KB Inglee writes historical short stories. Her collection, The Case Book of Emily Lawrence is available from Wildside Press. She works as an historical interpreter at a 1704 water powered grist mill. She lives in Delaware with her family and too many pets.
When you research your fiction you really get into it. Are you part of an organized group of history re-enactors? I work at Newlin Grist Mill where I present the 1704 grist mill and the 1739 miller’s house, spin on a great wheel, and wrangle any animals I can. I am not part of an independent group of re-enactors.
What is your favorite era, and why? Early colonial. My grandfather was the pastor of the Pilgrim Church in Plymouth and the Adams church in Quincy, so I was pretty much brainwashed as a kid. I haven’t figured out how I ended up writing late 19th century, probably my least favorite time period.
In the spirit of your historical fiction, have you ever written a story longhand? When I started writing, I wrote in longhand a lot, but as I aged it got more illegible, so if I want to read it, it has to be on the computer.
Do you find it hard to “switch gears” when you go from short to long fiction? I don’t have a problem since nowadays write only short fiction.
Are you a member of a writer’s group? Do you belong to Sisters in Crime? Have you ever been to a writer’s convention? Yes, yes, and yes. I would not be where I am now if I hadn’t found Sisters in Crime. I belong to two SinC chapters, and a critique group. I also belong to Pennwriters, and I am part of a group of Delaware writers. I try to attend two writer’s conferences a year. Favorites are Malice Domestic, New England Crimebake and Pennwriters.
Who are your favorite writers (not necessarily mystery writers)? I read pretty much everything by Kaye George, Edith Maxwell and Charles Todd. I read a lot of non-fiction. Erik Larson’s work is appealing.
How would you describe your story in the Day of the Dark collection? It’s an historical murder
Have you ever seen a total eclipse? Will you be able to see this one? I have seen a total eclipse and many partial. I will not see much of this one. I haven’t checked to see how much if any, but I will do my research before the day.
When you write do you have a set number of words/pages as your goal? I begin writing as soon as I get back from walking the dog, usually around 4:30 AM. I pick up my latest project and read enough to get the flavor of it. If I am not settled in and writing up a storm within half an hour I put it aside. I use the meditation portion of my Tai Chi class to work through plot problems (don’t tell my teacher).
Do you ever listen to “period” music to get you into the mood of your work? I think a lot about the fact that the people I write about don’t hear the amount of music I do. I write with the local classical station going full blast. They do play music from all the periods I write about, but I don’t think of it as period music. All of my characters would have heard some of it. Emily probably knew some of the composers. There’s an idea for another story.
What’s next in your writing queue? I like to include a handful of real but obscure historical people in my stories. The one I’m working on how is about Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
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