Hilarious History Oddity: Silly Fashion Masks
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
Mad Masks I draw a lot of inspiration from weird and wonderful history details when creating the world of my Red Kingdom books, and while flicking through a history magazine, I came across a fascinating fashion trend that was popular in the 1500s and 1600s. Basically, wealthy European women liked to cover their faces when going outside into public—both to protect their skin from sunburn (can’t look like a filthy peasant who has to work for a living obviously!) and also to look more ‘mysterious’.  Too see photos, just search online for ‘vizards’. It’s worth a look ..read more
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Dark fantasy writing update
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
Well, like I said in an earlier post, I’ve had a big life change recently, which is returning to a full-time day job, after being only part-time for the last four years. It’s definitely the right choice for my little family, but it will mean some adjustment to my writing schedule, so I’ll have a bit less time from now on. However, I am determined to carve out writing time no matter what, so I really hope you can all bear with me even if I’m a little slower than I’d hoped. I promise I’m still working hard on book 2 in my Red Kingdom series. In fact, I am feeling really excited about ..read more
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History Oddity: Razor gangs and women crime-lords from 1920s Sydney, Australia … holy moly!
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
I’ve been doing a lot of historical reading (fun!) into a very fascinating era in Australian history … 1920s and 1930s Sydney. Imagine this … Australia is a fairly conservative country in the 20s and 30s. Customs are banning books and films from entering the nation. It’s described as a cultural quarantine. The rest of the world is moving forward, but Australia’s cultural landscape is staying still. The country has just survived the Spanish Influenza, which killed around 15,000 people, and this followed the first major war Australia had ever been part of on a global stage – World War I, w ..read more
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Why do stories move us?
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
Alright, here is some real talk for you … and strap in, because this loooong (oops, sorry, haha). I’ve been thinking a lot about books and stories lately, and maybe going through some author crisis stuff, haha. Being an author can be really hard.  It takes an enormous amount of work and dedication, often with not a lot of monetary return, it requires endless effort for marketing and publishing, as well as, of course, the most rewarding and wonderful part (for me) of being creative and writing that first wonderful draft (this is the past I love most, along with holding the book in my ..read more
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Weird Oddity: strange ancient jokes…
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
An ancient Sumerian Joke My husband recently came across an ancient joke and told it to me. It was etched onto a tablet around 1700 BCE in the Old Babylonian Empire and excavated in the 19th century.  It goes like this: A dog entered into a tavern and said, ‘I cannot see anything. I shall open this.’ Huh.  Did it make you laugh? Well, it definitely made me laugh, but not because I understand it!  Apparently, it is considered the first written ‘So and so walked into a bar’ joke, so it’s nice to see that we as a human race haven’t progressed too far in the last almo ..read more
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History Podcast Recommendation: Empire
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
So, recently, a friend of mine (who knows I love a good bit of well-told history) recommended a podcast called Empire (hosted by Anita Anand and William Dalrymple).  I listened to the entire first season in one week (which was about 20 hours, haha). The podcast is so riveting, and even if you think the history doesn’t sound exciting to you or maybe you are not so crazy for history in general, I’d still encourage you to give it a try.  Empire‘s first season covers the rise and fall of the East India Company, Britain’s occupation of India, and a lot about India itself, inclu ..read more
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Creepy Oddity: Heart Burial
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
It is time for me to talk about heart burial, specifically the story of a real and very yucky-looking human heart, which has been floating about in formaldehyde for over 200 years.  Yuck. yuck. Yuck. It is a relic of a dead prince deeply (and controversially!) entwined with the story of independence in Brazil, which is why it was recently in 2022 transported from Portugal to Brazil via airforce jet, in a pressurised container in a passenger seat, welcomed with a ceremonial reception, driven by Rolls Royce to a ceremony in the presidential palace and taken to meet the presi ..read more
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Creepy Oddity: Medieval Madness (tooth-worms!)
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
I’ve been reading a history book lately, which is all about the weird things medieval people believed about their bodies. The book is okay, I honestly thought it would be a bit more about medieval life and thought in general, but mostly it talks about medicine and strange medical ideas during the Dark Ages. So anyway, despite the book, Medieval Bodies: Life, Death and Art in the Middle Ages, not being a total favourite for me, it still has plenty of gems.  I’ve taken (low quality, sorry!) photos from my physical copy of the book and shared the fun here with you! Hope you enjoy ..read more
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Writing Update (but really a waffle about disturbing, old fairytales … sorry, haha)
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
At the beginning of the year, I signed up for an online creative writing workshop across four weeks. The focus of the workshop was on fairytales, and we have learned about the writing techniques used in those super old (weird and creepy) fairytales, as well as how modern writers can reinterpret or draw from them in retellings. It’s been FUN and I’ve learned a lot. And I’ve spent the last few weeks writing my own weird, short fairytale-inspired stories (that I’ll share with you in the future!). I’ve always loved those old creepier fairytales, and find the matter-of-fact horror of them qui ..read more
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Creepy Oddity: Dead Queen Draped in Gold
PJ Nwosu Blog
by PJ
1y ago
I recently read an amazing article on Atlas Obscura (of course, haha), which shows the elaborate golden headdress, beaded top, and jewellery of a queen who lived 4,500 years ago. Go check it out, seriously. Her name was Queen Pu-abi, and she was unearthed in the 1920s, from a stone burial chamber alongside three more bodies, presumably her poor maidservants (eeeek!) from the most lavish Mesopotamian tomb ever discovered. So, in the 1920s, the discovery of this 4,500 year old tomb and skeleton caused a huge stir, because Queen Pu-abi was a woman, and well … it was the 1920s, hah ..read more
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