Tag: fiction writing

Melina's Books the Writing Process Writing & Editing

Origins of Angel Surnames: Accuracy in Historical Fiction Writing

In the course of writing Angel of Mercy, I did some research into the origin of the family’s surnames. This is what I found out: Bartlette – English with some pockets in Scotland Steward – Scottish-English Goodwin – English Grey – Anglo-Saxon Taylor – English with French origins Winthrop – from Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Appleton […]

Canada History Melina's Books

A Family Church: St. Andrew’s, Barrie

The Steward family’s church in Angel of Mercy is St. Andrew’s in Barrie, Ontario. Why St. Andrew’s? The church is Presbyterian, which kept with the family’s Scottish roots.  I also used it because Presbyterian was a very large denomination at the turn of the 20th century. History of St. Andrew’s St. Andrew’s began in 1843. […]

Canada History Melina's Books

The Inspiration Behind an Angel’s Hometown

The hometown of my main character in Angel of Mercy, Henrietta Steward, is Barrie, Ontario. Many real-life buildings were the inspiration for her family and friends’ homes and workplaces. Without leaving many spoilers, here are a sampling of photos that inspired places in the novel: These houses were the model for the Steward home which […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World Melina's Books Victorian era Women's history

Toronto Normal School: Establishing Standardized Teaching Practices

Hettie Steward, in my novel Angel of Mercy, is not the only woman in her family to have a profession. Her mother blazed the trail, becoming a professional teacher after attending the Toronto Normal School in the 1880s. What is a “normal school”? It is what today we call a teaching college. The purpose of these […]

Canada Edwardian era Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books

A Brief History of Royal Victoria Hospital — Barrie, Ontario

My fictional character Hettie Steward worked at her hometown hospital, Royal Victoria, in the year between finishing nursing school and joining the Canadian Army Medical Corps, Even though the hospital plays a very small role in Angel of Mercy, its history gives us an interesting glimpse into medical care during the first part of the […]

Canada Edwardian era Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books Women's history

Nursing School in the 1910s — the School of Nursing Toronto General Hospital

Hettie Steward, my main character in Angel of Mercy, is a 1913 graduate of the School of Nursing Toronto General Hospital.   By the time of her graduation, it was the largest and among the most prestigious nursing schools in Canada. Competition to be accepted into the program was stiff and had been since 1894. Let’s […]

Hettie's World History Medicine Melina's Books Women's history World War One

The True Stories of World War One Nurses

My novel, Angel of Mercy, focuses on Hettie, a young woman serving during the First World War with the Canadian Army Nursing Service. While her experiences are fictional, she and her colleagues are based on the brave nurses who served overseas during nearly five years of war. “In his much-admired book published in 1975,” Baroness […]

Books & Publishing Canada History Melina's Books World War One

Canada: Our Fascinating Neighbor to the North

I have been a history lover for many years, and I am obsessed with World War I to the point of addiction.  This focus has grown to include Canada and its history. Why, you may ask, would an American be interested in Canada? It began with the conception of my novel, Angel of Mercy. The […]

Books & Publishing Melina's Books the Writing Process World War One

“Mama, We All Go to Hell”

Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. Who would have guessed a hard rock song could inspire an entire historical fiction novel? But that’s exactly what happened with my novel, Angel of Mercy.  It was inspired entirely by the song “Mama” from My Chemical Romance‘s album Welcome to the Black Parade. The song begins and […]

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