The link below will take you to a podcast/radio interview I did a while back with C. P. Lesley of the New Books Network about writing historical fiction. Ms. Lesley is herself the author of six historical fiction novels set in 16th Century Russia during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.
The interview focuses on the first two books in the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy (Finding Billy Battles & The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles) and the challenges of recreating the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Book three in the trilogy, The Lost Years of Billy Battles, was about to be published.
Here is a part of Ms. Lesley’s introduction:
Journalism, history, biography, memoirs, and historical fiction overlap to some degree. The first two focus on provable facts, but the facts must be arranged to form a coherent story, and that requires an element of interpretation, especially in history. Biography and memoirs demand even more of a story arc, although still devoted to a specific person who once lived or still lives.
And historical fiction, although it departs from that fundamental reliance on what can be documented or evidenced by creating imaginary characters or putting words into the heads and mouths of real people, nonetheless relies on creating a “you are there” sense of authenticity that cannot exist without considerable research into how people in a given time and place dressed, talked, ate, traveled, and socialized.
Finding Billy Battles and its sequels, The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles, and The Lost Years of Billy Battles occupy this space between journalism and fiction.
To read more and to listen to the interview, click on the link below to go to New Books Network and the podcast. FYI, there are a couple of commercials before the interview begins.
I hope you will enjoy the discussion.