Get Started in
WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION
I'm absolutely delighted to have been commissioned to write Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction, for John Murray Learning/Hodder as part of their famous Teach Yourself list. I'm working on it at the moment, and it should be published towards the end of 2015.
I often take part in events for the writers and readers of historical fiction, so click through to Events to find out what's going on at the moment.
Historical fiction is my great love. I grew up reading Geoffrey Trease, Rosemary Sutcliffe and Cynthia Harnett, and then graduated to Peter Ackroyd, Georgette Heyer and Hilary Mantel. I wrote for some years before I felt up to tackling a thoroughly historical novel, but when I did, I felt a huge sense of coming home: of having discovered my true writerly self.
So it was natural that when I came to write A Secret Alchemy as part of a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, I decided that the critical commentary would examine some of the questions which writing the novel had made urgent: How do you find historical voices? How do you tell compelling stories for modern readers without sacrificing the sense of authenticity? How do you work with real historical characters, and what is the relationship of historical fiction to other fiction and to written history?
Since being awarded the PhD, I've taught workshops and courses on writing historical fiction in all sorts of places, from the Arvon Foundation and the York Festival of Writing to the Christchurch (NZ) Writers' Festival and the Historical Novel Society. I've worked with many individual historical novelists, too, and I'm a member of the Historical Writers' Association. I'm absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to put what I've learnt from all these into book form.