Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sam Thomas

Sam Thomas has a PhD in history with a focus on Reformation England and recently leaped from the tenure track into a teaching position at a secondary school near Cleveland, Ohio.

His novels include The Midwife's Tale and the (soon!) forthcoming The Harlot's Tale.

From the author's May 2013 Q & A at the Mama Birth blog:

Mr Thomas- Please introduce yourself and tell us about why you (a MAN) decided to write a book about a midwife. And a midwife who solves murder mysteries! What inspired you?

Well, for about ten years I taught history at the college-level, and one of my research specialties was the history of midwifery in England from about 1600-1700. For a variety of reasons I decided to make the jump to teaching at the high school level, but I did not want to stop writing about midwives – I just loved them too much!

I knew I would not be able to write about them from an academic perspective, so I decided to try my hand at history. And since I’d already written about the historical Bridget Hodgson, I decided to fictionalize her for my novel.

How did you research the time period? Do you feel like your portrayal of the time and the general attitudes towards women is an accurate portrayal? (This was kind of disturbing!)

Lots and lots of reading! While I made some changes to Bridget’s biography, I did my best to stay true to the times when it came to larger issues like the status of women. The stereotypes about (and the treatment of) women were very disturbing. But I also wanted to tell the story of women who managed to find some room despite the oppression.

Three of the main characters (Bridget, her assistant Martha, and her nemesis Rebecca Hooke) were able to find a route to power. They just had to take a different route than men.

What kind of research did you do to learn more about birth? Did you talk to modern midwives?

Great question! I actually...[read on]
View the trailer for The Midwife’s Tale, and learn more about the book and author at Sam Thomas's website, blog, and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: The Midwife’s Tale.

The Page 69 Test: The Midwife's Tale.

Writers Read: Sam Thomas.

--Marshal Zeringue