Henry VIII, My Husband, and the Pissing Drunkard
Travel is a writer’s perk. I’ve often journeyed far from home to research the world of my books.
For my historical novels, I tramped England in the footsteps of
soldiers and queens. For my thriller The Experiment in which my heroine lives
aboard her sailboat, I explored a funky New York City marina where a skipper
took me sailing on Long Island Sound. For The Man from Spirit Creek I interviewed
a ranching couple in northern Alberta who invited me to stay for dinner where I
ate the best strawberry-rhubarb pie I’ve ever tasted.
In researching one book, though, I discovered an eye-opening
resource close to home. My husband.
The Queen’s Lady is set in England during the reign of Henry VIII.
Now, Henry and my husband share no similarity regarding tyrannical rule and
beheaded wives – I married a thoughtful, peaceable man. He is, however, endowed
with the standard issue male anatomy, and this helped my research.
In my first draft of the novel, I’d written a
scene of a Midsummer Eve celebration in which boisterous revelers dance around
bonfires, lovers steal kisses, and a drunk old man pisses as he staggers
through the crowd.
Wait a minute, I thought. Can a man do that –
urinate while walking?
I took the problem to my husband. “Can a man do that?” I asked.
“I’ll go see,” he said, and walked out the door.
Thankfully, we lived then on sixty rural acres at the end of a dead-end
road. Not a soul around.
Five minutes later he came back in. “Yup,” he reported.
You can see why I value this resource, right?
These days, with the pandemic keeping us all close to home, I’m lucky because
I can turn to my husband again as a resource. I’m at work on a mystery novel in
which the main character is an animal rights activist, and Stephen has worked
with animal rights organizations for years. That’s him in the picture above, with an
otter friend. His stories about the fine people who protect animals inspired
this new book.
I’ve enjoyed my travels, but right now close to home feels just fine.
Barbara Kyle is the author of the bestselling Thornleigh
Saga series of historical novels (“Riveting Tudor drama” – USA Today)
and of acclaimed thrillers. Over half a million copies of her books have been
sold. Her latest is The Man from Spirit Creek, a novel of suspense. Barbara
has taught hundreds of writers in her online classes and many have become
award-winning authors. Page-Turner, her popular how-to book for writers,
is available in print, e-book, and audiobook. Visit Barbara at www.BarbaraKyle.com
When Liv Gardner arrives in the rural town of Spirit Creek,
Alberta, she has nothing but her old car and a temporary job as paralegal with
the local attorney. But Liv’s down-market persona is a ruse. She’s actually
in-house counsel of Falcon Oil, a small oil and gas company she co-owns with
her fiancé, CEO Mickey Havelock – and they are facing financial ruin.
Farmer Tom Wainwright, convinced that lethal “sour” gas killed his wife, is
sabotaging Falcon’s rigs. But Wainwright is clever at hiding his tracks and the
police have no evidence to charge him. With the sabotage forcing Falcon toward
bankruptcy, Liv has come undercover to befriend Wainwright – and entrap him.
But Liv never dreamed she’d become torn between saving the company she and
Mickey built and her feelings for the very man whose sabotage is ruining them. On a rain-swept night, Spirit Creek is stunned when one of their own is murdered.
The evidence does more than point to Tom Wainwright . . . it shatters Liv’s
“A stunning thriller. A must-read with sabotage, murder, intrigue and romance.” – Goodreads review
Page-Turner: Your Path to Writing a Novel that Publishers Want and Readers Buy
“Kyle is one of the few authors who can break down both the art and the craft of writing in a way that is entertaining and easy to understand.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong