The website of the historical fiction writer.

Archive for September, 2012

Why Historical Fiction?

(To set the scene, perhaps listen to ‘Living in the Past’ by Jethro Tull?)

This weekend marks the beginning of the Historical Novel Society Conference 2012. This is a coming together of authors, readers, agents, editors, publishers, reviewers and anyone else who has an interest in historical fiction. Everyone seems very nice and this promises to be an interesting weekend.

This has led me to think why historical fiction?

Well, for a start, history by its nature is a collection of stories. Whether it be someone telling you their day at work, your grandparents reminiscing about the war or the photographs on your mantlepiece, all of them tell a story. It is one person or object telling you their version of a particular event. The writing of historical fiction can sometimes take this further. Although liberties can sometimes be taken with facts occasionally, this is usually to benefit the story. Most authors admit to this in their notes at the end of their work and recommend non-fiction history books/places to explore. This shows that fiction is a very useful way of introducing people to a subject (as was mentioned in the speeches this evening.)

Another main reason for reading and writing historical fiction is because it’s fun and what better reason can there be for that?

Anyway, these are just some thoughts for now. I’m sure the conference will give many more! My thanks go in advance to the organisers and if you want to find out more about the Historical Novel Society, take a look at their website:

TOMORROW: What Sells Historical Fiction?