Most people think that historical fiction is boring. You know, the sort of thing that begins, as P.G. Wodehouse says, “More as I am accustomed to wielding the broadsord than the pen…” That sort of book usually is dull. But not if the ‘history’ part of the tome is dwarfed by the ‘fiction’ bit.
Historical fiction, as opposed to fiction set in the present century, has an interesting long-ago feel to it. It does nothing to lessen the danger, or the horror present in the story, but it certainly does make you feel safely unattached. It happened long ago, and you empathise with characters, yet feel reassured, because this could never happen to you. This is a great quality, because although historical fiction shoves you headfirst into the daily life of an underpaid 20th century factory worker, you can jump out any time you feel like it. (Unlike said factory worker).
Plus, historical fiction allows you to experience things that you never, ever will, at least not in this century. Even more exciting is being able to experience it through someone else’s eyes and ears. If it is a terrifying experience, it’s comforting to know that it isn’t your head being sliced off. You can gleefully experience the thrill of writing a controversial book that could get you killed, minus the risk.
As you can see, there are advantages to historical fiction. It’ll be under this wide banner that the next two books will come under. 😛
Picture: Courtesy http://www.wbur.org