Why Write (or Read) Historical Fiction ??
Are you a snoop?
When you visit someone else's home and they step out to get the lemonade and cookies, do you quickly glance around checking out their books, their toys and the messages stuck to their refrigerators.
Then you qualify as a total busybody and you should just love historical fiction.
I confess! I am a total busybody. I love knowing about other people's lives. Writing historical fiction is like having a license to snoop.
It's suddenly ok to read other people's mail. To listen in on their conversations. To look in their closets and see what they wear.
And even better – I get to pass on every sneaky little detail that I find out and no one even tells me that it's mean to gossip!
I was always fascinated by historical sites. I loved visiting Constitution Hall in Philadelphia and knowing that I was standing a few feet away from a desk used by Thomas Jefferson. Or touring Mt. Vernon and letting my hand slide along the stair rail that had been touched by George and Martha Washington.
I loved walking across a field in Wyoming and seeing the ruts left by the wagon trains heading for Oregon or standing near the worn path in a tiny jail cell in Fort Sill, Oklahoma trod by the legendary Geronimo.
All these experiences make me feel connected to the people that came long before us who helped to create the world and the life that we live now.
And writing historical fiction makes me feel like I have taken a giant step backwards to live through their lives and their times with them. I hope you have the same experience reading my work.
I'd love to hear from you. Send me an email and let me know how you felt joining in the battle to save Baltimore and the United States in 1814 (If you haven't yet read The Free and the Brave – what are you waiting for?). And if there is a time, a place or a person from long ago that particularly fascinates you, I would like to know that also. After all, that just might be the perfect idea for my next book.
Some Questions for You :
Look at the cover of The Free and the Brave -
How are the clothes the boys are wearing different from the clothes you wear?
How could you find out what people wore a long time ago?
Send me an email (TovahSYavin@gmail.com) with your ideas!