At the starting block (again)

In an earlier blog post, I mentioned I put aside work on my Robin Hood novel in May. But I have good news for fans of my medieval historical fiction. I dove back into the rough draft of Rogue in early August.

The manuscript was sitting at just over 45,000 words (about 180 pages). I knew where the plot was headed, but it was a bit scary to jump back in.

But good news! I typed THE END on August 26. I wish I could tell you it’s ready to publish, but I’m not one of those writers who can call the first draft the final draft. Heck, I don’t even call my first pass ‘first.’ It’s my rough draft for good reason: it is very, very rough!

I am back at the beginning now, sitting in Sherwood Forest with the gang. After I get feedback on a few chapters from my writers group, I’ll post a snippet or two here.

Down the research rabbit hole

In my notes for each chapter, I keep a list of things I need to fact-check in this round of revising. I hit my very first note in chapter 1. I need to track down the name of the castellan – not the Sheriff – of Nottingham Castle. (Sheriffs are easy to find, thanks to Wikipedia’s compilation from several reputable resources.)

Sometimes sheriff and castellan (also called constable) are one and the same. For example, the Lady Nicholaa de la Haye was castellan of Lincoln Castle, and for a short while in 1216, High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. When I researched the Siege of Nottingham (1194) for For King and Country, I found the contemporary chronicler Roger de Hoveden noted:

On the same day, while the king [Richard] was sitting at dinner, Ralph Murdac, and William de Wendeval, constables of the castle of Nottingham, sent two of their companions to see the king…”

That doesn’t help me for 1216, but I’ll still keep researching.

More exciting book news!

In November, you are in for a treat. Twelve authors – myself included – are contributing to Betrayal, a collection of historical fiction stories. Best of all, the ebook will be free on all major retailer sites.

We will have a Facebook group where you can get to know the authors and participate in some special events. I’ll share those details with you as they develop and I hope you’ll sign up.

Watch for the cover reveal in October!  

As part of the anthology, I am contributing a revised version of my Stephan l’Aigle story, “A Knight’s Tale.” You may already have it, but I have trimmed it down. You’re welcome to download it again if you like, or get it when the anthology is published in November. 


  1. Carol J Forrester Avatar

    This sounds like a book I’d really enjoy. I’m a big fan of historical fiction (and non-fiction history books), and it’s wonderful with an author takes the time to get the details of a time period right.

    1. Char Avatar

      Hi Carol – Thanks for dropping by & commenting. I try my best to get the details right, and always include an Author’s Note at the end of the book if I deviate in any way from the historical record.

  2. otherworldsotherloves Avatar

    That’s such a research frustration, isn’t it? You’ll find something for a decade away from where you need to be. I’m also back in the thick of it with research and writing my Robin Hood era fiction. The one I “finished” years ago, lol.

    1. Char Avatar

      So glad to hear you’re working on your novel!

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