I’m wondering about parallels to real history in your books, not just Beka’s books, but in the rest of Tortall and Emelan. Not specific events in history, but with times. Inspired by a conversation on alcohol in in your books, and whether it was strange the Beka wanted water instead of it.
Tammy: I do loot history freely for ideas, mostly because I’m lousy at making things up. I would rather work from the solid background of a time or an event, so if my invention engine coughs and runs out of gas, I can go back to the primary sources for more material. I may get as specific as taking the Battle of Forgotten Well in SQUIRE from the Battle of Little Round Top from the battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War, or base the Nothing Man on France’s greatest serial murderer of children (a marshal of France who once fought at the side of Joan of Arc), or as general as getting the rough idea of Rubinyan and Bronau in TRICKSTER’S CHOICE from the Seymour brothers in Tudor England, or roughly basing Berenene in THE WILL OF THE EMPRESS on Elizabeth I of England and Catherine the Great of Russia.
I have to do quick stepping to keep Beka mostly alchohol-free, which would raise more ruction with adult authority figures than does all of her skull-cracking. People drank wine, ale, beer, or stout instead of water for millennia, mostly because water wasn’t safe. Luckily, I’ve established it in other books that mages tend to keep away from alcohol for the most part, since only a minority can control the effects and their power. Beka may only have a bit of magic, but she’s very cautious. Since she doesn’t really know where it comes from or what more she can do with it, she’s a very cautious drinker. She’s also a control freak. Getting drunk means she loses control, so she prefers to leave alcohol.
I had the deuce of a time finding what the medieval and Renaissance folk drank if they weren’t drinking water the first time I went looking, but I did not make twilsey up!
SOURCE: [Random Buzz: Teens at Random]