I have a confession to make to all of you. It’s something which has been bothering me for a while now, and honestly, I’ve been struggling with even mentioning it, but I feel that I need to tell the truth. In order to explain why I’ve let it slide for so long, I’m going to need to go back a little bit, to when I first decided to write LA BASTARDA.
I won’t pretend that I’m some scholar. I don’t have a degree, not even in Underwater Basketweaving or the like. I left my first college for medical reasons, and my second when I learned I was pregnant with my son; I honestly don’t see the point in going back at this time, in no small part because we can’t afford it.
(Before you call CPS, please understand that I’m the primary caretaker for my non-school-aged son, and taking classes would require childcare, which is hardly inexpensive, plus tuition, and I don’t qualify for much in the way of scholarships or Pell Grants. We are a comfortable middle class for our area even on one income, as I have made a grand total of <$10 in royalties from the sales of LA BASTARDA, but adding two very large expenses would definitely take a financial toll, as it would for almost every family. Okay, butt-covering over.)
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that, when I wrote and researched LA BASTARDA, I didn’t have access to very many sources. I live in the United States and am middle class, so a quick jaunt to Spain to possibly get my hands on some original sources was out of the question – and that’s assuming I wouldn’t be laughed straight out of the door. Letting a random American woman handle books and pieces of paper that are roughly twice as old as my home country, give or take a few decades, just because I say that I’m writing a book? Hah! When I would try to learn more about my subjects online, I would hit a wall of sorts: No Non-Academics Beyond This Point. I was basically writing blind, and I wrote what I thought was a great story for what was available to me. Since writing and becoming more involved in the online writing community, I’ve been sent or referred to so many things that I would have never been able to see due to my lack of connections or even not knowing the proper Google Search terms, and some of that info had a serious effect on LA BASTARDA.
What I’m trying to say is that, while I was able to fix certain things, such as placing a certain foreigner in Castile two years after his only known visit to the country, there are other things that didn’t come to my attention until recently. I have found out that I almost certainly put the court into the wrong place at the wrong time on more than one occasion, simply because I didn’t know anything about a specific book. This book was very recently referred to me by someone who saw the subject matter and thought I’d love to see it. Upon reading, I realized I had a choice to make. While I would love to go back and fix LA BASTARDA, I’m afraid that it will force me to change entire sections and leave us with a completely different story. Overall, I believe the themes are more important than the background, but as a person who can be a stickler for these sort of things, I felt the need to own up to it so that I wouldn’t be accused of hypocrisy and/or straight up lying.
I will say that I’m taking great pains to not make the same mistake in my further books (including making changes to LA REINA, which is thankfully still in the stages where such edits may be inconvenient, but aren’t life-and-death for the book), but I ask for your understanding, as I’m only human. I take full responsibility – I should have double- and triple-checked my work, but I must say that, for a debut novel, I am quite pleased with how LA BASTARDA has turned out; I’m hopeful LA REINA will be even better, and that each new book surpasses the last. Ultimately I apologize to everyone whom I have disappointed, and in the future, I will endeavor to correct as many mistakes as I can.