Research tips with Laila Ibrahim author of Scarlet Carnation

Laila Ibrahim, writer of Golden Poppies and Yellow Crocus, is thought for writing tales about love’s potential to transcend human-made programs of oppression and in her lately printed SCARLET CARNATION she writes a novel about  motherhood, acceptance, perseverance, and the indescribable love that exists between relations. Right here’s Laila speaking about among the analysis she did for Scarlet Carnation.


For researching Scarlet Carnation I relied closely on newspaper accounts from that point interval— is my greatest pal! I learn the entrance web page of the Oakland Tribune month after month between 1915 and 1918 to kind the arc of my story based mostly on what was being reported in Oakland.  I knew my fundamental characters could be within the Bay Space and that they might be descendents of the principle characters from Yellow Crocus.

Articles and books about that point interval are useful, however they’ve a fuller understanding of these occasions than what my characters would know on the time. My writer is type sufficient to let me put in a bibliography and assets so readers can have a look at my unique sources if they need.

There are ‘intentional’ errors within the novel, however they arrive immediately from the newspaper. It was one of the best data of the second. Solely on reflection can we extra totally perceive the arc of the 1918 flu pandemic or the European conflict.

As I researched this novel within the fall of 2019, I used to be struck by a picture of masked revelers on Market Avenue in San Francisco celebrating Armistices Day—the top of World Battle 1. Earlier than doing that analysis I hadn’t put collectively that the flu pandemic and Armistice overlapped within the Bay Space. I’d seen celebratory photos of that day however they weren’t sporting masks. As soon as I noticed that picture I knew I wished to finish my novel with that scene.

Months later, I used to be residing within the midst of a pandemic whereas writing about one. Most of the points we grappled with round COVID had been equivalent to those within the paper in 1918: vaccines, masks, social distancing. The stress and stability between the worth of private freedom and the worth of collective care doesn’t have a easy reply.

With this novel I needed to be on excessive alert to protect in opposition to utilizing phrases from now that may not have been used then. The obvious instance is utilizing World Battle 1. It’s so automated for me, however after all it wasn’t referred to as that till later.

Simply as information and timelines could be higher understood with the space of time, so can we see naïveté or prejudice in motivations. Researching the  intersection between the contraception motion, eugenics and public well being was fascinating and morally advanced. My learn is that Margaret Sanger wished to provide girls protected decisions. I don’t imagine her main motivation was to create ’superior folks.’ The eugenicist wished to restrict replica for some varieties of ladies, however not others. Public well being folks wished to extend the variety of wholesome births. There may be an intersection the place all of them agree, although the motivations for his or her shared objective are extraordinarily completely different. It jogs my memory that there are all the time sudden or unintended penalties from our decisions.

Scarlet Carnation by Laila Ibrahim ~~ In an early twentieth-century America roiling with racial injustice, class divides, and WWI, two girls battle for his or her goals in a galvanizing novel by the bestselling writer of Golden Poppies.

Could and Naomi are prolonged household, their grandmothers’ lives inseparably entwined on a Virginia plantation within the risky time main as much as the Civil Battle. For each girls, the 20 th century guarantees social transformation and equal alternative.

Could, a younger white lady, is on the point of attaining the unbiased life she’s dreamed of since childhood. Naomi, a nurse, mom, and chief of the NAACP, has fulfilled her personal dearest want: shopping for a house for her household. However they each are about to be taught that goals could be destroyed right away. Could’s future is upended, and he or she is compelled to rely as soon as once more on her mom. In the meantime, the white-majority neighborhood into which Naomi has moved is organizing in opposition to her whereas her sons are away combating for his or her nation.

Within the tumult of a altering nation, these two girls―whose grandmothers survived the Civil Battle―assist one another’s quest for liberation and dignity. Each discover the power to confront injustice and the religion to thrive on their chosen paths.

Yow will discover Laila on Fb, Twitter, or on her web site.


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a dual timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s other novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her web site