5 Books on Writing Historical Fiction for New Authors — A Writer of History

With new authors in mind, I’ve pulled together a few posts featuring books that are specifically about writing historical fiction. Deborah Swift offers her ‘go to’ writing books for historical fiction – she features Emma Darwin’s Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction, Libbie Hawker’s Making It In Historical Fiction, and several others. Writing Historical Fiction…

5 Books on Writing Historical Fiction for New Authors — A Writer of History

State of the Author: Overwhelmed

I just wrote this on my FB page. Warning for foul language ahead … and also a note that I am not, in fact, suicidal despite hating my life at the moment.


Things I’m staring in the face, the first two related to Hashimoto’s:

High blood pressure

Type 2 diabetes

Cervical cancer (colposcopy/biopsy next week … this is the first abnormal PAP since I was 19 years old) This may be nothing, or it may be something. Right now, I don’t have any more information than that.

I hate what this autoimmune disease has done to my life. I’m consistently at level 5 pain on that stupid “smile chart” they ask you to use. I mean, how do you even rate your pain when it’s there all the damn time and you mostly work around it. I’ve had to give up ballroom dancing and equestrian sport because of the impact on my joints.

I am not a strong swimmer, but now my second BP med makes me more sensitive to the sun anyway, and our stupid neighborhood pool that we have to pay into whether we use it or not is, you guessed it, outdoors. And I’m sure as hell not going walking when the temps are 85 F. +.

And now? I get to look at a life going forward choking down cockadoody cardboard food with no flavor between trying to manage both sodium and glycemic index . Cajun food? Not with all that rice. Anything with white bread, potatoes, corn? Pretty much out. I fucking hate salads, people, so please don’t tell me about all the great salads I can have. And we can’t go fully plant-based because of Jeff’s gout, and I’m sure as hell not going to ask him to fix a separate meal for me every night anyway. So, no more adventurous palate, because I’m going to have to look at every little thing.

I’m *angry.* I know I’m heavier than I should be, since my body is busily destroying my thyroid. Hashimoto’s screws around with your entire endocrine system; that’s how it elevates your BP and fucks up your blood sugar. So, I’ve tried pretty hard to be careful. Fully sugared sodas? Mostly out the window (a fridge full of Dr Pepper Zero and Waterloo, the latter of which is no calorie sparkling water) … and obviously no more frozen Cokes a couple of times a week. I don’t like coffee or iced tea, so neither of those are happening either.

Hashimoto’s disease has pretty much destroyed my life. Goddammit. I have spent most of my afternoon in tears, because I have now reached the point of “I can’t handle one more fucking thing on my plate.”

I don’t even know how much my co-pay is going to be for the goddamn equipment my doc ordered for me; as it’s considered durable medical equipment it’s covered at 80% and the pharmacy website couldn’t give me an estimate. And then of course I have to go to the stupid classes on managing this latest fucking challenge.

I hate my life. And I just needed to say all of this.

Historical Fiction: Five Ways Characters Find Their Way Forward • Career Authors

Historical fiction is like a magic portal where the reader can glimpse a life set against a backdrop of so much detail and still suddenly be faced with the unknown. It creates unmatched anticipation for what’s to come and all the ways it could go right or wrong. But more importantly, there’s the chance that a character could make unexpected choices that mean even if a reader has the facts about history, even if they feel they are experts in everything about the people navigating it, they could be wrong. Historical fiction is about possibilities.

Any good story starts on a precarious path, but with historical fiction the path is one that has been walked before the reader’s time. It would seem the way forward would be obvious, but that’s the thing about a journey, internal or external–every step is a risk for the person who is setting out. Good historical fiction allows the reader to step into the boots of a character who must consider those woods, dark and deep, anew. For although the reader may know where the path will lead, a human being is always capable of surprising and enlightening us by how their particular journey is made.

Historical Fiction: Five Ways Characters Find Their Way Forward • Career Authors