Forbidden Legacy – The Rest of the Story ©Diana Cosby
Often I’m asked how I find a story idea. Is it the character(s), or a historical event? Do I see something that inspires me? The answer is yes to all of the above. Regardless of how the concept arrives, I must absolutely LOVE the story idea.
On rare occasion a character will wake me up demanding their story. Alexander MacGruder, hero of His Captive, book #1 in the bestselling MacGruder Brother Series, was the first to insist that I write his book. I was shocked. Never before had a character appeared in my mind so strong or complete.
The second time this happened was about a year ago with a heroine. All I know is that she’s trapped beneath a wagon and is furious. She’s still holding out on her story, but I have faith that in time, I’ll wear her down and she’ll tell me.
The third and final time to date that a character woke me was while I was attending the Washington Romance Writer’s annual Retreat. Not only did Stephan MacQuistan, Earl of Dunsmore wake me up demanding his story, but Stephan explained that he was a Knights Templar and needed the story told of how the Order secretly dissolved before the arrests in France on the 13th of October 1307. To say his revelation left me stunned is an understatement. But, with total faith in my character, Forbidden Legacy, the first book in The Forbidden Series, was born.
During the months of writing Forbidden Legacy, incredible incidents occurred. First, I discovered the timeframe I began my research turned out to be exactly 700 years after Bannockburn, where rumors abound that due to Knights Templar support, King Robert Bruce was able to defeat King Edward II with resounding success. Articles on Bannockburn began to appear on-line and in magazines, including a feature in the 2014 Spring edition of The National Trust for Scotland’s magazine, “Scotland In Trust.” Then, BBC2 released a phenomenal two part series, “The Quest For Bannockburn.” In addition, over the months of penning my novel, I kept seeing crosses in nature, which I took several pictures of.
When I write, I try to be historically accurate. While researching Forbidden Legacy, I received guidance from several amazing people. First, Kathryn Warner, Historian and Author of ‘Edward II: The Unconventional King.’ Kathryn’s phenomenal research offered fascinating and valuable information on King Edward II. As well, Cameron Morrison, Driver and Historical Guide, shared numerous stories and historical facts of Scotland’s heritage, which led to further research. When I hit roadblocks in my search for information, Jody Allen, Researcher (extraordinaire), suggested more links to review. In addition, I met (on-line) Jack Graham, AKA Friar Jak, an SCA authorized marshal for rapier, combat archery, and heavy armored combat. Jack’s knowledge of the craft and his helpful tips lent validity to my character’s sword fighting techniques. I sincerely thank Kathryn, Cameron, Jody, and Jack for their time and insight, which allowed me to offer a richer historical story-line woven throughout Forbidden Legacy.
Writing Forbidden Legacy, book #1 of The Forbidden Series, was a humbling journey. The betrayal of the Knights Templar by a king desperate for gold and hungry for power echoes hundreds of years later. I worked hard to ensure that any mention of the Knights Templar in my story portrayed their bravery, loyalty, and gave them the respect they deserved.
Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN, Ret.