For Historical Fiction Writers

Mistakes Will Be Made

I hope I never reach a point in my career where I will feel perfectly confident dispensing literary commandments like Moses with stone tablets. But since I was raised Catholic, I thought I’d take a humbler stab at The Gospel of Historical Fiction according to...

Write Something Else

From time to time, readers and fellow authors email me asking for advice or sharing with me their own stories about obstacles that come between them and the stories they want to write. This past summer, I received the following letter from aspiring African American...

Author Tips for Book Signings

Book signings. What aspiring writer doesn't fantasize about sitting behind a towering pile of books surrounded by adoring fans, scribbling one's John Hancock across a clean page. It's the stuff of dreams and fairy tale snow castles. And today I received an email from...

Shaping Characters in Historical Fiction

Shaping Historical vs. Fictional Characters If you’re writing a historical fiction novel that features characters you made up out of whole cloth, congratulations! Your job is, paradoxically, a thousand times easier than writing about someone who actually existed. The...

How to Start a Local Chapter of the Historical Novel Society

  As currently structured, the Historical Novel Society is open to readers, bloggers, and authors. It alternates conference years in the United States and England. This often means two years between seeing friends and colleagues, pitching to editors, and...

Choosing a Tense in Historical Fiction

Hello fellow writers! When it comes to writing commercial historical fiction, your options are pretty much limited to: Present Tense: I kill the dragon Past Tense: I killed the dragon? But which one should you choose? Here are some things to consider. Which is more...

Finding, or Remembering, Your Voice

When it comes to books, readers and publishers are all suckers for a strong voice. A strong voice can sometimes overcome plot holes and otherwise weak writing. And a weak voice can sink an otherwise competently written book into obscurity. But what is voice? Sometimes...

Let’s Talk About Writer’s Block

 Let's talk about so-called Writer's Block.Many, if not most, professional writers will tell you that there's no such thing. Nurses don't get to call off work at the hospital because they're having nurse's block, so you just have to put your butt in the chair and...

Publishers to Consider for you Historical Novel

Fellow authors sometimes write to me for recommendations in terms of which publishing companies they should consider when submitting their historical fiction novels. At this point in my career, I've published with several different companies, big and small. I've also...

10 More Tips for Historical Fiction Authors

Last year I threw together a list of 10 Tips for Aspiring Historical Fiction Authors. But to some extent or other, we're all always aspiring, as I've never really known a writer who was satisfied. Now I'm back with ten more tips that might be helpful to you, or at...