Thursday, October 22, 2015

Weaving Historical Events in Fiction

Myra here. Delighted to welcome back one of my dearest writer friends, the amazing and talented Carla Stewart! I’ve known Carla for close to ten years now, since we met through our former ACFW chapter in Tulsa. We’ve critiqued together, celebrated  together, and commiserated over the ups and downs of the writing business together over lunches at the Cheesecake Factory. Since I moved to North Carolina four years ago, we now keep in touch regularly through email, and the joy of friendship never dims!

Here’s Carla now, to share with us how she weaves historical events into fiction—and does it so engagingly! 

Wow! EIGHT years for Seekerville. And to think, I knew you when… Nothing thrills me more than your success and the spirit of community you’ve brought to the blogosphere! And coffee – you always have coffee!! Let’s just say, I’ve been a fan a long time, and I’m so honored to be invited to chat with you all today. Thanks, Myra! 

I’ve always marveled at people of the past and the obstacles they’ve overcome to accomplish great feats. That element of what makes real life people tick and pushes them toward their goal or enables them to survive insurmountable setbacks fascinates me. Which may be why I’m a writer. It’s my way of unraveling life’s tough questions. I don’t strive to mold history to fit my stories, but to plop my characters into actual events or circumstances from the past and watch what happens.  

Which leads to the question of why include real events and people in our fictional works. 

  • Verisimilitude – I admit I love this word and drop it into conversations whenever possible. It is the quality of seeming real. Weaving historical events into your fiction helps suspend disbelief for readers and establish credibility for you as an author.
  • It broadens the reader’s understanding of history. In Stardust, I used polio as the backdrop and wove the fear of this dreaded disease into the plot. Some younger readers had no idea of the impact this disease had on society or even what an iron lung was. In one sense, I’m preserving history for future generations who might read my book (they will, right?). 
  • Highlighting a little known event in history can add enjoyment for the reader. In A Flying Affair, I used both a widely-known event from the past (Charles Lindbergh being the first person to fly across the Atlantic) with a lesser known one (the first Women’s Transcontinental Air Race). These became the bookends for the novel. The air race has been many readers’ favorite part. 
  • Pay-off for the reader. By experiencing how characters in past eras lived hard lives and overcame obstacles gives readers strength in handling today’s problems. 

So…history is full of every kind of situations imaginable. How do you choose what events to write about? 

  • Know thyself. What historical eras do you enjoy? You’ll be living in this time period for many moons, so make sure it’s something that fascinates you first. 
  • Know your characters. What are their beliefs? Their hot buttons? Their passions? The Hatmaker’s Heart, which is set in the Roaring Twenties, featured a milliner’s apprentice. I knew a portion of the book would be set in England and would involve making hats for a royal wedding. A quick Google search, and I discovered the wedding of the decade—Prince Albert to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons. Perfect!  
  • Know your limits. Since this is NO LIMITS month on Seekerville, I understand that, with a little dream and the energy to pursue it, you can achieve anything. Truly! But, you don’t want to overwhelm readers with so much history that your story gets lost in the muddle. Sprinkle in historical elements, but focus on one or two events. Your writing will be tighter and your stories more focused. And there are NO LIMITS to where a well-crafted, brilliant novel might take you! 
  • Know your angle. How often have you read a book and thought that it sounded just like a handful of others? Dig deep and bring fresh details into your work. 
  • Know and trust your sources. Consider the “weight” of your source – government documents and primary sources (diaries, written material from the era) carry more weight than Wikipedia or a random blog article. 

Roles your characters might play in an historical event: 
  • Observers of the event. Tie it to their emotions at this moment in the plot. 
  • Maids, hatmakers, chauffeurs, cooks, solicitors, classmates, photographers – anyone who might have insider knowledge of the thoughts and actions of “real-life” people from the past. 
  • A secret best friend or confidante of an historical figure.
  • Participants in the event – I used this in A Flying Affair by inserting two characters into the air race without changing the true outcome of the race but gaining an insider’s view. 

Weaving the threads together: 
  • The goal is not to change history but to cast a fresh light on it with your fictional characters. 
  • The event must have an emotional connection to your plot. Any story set in war times has myriad possibilities for gripping drama, both in the war itself and the people left behind.
  • The event must raise the stakes for your character and contribute to the story arc, again lending the aura that this really might have happened. 


Forgive the cliché, but the devil is in the details. Here are some things to watch for: 

  • Timeline/dates. You may have to tweak your original thoughts to line up with the historical event you are using. It’s far better to adjust your story’s timeline than to get the date (or year!) wrong for something like D-Day. 
  • Slang. This can be a good marker or doorway to the time period, and please refrain from letting your historical characters use modern phrases. 
  • Likewise, don’t impose modern views on historical characters. Some things to keep in mind: Gender roles, social customs (things like calling cards in Victorian times), political hot buttons – every era has them. History is rich with its own rules and views and that’s what you want to portray to your readers. 
  • Facts and fads. Modes of transportation. Brand names. Fashions and hairstyles. Household items (Did you know electric toasters were available in the 1920s even before radios?). Songs and movies. Do your research. Accuracy builds trust with your reader. 
  • Keep your perspective: Someone will always know more than you so don’t obsess over every tiny thing. Readers want a great story, not a history lesson. 
  • Above all, relax and have fun! Visualize yourself in the event you have chosen to weave into your story and breathe deeply. What do you hear? What is that smell? Is the corset you’re wearing gouging into your ribcage? Is the cave you’re hiding in with Confederate soldiers cold or damp? There truly are no limits to where you’re imagination can take you! 

You guys are awesome! It’s so nice to be here and spend time with friends. Thanks for having me! Party on! 

BIO: Award winning author of six novels, Carla Stewart’s passion for times gone by is reflected in her heart-warming fiction. It is her desire to take readers to that familiar place in their hearts called “home.” She and her husband live in Oklahoma where they attempt to keep up with the adventures of their seven rambunctious grandchildren. A Flying Affair  is her newest release which has been called rich and complex. Daredevil Mittie Humphreys navigates her heart as well as the skies in this beguiling adventure of grit and determination during the rollicking Roaring Twenties. Learn more about Carla and her books at www.carlastewart.com. 

Carla has graciously offered to give away a copy of A Flying Affair to one of our Seekerville visitors today! Just mention your interest in a comment!

Where to find Carla online: 

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChasingLilacs 
BUY books link (various options):  www.carlastewart.com/books/

166 comments :

  1. Hi Carla:

    Good to 'see' you again!

    I'm excited about your new book. I'm a pilot and love the barnstorming age. I can't tell but what I can see of the planes, it looks like the early 1930's. I've read a few biographies of early barnstormers. I sure felt like if I were back then I'd be one of the barnstormers.

    I love reading and studying history. I think one of the big benefits of writing about real people is bringing out historical facts that most people don't know or 'know' the wrong way. Like Will Rogers said, "I lot of what people know, ain't so."

    When you reveal interesting history, people feel smarter -- like they've learned something. For some people that's a great feeling that makes reading fiction a profitable entertainment.

    BTW: I also liked using 'verisimilitude', but lately too many people are learning what that means. I've switched to 'vraisemblance' which is actually a little more exact, that is, a better mot juste. Also switching from Latin to French shows a little more savoir faire. (No, I'm just playing. :))

    Vince

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  2. Not a pilot but my eldest son is. And my husband and two of our sons work on them. I love history, and sticking my characters right in the middle of it.


    Tina

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  3. Hi Carla! I loved your post today. I truly enjoy reading a historical novel, especially if I come away with a new understanding about something during the period it is set in. Recently I've read several books set during WWII and the prisons. Some of the atrocities that took place were beyond what I 'thought' happened. The books made me want to google and find out more and I did.

    I would love to win a copy of your book. Thank you for the chance to win.

    Happy Birthday Seekerville! May you all be blessed today!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  4. This is how I love to read history. Wrapped up in a great story. I too have gone away from reading a story to find out more.

    Please count me in for copy of "A Flying Affair".

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  6. Hi Carla! No need to enter me, I just read A Flying Affair and LOVED it. I also loved The Hatmaker's Heart.

    I once read an article that listed five things all bestsellers had in common. (I'm sure Tina knows just what article it is and who wrote it but I can't remember! Forgive me!) Anyway, one of the things hallmarks of a bestseller (according to this writer) was the books taught the reader something they didn't know. Your books do this perfectly. I'm completely entertained when I read them. :)

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  7. Hi Carla, Thank you for your very helpful thoughts on including history in a story. Please put my name in the hat your book. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEEKERS.

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  8. Carla your books sound great --thanks for the chance to win!

    As a reader, Elizabeth Camden and Julie Klassen quickly come to mind as authors that use historical details in their stories to bring them to life!

    I'd be curious to know if you do a lot of research for or give directions for your book cover designs to make sure that it's accurate for the time period? Or is that something the cover artist is responsible for?

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  9. Readers want a great story, not a history lesson...

    Carla, that is so true! Wise words from a wonderful post and a wonderful author! Welcome back, it's always so much fun to see your perspective on historicals!

    I remember when we first met, at least the first meeting where I was starting to put faces with names... and how gracious you were! Thank you for that!

    And I will admit to not knowing what either of those "V" words means, and even though this is the second time I've seen it in Seekerville, I'm bowing out of the "V" fights and clinging to my simple, upstate country girl roots!

    :)

    But Vince, I knew you'd love this, my friend! Wrapping some cool historical facts into fiction is a brilliant way of bringing the time alive without putting a stranglehold on the reader with a textbook in hand!

    Carla, great stuff, thank you!

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  10. I love your advice - and vocabulary!!! I think I might start dropping verisimilitude into conversations myself! Looking forward to reading your book!!!!!

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  11. I'm making more coffee, if anyone wants some.

    I incorporate small events into my historicals. For my first Japan novel (still hopeful for publishing), I use a an actual visit by the Taiko (this person couldn't be Shogun) to the emperor as the event that brings hero and heroine together. I have another book where I use an actual historical figure's suicide as part of a subplot. Love being able to incorporate real events.

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  12. These are amazing advice. I love the word versimilitude too :). Putting historical event in a fiction book actually make us reader get new knowledge from the past that we don't know that happens. I truly love it. Great post!

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  13. Wow, eight years already!!! Great post, Myra. I love writing historicals but I do struggle with accuracy. Thanks for the tips. :-)

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  14. Carla, welcome back to Seekerville! Thanks for a wonderful post on historical fiction...a keeper, for sure. The fear of polio was so real. I love reading about that period. Warm Springs is not far from me. Along with the Little White House. Love visiting the pool, no longer in use, and the museum. Lots of pics of Roosevelt and the childre/adults who flocked to GA for a cure. There's an iron lung and other "medical apparatuses" used at that time. So fascinating.

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  15. Carla, You make writing historical sound much easier than I imagined. The step by step instruction may make me want to try my hand at it. I have always feared making errors in time, but reading your column explans how to approach that type of writing. It looks like it comes so natural for you. Good luck with your book.

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  16. Hi Carla,

    Good information!

    I tend to write contemporary, but did write two historical books and really enjoyed it.

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  17. Corrections:

    Sorry. That Will Rogers quote should have been:

    "A lot of what people know, ain't so."

    Also it seems late last night I saw a row of planes in the cover art. Now I see there is just one. I may have been intending cinéma vérité but my mind was being far more paranormal.

    (BTW) Richard Bach, (Jonathan Livingston Seagull,) wrote a combined philosophy/barnstorming book that is quite good. It's called "Illusions". It might be fun to read alongside "A Flying Affair".

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  18. Thank you, Carla. I need to print off this article and return to it while writing my current WIP. I am writing a World War II spy novel set in London. I have my historical event that the story centers on, and i already enjoy the music of the era. I have pictures of London during this time frame, even have a number of different outfits my characters wear lining the back of my office door. I enjoy research, but like you said I don't want to overwhelm my readers with a history lesson; I want to take them away with a story. Have a great week!

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  19. Welcome, Carla! This is a great post. You're right, I don't want a history lesson when I read. It brings back bad memories of my terribly boring history teacher in high school. I've never attempted to write historical fiction, but your advice makes me think...why not give it a try. I've printed it for future reference. Thank you!

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  20. Hi Carla,
    Thanks for sharing with us! I love when authors weave history into a story! It makes it more real to me than a history book. Weird, I know. Have a great day!

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  21. Such great points, Carla. I love history and learning some little tidbit I didn't know about. And, yes, I will look up something that stands out to me.

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  22. Thanks Carla! I agree, as a reader I really connect with the characters when I "feel" their beliefs and passions. It makes the story so much more fun to read. Please enter me in the drawings.

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  23. Good morning Carla.

    I remember looking at a scoresheet of a contest I was going to enter a long time ago. It asked if the reader learned anything. What? Mine was a historical but my reader certainly wasn't going to learn something, so I had to find something to throw in there. Once I did, it made the story better.

    Thanks for the informative post.

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  24. As a reader I like to be able to connect with the characters and feel like I could know this person! I have your book.. now.. I'd better move it to the top of the stack! :)

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  25. Hi Carla, this is a good post. I'm plotting the third book in my "Western Dreams" trilogy and want to do a "big" book with my character experiencing a lot of what the West of that time had to offer, including real-life events and characters. Loved where you said the event has to be meaningful to the character and their story arc. I was just going to "plop" her in the middle of the Mexican war! Not happening! Also wanted her to interact with real historical characters, but they will have to have a reason for being there. Thanks for keeping me on track.
    I write historicals because I remain fascinated by the obstacles earlier people had to overcome. I remain amazed at how our forefathers threw off England with basically nothing, how 400,000 people did the Oregon Trail with basically nothing, and how they faced disease and natural disasters with none of the supports we have today. I'm also fascinated by social mores and how cruel people were. And how hard life was in general. My heroine in the first Oregon Trail book was widowed and left impoverished, her parents were dead, and her ONLY option was to sign on as a cook for the wagonmaster and scout. Which changes her life, THANK YOU, inciting incident.
    But she had no other choice. There was no welfare etc. That's why I write historicals. I'm not saying contemporary heroes and heroines don't have serious problems and I do read contemporaries. But historicals bring it down to bare-knuckled desperation.
    BY THE BY, I was on LinkedIn this morning trying to put off doing something else and I connected with a bunch of you. You don't have to talk to me there if you don't want to, you already talk to me here.
    Kathy Bailey
    Getting connected, or something like it, in New Hampshire

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  26. Good morning Carla, Thanks for joining us in Seekerville. I love reading historical fiction. Both my dad and brother were pilots and I love to fly so your book sounds really interesting.

    Have fun today and thanks again for giving us such a wealth of information.



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  27. Thanks for the coffee Walt I'll certainly have a cup. smile

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  28. Prayers this week? As the result of a contest win, an agent has asked for a partial of "Trail."
    KB

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  29. Delighted to welcome back my dear friend CARLA to Seekerville! Carla's on Central Time, but she loves to chat--AND--she loves coffee (thanks, RUTHY!) so I know she'll be along shortly.

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  30. VINCE, you are just bubbling over with savior faire!

    And you can say "verisimilitude" as often as you like. :)

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  31. TINA P, do you fly much with your son? Small planes make me nervous, but it sure would be fun to soar above the clouds and get a better view than from those little side windows in commercial jets!

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    1. No. He hasn't flown much lately but I get sick in the little planes. And I get anxious on the big ones. One would wonder why I get so scared when we had an avionics business. hubby would go flying on test rides and I would find excuses to stay grounded

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    2. No. He hasn't flown much lately but I get sick in the little planes. And I get anxious on the big ones. One would wonder why I get so scared when we had an avionics business. hubby would go flying on test rides and I would find excuses to stay grounded

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  32. I agree, CINDY W! The bonus of reading (and writing) historical fiction is in learning something new or coming to a new understanding about an era I hadn't fully appreciated.

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  33. MARY PRESTON & VIRGINIA, history wrapped up in a great story--that about says it all!

    And yes, CARLA's novels do this beautifully! I've read every single one and loved them all!

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  34. BETTIE, I know you'll enjoy Carla's stories as much as I do. She's a pro!

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  35. ARTIST LIBRARIAN, I'll let Carla answer your question about book covers, but I'm sure she does give at least some input.

    Thanks for the historical author suggestions!

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  36. RUTHY, I remember, too, how open and gracious Carla was when I first met her an an ACFW chapter meeting. She is truly a warm and caring friend, in addition to being a great writer!

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  37. Verisimilitude.

    Verisimilitude.

    I agree, KATE--we need to start using this word more often in everyday conversation.

    Another favorite (which I picked up from RUTHY some time back) is "ubiquitous." It was my new favorite word for a while!

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  38. About sources: When researching, I have dug up a lot of primary documents, like reports from congressional sessions. My problem is, though we would say it's a strong, accurate source, it's still in the perspective of the writer - generally white males. So would, say, a Native American find it accurate, given how there was such a disconnect between them and the US government? Diaries, too, are quite skewed by the writer's perspective, which can be good or bad, depending on what one is looking for.

    I've learned that just because it was published in 1885 doesn't mean it was wholly true and accurate. So should one go with a modern writer's perhaps-less-biased view of events, or the biased original? I realize it's pretty much up to me, the researcher, to decide which perspective to follow, but it bothers me that even primary sources can't be completely trusted. How do you decide?

    On a different note, I went to high school in the town of Charles Lindbergh's birth, so I've always heard quite a lot about him. I'd love to read about the ladies' side of flying! Thanks for a chance to win!

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  39. Thanks for the coffee, WALT! I noticed the pot was getting low. ;)

    True events from history, inserted naturally into the plot, do add, ahem, verisimilitude to our fiction!

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  40. Actually, Walt, you made coffee whether anyone wanted it or not, right? I catch that in others, because I am trying to wean myself off of...if you want. Unless I am doing it for them.
    Love the post, Carla. I'm a reader, so anything that helps sell the author's books to the publishers, and then eventually to me is great.
    Happy Birthday, Seekerville.

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  41. Hi, EVELYN! Historical fiction really does bring the past to life.

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  42. JESSICA, the research has always been the most intimidating part for me. I'm always terrified I'll mess up some very important detail and knowledgeable readers will notice!

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  43. DEBBY, interesting about Warm Springs and the Little White House! Sounds like I need to make a trip down your way and do some exploring. This actually sounds very similar to some of the historic sites in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where people used to go for the baths in hopes of curing or at least alleviating their illnesses.

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  44. SUZANNE, I hear you! As I mentioned in a previous comment, getting the facts wrong is one of my biggest worries!

    And I do know that Carla is thorough about her research!

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  45. Welcome, ROSE! Even writing contemporary, we still have to get the relevant details correct, though, don't we? A certain amount of research is necessary no matter what time period we're writing about.

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  46. KELLY, your story sounds intriguing! I like having lots of visuals within easy reach while writing. Sometimes you can even get new ideas for plot or characters from photographs.

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  47. I totally relate, JILL! High school history was definitely NOT one of my favorite subjects! But wrap history in a good story with engaging characters, and I'm all in!

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  48. JACKIE, SANDRA, & LOVES TO READ--thanks for stopping in! An entertaining story that also teaches us something new? What more could we ask for in a good novel?

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  49. So, CONNIE, what era were you writing about, and what interesting historical tidbits did you decide to add? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

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  50. Yes, DEANNA, Carla's wonderful book deserves to move to the top!

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  51. KAYBEE, that's such an important point--the historic events need to be relevant to the characters, or why drop them into that era in the first place?

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  52. Oh, KAYBEE!!! Congrats on the request!

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  53. SANDRA, if you enjoy history and flying, you'll LOVE Carla's book!

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  54. Good Morning, everyone! What a wonderful welcome!

    Vince, you make me smile! Somehow I'm not surprised at your interest in planes and Will Rogers. Thank you for adding to the conversation. So glad to see you here.

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  55. RACHAEL, you make a very good point about diaries and personal accounts being one-sided and perhaps not completely accurate. Good idea to consult a variety of sources.

    However, what I like about the personal accounts is that you're getting the perspective of someone who actually lived through it. What they say may not be the whole truth, but it's their experience and their emotions, which can shed light on how a story character in similar circumstances might react.

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  56. Thanks, Tina. Maybe this would be a book even your guys would like. It has horses and planes both. My dad liked it and keeps buying more copies to give away. Yay!

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  57. Hi, MARIANNE! I've got a pot of Earl Grey steeping if you're interested. :)

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  58. Cindy W - you are right about the atrocities of war and some of the prison camps. I don't think there has ever been a time in history when terrible things weren't happening (even Bible times!), but in the midst of it, there are good people. Heroes. And good times. Bringing all that together in a story is what makes my heart happy.

    Good luck in the draw!

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  59. Mary - good to see you! Novels that bring out the smaller, forgotten things in history are the ones I love to. Glad you want to be in the drawing.

    Virginia! So pleased that you liked A FLYING AFFAIR. I'd love to see the list with all five things, but for sure one of my favorite things is learning something new when I read a book. Those that do that are the ones I remember and tend to keep on my "keeper" bookshelf.

    Bettie, hope you learned something you can use one day. And for sure, you are entered in the drawing!

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  60. Welcome to Seekerville, Carla! I research events, political upheaval, natural disasters for the time period I'm working on, but I haven't had my main characters involved with an extremely well-known event or person. I don't think I'm intentionally avoiding those things, but my story ideas haven't lended themselves to including something like that. For instance, I think it's cool that you used the royal wedding as a backdrop for one of your books, and the women's race for another.

    So, now, I'm curious. :)

    Generally, what comes first for you... the idea for your character's profession/goal, then you research events that dovetail with that, or is it the other way around? Or maybe a mix of the two methods?

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  61. Artist Librarian - wow, to compare me to Elizabeth and Julie is an honor - thank you.

    I don't have a lot of input into my covers. It's a fairly small imprint (inside a HUGE publisher) with everyone, including cover art team, working closely with editorial. Some of my covers have been "live" cover shoots where they shopped for the vintage clothing and selected models, etc. I've been thrilled with the covers they've created and am not sure my input would have improved any of them. If I could, I would give my publisher a Pulitzer for covers!

    Every publisher probably does things differently, but it is important to get the "feel" of the time period.

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  62. Very timely for my writing though I hate to think of the 1970s as "historical". Thanks Carla!

    Stephanie

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  63. Ruthie - thanks for the COFFEE! I need it this morning! And thanks for chiming in on the "V" words - since French pronunciations are out of my league, I'm going to bow to Vince on his suggestion, too!

    You are too kind - it was a thrill when I met you - the larger-than-life Ruthie. You always make me smile, and we need more of that in this world.

    Hugs!

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  64. This is the heart of historical fiction for me! Reading it and researching it. Thanks so much Carla!

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  65. Thank you, Kate, for your interest - wish I had a book for everyone!

    Walt - you're my hero - more coffee! I'll have mine with half 'n half, please. And it's always nice to meet someone who appreciates dropping historical tidbits in their writing. Your Japanese novels sound interesting.

    Evelyn, you are too kind. So happy to see you here today.

    Jessica - I know - I could hardly believe it has been eight years for Seekerville! This is one of the truly great writing communities where people love, laugh, learn, and cheer each other on!

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  66. Debbie - I wish I'd been able to visit Warm Springs when I was writing about polio. The closest I came to an iron lung was watching YouTube videos. The funny thing was, it didn't sound at all like I imagined it would, so I would have gotten it wrong without digging deeper into research. Alas, I sometimes get so caught up in the research, I have a hard time bringing myself back to the keyboard and the story - LOL!

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  67. Suzanne - you are so kind. I do have a natural curiosity about things and am a stickler for accuracy. I just hope that others can benefit from what I've learned. I do hope you'll try your hand at writing historical - it sort of gets in your blood, and there are so many great stories to tell!

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  68. Thank you, Rose! I wrote one contemporary (with a strong historical thread). Publisher's Weekly said something like - Stewart should stick with writing historical fiction! Ha! I admire those who can write contemporary and read a lot of it, too, but I think I'm too old-fashioned to pull it off myself. Good luck to you with ALL your books.

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  69. Vince - love that you are self-editing your posts. I've not heard of the book by Richard Bach - it does sound like a good read. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  70. Kelly! WWII in London is a book I would buy in a heartbeat. So much of the European part of the war is centered there. Hope you'll dust your manuscript off and keep writing!

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  71. Jill, this made me smile and brought back a shuddering memory for me of the WORST history class I ever had in college. If my future career had been dependent on what I learned in that class, I would be doomed! It's all about the story.

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  72. WELCOME BACK, CARLA!!

    What a terrific cover! (All your covers are terrific, btw).

    Your post makes me think even I might be able to write a historical novel with these guidelines.

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  73. If I start using the word verisimilitude, I think my wife would slap me. :-)

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  74. Carla, any friend of Myra's and Seekerville is a friend of mine! Your reasons for writing historical fiction soooo resonated with me:

    "I’ve always marveled at people of the past and the obstacles they’ve overcome to accomplish great feats. That element of what makes real life people tick and pushes them toward their goal or enables them to survive insurmountable setbacks fascinates me." ME TOO!!

    When you mentioned the polio epidemic, it brought back clear memories of that time. I remember the fear of being confined to an iron lung and how we stood in a line that was blocks long to get the polio vaccination. And there were no disposable needles then! They used them until they got dull. I remember my sister almost fainted with the pain. I think I got a fresh needle, thank goodness.

    I'd love a copy of A FLYING AFFAIR to read and review! Throw my name in the kitty dish.

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  75. Welcome back to Seekerville, Carla! Thanks for this fantastic post that's loaded with valuable information for writing historical novels. Just reading about writing stories set in the past excites me. What usually triggers your story?

    Janet

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  76. Jackie, I personally don't think you're weird at all! I have learned so much about history from fiction and LOVE it!

    Sandra - glad to know I'm not the only one who explores things I find that interest me. It's all about the morsels, isn't it?

    Loves to Read - I love that you mentioned passion. My editor once told me that you can't convince readers of the story if the author doesn't have a passion for what she's writing. I've found that to be true. The more I researched A FLYING AFFAIR, the more I fell in love with the era and these pioneer women aviators. I hope it comes through with Mittie!

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  77. Connie - that is so interesting. I've never seen that on a contest score sheet, but what a great thing to include. I'm sure your story resonated much more! Thanks for sharing that.

    Ah, Deanna - I hope you love Mittie's story and the Roaring Twenties! And thanks for already getting the book - you just made my morning a little brighter!

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  78. Debby, my dh visited Warm Springs, too, and found it all very interesting. We both watched a TV documentary that included footage of FDR in the water with others afflicted with polio. Heartwarming to see his openness and encouragement.

    Barbara, I remember the lines for the polio vaccine but we got a dose on a sugar cube. Much kinder.

    Janet

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  79. Kaybee - Good luck with writing the third book in your series. I agree - the obstacles in history add to the difficulty characters experience. Our fore bearers were not only survivors but heroes of a bigger dimension, I think. I'm glad this post is helping you shape your story - it sounds wonderful!

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  80. Thanks for the welcome, Sandra Leesmith! My dad went into the Army Air Corps hoping to fly, but it was right after WWII and his branch of service was phased out. As much as I loved learning about these women pilots, I've never wanted to navigate a plane - I'll stick with being a passenger.

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  81. CARLA!!! WELCOME BACK TO SEEKERVILLE, MY FRIEND -- IT'S BEEN WAY TOO LONG!!!

    I have to tell you that I absolutely LOVE the premise for A Flying Affair AND the cover!

    I agree, historical details enrich a novel in so many ways, but they can get you in trouble, too, if one does not do their research carefully.

    Case in point, which I've mentioned before but SO taught me to be more careful with my research:

    In my very first novel, A Passion Most Pure, I had the O'Connor clan sailing from Boston to Dublin during WWI while the father and brother went to war. Fortunately (or unfortunately for me at the time since the book was set to release in about six months), my editor gave it to her husband to read who happened to be an Irish historian -- what are the odds???

    Well, he proceeds to tell her that there was no way the family could travel to Dublin at that time because of U-boat warfare (which I knew about, but my dates were off) because all passenger sea travel ceased when the military commandeered all passenger ships for the war effort. I couldn't change my dates because I was locked in to so many, so I about had a breakdown. Started researching alternate settings close to American instead of Dublin, even looking at Novia Scotia, which had an Irish contingent. Believe me, I prayed my heart out.

    And then a miracle happened.

    I was having lunch one day with a friend and told her my sad tale. "You know," she said slowly, "I just read an article that mentioned freighter shipping during WWI (Julie here -- really, what are the odds of that????), which provided men and supplies to the European fronts. The U.S. figured out that if they sent their freighters in convoys instead of by themselves, the incident of sinking was reduced down to 2%, so that's what they did." I immediately knew that was my answer to prayer because all I had to do is give the father a cousin with a freighting company who agreed to take the family over, and voila -- a highly credible solution that took just a few paragraphs of copy added to the ms. WHEW ... did I learn a lesson on THAT book! One -- always double-check your facts, dates, and timeline, and Two -- PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  82. Kaybee - Congratulations on the contest win and the request from an agent. Thrilled to hear this answered prayer.

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  83. CARLA SAID: "Likewise, don’t impose modern views on historical characters."

    BOY, OH BOY -- has this one bit me in the butt more times than I can count in reviews!!

    You see, it seems that some modern readers do NOT like to see a male-dominated society even IF it is historically accurate, so I've been raked over the coals for my "chauvinist" men over and over. Sigh.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  84. MYRA!!! I'm still missing our Cheesecake Factory lunches. You are the BEST! And thanks for inviting me to Seekerville and all you kind words about A FLYING AFFAIR.

    I just learned that I spelled "Ruthy" wrong - my apologies, dear friend. The coffee hadn't kicked in yet.

    I'm enjoying the great conversation here. You all are an amazing bunch!

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  85. Good afternoon, Carla! Posts like yours make me appreciate even more those who write historical fiction. Not that we contemporary writers don't have to do research as well, but it doesn't seem like as much pressure. That said, I love READING historical fiction! Thank you for your efforts!

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  86. Great advice! Modern phrases/attitudes that don't belong in a historical novel definitely stand out and turn me off as a reader. Same thing for modern-looking models on book covers. I love the educational aspect of historical novels :)

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  87. Rachael - you've brought up some interesting concepts. I'd never thought about Congressional records as being skewed by their writers. Yes, I can see that. I believe I would trust government sites more for raw data (demographics, census numbers, crops, industry, etc.) and use anything else as a basis for a "general" backdrop. It could even be the source of conflict between different segments. Diaries, too, while being a primary source, would be only one person's opinion. Glean what you can from them - language patterns, plot ideas, and the like. I've just returned from a combo research/family time and am excited to put to use the search tool I found for combing newspapers of the area that is the setting from my next book. I can tell already that it will not only be data that I'm searching for that will be useful, but also advertisements, obituaries, and other articles that will give flavor to my story.

    As an author, you have to sift through a lot of things to get what you need for YOUR story, and yes, you get to decide what works and doesn't. Using a variety of sources will bring perspective. I use a combination of modern sources and primary ones I can find from the past.

    For THE HATMAKER'S HEART, I found a YouTube video of the royal wedding I mentioned in this post. It's silent, of course, since it's 1923, but just viewing it (like a hundred times), I gained details that I was able to use in writing the book.

    Good luck to you, and thanks for the food for thought.

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  88. Rachael - thanks for mentioning Lindbergh. Quite a complicated man and certainly more layers to him than one gets from just watching the movie THE SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS. Even though I learned gobs about him and his later life - I had to be careful and just use what would have been known at the time of my story.

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  89. Marianne - laughing at your comment about the coffee. Weaning yourself??? Now that is a challenge I'm not ready to even think about.

    I do hope you'll check out A FLYING AFFAIR. I'm so honored to be here and help celebrate Seekerville's birthday.

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  90. Hi Carla, Great advice about picking and choosing the historical facts you use not only in building your story but your setting! I'll be saving this checklist!

    I'd love to win a copy of A Flying Affair so please drop my name in the hat!

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  91. Such an interesting post, Carla - thank you!! I was never a history lover when I was in school, I really enjoy picking up tidbits of historical events in the fiction I read now.


    I'd love to read 'A Flying Affair' - please put my name in the drawing.

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  92. Had to step out for a bit to take care of a few other things (including lunch--unfortunately NOT at the Cheesecake Factory with my favorite lunch buddy!). CARLA, I'm just loving your insights about writing historical fiction and all the tidbits you're sharing with our Seekervillagers!

    YouTube videos are great, aren't they? I've learned about horseshoeing, old washing machines, and even cruising the Suez Canal in the 1930s. It's amazing what you can find on YouTube!

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  93. PAM - great question. I do a general overview and read books about my era, but I usually have the characters in place before I find the historical events where I insert them. It's usually early enough in the writing process that I can tweak my timeline and not have to do a lot of rewriting.

    For A FLYING AFFAIR, I knew the beginning would coincide with Lindbergh's epic flight. I found footage of him emerging from his plane in Louisville so I was able to use that visual in crafting the scene. Of course, having a conversation with my character was trickier, but I did let readers know in a note at the back of the book what was real and what stemmed from my imagination. The same for the women's air race. Info is available for all the women who were in the race, but I inserted my characters as contenders without changing the actual outcome and then let readers know in the note in the back.

    Likewise, I found footage of the royal wedding that I used in THE HATMAKER'S HEART - wonderful old black and white, very grainy footage from 1923 of the prince leaving Buckingham Palace and then later the happy couple returning and greeting their guests from the balcony. This kind of stuff just makes my writing soul happy.

    So glad you chimed in on this, Pam! I know you, too, like to get all the deets right!

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  94. STEPHANIE T - I might have spewed coffee on my shirt when I read what you said about the 1970s being historical - YES! I've had to wrestle with that, too, with my novels set in the 50s and 60s. Ahhhh - the good old days!

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  95. DEBRA - you're so right. When I read historical fiction, I want to know that the writer did her research. The two go hand in hand.

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  96. TINA! Thanks for mentioning the covers. My cover artists are rock stars. And YES - you can do this, Tina. The problem for me is deciding when to stop with the research and get on with the writing. And thanks for the shout-out on FB. I too a wee break and saw your post. Grateful.

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  97. BARBARA- we have the best mutual friend in Myra, don't we? And I'm delighted to hear that you love historical fiction.

    My "polio" book STARDUST is one that has resonated with a lot of people. It was part of our lives back then, and I remember waiting at the courthouse with hoards of other children for our inoculations. I'd forgotten that they reused the needles! Yikes. That makes the nurse (another life I've lived) in me cringe.

    Your name is in the hopper.

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  98. JANET - I'm thrilled to be back. Thanks for the welcome.

    Great question - What triggers my story? I have to say that generally it's the concept or time period that comes first. For my Roaring 20s books, my agent whispered two words to me - Kentucky Derby. Hats were the first thing I thought of, but I also wanted to do something Downtown Abbey-ish so for THE HATMAKER'S HEART I chose a character born in England (Nell) who's come to the US and makes hats. A FLYING AFFAIR features Nell's American born cousin who is her complete opposite - daring and adventurous. Flying was a perfect fit for her - I suppose her character came first, but the Roaring Twenties concept was already there.

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  99. JULIE! Oh, I've missed you, and I'm thrilled to be back on Seekerville today.

    Your story gave me goosebumps. And what a happy and thankfully, easy fix ending, for you.

    Yes, I lie in bed at night and worry (when I should be praying, I'm sure) that I'm going to screw up some detail. My husband is always picking up on things in historical fiction that don't ring true (usually some gadget or farming thing). He reads all my stuff before it goes to my editor, but I try to get all my research right first.

    You're such a blessing to me. Thanks for stopping in.

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  100. PS to JULIE - didn't see your chauvinistic comment. I think that's one of the biggest mistakes I see in historical fiction - imposing modern views. There's nothing wrong with strong female characters but we have to get the "signs of the times" right. Hopefully, not too many readers are put off by this.

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  101. MEGHAN - what a lovely thing to say. I'm glad you're appreciative, and as one who likes to read contemporary as well as historic fiction - YOU are the one I admire. Both require that we "get it right", don't they?

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  102. Thank you, HEIDI! You're a true-blue reader. I love that.

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  103. KELLY - So glad you're able to use this for your own writing. Oftentimes I don't feel qualified to offer advice so it's always heartening to know that maybe my experience is helping others. Good luck to you in your writing .... and the drawing, too!

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  104. BONTON - Confession: History was never my favorite subject, either, with all those dates and dry facts. But I've always loved reading historical fiction and believe we can learn just as much that way as in the classroom. Amen?

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  105. MYRA - thinking of having some lunch here, too, now that things are settling down. Alas, nothing as good as the Cheesecake Factory, but whatever by fridge gives me.

    For some reason I'm not surprised that you're a YouTube fan, too!

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  106. thanks for this wonderful post. I don't think I'd ever be able to write a historical novel, but I do so love reading them. I'm putting my name in the draw to win your book, but it's definitely on my "to buy" list otherwise.

    I love small planes - had quite a few friends who were pilots in my lifetime. I even got to be a passenger in one of the first small planes to land at Denver International Airport when it was first built. They had a special day before it officially opened for all the small plane pilots in the area to fly into the airport. I even got interviewed for the local news because I had a pseudo flight suit on. hah (I'm definitely NOT a pilot).

    I've always wanted one of those hats with goggles the early aviators wore. Never had the courage to purchase one though. No reason to wear it and I think a whole lot of people would wonder about the grown lady wearing aviator headgear for no obvious reason. Still want one though... *sigh*

    Love your cover. I'm hoping to someday re-invent myself as a book cover artist. Life is a bit chaotic now for that, but still...

    Thanks again for visiting Seekerville with such a great, educational post!!

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  107. DEBH, there's a wonderful aviation museum in Tulsa that I used to love visiting while we lived there. It was especially interesting to study the displays about the first female aviators. Carla's novel really captures the spirit of those gusty women!

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  108. Carla, thanks for sharing your process. Have you attended the Kentucky Derby? I always love to watch it on TV, not only to see the beautiful thoroughbreds race but to see those hats. :-) I'm off to Amazon to get The Hatmaker's Heart. Know I'll love it!

    I've had history trigger stories like my orphan train books, but I've also thought about hooks like mail-order brides and created a story. It's always fun to see the different ways writers get ideas!

    Janet

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  109. Carla, you're so right! Seekers and Villagers make up an amazing community! We love to share food and chat books and writing. And even pray for one another. The reason we're celebrating eight years!!

    Janet

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  110. Carla, your cover artists did an awesome job!

    I prefer if historical fiction doesn't include modern views, so I'm not usually offended since it's historical. But I don't mind modern views in historical fiction, as long as it's only a few characters. --While it could be believable that one or two characters could have thoughts/ideals "before their time" if it's everyone, then you're pushing it.

    The Canadian historical procedural, Murdoch Mysteries (The Artful Detective) set during the turn of the 20th century is a show that comes to mind. Detective Murdoch uses early CSI techniques to solve cases (that are plausible for the time period), so he and a few other characters espouse sometimes more modern views. =P

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  111. DEB H - thanks for sharing your heart! And I think if you love flying and airplanes, you'll enjoy A FLYING AFFAIR. I'm always happy to find new readers who share my passions.

    About that leather aviator helmet - I did purchase one on the internet, and it is so cool. I opted for the real leather one and got some goggles, an inexpensive (fake leather) jacket that has the aviator feel, and I've worn it to book signings and events. It's been really fun. Sometimes I just take the items along and let guests try them on and have a photo in them. They love it, and so do I. Writing books is wonderful, but bringing in readers and having fun with it is such a pleasure. So, go for it, Deb! You can always use it as a Halloween costume! Or wear it to a masquerade party.

    Dream big, my friend!

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  112. Welcome back, Carla!! I love what you said about using the historical event to create an emotional connection. It reminded me that it has to have a reason for being there. I don't write historical, but I can definitely use that when coming up with my settings. Thank you!

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  113. MYRA - Tulsa's Air and Space Museum is wonderful. I've taken all my grandkids there and learned a lot, too. One of the earliest women aviators has a Tulsa connection. Sadly, she died in an airplane accident before she had a chance to promote a lot about aviation, which was her dream.

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  114. JANET - I've not been to the Kentucky Derby, but Max and I went to the KD Museum in Louisville where I did some of my research. They were so nice, and as it turned out, we were there for the fall racing season and spent the afternoon at the races! I'd never been to a horse race so it was really special to attend my first one at the KD track. And, yes, we had to have a mint julep - for research purposes, of course.

    I'm glad you mentioned that our writing processes and inspiration can be different for each book. Right now, I have an era and a character, but the story is still forming as I gather stories. I love how all the puzzle pieces eventually come together.

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  115. THE ARTIST LIBRARIAN - I've been blessed with great cover designers, to be sure.

    I do think that films/TV today try to "push" their own agenda sometimes rather than let history speak for itself. I'm a little wary of modern day interpretations, but the Murdoch series sounds really good and would be a show I'd like. Thanks for sharing!

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  116. Thanks, MISSY! I'm so glad to be here. And any event, whether historical or not, should tie into the emotional plot. Think of all the 9-11 stories out there. Oh, my. Talk about pulling at the heartstrings.

    The best to you in your writing! And Happy Birthday, Seekerville?

    When are we having cake?

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  117. Kaybee, wonderful news about the contest win and agent request! Congratulations -- and thanks for sharing good news :-)

    Nancy C

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  118. Cake? I'm in! With a big scoop of ice cream on top!

    Hey, this is Seekerville! Nothing we serve here has a single calorie!

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  119. Carla, such good pointers, especially about not overloading the reader with research. That said, I do like when I lean back and think, "I didn't know that!" Love the learning.

    I like researching letters, diaries and journals, as well as newspaper articles -- bearing in mind they are all the opinion of the writer. Letters, particularly, helped me see that times may change but human emotions are very much the same.

    Your books sound wonderful! Adding them to my 'must read' list.

    Nancy C

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  120. Carla, I've been to the museum. Love that the personnel were helpful! I didn't think about setting a novel there as my publisher wouldn't approve a racetrack setting. But I see that the action doesn't have to take place there for the setting to have relevance in the book.

    Janet

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  121. Would like to be in the drawing.


    Love the tips !

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  122. CHILL - You nailed it - Times may change but human emotions are very much the same. I wish I'd thought of that!!

    Hope you can get your hands on a copy of the book. Enjoy!

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  123. MYRA - that's even better - Cake AND Ice Cream with Zero calories! Yes, Please.

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  124. Janet - I know what you mean - Kentucky Derby to me says gambling and whiskey. But there's so much more! I ended up using the Saddlebred horse industry for my horse farm, though, b/c I didn't want to get into the gambling debate. We toured one of the Saddlebred farms and it was wonderful - the beautiful grand old house became the one I used for Mittie's story. And the grounds? Oh, goodness. I love research trips!!

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  125. Thank you, MARSHA! You're in the drawing!

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  126. Did I mention that I want to borrow your pearls?? (hehehehe)

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    1. Anytime, my friend! I buy these in bulk and pass them out as favors at book events. Everyone loves them. Nice to have around for playing dress up with the grand girls too!

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  127. Carla, I did not know electric toasters were available before radios. Cool fact. I love history, and thank you for presenting questions and tips about ways to think about writing a historical novel. The 1920s have long been a favorite decade of mine to read about. I have loved reading the diaries of Anne Morrow Lindbergh so please include me in the drawing for a book about air races.

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    1. Hi TANYA! Glad to add your name to the drawing. The electric toasters weren't too much like our pop up toasters, but I loved reading about them.

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  128. TINA, I was admiring Carla's pearls, too! :)

    TANYA, the early 20th century was a time of much change. Interesting decades to research!

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  129. HI Carla,
    I read your post last night, but ran out of time to post. Thanks to my Dad, I've always been a history buff. I even had the privilege of working on archeological digs when I was a kid. Talk about getting into the dirt. Finding a metal button from French soldier's uniform certainly gives one a different perspective of the past. I still think about the identity of the last person to have touched that button before me.

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    1. LYNDEE, an archeological dig would be incredible! I'm sort of jealous. What a goosebumps moment it must have been to find that button.

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  130. Hi Carla from a fellow Oklahoman. Congrats on your latest release and I'd love to be in on the drawing.

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    1. Yay, TERRI, glad to have someone from the Sooner state chime in. Thanks for the interest and good luck in the drawing.

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  131. Loving this birthday bash with Seekerville an all the great authors, posts and comments!! You guys are an amazing bunch of people and so generous with the giveaway prizes :-) Please add my name for "A Flying Affiar", new-to-me author with an fabulous sounding book!

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  132. Carla, I write historical fiction and found your summary of the how end why of the genre and the way in which we can use it yo weave characters into the tale..wow. You articulated so much that I was doing on instinct and now that it is clarified, I can use these tools more effectively, both to construct the story and to revise it

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  133. Carla,
    Although I love to read historical fiction, I've never had the desire to write it. That is, until I read your post! Thanks for sharing such excellent information!

    Please put my name in for the drawing!

    Blessings!

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  134. TRIXI, I know you'll love A Flying Affair! Your name is in the kitty dish!

    TINA P, I don't blame you. I always like having both feet on the ground. :)

    JOAN, isn't Carla an excellent teacher on this subject? Glad you found some help here!

    EDWINA, I know the feeling! Carla inspires me to be a better researcher/writer, too!

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  135. MYRA - thanks for picking up the slack and responding to these early morning questions.

    Hey, TRIXI - so glad you want to be in the drawing.

    JOAN - you make me blush. I do think I write organically, too, so sometimes stepping back and examining the process is good for ME and my writing. Glad this was helpful to you.

    TINA - I understand, sort of. My dad is a cowboy and I grew up around horses. I still enjoy being around them - riding them, though? No! I totally freak out. We all have cracks in our armor, don't we?

    EDWINA - YOU can do it. Or at least you never know until you try! Hope this is the nudge you need.

    Hey Seekers and Villagers - I'm off on a road trip today. Bags packed. Ready to go. I hope you have an amazing day with Cathy Golke, today's guest. Happy Writing!

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  136. Carla, thanks for your tips about weaving historical events into our stories. I write sweet Southern historical romances where I always include some actual event(s) for my characters to live with. I've always been fascinated with flight--birds, airplanes, spacecraft. Would love to win a copy of A Flying Affair.

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    1. Jo, so glad this was helpful. Blessings to you in your writing. We need more sweet stories in this world.

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  137. Carla and Seekerville, thanks for this great post. As a lover of historical fiction, I appreciate the thought, research and attention to detail an author puts into each of their works. Now, reading about how it all weaves together gives me a much more tangible idea and appreciation of their works. I would love to win a copy of "A Flying Affair". Thank you.

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    1. JUST COMMONLY. What a lovely thing to say. Thank you. You're in the drawing!

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  138. I absolutely adore historical fiction! I tend to go through phases where I like reading about a certain time period, which right now happens to be colonial America (something about fall brings out my love of Puritans and a rather rustic way of life). I would love to win a copy of "A Flying Affair" as I haven't yet had the chance to read it! :-)

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    1. Heidi, one of my dil's is a total revolutionary America fan. We all have our loves, don't we? Agree that this is perfect time of year for thinking of the rustic way of life. And pumpkin pie!!! Can't forget the pumpkin pie!

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  139. I absolutely adore historical fiction! I tend to go through phases where I like reading about a certain time period, which right now happens to be colonial America (something about fall brings out my love of Puritans and a rather rustic way of life). I would love to win a copy of "A Flying Affair" as I haven't yet had the chance to read it! :-)

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  140. Happy 8th birthday Seekerville. I am so glad I've found you ! My love for historical fiction started very early when I discovered the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. My interest just blossomed from there, I enjoy many types of historical fiction now and read nonfiction historicals and biographies as well. I have not read any books by Carla but would love to discover her writing style .

    Deanne Patterson
    Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

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  141. I'm a day late for this post. I love historical fiction, so this post was very interesting. Your book looks good. Please put me in the drawing.

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  142. Well- crafted and brilliant does indeed describe your work Carla. I have not read all your books but I plan to. Do you ever wish you could rewrite some of history? Hard not to wish Lindbergh wasn't a Nazi. Or the Salk vaccine invented sooner.

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  143. Well- crafted and brilliant does indeed describe your work Carla. I have not read all your books but I plan to. Do you ever wish you could rewrite some of history? Hard not to wish Lindbergh wasn't a Nazi. Or the Salk vaccine invented sooner.

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  144. "The goal is not to change history but to cast a fresh light on it with your fictional characters." This is the best way I've yet heard historical fiction described. As a slight history buff, I love stories that have those historical influences and events told through fictional characters!

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  145. I realize I'm a day and change late for this post (sadly, an incredibly hectic week at college kept me from Seekerville the last couple of days...don't those professors KNOW I need time for Seekerville visits?!?!!), but I'd love to be added to the drawing if possible!

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  146. Carla, time to go see if the library has your books! I've wanted to read A Flying Affair since it was released, but my local bookstore didn't have it. The hunt for a copy continues!

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  147. DEANNE - Seekerville is a special place, isn't it? I'm always happy to connect with other people who love Historical Fiction and hope you enjoy my books and writing. God Bless.

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  148. Sandy - welcome! And thanks for your interest in my book. Not sure when the entries close, but Myra will get you in the drawing if they're still open. She's sweet like that.

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  149. Natasha - your sweet words overwhelm me! Thank you. Yes, rewriting history would be nice sometimes, and the problem I encounter with writing about historical events is the "spin" we put on it in hindsight. I just had a discussion along those lines with my dad last weekend regarding the Dust Bowl. His take was that all people want to talk about today was how terrible it was (I'm guilty as well). His reflections from living during that time were eye-opening for me. It renewed my belief that an author has a moral duty to "get it right." Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, Natasha.

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  150. SARAH - life is sometimes overwhelming, isn't it? Glad you made it, and I hope you enjoy my books. Heads up - one of my earlier titles SWEET DREAMS will be $1.99 on Kindle during the month of November. I hope your library has my books (a lot of them do!). Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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  151. Thanks Carla! I'll definitely look for it :)

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  152. I love when stories have historical events woven into them. It makes you feel like you are right there with them.

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  153. Thanks, Becky. We must be soul sisters!

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