The website of the historical fiction writer.

Historical Novel Society: Oxford 2016 Part One

Evening all! Yes, that’s right, it’s September and that means it’s Festival Season in the Book World after the ones in Music World. A good time to mingle with famous people, spend a fortune on books, meet up with friends and make new ones.

First of all is the Historical Novel Society’s biennial (not biannual, or is it? Anyway, it’s every couple of years) which was held at Oxford University. First up was a panel discussion on what the Next Big Thing might be. Here are some of the periods mentioned:

  • Second World War: many younger people are not as aware of the events of this time. It is mainly covered in espionage but there isn’t much known about other events such as the war in Africa.
  • Ancient Greece: Has not been as widely written about as Ancient Rome, which has been very popular over the last few years.
  • People from a wider range of backgrounds throughout the ages, although there is increasing diversity as there is more translated material becoming available.
  • The Cold War. This is a fascinating time period and a new generation are coming of age with no memory of it.

The impact of television series were mentioned as being very popular with serials such as Downton Abbey and The Last Kingdom being two recent examples. There was also discussion on how historical fiction can be labelled in a book shop. Should it have its own section or put in general fiction or those crossed with other genres such as crime be put in that sections? One thing everyone agreed on was as long as the writing is good and tells a good story that is all that matters.

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