Sunday, July 18, 2010
History and Women blog from novelist Mirella Patzer attracts readers with gloriously unique content
The History and Women blog by novelist Mirella Patzer boldy promises readers that it is "A celebration of history and women - glorious, sinful, and shocking."
That was certainly enough to get me to subscribe, and I've been thoroughly enjoying her posts for weeks. Mirella has a great sensibility for selecting fascinating subjects from the greatly overlooked arena of women in history. Her research meanders through true crimes, classic paintings, ancient romance, legends, fashion, and much more including book reviews. People looking for a new blog to follow that is not like all the others, should explore her History and Women blog.
I contacted Mirella the other day to compliment her on the blog and she generously answered my questions.
When did the History and Women blog begin?
History and Women was born in May 2008 - so it's Taurean like me. It is very much a work from my heart, born from my love for history and women through the ages. Ever since I was a very young child, I loved reading stories about princesses and queens. I read every fairy tale book in the neighbourhood library several times over. This fascination never died and I created the blog to indulge this passion. Slowly, the blog gained popularity and no one was more surprised than me to learn that people were actually reading and enjoying my posts. I've been blessed with wonderful support through my readership and this drives me on.
Most of your historical articles are about people and events of which I've never heard. What are some of your source materials?
Basically, all I look for is a name of a woman in history which I encounter accidentally or by reading other blogs and sites, television, or simply by googling something generic like 'countess' or 'murderess' or 'poisoner' and go from there. Wikipedia is a great source and one article often leads to another. I also subscribe to About.com, ExecutedToday.com, and Saint of the Day. Vicki Leon's Uppity Women books are wonderful and they sit on my bookshelf always ready to give me an idea. Once I find the name of woman I'm interested in, I gather the various resources and piece together a bio in my own words. My list of names is very, very long and slowly, I'm slowly making my way through this list. I also like to vary my content by adding articles that are historical and of interest to women such as my article on chopines, a shoe famous during the Italian Renaissance.
Do you know approximately how many regular readers you have?
That's a difficult question to answer because it's hard to pinpoint all the readers from the various sites and subscriptions I have. If I were to add them up, a rough estimate would be somewhere around 750 to 1000 and it is growing daily. I have some wonderful followers who leave comments every time I post something new. And because I'm diligent in returning the favour by visiting or following their blogs, I've made some wonderful cyber-friends along the way too.
Do you find the History and Women blog to be a good platform for marketing your novels?
Yes, I think it is one more avenue to show the world that the book exists, but I'm careful not to over-do it. I want the purpose of the blog to be a venue for women of all ages to visit and learn about the many fascinating women of history, not to be pressured with advertisements or book promotion. Having said that, however, if I feel a particular book written by other authors is significant to the theme of history and women, I'll definitely feature them. I'm currently working on Catherine de Medici.
I realize this is subjective but in your opinion which woman you profiled was the most scandalous in her day?
Of the various women I've written about to date, Countess Elizabeth Bathory is the most heinous, scandalous woman. It chilled me to the bone when I wrote her bio. I wrote it in first person narrative and you can read it at:
http://historyandwomen.blogspot.com/2009/12/taste-for-blood.html. If you read her bio, I think you'll agree. (After reading, I totally agree. A ghastly out-of-control person to be sure.)
Any additional comments?
I'm always humbled and thrilled when a reader like you makes contact with me or leaves a comment. I always respond and reciprocate. Truly, I'm grateful for every visitor and it encourages me onward! Thank you so very much for inviting me to your blog for giving me the opportunity to meet your readers.
About Mirella Patzer's fiction:
An accomplished short story writer, Mirella has expanded her talent to novel writing. In March 2010, the Eternal Press released her novel The Pendant.
A lost ancient treasure. A 100 year family feud. A woman who must choose between two men: one bound by a dying wish, the other bound by desperation. And a passion richer than the bloodstone pendant she wears around her neck.
Available in trade paperback, PDF, and Amazon Kindle.