[GUEST POST] D.B. Jackson on The History Behind The Historical Fiction Behind the THIEFTAKER CHRONICLES
D. B. Jackson is also David B. Coe, the award-winning author of more than a dozen fantasy novels. His first two books as D.B. Jackson, the Revolutionary War era urban fantasies, Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry, volumes I and II of the Thieftaker Chronicles, are both available from Tor Books in hardcover and paperback. The third volume, A Plunder of Souls, will be released in hardcover on July 8. The fourth Thieftaker novel, Dead Man’s Reach, is in production and will be out in the summer of 2015. D.B. lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera. You can follow D.B. Jackson via his website, Facebook, on Twitter (as @DBJacksonAuthor), and GoodReads.
Boston, July 1769: The city of Boston, Massachusetts — which is really little more than a town by modern standards (a population of approximately 15,000) — is in the midst of a hot and humid summer, not unlike those that still settle over Southern New England every July and August. There is no air conditioning, of course; a fan is something to be held in hand and waved to and fro. Food cannot be refrigerated, much less frozen. Social mores with regard to fashion dictate that despite the heat, men should wear full-length breeches and long-sleeve shirts, often with waistcoats or jackets. Women are to wear full-length dresses complete with stomachers and petticoats. Oh, and there is no internal plumbing, so no showers.
This is merely the most superficial way of conveying a basic truth: Boston in the pre-Revolutionary Era, the setting for the books of my Thieftaker Chronicles, bore little resemblance to the technology-laden world in which we live today. This is hardly an earth-shattering observation. But it becomes more significant when one considers that in creating my characters for the Thieftaker books such superficial differences were the least of my concerns. The third Thieftaker novel, A Plunder of Souls is to be released on July 8. (It follows the publication in 2012 of Thieftaker, and in 2013 of Thieves’ Quarry.) The book is set during that sweltering summer I mention above, but my lead character, Ethan Kaille, and those characters with whom he interacts, take in stride the discomforts of heat and humid air. In that respect the summer of 1769 is little different from every other summer they have known.
More to the point, their thoughts are consumed with two other, far more momentous circumstances: Boston is under military occupation. And cases of smallpox have been reported throughout the city.
Read the rest of this entry