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Colleen “Garnet” Gleason
La Belle Époque
As I write this, I am currently researching for a new series that will be set in the Belle Époque/Gilded Age Paris. It will be a mystery series, and so I am researching police work and forensics science (what was known at that time).
Now that I’m writing more “contemporary” historical settings (i.e., Victorian and Edwardian instead of medieval England), I find my research to be a lot more fun and visual. I do a lot of searches via Google Images, which I love because that way I am looking at a picture and can describe what I see/notice in my own words, rather than trying to visualize something from someone else’s words.
I also like to read a lot of non-fiction books for my research—many of them are “bedtime reading”. Two of my favorite nonfiction research books I’ve recently read are The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum (about the medical examiner’s office in NYC in the early 20th century; there was also a PBS special that drew from this book) and Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Stewart. Reading about one particular bug in the latter helped me plot out an entire book (Amazon Roulette; published April 2015)
The photos here are of the fashion in Belle Époque France. The gowns are one of the main reasons I am fascinated with this time period! I just love the looks.
I also write a young adult steampunk series set in an alternate Victorian London, starring Sherlock Holmes’s niece Mina and Bram Stoker’s sister Evaline. Here are some of my favorite steampunk gowns—I envision the “girls” (they are 17) wearing clothing like this:
You can learn more about my books on my website.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ…
The third book in my Stoker & Holmes series, The Chess Queen Enigma, will be released in early October. If you haven’t read the Stoker & Holmes books, check out the The Clockwork Scarab, the first book in the series.
This is a series suitable for ages 12 through adult!