This is the first time that I have completed a work of historical fiction, Heaven, Hell and Hoboken, without having another one already started. I would like to do a sequel to my Barbarossa’s Princess but the topic scares me.
With Constance de Hauteville, there was a limited amount of information. She was the richest princess in all of Christendom at her time and she gave birth to Stupor Mundi (the Wonder of the World) but basically there were few facts. Not being a historian, this worked for me. I searched diligently for information on Constance and when I got stuck, which was often, I used my imagination.
With her son, it’s the opposite. There is soooooooo much information. Many of the descriptions of him personally are grim. How do you make an antipathetic character palatable? He did much for the advancement of science, law, literature, architecture, medicine. Yet he was an extremely violent man. When he decided he wanted to do something or learn something, the consequences on others was never taken into consideration.
An example: He invited two men to dinner and had them eat and drink heartily. After dinner he ordered one to go to bed and the other he gave a physically arduous task. After a certain amount of hours, he had both men killed and eviscerated so he could study the process of digestion.
See what I mean? What do I do?
I guess I will have to let the brain percolate while I try to figure out how I want to publish Heaven, Hell or Hoboken. Maybe something will bubble up.