Andrea Kane on Research: Past vs. Present

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 On Tour with Andrea Kane’s “Samantha”

Andrea Kane is once again on a virtual book tour, this time for her historical romance series.  Re-releasing Samantha and My Heart’s Desire will certainly delight fans!  As part of the tour, Ms. Kane has written an article for Jaquo discussing how research varies across genres.

You’ll enjoy her thoughtful and entertaining description.  We hope you will check out other stops along her tour to learn more about this bestselling author.  She is terrific!


How Research  Differs for Historical Romance Vs. Contemporary Mystery Thrillers

Written by Andrea Kane

Researching these two very dissimilar genres is as different as day and night, with one exception: the characters. While the time periods and everything that entails have changed vastly over the years, the hearts and souls of the characters have not. In real life, the saying goes that people are people. That’s true in fiction, as well. All my novels, historical romances and suspense thrillers, are based on fleshed-out characters who you care about (at least I hope you do!). In my opinion, if you don’t care about the characters, why should you care about what happens to them? At that point, the book ceases to be a great read. So while I research different careers, different venues, different technology, and different law enforcement resources, I still spend much of my pre-writing time marinating the characters in my mind and feeling them come to life.

On to the rest of my research. Let’s start with historicals. When I wrote SAMANTHA, there was no Internet and many of the experts I wished I could have consulted with had long since passed away. So I visited every antique book store I could find, and, between that and book catalogues, I bought a library full of reference material ranging from the world of the English aristocracy to the history of undergarments. Talk about an education! I also visited countless libraries, where I found material that dated back to the early 1800’s and was incredibly helpful in providing me with the firsthand accountings that I needed.

I visited England—London and the surrounding shires—and got a firsthand feel for the backdrop of Sammy’s and Rem’s lives. Because England prizes its history, there are many historical places that haven’t changed, and have been preserved. And Hyde Park is still exquisite, with manicured lawns and the most polite pigeons I’ve ever met—they actually stand at attention, waiting to be invited to eat your bread crumbs! Sitting on a park bench, I could actually visualize Sammy and Rem riding through in their carriage, enjoying some precious time alone.

As for my contemporary suspense thrillers, those involve a completely different kind of research. I have many, many consultants, from the FBI and NYPD, to fields such as medicine (everything from super-specialized surgeons to veterinarians), former military specialists, etc. Between working with all of them and doing voracious Internet research, it takes me months to even start on a book. And, during the actual writing, I pause more times than I can count to email questions or have phone conferences with the right people. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve loved soaking it up.

My first and most vivid memory of the research transition from historical to contemporary was when I was writing my first suspense thriller, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. The book opens with a body being discovered in Central Park. I was just about to continue writing the scene with a messenger riding off with an urgent missive to the police, when it suddenly occurred to me: “My character has a cell phone! She can actually call the police and have them there in record time! How cool is that!” So there are definitely perks in today’s world for Type A writers like me!

All in all, both genres involve doing a tremendous amount of research if you want to do it right. And I always want to do it right. Of course I take a small amount of literary license. But, on the whole, I’m as accurate as I can be. My job is, and always will be, to give you the very best book I have inside me to write. And that’s true no matter what genre or time period I write in!

The Tour

Samantha by Andrea Kane Tour Banner

by Andrea Kane
on Tour October 2016

Samantha by Andrea Kane

Book Details
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Number of Pages: ~418
Series: Book 2 in “Barrett Family Series” (You won’t want to miss Book 1, My Heart’s Desire, either!)

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Read Samantha! You can purchase your own copy at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, AND add it to your reading list on Goodreads!


Lady Samantha Barrett wondered if her imaginary hero would ever become real. Of course, he must be devastatingly handsome and just a bit dangerous. Now, her coach is filled with a collection of Gothic novels and her head with romantic notions as she eagerly leaves her brother’s country estate for her first London season. Still unsophisticated and too innocent by far, Samantha is ill-prepared for the hypocrisy of the ton or for the formidable stranger who crosses her path—a stranger she is sure must be the man of her dreams…

Remington Worth, the Earl of Gresham, is reputed to be anything but a hero. He is, however, intrigued by the fresh, young Lady Samantha. At sea, Remington had been a brilliant captain. To help save his country, he has accepted the Crown’s commission to become the most deadly and loyal covert agent, posing as a notorious womanizer and blackmailer. His latest mission is to investigate the mysterious disappearances of England’s prized merchant vessels. With an iron will, he will allow no one to get in his way or touch his heart—until Samantha.

Read an excerpt:

In walked the man of her dreams.

Samantha stared, transfixed, as the vision stepped directly from the pages of her latest gothic romance into the noisy, smoke-filled tavern.

He had arrived… her long-awaited hero.

It mattered not that he was a total stranger to her… nor that he patronized so seedy an establishment as this… nor that he pointedly displayed an ominous-looking knife handle from the top of one muddied Hessian boot. All that mattered was his towering height, his thick black hair, his uncompromising jaw, his piercing gray eyes. And that dimple… it was just where she’d always known it would be; in his left cheek. It flashed briefly as he nodded a greeting to someone, then vanished into the taut lines of his face.

Yes, it was irrefutably he… the hero of all her fantasies.

Breathless and eager, Samantha watched as he carelessly swung off his great coat, shaking rivulets of rain from it with swift, purposeful strokes. Simultaneously, he surveyed the room, his cool gaze taking in the shoddy furnishings and seedy occupants in one enveloping glance.

He moved forward, commanding and sure, coming closer to where Sammy sat… close enough so she could see the drops of water glistening in his raven-black hair, causing the ends to curl a bit at the nape. He seemed to be looking for someone.

Instead, he found her.

Dark brows raised, not with instantaneous, adoring surrender, but with decided, disapproving surprise.

Without hesitating, Sammy flashed him a smile, drinking in his splendid, chiseled features and exciting, leashed power. He was just as she had imagined him… no, better.

Her heart tightened in her chest as he approached her.

“What despicable cad deserted you here, little one?”

“Pardon me?” Sammy blinked in confusion.

With apparent disgust, her hero scanned the room. “You needn’t feel ashamed. Just tell me what unscrupulous blackguard accompanied you to such a place, then abandoned you.”

“Oh, nothing like that, sir.” Sammy assured him brightly. “Actually, it was I who spotted this establishment from my carriage window and chose to stop here. Given the circumstances, it seemed the best place…”

“The best place… to what?” He looked censuring now, his gray eyes chilling, stormier than the skies that heralded tonight’s downpour. “Is this your idea of an evening adventure? If so, you’ve either lost your way or your mind! Tell me, have you looked about you? I seriously doubt that you have, else you would have bolted. And, thankfully, it seems that these low-lifes have yet to spot you as prey. Had they done so, I assure you that your elegant gown would have long since been tossed up over your foolish, beautiful head!”

Sammy sucked in her breath. This wasn’t at all the way she’d envisioned their first meeting.
Following her hero’s icy, pointed gaze, she surveyed the dimly lit tavern, trying to see what was upsetting him so. True, the tables were a bit shabby, even broken in spots, and the pungent smell of gin… mixed with some other, unrecognizable foul odor… permeated the room. And, she had to admit, the occupants of the tavern did need to shave… as well as to bathe. Still, they’d shown no signs of harming or even approaching her; so why was her hero hinting at violence?

“I don’t know what you mean, sir,” she confessed, bewildered. “Despite their rather coarse attire and unpolished manners, the gentlemen here have made no improper advances toward me. They are merely enjoying their spirits and each other’s company.”

The stranger gaped in utter disbelief.

“Gentlemen?” he managed. Leaning forward, he lowered his voice to a muffled hiss. “Sheltered innocent, what you see are pickpockets, highwaymen and drunks… and an occasional murderer or two.” He straightened, emphatic and fierce. “This is Boydry’s… as unsavory a pub as they come… not the bloody Clarendon Hotel!”

“Really?” Samantha was finding it very difficult to share the intensity of his tirade. She was too busy drowning in the hypnotic spell of his towering presence. And, after all, he was only trying to protect her… the foremost duty of a true hero.

“If such is the case, then why are you here?” she asked, half-tempted to stroke the hard, uncompromising line of his jaw. “You don’t appear unsavory to me.”

His dimple flickered in response. “Don’t I? That is only because you don’t know me.”

“No… but I’d like to.”

He blinked. “You’d like to…”

“Oh yes. Don’t you see?” Sammy leaned forward, making an animated sweep with her hands. “It’s as if Mrs. Radcliffe had penned it; a young woman alone… darkness… danger.” A pause. “Of course I would have preferred a castle turret to a tavern…” she gave a philosophical shrug, “… nevertheless, you’ve arrived… and you’re exactly as I pictured you.”

“You have lost your mind,” he muttered.


Author Bio:

Andrea KaneAndrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including thirteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles.

With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.

Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.

With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.

Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Connect With Ms. Kane on Facebook, Twitter, & her website.


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Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry Citarella

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1 Comment

  1. WOW! Great post. I read this book so found this post quite interesting as to how the research was done.

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