How does your experience as a historical costumer and re-enactor help you with your writing?
Hello, thanks so much for having me over today.
Many of you know that I am a historical re-enactor. That means that I love to go out in costume and try to live the life style, at least as far as the fun side of it. Most of the time, this is done at some sort of weekend event, like a renaissance fair or Dickens Christmas fair or a Civil war event. Sometimes the audience pays to get in and other times, the event is for us re-enactors and we pay to be there.
I spend a lot of time working to make my clothing. Research is key to producing the right look. It’s also very important to make your costume out of correct fabrics or you will not enjoy the day. I do own a bustle and wear it. I have shoes made by a cobbler and let me tell you, if you’ve never had a pair of shoes made for your feet…you’re missing out. All around me in my writing office are sewing machines, buttons, wire boning and odds and ends needed to make these costumes.
It really comes through in my writing. I know how many layers are under that dress and I’ve worn them
too. I have danced court dances from the Tudor era. There is something completely unique about spending a weekend with no electricity. There is something called the sound of unplugged music. It’s different and beautiful in its own special way. When you spend the better part of your day trying to produce a meal over a heath, sitting down to eat it takes on a whole new meaning of achievement. When there is no television, no cell phone, no ipod, ipad etc, someone taking the time to read to you while you struggle to not burn supper in those big cast iron kettles, is suddenly far more exciting.
Does it come through in my writing? I believe so. I love to shine light on the realities of these times. In my newest book, How to Handle a Highlander, I take on the rather common practice of a young girl being promised to an old man. Marriage was for producing children and a young, healthy girl was needed for that. But I wanted to show case the very real fact that
turning down this groom might start a feud. My heroine is not too keen on wedding an old man but she’s not selfish enough to turn her back on the blood shed that might result if she can’t find a polite way out of the match.
Thanks for having me over. Please drop by my website, MaryWine.com.
Check out my review of Mary's book, How to Handle a Highlander later today!
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