Will Thomas, a librarian at the Tulsa Public Library in Oklahoma, has written a delightful piece for CrimeReads.com that tells a secret only librarians know.
If you do, Thomas, author of a dozen historical mystery novels, will tell you a bit about how he does his research for his books, which often include real historical characters.
I’ve often been asked how I get away with using historical characters in my novels, as if any day now there will be a knock at my door and I will be given a cease-and-desist order or be led off in handcuffs.
So far this hasn’t happened, but I definitely believe I have a file with the FBI. Sometimes in the writing of a mystery novel, especially a historical one, the opportunity to toss a historical character into the mix presents itself. I believe this is fine, even relevant, especially in my novels, which frequently center on a societal danger (anti-Semitism, Imperialism, etc.) or an event (Jack the Ripper, a royal wedding), as long as the person in question was actively involved in whatever I am writing about. If W.B. Yeats was an IRA sympathizer, or the Duke of Clarence a suspect in the Ripper murders, they are fair game. Source: Confessions of a Librarian and Historical Mystery Novelist ‹ CrimeReads
This one is worth five minutes of your time and may even lead you into his books if you are not already familiar with them.
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