Month: February 2017

Algorithms and Writing

By Sharon K. Gilbert Writing characters who travel and speak numerous languages fluently is less of a challenge than once it might have been, and it’s all because of algorithms. Not only am I able to use translation programs online to help me obtain the correct French phrases, but I’m also able to access entire passages from novels and newspapers in other languages. Research for the historical portions of the plot and context are also much easier, thanks to the many online dictionaries, encyclopedias, and transcribed/scanned material.  I began plotting out much of the Redwing Saga in the early 1990s, […]

We Have a Release Date!

UPDATE: The release date has been revised to April 08, 2017!  Word just came in from Rose Avenue Fiction’s parent company, Defender Publishing, that the official release date for Blood Lies is June 10, 2017. Pre-orders will probably begin via the and Amazon beginning about one month before that date, but keep watching this page for more information. Thanks to all who have encouraged us in this series. It’s a labor of love (or as the Brits would write, ‘a labour of love’).

Researching Ripper

By Sharon K. Gilbert Though the core plot and characters of The Redwing Saga series of books encompasses far more than Jack the Ripper, this series of brutal slayings does play an integral role in the early books in the series. Researching these murders is made easier with the advent of Internet archives. There are numerous Ripper websites, but one that I’ve found very useful is, which not only provides commentary but also original texts of police reports, newspaper articles, and even post-mortem reports. This morning, I’ve been reviewing the report submitted by Dr. Frederick Gordon Brown, who examined […]

Illusionists in the Late 19th Century

By Sharon K. Gilbert I’m currently working on Book Two (Blood Lies), and I decided to add a scene where Paul Stuart visits an informer at a west end music hall. Originally, I’d planned to use the Canterbury Music Hall, which was extremely popular and lay close to Westminster (just across the bridge in Lambeth), but I found a very interesting place yesterday called the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, which featured the stagecraft of a resident illusionist named John Nevil Maskelyne (and his partner George Alfred Cooke). Maskelyne and Cooke perfected the art of the cabinet illusion as well as […]

Spelling the British Way

By Sharon K. Gilbert Because the novels are in many ways an homage to the beautiful British novels of the 19th century, I chose to use British spelling throughout the books. As an American writer, that presents a challenge, because I don’t tend to use those spellings on a day to day basis. Of course, I don’t generally say ‘whilst’ instead of ‘while’ either, but my characters do. In fact, because I have been using a more archaic form of speech ‘whilst’ writing the books this past year, I sometimes find myself speaking that way, and when writing or reading […]