Free Africans were much more important in the 16th century voyages of discovery and exploration than history has recognized. They played several crucial parts in Francis Drake’s voyage around the world
The Cowboy looms large in American mythology. The images most of us see and read about are of white men, “Anglos.” Our culture has managed to erase the fact that cowboys were also Mexican, Native American—and African-American.
Have you ever said "thank you" to your car after a difficult journey? Hugged your sewing machine when you finished a complicated project? Why not? Just the act of doing it can make you happier.
Historical fiction is an enjoyable way for many of us to learn history, especially since the internet has made fact-checking easy and even fun. Let’s take a recent masterpiece as an example.
Human brains generate ideas all the time. If you’re a writer, your brain has probably come up with lots of great novel ideas. But for all of us who write, the first and most persistent obstacle is to creative ideas is you—your inner critic, your inner saboteur. Think about this: When Stephen King’s brain first [...]
“Where do you get your ideas?” is a question all successful authors get asked. Their answers are all different but they have a few things in common. See how some famous novelists answer that question, and maybe find some inspiration of your own.
History is about what happened. Historical fiction asks, "What might have happened? What could have happened? What if. . ." With a question like those, is it any wonder there are so many exciting sub-genres in historical fiction? Part 5 of Enjoying Historical Fiction.
Historical fiction teems with memorable characters. Some are historical, some totally fictional, and many an intriguing blend. Part 4 of Enjoying Historical Fiction: Characters.
Enjoying Historical Fiction, Part 3. Traditional history has focused on the “great men” of history: kings, generals, religious leaders. Historical fiction has often focused on other people, the rest of us. That’s part of what makes it so appealing, and I think it’s part of why historical fiction gets a bad rap.
People who enjoy historical fiction like it for a variety of reasons. The reason they most often give is that it takes us into a world that’s different from our own. Daniel Mason’s novel The Piano Tuner is a great example.