I double-majored in history and English. Some people thought that was an old combination, but I always explained it this way, “One is about real stories. The other is about made-up ones.” The disciplines seemed related to me.
I have never seriously considered writing historical fiction, but my friend Sandra Merville Hart does and she has an article on how to use old photos for research. Click here to see it.
I have been interested in the late Victorian/ Edwardian ages since I discovered Sherlock Holmes at seventeen. One reason, as another writer pointed out, is because the Victorian age is as far back in history as you can go and still find every day life somewhat similar to our modern era. I’m also interested in it because it was the last hurrah of a way of life that disappeared during World War I. One of the best books I have read on this period was actually a photo album. Queen Victoria’s Grandchildren by Lance Salway shows photos with short histories of all 40 of her grandchildren. The book would be confusing without the photos because it covers so many people. But the photos also let these people become real to me. Seeing their faces helps me make a connection to them. Which is one of the goals of historical fiction.
I won’t be posting again until after Thanksgiving. I’ll talk more about how history has directly affected my writing. Happy Thanksgiving!