I’ve never really thought about writing in a different time period. If I did, though, I would follow an “art through the ages” path. Art history is a love of mine and I included Impressionist painting as part of my story line in An Inherited Evil.
Renaissance art would probably be the first stop on my journey—and where I’d spend the most time. The wealth of art in the 15th and 16th centuries, with its changes in painting, sculpture, and architecture, would provide a number of possible story ideas. Plus, the politics of the age, where rival families vied for wealth and power, is an ideal backdrop for magic.
The other factor I’d search for in a historic time period is the rise of strong women. People like Catherine the Great, tsarina of Russia in the 18th century, or Isabella d’Este, the wife of the ruler of Mantua in the early 1500s are fascinating. Both were skilled politicians and leaders who promoted culture, the arts, and in Catherine’s case, education. And they did it in times when men held most of the power and privilege.