The location of the lord or ladies home in London is always something I spend time over. And each time I then research the square I use or re-research it. I have used Berkeley Square a few times as well as others.
Laid out by architect William Kent in the mid 1700s, by the time of our Regency Society, it is perfect for all manner of inhabitants. Indeed, Sarah Child Villiers, Countess Jersey who is a patroness of Almacks lived on the square during our time period at #38. George Canning, the enemy of Castlereagh and Prime Minister of England in 1827, lived at #50. Robert Clive of India lived at #45 before the period and committed suicide in 1774 at his residence.
The square is named for the Gloucestershire family whose home was Berkeley Castle, and in London Berkeley House which had been located close to where the square was laid out.
Fictitious characters inhabiting the square, much better known then mine, include Flashie! and Bertie Wooster. It is also the site of the most infamous of all haunted houses in present day London. (The suicide of Robert Clive you might think, but really, it is at Canning’s old residence of #50.)
Once again I was interviewed for my work on Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Correspondence.
It was at English Epochs 101 As promised, I am posting the interview here in two parts, but I encourage you all to take a look at Debbie’s Page and the rest of her material. During the weekend of the 14th thru 16th of January 2012, she was the leading seller at Amazon of her work, The Companion of Lady Holmeshire
An Interview with Author David W Wilkin
David Wilkin has been a historical re-enactor for twenty-five years. Most of that he has taught the dances of those past times to other re-enactors. With a degree in history and a passion for writing he has turned his hand to penning several novels about the past. A member of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, today I interview him to tell us a little bit more about his work and the time periods he specializes in.
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I am a Los Angeleno. Born in Los Angeles California. Went for two years of college at UC Santa Cruz before coming back to town and finishing at UCLA. I have spent the rest of my life here in Southern California.
You majored in History. How do you use that in your daily life?
In my daily life I have been a manufacturing executive for 20 years. History comes into play only when I relate stories to the workers about how we did it in the old day. Or an idea on how to counsel the employees. Citing how other companies in the world (I am an avid reader of business history) have overcome an obstacle and gone on to success. Talking about a Regency Dandy like Beau Brummels, or about Prinny, does me little good on the shop floor.
How did your interest in writing begin?
I liked creating stories when I was a child. Then in college I actually submitted an article and it was published. When I graduated, after my first out of college job ended, I tried my hand at writing stories. I find in comparison to what I create now, there was a lot more editing at the end of my drafts when I started then now.
How long have you been writing now?
Over thirty years. But the last ten have been the most fruitful period. And of that, two and half years ago we had to close my own company, Aspen Interiors. We made the woodwork found in the Cheesecake Factory restaurants. That was a blow, and so I turned to writing every day after sending out the resumes. I have written 9915 pages in the time between closing Aspen and reentering the work force. Lots of first draft material, some second draft, and some items actually now in print.
Where did your interest in the Regency Era come from?
That is a tale, and bear with me, I shall lead you to the end of the trail. I liked history enough from High School to make it my major in college. I specialized in Pre-Modern Asian history while getting my degree which is pretty far from the study of Regency England. But History, I have always found, is stories. I like stories and even before college I wrote some, but after, I started my quest to be a novelist. I also became an Historical Re-enactor.
I joined groups where we made the costumes of the era we were Re-enacting. I learned the dances from those times, and then actually taught well over 1000 people how to do them. Running regular dance practices. My early main focus was Medieval and Renaissance, but one day a friend said, ‘Have I got a girl for you to meet,’ and dragged me to a Regency Dance. Well, not that girl, but several years later, I met my wife, Cheryl at a Regency Ball.
To woo her (she was very far away), I wrote her a regency romance, a few pages a day, that turned into a novel. When taking a class to further enhance my writing, I resurrected the story and worked on it more. Then over the last ten years, found that a good third of my output was Regency Romances.
I’ll have the rest in the next blog post.
As for our progress this month so far. I have slowly gotten into the habit of writing a page when I get home after 11 hour days at the factory. So there has not been a lot of work on the second Science Fiction Novella. Our hero, Peter Jennings is sitting in a lounge as the Secessionist representatives are finally withdrawing from Unity Space. I feel a bar fight coming on.
I have sold a book a day which is good news. Walking around money. Decided to buy the Rod Stewart American Songbooks I didn’t have last night. Found that my iPad view of Rod Stewarts work did not show I had the fourth album so I got it. When I came to iTunes on the iMac though. It was there in the list. Now I have two versions.