Writing & Researching Historical Fiction

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By Carol Buchanan, PhD In 1962, the first graduate school class at the University of Kansas required of English majors was called “Bibliography and Methods of Literary Research.” Literary research in that class meant historical research. The professor gave each of us a name from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries and told us to compile a bibliography of everything we …

Inspiration is Everywhere

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By Suzanne Woods Fisher I listen to a local classical radio station while I write. One morning, the radio host made a casual remark about that day in history: “On September 5, 1911,” he said, “the Moonlight Schools began.” The host explained a few brief facts about the literacy campaign, mentioning Cora Wilson Stewart as the educator who spearheaded it. …

Maine is a State of Mind

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by Suzanne Woods Fisher There’s just something about Maine. It fills the senses: the smell of pine trees, the sound of the sea splashing against the rocky coastline, the sight of a lighthouse, the tangy taste of blueberries, the touch of a lobster claw. Even in winter, those images make you slow down, breathe deeply, and long for summer. As …

My Research Introduced Me to New Long-Lost Friends

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By Kathryn Haueisen I wrote Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures as historical fiction so I could create conversations. However, I still wanted it make it as historically accurate as possible. I especially wanted to be faithful to the details of this famous 1620 voyage from the Natives’ perspective. Researching that perspective proved to be much harder than I …

3 Tips to Sort Out Contradictory Research

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by Mesu Andrews On our recent Israel tour, I was reminded that archaeologists and scholars are incredibly smart—but they can’t know everything for certain. Shouldn’t they know where Jesus was crucified and buried? The Christian Conundrum Our Catholic brothers and sisters begin winding their way through Jerusalem along the Via Dolarosa—the Way of the Cross—starting at Herod’s Antonia Fortress. At …

Integrity an Integral Requirement for Historical Fiction

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By Donna Wichelman How many of you read historical fiction and why? I asked this question in an informal survey on Facebook to get a pulse on what makes the genre compelling. Many answers complied with what you would expect: “It makes history come alive; because I love the eras and events surrounding the stories; it transports me to a …