Occupied Lands in World War One

The novel I’m working on now, a sequel to The Moonlight Mistress, focuses on the main werewolf characters from that novel and their marriage of convenience. Tanneken, the female werewolf, was working as a spy in the previous novel, so I decided to make her activities central to the plot.

These are the books I’ve used so far. I recommend them all highly.

I mentioned Tammy Proctor’s Female Intelligence: Women and Espionage in the First World War in an earlier post. I extensively used this book’s bibliography to locate other sources, among them those listed below. The most useful thing I learned from it was how the underground spy networks in Belgium were organized, and some specific stories about women who worked in intelligence-gathering, and their fates.

Scraps of Paper: German Proclamations in Belgium and France reproduces actual posters and provides translations. Another of my books referenced this one, so I didn’t need the material for the most part, but the coolness factor was important here. Primary source documents, or close equivalents, are great for giving me a feel for a period.

The Long Silence: Civilian Life under the German Occupation of Northern France, 1914-1918 is the most useful book I found. The author, Helen McPhail, points out that it’s not a thorough academic study, but there was more than enough information for my purposes. I got a really good feel for what life was like in occupied Northern France, as well as the various problems and subterfuges of the people living there. I’m hoping the information in this book will help me to vividly describe the place and time without directly copying actual events.

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Research Books Whee!

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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