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How to research an historical novel – by Rebecca Mascull

Posted on: 20/02/2014 with tags: debut author, debut novel, historical fiction, historical novel, historical research, Kent, Rebecca Mascull, The Visitors, writing

THE VISITORS is not the first historical novel I have written. I practised the craft by spending three years writing a World War II drama set in both London and Poland, which sadly did not find a publisher (yet who knows, perhaps one day I might resurrect it …). That was the first piece of historical fiction I had attempted and, my word, what a huge learning curve it was. I learnt by doing, by trial and error, accident and inspiration. I found out what worked for me, what took too long an…

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Sublime early praise for Rebecca Mascull’s debut novel THE VISITORS

Posted on: 09/12/2013 with tags: Boer War, children, debut novel, Edinburgh Festival, historical fiction, historical novel, Kent, praise, Rebecca Mascull, South Africa, The Visitors, Victorian England

We are so excited about publication of The Visitors, Rebecca Mascull’s brilliant debut novel, in January 2014, and it appears we’re not the only ones … Karen Howlett, of Cornflower Books, chose it as her book of the day. You can read her early thoughts here. There are some wonderful early reviews from readers on GoodReads here. And Stacey of Pretty Books sums up the novel thus: ‘THE VISITORSis about a deafblind girl, set in late Victorian England, but it also seems to be…

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Rebecca Mascull, author of THE VISITORS, on the inspiration behind her debut novel

Posted on: 11/09/2013 with tags: farming, historical fiction, hop farmers, hops, Kent, oast houses, Rebecca Mascull, research, The Visitors

In my novel THE VISITORS, the main character’s father is a Victorian hop farmer. He owns hop fields in Kent, where his men place hop poles in the ground, then walking on stilts they string up the coir twine between each pole. Beautiful rows of bright green hop bines. You can clearly see how the hops grow up the wires which were strung up by the farm workers, often walking on stilts. The men train the hop plants to grow clockwise around the strings and spray them with soft soap to kill pests. In…

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