I wanted to share Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog post this morning in which she discusses a new way of looking at Historical Fiction as Historical Thrillers. That woman continues to inspire me, not only because she is a kick-ass writer, but because she seems like a kick-ass person as well. Perhaps one day I will be a published author and I will meet her at some library event and be able to tell her that in person.
I was reminded this morning that the original reason that I went to grad school was to write historical fiction. It was also to write history books for kids. My theory was that if I studied history at the graduate level, that somehow the people who care about such things would consider me educated enough to speak on historical matters in a somewhat intelligent fashion and possible pay me to write about it.
Ten years later, I am sitting at a lunch with James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner (who is simply awesome) and his wife, a colleague and some lovely people from Random House, and James asked about Canadian History. Suddenly, it was like I was some kind of historical antennae spouting names and dates of people I have not thought about in years. And, considering that I studied Medieval History in grad school and haven’t really looked at my Canadian History textbooks since second year York, one would think that I would not really remember much. But, there it was at deep the crevice of my muddled mind. I felt that spark that I did once upon a time when I used to study history. I hadn’t felt it in a while.
The novel that I’ve been working on for the past two years could in theory fall into the realm of Historical Fiction. Although there are supernatural, fantastical and paranormal elements to it, it takes place during a particular period of Canada’s past. And, the idea is using the social and political circumstances of the period as the backdrop for what inspires my characters to take action.
It is amazing to me how my inner artist knows intuitively what I need to write about and has stoically and silently kept me on my path…even if I didn’t realize that is what is happening.