Monday, February 21, 2005

Where's My Time Machine?

I have decided that one of the hardest things about writing historical fiction is not the writing itself (that is the easy part) but the research about the Era I'm writing in. My current novel is definitely Victorian Time period, but in a masochistic move, I decided that my heroines had to journey to Egypt to solve the mystery of an ancient curse.
Only roughly 40% of the book takes place in London and Shropshire, the rest takes place in Cairo, the desert, the Nile, and Thebes.
Here's my problem. First, I have never been to Egypt. Secondly, I live in the present, so I have to know what Egypt was like in the year 1890. I think I have down what life was like in England in 1890, but Egypt is a whole other kettle of fish.

Here's where a Time Machine would come in handy. I mean, how fun would that be? I was thinking the other night of the things I would do with a time machine. First, I'd buy a period costume so I wouldn't do the whole "sore thumb sticking out" thing and then I'd hop in, and walk around London in 1890. Probably Hyde Park and Grosvenor Square, because my heroine has a house on Mount Street. THEN, I would transport myself to Cairo, (same year) and write down every smell, every sight, every feeling. I'd hire a dragoman for land, then a dahabeeyah and sail up the Nile, and see what my heroines would see.
But alas, I don't have a time machine. I have to rely on Google, Libraries, very friendly archives people, and very old books. But it's fun to dream!
Oh, and I just thought of another thing I'd do with my Time Machine, I'd fast forward to the year 2010 (I am hoping this is enough time) and I'd buy all seven Harry Potter books and the DVD movies to go with them.

Now that would be a treat!

No comments: