Grousable Books Newletter: 1 March 2023

In this edition, I present blog posts on writing, announce book promotions, and go off on design for films set in Victorian England.

Writing about Writing

Uppark, West Sussex

I’ve been composing blog posts that go further into my writing and research than a newsletter can.

In Late night with Mr. Wells I detail some of the historical research I did just to find out a few things. For a historian, research can lead to rabbit holes down which we jump without thinking, just like Alice, to get entangled in the facts of the past. Right now I’m working on a chapter about H. G. Wells, so these things happen.

In You’ve Got Romance I talk about how I came to write A Heart Purloined, how I chose the setting, and what I wanted to be different about its love story. In doing so, I realized a connection to the movie You’ve Got Mail.

In the Garden

Despite a few hot days, it’s been generally cold and a little rainy in SoCal, so my spring seeds are being started indoors. But outdoors, we’ve had some interesting visitors, including American Robins, who usually don’t come to this area at all.

 

Books and things

My e-books are part of several promotions this month, so have a look at the other books in these categories for some really good reads:

The Spring Into Spring Cozy Mystery Sale

The Historical Fiction Strong Female Leads Promotion

The “Back in Time” Historical Fiction and Romance Promotion

All of these are with BookFunnel, which lets you download your ebook in your preferred format, and provides customer support if you have any issues.

Victorian portrayals

I love when set design, costumes, and settings tell us more about a historical era than we knew before. Some films use the past as just a setting, as if the story could take place in any time. And many of them can. But my favorite stories are those that could take place in no other time. And some films go the extra mile to be as accurate as possible.

One of these is The Great Train Robbery from 1978. Fine attention was spent recreating not only the dress and manners of the era, but the feel of it. A highly experienced group of designers made this possible. This was production designer Maurice Carter’s penultimate film–he is known for other historically accurate movies like Becket (1964)Art director Bert Davey was an action film specialist (Aliens, The Living Daylights) but also did art direction for period pieces like The Slipper and the Rose. Geoffrey Unsworth, unparalleled cinematographer, made it all come together in one of his last films–the movie is dedicated to him. See clips here. (If there is a heaven, cinematography is by Geoffrey Unsworth and Sven Nykvist.)

Another is Sherlock Holmes, the Robert Downey Jr. version from 2009. Long ago I was a designer in theatre, and I took a class from the American Film Institute in production design, so I love this stuff. This is a great article on the set decoration for Sherlock Holmes, not only because it talks about the actor interacting with the set, but because it shows the way that setting can represent character.

Upcoming Release

On March 22 the third Tommy Jones Mystery, Murder on the Pneumatic Railway, will be released. More on that in the next newsletter!

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