Category Archive: Research Finds

A Personal Connection to WWI

When I started work on The Spider and the Sparrow, I began a ton of research about World War One. I enjoyed learning new things and gained a better understanding of what the… Continue reading

Tolkien Was a Genius

I recently finished Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire, by Marcus Rautman. While reading about military life, I came across this passage: Leo the Mathematician, a leading court scholar and inventor of the… Continue reading

If I Could Rate Presidential Candidates the Way I Rate Novels

What if I told you there are two presidential candidates that I really like? Nope, this isn’t a joke. Unfortunately, neither of the two are front-runners, but that won’t keep me from voting… Continue reading

The Somerton Man and the Astonishing Legends Podcast

Back in March I received a message from Scott Philbrook, one of the hosts of The Astonishing Legends Podcast. He was planning a show about a famous unsolved mystery from 1948. The Somerton… Continue reading

How to Code Messages Like a WWII Spy

This blog post will take you through the steps of encoding a message using double transposition, just like British and American spies did in WWII. Should you feel like trying it out, it… Continue reading

Sweeney Todd, Sherlock Holmes, and Stephen Ambrose

A friend of mine asked me about the name of one of my characters, Sherlock. He’s in Sworn Enemy, a British medic and a paratrooper, and his real name is Richard Holmes. I… Continue reading

Research Find: Why you shouldn’t tell the newspapers if you’re breaking someone’s code or tracking their satellite phone

In 1927, the government of Great Britain was looking for a reason to break off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. They had plenty of reason—for one, the staff from the Soviet embassy… Continue reading

Research Finds: Unusual Stiches and a Little-known Battle

One thing about writing historical fiction—you have to do a lot of research. Good thing I like learning new things. A lot of tidbits I come across won’t appear in one of my… Continue reading