There is nothing more delightful to a historical fiction author's heart, than a visit to an old city. It's intriguing and enlightening, and sometimes hilarious! People are people no matter which century they lived in.
So, I was thrilled when my hubby and I had the chance to visit St. Augustine, Florida last month. Can you see the excitement on my face?? It's not only an old city, (established before Jamestown) but THE oldest city in the US, founded by the Spanish, and later taken over by the British and finally, at the end of the Revolutionary war, sold to the colonies.
The first thing I always do, given the time, is to get the 'lay of the land'. Whether a walking tour, or a multi-stop bus/trolley tour, I make sure I have a broad picture of what the city has to offer. Then, I make a list of priorities, depending on the number of days I will be visiting.
Finding Quirky Items and Bits of History
Inevitably, no matter what museums or historic locations I visit, I find some quirky things. Not only did I chuckle on my way out of the women's restroom (see the red door above), but I also was amused at this invention (below) created around the turn of the century.
Some days, if the sun's position is just right, I can take some photos of intricate buildings and hardware designs.
Interesting Historical Artifacts
I also take note of interesting artifacts. The fingerprint kit below sitting on the sheriff's desk at St. Augustine jail is from Scotland Yard.
Then, one can always find old brick or stone walls, and sometimes, the remains of a city gate.
All Things Vintage
I always get a kick out of vintage products and lifestyles. Before we began, our tour guide at the Oldest Store (Orville by name), gave one last shout-out for customers. He mentioned he had to do a bit of 'marketing" first. Yep. Things never change.
I look for mesmerizing structural patterns . . .
And of Course, Everyone Loves a Hero!
I'm constantly on the lookout for heroes. And surprisingly, they aren't always human! There are engaging stories to uncover.
And that's a look into a historical fiction author's travel research. Next time, I will attempt to highlight more in depth one of the locations above. Are there any that interest you? Let me know in the comments.
For another peek into my travels, check out my blogpost featuring the colorful city (in a historic way) of Charleston.
Have you read The Heart Changer? If so, Amazon is waiting for your review! My middle-grade historical fiction has 40 reviews and needs 10 more to hit 50. At that point, Amazon will place it alongside similar books when a customer checks out, and it receives more views. Can you help me?
If you've already reviewed it, THANK YOU! Take a look at the ideas above - any would bless my heart. Here's a link to The Heart Changer - it's on Kindle for $4.99. Or try an audiobook version.
Hopefully the weather is warming up for those living in the northern hemisphere. Keep hanging on - and take courage!
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.