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Guest Blogger Alisa M. Libby: What Inspires Me? Bad Girls

My guest blogger this week is Alisa M. Libby, author of two historical YAs, The Blood Confession and The King's Rose. Please visit her website and blog before you skip out. Enjoy!!

“What Inspires Me? Bad Girls.”

Looking for inspiration? Consider history. Don't worry, I'm not talking about that boring list of dates that you had to memorize in junior high. I'm talking about history as it was lived by real people who did amazing, ridiculous, dangerous and devilish things.

I like writing about historical bad girls. My first novel, The Blood Confession, is inspired by Countess Bathory, who (according to legend) believed that bathing in virgin's blood would keep her eternally young and beautiful. My second novel, The King's Rose, is about Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII, who cheated on King Henry with one of his servants. These are two very different women, of course, but when I came across their stories I had a similar response: “What in the world were you thinking?” The fact that I couldn't easily answer that question was what intrigued me most. I wondered how they would explain their actions, if they were given the chance. While I certainly don't agree with what they did, my task was to create reasons that would seem believable, while not entirely releasing them from blame.
Do I worry that a historical character I would like to write about might be snatched up by some other author? Yes, I fear this all the time. The thought wakes me up at night. That said, every story can be told in a myriad of different ways: different voices, different approaches to the character and their context. Everyone writer has their own voice, their unique perspective. No one can tell this particular story in the same way that you can.


Tana said...

OK, honestly, I'm ready to read both of your books! I'm obsessed with the Tudor era and read all of Philipa Gregory books so I know I'll love the Catherine Howard story and bathing in virgins blood? Well it sounds too gory to pass up.

Elana Johnson said...

Oooh, excellent. It's amazing where ideas can come from. I mean, baths in virgin blood? O-kay. But it works! Thanks for sharing!


Bad girls make our virtual life so good. We need them, if even just as a May pole to skip around with ribbon.

Lisa Nowak said...

I like the idea of bad girls in history. I mean, it only makes sense that people in the past would be just as messed up as people today, but somehow you think of them as being all proper and prissy, instead.

Anna Staniszewski said...

This makes writing historical fiction sound a lot less scary! I still don't know if I could do all that research, though... :-)