#RRBC SPOTLIGHT Author Mary Alder @MAAdlerWrites

I’m excited to welcome #RRBC Spotlight Author Mary Alder!




I write historical fiction, so it is important that the events in the story fit logically within actual historical events. While doing research, I note events that are significant to my story and create a timeline.

It is much easier to attribute facts to sources as I go along and to create a bibliography as I read each book. At the end of the novel writing process, I have a bibliography I can append to the back of the book or put on my website. It allows people to read trusted sources for issues in the book they might have a deeper interest in.

Here is an example of the timeline for the war in Poland.

     1943 continued.

April 19-

New York Times: Editorialized that the Bermuda Conference: … important as the first attempt at international collaboration to mitigate the appalling horror of Hitler’s war of extermination since the outbreak of the war … it would seem that even within the war effort, and perhaps even in aid of it, measures can be devised that go beyond palliatives which appear to be designed to assuage the conscience of the reluctant  rescuers rather than to aid the victims.” Allied Press response to defeatism of Conference. P 54 While 6 million Died

April –

Russia breaks off diplomatic relations with Poland in light of Katyn massacre discovery. Soviets blame Germans and British and Americans endorsed the lie.

May 12 –

Szmul Zygielbojm commits suicide in response to a message about the devastation in the Warsaw ghetto;

June  –

Karski to U.S. Meets with Roosevelt. Cannot convince the U.S. of extermination or get them to help. At time, still 100,000 Jews alive in Lodz and large gas chambers at Auschwitz had just become operational.

August –

Yakov Wernik, an escapee from Treblinka, ran away during the uprising there in August-1943. He described vividly what had happened at Treblinka. His words were written down and his was the first report transmitted to London and published there and in America. P87 Memoirs of Ghetto Fighter

November 3 –

Fall -Time to liquidate Jews in work camps. “Erntefeste” – “Harvest Festival”

Lublin work camp. Could not liquidate it gradually because by now the Jews did not believe they would survive. Had been uprisings in Warsaw ghetto, (April) Treblinka (July), Bialystok (August), Sobibor (October)

Jewish prisoners dug zigzag trenches outside work camps; told they were for fortifications from air raids but became their mass graves.

I create a timeline marking the major events, and tape it on my wall. Then I weave the events of the novel into the timeline. Even if you do not write historical fiction, a timeline of your book will help you keep track of significant events.

Follow Mary online:




Author Bio:

Mary Adler was an attorney and dean at CWRU School of Medicine. She escaped the ivory tower for the much gentler world of World War II and the adventures of homicide detective Oliver Wright and his German shepherd, Harley. She lives with her family in Sebastopol, California, where she creates garden habitats for birds and bees and butterflies. She is active in dog rescue and does canine scent work with her brilliant dogs — the brains of the team — and loves all things Italian.

65 thoughts on “#RRBC SPOTLIGHT Author Mary Alder @MAAdlerWrites”

  1. It’s great to learn more about Mary and her books. I like the book cover too! Congratulations on being an #RRBC spotlight author Mary. Thanks for sharing Denise.

      1. Thank you for hosting me on your lovely blog, Denise. Every time I check for comments, I enjoy seeing your dolphins! Thank you, also, for being such a supportive RRBC member.

      2. I was happy to have you here today Mary! I’m glad you are enjoying the dolphins:)

    1. Thank you, Lizzie. I love the cover. It captures the sort of noir-ish quality of the book. Being an RRBC Spotlight author is great fun! I am so happy to be doing it.

  2. Thank you, Denise, for showcasing Mary. I loved reading about how she uses a timeline. Excellent advice! ♥

  3. Hi Mary and thank you for sharing with us your methods of writing historical fiction. I agree that it has to be authentic or the reader won’t believe it. I like your work with saving the bees, birds, and butterflies, as they are under attack and need what ever help they can get. Glad to see you too Denise. You are such a supportive member.

    1. Thanks, Shirley. I love my wild garden. It is certainly not manicured, but it provides tons of safety and food to lots of critters. I tried keeping bees once. Despite my best efforts, they took up residence in a hollow tree and when the last colony left, I didn’t replace them because I had been becoming more and more allergic to them. I didn’t mind that they wanted to live elsewhere on the property. I never took their honey. When we moved here, there were NO bees. Not one. Now there are tons of bees and pollinators of many types.

    1. I enjoy historical fiction, too, Mae:) Thanks for dropping by on your busy new release day!

  4. Of course, Mary, for historical novels, one has to make sure to be thorough in their research. These things can be checked, you see. Unless you have a knack for research, don’t write stories with facts that can be cross-checked.

    1. I love to research, Joy. And then one thing leads to another and another. It is hard for me to control my desire to tell everyone what I have learned and concentrate on just telling the story! That’s another reason I like to include the bibliography. Thank you for commentingl

  5. Excellent tips and examples on setting up a timeline for historical fiction writing, Mary. Great informational #RRBC Spotlight post, Denise & Mary! 🙂 Keep shining…

  6. You are so organized, Mary! This is a great idea, especially if writing historical fiction. Thanks for sharing. Hope you are having fun on your tour! Thanks for hosting, Denise!

  7. Oh, Jan. If you could only see the state of my office you would discover my organization only goes so far. 🙂 Thank you for being so supportive!

    1. Hi Wendy. In some ways it is easier because there is an external framework to help keep me on track. I do have to be careful about my remarks about certain real people who had a part in the events. 🙂

  8. This is an interesting part of Mary’s writing process. Creating a timeline is also so important for fiction writers incorporating historical facts into their stories. I never thought of taping the timeline on my wall though, but having it in view at all times instead of having to leaf through my notebook every time I need information is a great idea. Thank you for sharing your process with us, Mary! And thanks for hosting, Denise.😊

    1. I love learning the process of other writers Vashti. It’s quite and education:) Thanks for dropping by!

    2. Hi, Vashti. I love learning about other writers’ processes, too. I also love seeing their work spaces. It would be great to see a photo book of writer’s offices. I will look and see what is out there. Thank you for your comments

  9. Mary, I admire your dedication to research and authenticity in your stories. This is not something that I could do. Partially because reading is so hard for me now but mostly because I’ve never liked doing it. Lol
    Thanks for hosting, Denise.

    1. Rhani, I love to do research. I was a lawyer, and it is second nature to me. My problem is that I have to know EVERYTHING, not just what I need to know. Who knows what gem of information might be in just the next article or book? I do plan to start another series after I finish the 3rd Oliver book. I want to write without doing extensive research. We’ll see how that works out! 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: