Blogger: Etta Wilson
Location: Books & Such Nashville Office
Weather: Mid-80s and rainy
I think I’ve mentioned here that my first employment straight out of college was as a teacher of American history in Virginia. I was expected to spend a good half of the year on the “War Between the States”—and to make the outcome more satisfying than it was in reality to people who lived there. Quite a challenge for someone maybe four years older than the students she taught and not a native Virginian!
But, like most teachers, I did learn a lot about the subject I was teaching and that interest in our nation’s history has stayed with me. That’s why it was exciting to hear and see so much attention being given to historical novels at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Indianapolis several days ago. There were awards for the long historical novel, the short historical novel, and the historical novella. It looks as though the interest in historical writing will continue based on the number of historical proposals I saw.
All that interest in writing historical works raised a question for me: What motivates writers to create stories set in earlier times? From my experience, it was seeing young people connect with stories about their area and their ancestors and realizing they were a part of humanity’s stream. But there are many other reasons. What turns you on as a reader and/or writer of historical material? A family storyteller? A particular incident? A discovery of something from the past that has meaning for today? Think back and let me add your reasons to my list.