This is a topic I have written about before. I am writing Junior Fiction (or Middle-Grade novels) based in part on historical fact. My second book, Harriet and the Secret Librarian, has just been published. It has been a long road since the first draft in collaboration with my late husband John in 2015. I set the manuscript aside to concentrate on Harriet and the Secret Rings which was released first. In both instances, I have written fictional stories of people and places which are grounded in historical fact. In the Secret Rings novel, which is in 3 parts, my protagonist Harriet Cooper and her friend Will Taylor travel back in time: first to Ancient Rome, then to Philippi in Ancient Greece and finally to Sherwood Forest. In each case I researched the lifestyle, clothing, geography, food and jewellery of the time. I have always loved history and delved into the research with great delight, feeling that it was important to establish the intended goal. With the Secret Librarian, I have also done some research. Harriet is read some stories by a local librarian, with one about a bushranger called Johnny Gilbert. He roamed around my local area in the 1860's, causing major trouble. The story I have written, Good Sam of Binalong, is modelled on the parable of the Good Samaritan.
John Gilberts' grave is at Binalong, which is around 20 minutes from where I live. I visited his grave last July and took photographs. A cropped Photoshop version of the grave site is on the new book cover, to the right of a tree. My dragon character Gruffyd also appears in one of the stories, which is based in an historical town where we lived from 2006-2009. I feel that the fiction is enhanced by reality, and am currently researching the gold rush era in Australia for the third book in the trilogy, Harriet and the Secret Coins. Loving every minute of it.