “I found something for you.”
“Did you?” Caitlin tapped the copier, watching a set of copied pictures slide out, some beachscape in 16×20. “About the ghost?”
“I’ve got a list of the soldiers stationed at Fort Pickens.” She leaned closer, lowering her voice. “Your soldier’s regiment came from New York.”
Caitlin snatched the paper out of her hands. “Oh, my God. How did you find this?”
Heather studied her nails nonchalantly. “I have my ways. There are a lot of records I have access to in the county records office.” Heather leaned closer and lowered her voice. “Plus some friends in other offices around the city, if you know what I mean.”
Caitlin nodded. “Beryl said something to that effect.”
“Don’t spread it around, though.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.” Caitlin turned her attention to the list.
“Alexander Johnson, David Andrews, Michael Southerland, Roland Fulmer.”
Heather peered over her shoulder and whistled.
Caitlin folded the paper and slid it into her pocket. “He’s watching me, isn’t he?”
“The squirrely looking guy?” She met Caitlin’s eyes. “He your boss?”
“Unfortunately. I’ll look at this later.”
“Do y’all have a family bible at home?”
Caitlin met her eyes. “How’d you know?”
“Lucky guess. If this soldier really is related to you, it might be the best place to find out.”
I hope you find it intriguing. 🙂 Again, thanks to the ladies at Slip Into Something Victorian for hosting me and my lil ghostly soldier today!
Sounds fun, just in time for Halloween! Tell us where we can get it.
It’s available at Amazon:
Barnes and Noble:
and in paperback at Createspace
About Juli D. Revezzo
Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world–slightly askew. She has been published in short form, and recently released her debut novel, The Artist’s Inheritance.
She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.
You can find more about her at:
And her blog:
You can also find her on Amazon
on Author’s Den
and Twitter: @julidrevezzo