Weekly Roundup of History, Archaeology and Writing Wisdom June 27-July 4

Here are some posts I enjoyed around the web this week. I’ll lead with two that recap the Historical Novel Society 2015 Conference in Denver because that has definitely been on my mind! What a great conference it was. I posted my panel talk, but Kate Quinn and Pat Bracewell give lively blow by blows of the whole thing. I bow to superior creativity and didn’t even give such a post a try!

Kate Quinn and the Day of Fire authors with HF cover model

Kate Quinn and the Day of Fire authors with HF cover model

Here’s Kate Quinn’s hilarious recap of the HNS conference. Her telling is way funnier than mine would be, so I’ll leave it at that. I’ll just mention that I never once lost my room key unlike Kate (wear clothes with pockets next time, Kate?) and while I may have strayed from the strictest boundaries of tastefulness, I did not use the verb “bang” when introducing my sex scene… Have fun. Click here for Kate Quinn’s blog on Goodreads Ave Historia “2015 Historical Novel Society Conference the Recap” 

And here’s Patricia Bracewell’s recap of HNS—I think between Kate Quinn’s and Pat’s the full picture comes to light. Thank goodness, because I was feeling guilty for not writing one, but I’m so deep in edits that it was making me queasy to get to that distraction. I should have kept notes about whom I chatted with when etc. in any case. I remember the conversations but not so much the sequence—exhaustion kicked in at a certain point. I’ll have to keep better notes another time and take photos—I’m the only mother with almost no photos of my children, so this failure to photo is a long-standing issue. For someone who loves history, I am terrible at documenting anything. Live for the moment and let it fall through the sieve-like apparatus called my brain—that’s me! Here fortunately, is Pat’s entertaining documentation Click here for Patricia Bracewell’s blog “HNS Conference 2015”

Viper Wine“Why Historical Fiction Needs Daring and Anachronism” in the Guardian. This got me thinking. Article suggests that sticking to realism is an uncomfortable limiting corset for historical fiction. It talks about books that bust out and embrace anachronisms and “daring.” Not the stupid anachronism arising out of ignorance but consciously laid in ones that twist our understanding of time and history. I’m thinking I’ll give Viper Wine a read to see how I like this example of anachronism in HF. What do you think? Should we bust our realistic corsets and go for some mind-bending? Or is this just another way to confuse readers and sound cool? Click here for The Guardian “Historical Fiction Needs Daring Anachronism” 


Is it historical fiction with a romantic element or historical romance? You wouldn’t think the difference would matter much, but it does. I discovered how much as I marketed Hand of Fire. Here’s an extended discussion by a number of good writers about what makes the difference. Click here for USA Today “Happy Ever After Romance Unlaced Not ‘Romances’ but Still Romantic” 

Writers beware! Cartoon of the Day: Publisher. This is funny in a painful sort of way! Click here for “Cartoon of the Day: Publisher” on Janet Rudolph’s Mystery Fanfare. 

Why the book tour isn’t dead—if you are the kind of author who can win over audiences. I loved this post on Writer Unboxed. I enjoy talking with readers directly at bookstores, museums, wherever and my talks always succeed in building real fans, so I don’t get why publishers are so down on the old-fashioned face-to-face build of readership. Click here for Writer Unboxed “The World’s Longest Book Tour” 

Fireworks, photo by Ian Kluft Wikimedia Commons

Fireworks, photo by Ian Kluft Wikimedia Commons

Happy Fourth of July to all the readers out there! Here’s Janet Rudolph’s list of 4th of July mysteries to enjoy a book with your fireworks. Click here for Mystery Fanfare “Fourth of July Mysteries” 

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