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Twisting History for a Spell, a guest post by the author of THAT SELF-SAME METAL, Brittany N. Williams

I often think about the most memorable lesson I gained from my seventh and eighth grade history teacher: that engaging with the past never, ever has to be boring. We made travel brochures and ads for the Titanic. We reenacted the Lizzy Borden trial from real court transcripts. There’s always an angle to catch someone’s attention. When I sat down to write That Self-Same Metal, I knew one of my angles was Shakespeare but the other? The other had to be fantastical and nothing opened the story up more than magic.

An Interior Map from THAT SELF-MADE METAL

Picture this. The year is 1605, five years into the turn of the century. The great Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I, has been dead for two years. The new king of England is the Protestant king of Scotland and a lot of folks, particularly the Catholics, are not happy. Oh, and the Bubonic Plague still runs rampant, killing millions of people. It’s a chaotic time in British history, rife with change and intrigue. A time that, writing in That Self-Same Metal, inspired one question. What further chaos was possible if I added a supernatural threat to make a wild year even worse?