Katherine Keenum


A blog about the paintings, photographs, and prints that help me visualize my fiction—both Where the Light Falls and works-in-progress. My main current project is a novel tentatively entitled ANONYMITY. Its heroine works in publishing, belongs to a clandestine suffragist group, and has a married lover. Read on!

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Fiction
An American woman art student meets a Civil War veteran in Belle Époque Paris.

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Picturing a World

Fruit stand

August 29, 2013

Tags: Caillebotte, Jeanette

On the way to Amy and Sonja’s studio for a session of sketching in the chapter “Winter’s Cold,” Jeanette is struck by how artistically French tradesmen arrange fruits and vegetables. Those beautifully piled displays are something I love about Paris, which is why I put them in the novel and why I was mindful of this painting as I wrote. In the original manuscript, Jeanette banters with a fruitier while she makes her selection of apples to take with her. The scene was edited way down, but here are fruits to linger over—they are even summer fruits for August!

Winter's cold

August 26, 2013

Tags: Amy, Jeanette, dogs

In Pont Aven in August 1878, Amy warns Jeanette about the everlasting gloom of Paris in winter. That slushy, dark, urban chill is captured in Buhot's 1879 etching (complete, notice, with dogs on the street). In August 2013, why not welcome a momentary shiver?!

American Girls Art Club

August 23, 2013

Tags: Paris landmark

Blog Alert:I'm almost too excited to type, but you MUST go to today's American Girls Art Club post for a book review of Where the Light Falls with a GORGEOUS illustrated tour of Paris to take you to landmarks in the novel. Thank you, Marge!

Blue-and-white teacups

August 22, 2013

Tags: Amy, Sonja, Wegmann, Cassatt, studio, women artists

When Edward goes to Sonja and Amy’s studio to see the portrait medallions Sonja has sculpted for him, Amy serves the gathered friends tea in chipped blue-and-white porcelain. I got the idea for chipped china from Massachusetts artist Eleanor Norcross, who (more…)

Effie's "Lady's Guide"

August 19, 2013

Tags: Nieriker, Effie, Jeanette, Edward, cafés and restaurants, women artists

An early Eureka! moment on this project came when I saw a reference to May Alcott Nieriker’s Studying Art Abroad and How To Do It Cheaply. Wow! Louisa May Alcott’s sister wrote a book for women who wanted to study art in Paris in 1879? (more…)

Prop collections

August 16, 2013

Blog alert: Successful 19th C artists built large personal collections of props to use in their paintings. Yesterday James Gurney posted on prop collections during the Golden Age of illustration with an update to current movie studio collections and manufactories.

Napoleon III

August 15, 2013

Tags: Napoleon III, Cornelia, Grandcourt, Haussmann, World's Fair

Emperor Napoleon III might not be anyone's choice as companion on a Summer Adventure, but he provided worlds of anecdotal material during his reign and he'll take us back into Where the Light Falls. At Cornelia Renick’s house, Maestro Hippolyte Grandcourt regales a lunch gathering with a story about a model who stood in for him while the many official portraits required by an empire were being painted. This anecdote was my way of glancing back at France’s glittering Second Empire (1852–1870), which haunted French memory in the first decades of the succeeding Third Republic (1870–1940). (more…)

And the winners are …

August 14, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures, and now Winners of 10 Great Giveaway books:

Kate Noble’s Let It Be Me: Emily R.
Lauren Willig’s The Ashford Affair: Ann Z. & Lori K.
T.J. Brown’s Summerset Abbey: Spring Awakening: Connie F.
Alison Atlee’s The Typewriter Girl: Theresa B. & Debra C.
Jessica Brockmole’s Letters from Skye: Ally P.
Katherine Keenum’s Where the Light Falls: Patricia in NYC
Sarah Jio’s The Last Camellia: TBA
Deanna Raybourn’s A Spear of Summer Grass: Rebecca B.
Stephanie Lehmann’s Astor Place Vintage: Jessica L.
Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird: Sarah (at 2:40)

Winner of the Grand Prize, all ten books: Meredith A.

Congratulations, winners! And to all of you who have ventured out with us, thanks for coming along. Thanks especially to those of you who commented on my blog. It has been a great pleasure to meet you and I hope you come back often to explore Paris and writing historical fiction. Happy reading for the rest of the summer!

Summer Adventure: Susanna Kearsley

August 13, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14—tomorrow!

You may enter today’s contest by leaving a comment on Susanna’s blog.

Here’s Susanna:

Nicola’s not looking for adventure. But when a client brings a family heirloom—called “the Firebird”—to her gallery to be appraised for sale, she has to help, despite the fact that helping means she’ll have to use the psychic “gifts” she’d rather hide, and call a favor in from an old boyfriend, Rob, whose gifts are even greater than her own. (more…)

Summer Adventure: Stephanie Lehmann

August 12, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

You may enter today’s contest by going to the Astor Place Vintage Facebook page and liking it. Find links to all the authors below--follow any of them to keep up with the latest adventures.

Here’s Stephanie:

Adventure? What do I know about Adventure? I’m not an adventurous person. I’d rather stay home than travel. And if I do go anywhere, the natives will speak English, wifi will be available, and the restaurants will ideally offer hamburgers and apple pie. If I’m feeling particularly daring, I’ll get cheese on my pie. (more…)

Summer Adventure: Deanna Raybourn

August 11, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

To enter today’s contest, please leave a comment on Deanna’s blog.

Find links to all the authors below--follow any of them to keep up with the latest adventures.


Here's Deanna:

The very last thing Delilah Drummond expects when she goes to Africa is a proper adventure. Most travelers journey there on safari, but Delilah is banished abroad by a family that has weathered one too many of her scandals. She’s a flapper with a sharp black bob and a slash of scarlet lipstick, a party girl with a penchant for gin and men other women have left lying around unattended. She is a woman who has seen it all and done most of it.

But nothing prepares her for Africa. (more…)

Summer Adventure: Sarah Jio

August 9, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

Enter today’s contest by liking Sarah’s Facebook page. Find links to all the authors below--follow any of them to keep up with the latest adventures.

Here’s Sarah:

The year is 1940. The world is on the brink of war. Can you imagine being barely twenty years old and leaving your home on the quiet, safe Atlantic Coast and traveling to an unknown country to an unknown manor house, where you will be required to go beyond your comfort zone in ways you’ve never even imagined? (more…)

Summer Adventure: Katherine Keenum

August 8, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

When I joined the Unforgettable Adventure giveaway, I thought I remembered my main character, Jeanette Palmer, actually using the word “adventure.” Yes! On p. 278 she has been forced to borrow money from an older relative and asks anxiously, “Has the adventure worked out for you, Cousin Effie? The whole thing, I mean—coming to Paris?”

Change the question: “Will the adventure work out for you, reader? The whole thing, I mean—going to Paris with Jeanette and Effie?” (more…)

Summer Adventure: Jessica Brockmole

August 7, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

You may enter today’s contest at Jessica’s Facebook page. Find links to all the authors below--follow any of them to keep up with the latest adventures.

Here's Jessica:

Opportunity doesn’t always knock. Sometimes it slips quietly into the mailbox, folded, stamped, addressed. (more…)

Summer Adventure: Alison Atlee

August 6, 2013

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

You may enter today’s giveaway at Alison’s blog and/or by liking her Facebook page Enter at both places to double your winning chances!

Here's Alison:

“But did you know it is almost the best job in London a girl could hope for?” (more…)

Today's Adventure: T. J. Brown

August 5, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

You may enter today’s giveaway and the grand prize at T.J.’s blog. You’ll find links to all the authors below--follow any of them to keep up with the latest adventures.

And now, T.J. on WWI Women and Their Flying Machines:

Come Josephine in my flying machine
Going up she goes! Up she goes! (more…)

Author Mary Hamer

August 4, 2013

Blog alert:Unforgettable Summer Adventures resume tomorrow, but today I want to alert all of you who are journeying with us to a new blog by Mary Hamer, author of the superb historical novel, Kipling & Trix. She posts about writing historical fiction. Check her out!

Today's Adventure: Lauren Willig

August 2, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

Enter today’s contest at Lauren’s website , OR by liking her Facebook page. Find links to all the authors below--follow any of them to keep up with the latest adventures.

Here’s Lauren:

“They really lived, didn’t they?” says my modern heroine wistfully.

It’s 1999, and my modern heroine, Clemmie Evans, is looking around her own life—endless work at a law firm where she’s hoping to make partner, a studio apartment she’s never properly moved into—and realizing that she doesn’t entirely like what she sees. As she starts to dig into the life of her grandmother, she feels shamed by the dramatic changes her grandmother encountered and mastered: the twilight of the aristocracy, two World Wars, a move from London to Kenya and then from Kenya to New York. (more…)

Today's Adventure: Kate Noble

August 1, 2013

Tags: Summer Adventure blog tour

10 Great Authors, 10 Unforgettable Adventures. With every “Today’s Adventure” post between August 1 and August 13, you can register to win the featured book and the grand prize of all 10 books. We’ll announce winners on August 14.

Here’s Kate:

Everyone needs the chance to be new, at one time or other. The chance to experience different sights and sounds, the ability to be open to learning new things and new ways of being. To let go of a (slightly) disastrous past and face the world with a fresh perspective. (more…)