Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Summer Spotlight: Theresa Hupp

100 Comments

I’m Theresa Hupp, and I’m delighted to participate in Jill’s summer guest blogging series. One of my pleasures as a blogger has been getting to know Jill through her writing.

As I say on my Twitter profile, I am a writer, editor, mediator, human resources consultant, and attorney, and also a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague. That pretty much sums me up. I worked as an attorney and in Human Resources for Hallmark Cards for 27 years, then retired to become a writer. I have a husband and two grown children.

As you can see, I have many facets to my life, and I struggle daily with how to balance them. At the moment, I am trying to spend more time on writing, but volunteer work and family matters—also important—keep creeping in.

I blog at Story & History: One writer’s journey through life and time. The title of my blog provides me both focus and freedom to post about the many facets of my life.

I am working on a series of historical novels about travel along the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush—that’s my journey through time. Some of my blog posts are about my research process and the history I have learned writing these books.

I also write about my family and personal experiences—that’s my journey through life.

Almost everything I want to write about fits within the themes of journey, life and time. If it doesn’t fit these themes, it probably doesn’t belong on my blog.

In addition to the historical novels that are still works in progress, I have a contemporary novel published under a pseudonym. It is a financial thriller, and reached #1 in that category in the Kindle store this summer.
If anyone is interested in reading it, please e-mail me at mthupp@gmail.com, and I will send you the link to buy it.

Here are my answers to some of Jill’s questions:

What celebrity do you get mistaken for?
I don’t get mistaken for anyone these days, but when I was in high school, a friend started calling me Jane Fonda. Soon many of my other friends picked up the nickname. I don’t look anything like Jane Fonda, but during my junior year of high school (circa 1971), I wore a pair of green crushed velvet bellbottoms with a purple floral print top. My friend said, “That looks like something Jane Fonda would wear!” and it took off from there.
My friend even took me to see Klute, an R-17 movie, sneaking me in when I was still 15. That’s about the baddest thing I did as a high-school student.
This anecdote is part of my journey through life. I tell other stories in my blog posts, from all decades of my life.

What do you miss most about being a kid?
I had a good childhood, but there isn’t much I miss about it. I have been fortunate in life to (mostly) choose what I wanted to do in my education, in the careers I pursued, and in the family life I’ve led. That doesn’t mean my pursuits have been easy, or that my path through life has always been what I expected, but I have taken charge of my own life as much as I could.
One thing I have missed about childhood is the carefree life kids lead. Starting around the ninth grade, I began worrying about grades and class standings, then about where to go to college, what profession to pursue, what job to take, etc. And also about marriage, raising children, and doing well enough financially to educate my children and plan for retirement. Kids don’t have to worry about any of that.
Now that I’m retired, I’d like to find that lack of responsibility again. But life doesn’t work that way. There are parents to worry about, adult children who still need my guidance (though they may not think so), volunteer organizations to run, books to write, and my own future aging to prepare for.
I’ve concluded I will never be carefree again. Once an adult, always an adult. (Unless dementia strikes, which has happened in my family, and you can read about that on my blog also).

What do you think the greatest invention has been?
There are so many! The Internet—we now have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips! Other developments have also fostered the dissemination of information, such as the printing press, the typewriter, the telegraph, and the personal computer.
But I have to give the nod to indoor plumbing. First of all, anyone who has been camping knows how awful it is to be without indoor plumbing on a cold or rainy night. More importantly, public sanitation has decreased the spread of disease throughout the world, thus increasing life spans.
I have thought often as I’ve written about traveling the Oregon Trail how the pioneers had to dig latrines every night along the way. The cholera epidemics along the trail were largely due to contamination of the rivers and streams where they stopped. Diseases caused by lack of sanitation wreak havoc on the lives of my characters in 1847.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
This question stopped me. As I thought about the things I really want to learn, I realized they are all within my capabilities, if I chose to pursue them.
• Learning Spanish—I’ve learned other languages, and could learn Spanish if I took the time.
• Learning to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”—I used to play the piano, and could do so again if I took the time.
• Parasailing—I’ve always wanted to try it, but I chickened out the one time I had a real opportunity. But I could do it if I wanted. I’ll never be an Olympic athlete, but I’ve come to terms with that.

Is there anything about the opposite sex you just don’t understand or comprehend?
There are many things about the male of the human species I don’t understand. One of them is why they can’t just apologize when they’ve done something wrong. I had this explained to me once in a gender diversity seminar. Every male, I was told, wants to be the alpha dog. None of them wants to put himself beneath the other dog. That means they won’t apologize, because that would be admitting they had been wrong. It would sure solve a lot of relationship issues if men could get over this.
P.S. I know I’m generalizing about men . . . but really, isn’t this true? They don’t apologize. At least not effectively.

* * * * *
Many thanks to Jill for this opportunity, and I hope some of Jill’s readers will follow me on over to my blog, Story & History, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you for taking the spotlight, Theresa. Congratulations on your novel! I’ve got it on my Kindle and I’m anxious to read it. Up next week, it’s L. Marie.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

100 thoughts on “Summer Spotlight: Theresa Hupp

  1. Hi Theresa, great to meet you here beneath Jill’s wonderful Summer Spotlight! I enjoyed reading about you and will definitely come over to your blog. As a Brit I lived in California for almost 20 years and during that time loved learning about the Gold Rush (I remember taking the kids to the Wells Fargo Visitor’s Center in Sonorra – hope that’s right! – and we panned for fool’s gold!). I learnt a lot through the kids about the Oregon Trail. So, all that to say, I’m fascinated about your book! You are a busy lady and I agree about that feeling of carefree…be great to feel that again wouldn’t it? See you soon – Sherri 🙂

    Hi Jill – thanks so much for another great spotlight and bringing Theresa to us! I hope you and DFD have a super weekend 🙂 xo

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  2. Hi, Theresa! A pleasure to to meet you. I seem to be meeting a lot of history buffs here in the blogosphere … do you know Phillip McCollum, a blogging friend of mine and Jill. I believe he is also interested in the California Gold Rush period. It sounds like you’ve been successful with your writing and that is so wonderful. It gives me hope 🙂 I’m just a few years younger than you, still looking forward to retirement and the Time to put my full energy into my writing.

    Jill, thank you again for this wonderful series.

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  3. It was a pleasure to read your post here, Theresa. The work and research you’re doing for your historical novels sounds fascinating! I’m with you on the indoor plumbing, but you’ll never catch me at a campsite. 🙂

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  4. “Once an adult, always an adult.”—loved that. It’s so true. Perhaps we wouldn’t rush to be one when we’re young if we fully understood that!

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  5. Carrie,
    It is odd how we always want to move forward, ready to move on to the next stage in life. I’m not good at enjoying the moment. Maybe that only comes with practice.
    Thanks for reading,
    Theresa Hupp

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  6. Hi, Theresa! Nice to meet you. How cool that you’re researching the Oregon Trail and the Gold Rush era. I remember playing Oregon Trail on the computer. That was an obsession at one of my old jobs. (Yes, we were playing at work. Naughty!)

    It sounds like you’ve carved out a great life. Glad you’re writing and taking care of your family. Are your novels for adults? Young adults?

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    • The novel published under a pseudonym is for adults — about a business in trouble and the people who lead it. The Oregon Trail / Gold Rush books will be aimed at adults, but teens could read them. The books are pretty clean, though deal with some adult problems.
      Thanks for reading,
      Theresa Hupp

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    • Hi Linda! You should check out Theresa’s blog. Her posts on the Oregon Trail are very interesting.
      I hope you have a fantastic weekend! I’m looking forward to your turn in the spotlight…even though I know you’re shy like me. 🙂

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  7. Always interesting! Wishing Theresa all the best with her writing.

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  8. When I’m not ready trashy beach novels, I really enjoy historical books. Sounds like you have some interesting ones in the works. It’s nice to meet you!

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  9. I don’t have it in me to write historical novels (my lack of patience for research, coupled with my make-it-up-as-I-go writing approach, makes me unsuitable for that genre), but I do like to read a good one. I can already tell from your piece above that you excel at bringing the time period to life for your readers through realism, detail, and sensation.

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    • Eric,
      Thank you. I am trying for realism, but I have to remember to balance that with story. My critique group wants more action, even in the parts of 19th century living that were boring.
      Theresa Hupp

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      • That’s always the tough part, isn’t it? Balancing all the elements to make a good story. I think readers of historical novels go in knowing the pace won’t be as brisk as that of a suspense thriller. Sometimes a bit of authenticity in that regard makes for a nice break from all the noise around us.

        Thanks for telling us about your writing today!

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    • I’m the same way, Eric, my patience just isn’t there. I’m still struggling with outlines…I want my character to take me along for the ride.
      Enjoy your weekend!

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  10. Thanks for sharing your story and history, Theresa.

    The parameters of your blog (Journey, Life, Time) encompass almost everything . . . from Time Travel, to Alien Encounters, to the joys of shedding responsibility via the onset of dementia.

    Cheers!

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  11. Well, I’m not much on alien encounters. There are enough strange encounters in real life — I don’t need the sci-fi kind.
    Thank you for reading,
    Theresa Hupp

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  12. Theresa, I was the oldest of three children, I was always the one ‘in charge,’ along with a life of being the ‘worrier!’ I was a freshman in 1971, so we are ‘cohorts!’ I was sometimes thought to look like Sally Fields, but that was a bit of a stretch! I enjoyed the colorful outfit description with the green crushed velvet bell bottoms! How exciting to have been both an attorney and work with Hallmark company!
    Your blog sounds a little like mine, covering all sorts of eras and topics, Theresa. Thanks for your different memories that you shared, which helped build a picture in my mind of how it would have been, had we grown up as neighbors and friends! Smiles, Robin

    Jill, I always feel you have chosen outstanding writers and interesting subjects, great questions and wish this would be your year long theme! Thanks for this post, along with the others! Hope you have a wonderful and interesting weekend, Jill! Hugs, Robin

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    • Robin, I would much rather have been thought to look like Sally Fields than Jane Fonda! I always liked Sally.
      Thanks for reading,
      Theresa Hupp

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      • Oh, I guess Jane Fonda was, to me, ‘sexy’ while my image was always the ‘girl next door!’ At my present age, I still wish to be seen a little more sensually! I am still smiling, though, at your liking Sally! Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robin! I agree, Theresa’s background is impressive. You’re right, your blog is very much like hers, covering many topics.
      I’m happy you’re enjoying this spotlight series. I had tremendous interest, so it will be going into October. One thing I’d like to clarify is this series isn’t just for writers, it was open to all of my blogging friends. 🙂
      Enjoy your weekend!

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  13. Nice to meet you Theresa! You are so very accomplished; it’s impressive what you juggle all at once. 🙂 I would have guessed Meryl Streep as your doppelgänger. Oh, and it’s never too late to learn Espanol. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

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    • Thanks for the comment. I worked with someone once who went to college with Meryl Streep. They ran into each other on the streets of New York one day, and Meryl allegedly gushed to my colleague, “Remember me??? Meryl Streep.” As if anyone could forget they had gone to school with her. This was a few years after the Kramer v. Kramer days.
      I really should learn Spanish. But what would I quit doing to take it up? And I’d rather work on playing “Moonlight Sonata.”
      Theresa Hupp

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    • Hi Maria! You would be a perfect profesora for Theresa! 🙂 Enjoy your weekend…I’m so happy you’re feeling better! xo

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  14. Theresa, you know I love your blog and I enjoyed reading more about you. I’m curious why you published your book under a pseudonym. Do you mind sharing why?

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    • Luanne,
      I ask myself at least weekly why I used a pseudonym. It significantly complicates the marketing of the book. My rationale was that although I deliberately made the characters in that book different than people in similar roles I have known in real life, some of the plot issues and themes pull on my professional background. Because I worked in law and in human resources, which both require confidentialityI wanted one more layer of separation between my book and the situations I’ve dealt with over the years. Probably an excess of scruples, and it does limit the “natural” sales to my professional colleagues, but it’s what I decided to do.
      And it’s been kind of fun to build a persona out of nothing. I keep a separate blog, Facebook page and Twitter account on my alter ego. I’m a little more opinioniated on those sites than on Story & History.
      Thanks for asking,
      Theresa Hupp

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      • Theresa, I wasn’t aware your alter ego had a social media presence…I would love to see opinionated “Theresa.” 🙂

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      • Yes, I can understand that. Is there also the idea that you have the legal training and experience and might even be held to a higher standard than someone else? Anyway, that is fascinating, but I would think it would be really difficult to juggle it all. And you won’t be able to use your success with the one book as easily for the new books. But, wow, I had no idea you even had that book out there.

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      • Luanne, there are legal ethics rules on confidentiality that were in the back of my mind. Again, I deliberately changed many things in the book to make sure people weren’t identifiable. But the pseudonym is one more degree of separation.
        Theresa

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    • Hi Luanne! Great question! I was somewhat aware of Theresa’s reasons for publishing under a pseudonym, but I had no idea this alter ego had a social media presence. I’ll have to investigate this. 🙂
      Have a great weekend!

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  15. Hi Theresa! I’m not a writer – sometimes I think the only one here who isn’t. [Jill – am I right?] I love historical novels, they are my novel of choice and a well researched, well written one can transport me for days!

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    • Glad to know — I’m hoping I can transport readers . . . once the books are ready to publish.
      Theresa Hupp

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    • Hi Pauline! You’re a talented artist, blogger and friend and I welcome your comments. I can’t wait for your turn in the spotlight. As I mentioned in a comment above, my intention for this series wasn’t to only spotlight writers. I wanted everyone who is kind enough to visit and comment each week to learn more about one another.
      I hope you have a fantastic weekend! xo

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  16. Nice to meet you Theresa, it sounds as though you’ve lived an interesting life so far and I can imagine you’ll have many stories to tell on your blog!

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  17. Congratulations on your novel Theresa it sounds like something I would read. I love how you say we can learn anything as I am knee deep in a revision course on my novel. I have no education and crossing off each challenge as I go. I am in awe of anyone who can publish a novel. It is an amazing achievement. This is a huge journey for some one like me. On a another note…. I have a husband who is always the first to say sorry I guess I am one of the lucky ones.

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  18. Publishing a novel is a huge journey for anyone, and you’re right to be working on revisions. My novel took about nine complete edits, a couple of them requiring major restructuring of the book. I don’t seem to be able to get it right the first time.
    And it sounds like you ARE lucky with your husband.
    Thanks for reading,
    Theresa Hupp

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  19. Yes. The fact that I have to MAKE my husband apologize for something he clearly did wrong. To have it explained to me in alpha dog language made me feel so much better. Less like a nag. Thank you for an interesting slant on Jill’s questions!!!!

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  20. Nice to meet you, Theresa. I’m still smiling because when my daughter was born 36 years ago, I set a goal for myself to learn to play “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano. She loved it as a baby, and it was one of the sure-things that calmed her down during teething! I still play it…for my grandchildren now, so it was a goal that stayed with me.
    Jill asks great questions, and your answers are very interesting.

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  21. Nice to meet you Theresa. Agree with your alpha dog explanation. What’s wrong with being wrong, anyway? I am, apparently, most of the time …

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  22. I love guest blog posts with ‘interviews’! They’re so much fun and a great way to get to know someone.

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  23. Hi, Theresa. It’s nice learning a little about you. Since I’m a history buff, I look forward to checking out your blog. I’ve always wanted to play the piano, but never had the opportunity nor will I at this stage in life. I love Beethoven and it would be wonderful to be able to play anything of his, but I content myself with listening to my husband play him on the violin.

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  24. Nice to meet you, Theresa. It’s always interesting to know why people blog and a little about their lives. Sounds like you have a fine balancing act going on 🙂

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  25. Crushed velvet with a floral blouse? Oh, my – you took me back Theresa! I had an immediate vision of sitting in the family room (1970s burn orange and brown, of course) while may parents guffawed at the (in my preteen mind) ridiculous ‘humor’ of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. And speaking of taking me back, enjoyed my Baskin-Robins trip down memory lane at your blog – mmmmmm, Jamoca!

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  26. Lovely to meet you, Theresa. How nice that you can spend more time writing. Historical fiction is my favorite genre; looking forward to hearing when your first book in the series is done.

    By the way, my husband apologizes, sincerely and well. He also compliments people when they do a good job. He’s unusual. And he’s definitely an alpha type, so I don’t buy that theory.

    I think the reason most men don’t apologize is because they’re too insecure to admit they did anything wrong. I know that whenever I have trouble apologizing, it’s because of insecurity (and not because I’m trying to be an alpha female).

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  27. Theresa, I am very pleased to meet you. You are quite accomplished! You’ve worn so many hats, so well.
    Congrats on all that you’ve done and will continue to do. I’ll have to pop by your blog to read more.

    Jill, even though it’s going to get real busy for me starting tomorrow, I still plan on stopping by your blog:)

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  28. Historical fiction and my home state California. Sign me up! Best of luck

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  29. Pingback: I’m a Guest Blogger Over at Jill Weatherholt’s Blog | Story & History

  30. It’s great to meet you, Theresa. It sounds like you have had some interesting jobs! I took piano lessons for three years as a kid, and just got back to playing a couple of years ago, even took some lessons to re-familiarize myself with some theory. I have a book of classical music and learned Moonlight Sonata last year. It is very challenging! Although I cannot play anything without the music. I had to play a few recitals without music and did fine, but I’m about 40 years older now!

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    • Hi Patsy! I didn’t know you started playing the piano again. I think that’s great and congratulations on mastering Moonlight Sonata. I’d love to learn to play, but I suppose I would have to buy a piano first. 🙂
      Enjoy your week!

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      • Hi Jill! I started playing a couple of years ago when my husband and I began having to do music at church occasionally, but I found I really can’t play and sing at the same time, so I just sing to his guitar playing now.

        I haven;t played Moonlight Sonata in a long time, but a piano teacher I went to for awhile last year helped me learn it,

        You know, I have a full-sized keyboard which was pretty pricey, but still cheaper than a piano. But it has weighted keys which makes it feel almost like a piano which I love! And yes, a piano of some sort would be helpful if you want to learn to play. 😉

        Hey, I mailed your drawing today. If it has a funny smell (which it shouldn’t) when you open it, I sprayed it with some fixative so it wouldn’t smear. It also has some tracing paper around it underneath the cardboard pieces. It just a couple dollars, so seriously, no worries on that! I’m not sure how long it will take, but let me know when you get it, okay?

        Have a great week! 🙂

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      • You are a woman of many talents, Patsy. 🙂
        Oh…I can’t wait to see the hummies live and in person! Thank you so much for taking the time to mail them to me…that’s wonderful! xo
        Enjoy your week!

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    • I know what you mean about being 40 years older — when I do play the piano, my fingers are so stiff. Part of it is not playiing very often, but a lot of it is older fingers.
      Thanks for the comment,
      Theresa Hupp

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  31. wonderful to meet you Theresa 🙂 I love reading and writing historical novels (absolutely LOVE doing research sometimes I think I enjoy it more than the writing, it’s a legitimate excuse to drown in print and paperwork) so will be checking out your blog and novels.

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