Today I stray a little from oral storytelling to telling tales of history.
Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is taking the Internet by storm. Seriously, has any of you been to Goodreads lately without seeing the banners for the book? Some people cite the show as the "feminist response to Game of Thrones," while others cite the books as the long-awaited revival of historical fiction.
Which is what got me thinking: Is historical fiction really in need of a revival?
I'm going to tell you up front: I don't have an answer to that question. Really, I'm just writing this post to pose the question to the A to Z audience. Visiting blogs as a minion this April I encountered many wonderful authors who work in many genres, and I enjoyed all of those visits. I also noticed that the hottest genre right now seems to be romance and its subgenres (paranormal, erotic, historical, etc.). Which is probably why Outlander reached more exposure (ha! kilts!) and more popularity than many other historical fiction books lately.
I had conversations with people about historical fiction and the challenges authors have to face when they decide to work within this genre (disclaimer up front, I am one of them, hence the interest). The thoughts and opinions I gathered ranged from "Well, no one gives a **** about history" to "It is a lot harder to read than other fiction." Other complaints about historical fiction included "Well, it's kinda boring" (coming from a person that had no problem blazing through 5 volumes of Game of Thrones) and "I have never heard of that place/those people/that time period, so I am not really interested."
With all of that said: Historical fiction lives, thrives, and does have a serious following. People like Philippa Gregory and Bernard Cornwell are doing active and amazing work. The fandom might be less visible than fans of other genres, but that is a topic for another time. For now, I would like to ask a few questions, and see where they take us:
1. Do you read historical fiction?
2. If so, who is your favorite author / what is your favorite book?
3. Do you write historical fiction? What kind? Why?
4. What do you think makes a historical book good?
5. If you want to share any blogs, Twitter feeds, FB pages, etc. related to historical fiction, please do!
Happy last weeks of summer, everyone!
You can find Csenge (@TarkabarkaHolgy) at
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