Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Author Top Ten + Contest: Angie Frazier

Popping in today is Angie Frazier, author of the upcoming The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery, to talk about Ten Facts from Research while writing and, well, researching, for this book. And really, some of these are just interesting and fun to know.

Some of the most obscure historical tidbits pop up whenever I do research for a book. I think that’s what I love most about historical fiction—the random things I learn that could just help me win a million dollars on a game show some day. Seriously.*

When researching for THE MIDNIGHT TUNNEL, I came across these random facts that just might help YOU win a million dollars some day:

  1. Labor Day was first observed as a Federal holiday in 1894.
  2. Eye Shadow wasn’t called Eye Shadow in 1904. Go figure. I actually don’t know what it was called…though blue eye makeup might work.
  3. Fish net stockings didn’t come over from the Paris fashion scene until 1908.
  4. The Bay of Fundy’s tides are impressive! They’re the most extreme in the world: more than 100 billion tonnes of seawater flows in and out of the Bay during one tide cycle—which is more than the combined flow of the world’s freshwater rivers. Wow.
  5. It’s really not cool in the lobstering world to say one “catches” lobster. You don’t catch them. You “trap” them. Just so you’re prepared for your next conversation with a lobsterman…
  6. And speaking of lobster, at the turn of the last century the uppity-ups wouldn’t have been caught dead eating lobster from the shell. It was considered a poor man’s dinner. My, how times have changed.
  7. Not only would the guests at the Rosemount refuse to eat lobster from a shell, they would also refuse to wear only one outfit per day. Displays of fashion were the primary ways a woman showed off just how wealthy and current she was. It was common for ladies to change their outfits several times per day. Yet another reason I’m happy for the jeans and tee-shirt revolution.
  8. Telegrams were like the first text messages, where people used abbreviations and shortened sentences in order to save not just space, but money. It was fast but expensive to send a telegram—a whopping 30 cents. Today, that would be like sending a $7 text!
  9. Think a carriage is a carriage is a carriage? Nope. Not so simple as that. There are all sorts of carriages and for all sorts of outings, people, social classes, etc… Curricles, phaetons, and barouches, oh my!
  10. And the last, most important fact I gleaned from researching THE MIDNIGHT TUNNEL—or for any book, really—was to double, even triple-check, everything. Research isn’t easy or straightforward, but I’m pretty sure it will help me win that mega-money game show one day. Seriously.

So there you have it. Some random facts that just might come up some other time for you. And now for the latest fact, you can enter to win a finished copy of THE MIDNIGHT TUNNEL right now.

How? Simple. Just fill out THIS FORM.

Contest is US Only and ends Sunday, March 13.

Comments are very appreciated, but no entries will be counted through the comments. 


  1. The ten facts were fun and I liked the telegrams & texts comparison. Maybe a new trend by ending every sentence with 'stop'. ;)

  2. Funnily enough, 'phaeton' is the word we use for carriage in Turkish... well, we spell it 'fayton', but still. Great post, and thanks for the giveaway! :)

  3. Love the research! Great post Kari and Angie! Thanks for the giveaway, too!

  4. Really interesting facts. Of course, I'm a trivia buff so I enjoyed them immensely. Thanks for the guest post! :)