Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Linda Stewart Henley | Researching ESTELLE
Author Guest / August 26, 2020

Research for writing a novel is like opening a message in a bottle. Of course, all the material isn’t nicely folded up containing everything you wish to know about the subject, but each new piece is a surprise nugget adding to the richness of your story. I became interested in writing about Edgar Degas after I bought a travel guide to New Orleans as I was considering re-visiting the city. I had attended college there and had only returned once in the intervening years. I needed to know about places to stay and which favorite places were still around. I’d no idea while I was in college that Degas had spent five months visiting his Creole relatives there in 1872-73, and I was intrigued by the discovery. From there I began my research. Much has been written about Degas the artist and some historical novels have been written about his life, but I couldn’t find any that related to his time in New Orleans when he was thirty-eight and not yet famous. So I had the good start for a story: you need a protagonist or main character who’s in trouble, someone who wants something badly. With historical fiction writer’s…