Historical Fiction

I  will be a speaker at the HNSA Conference Swinburne University Hawthorn, Melbourne, September 8-10 Visit our website to purchase tickets:http://hnsa.org.au/conference/buy-tickets/

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction (formerly known as the Booker-McConnell Prize and commonly known simply as the Booker Prize) is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language and published in the UK. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured international renown and success; therefore, the prize is of great significance for the book trade. From its inception, only Commonwealth, Irish, and South African (later Zimbabwean) citizens were eligible to receive the prize; in 2014, however, this eligibility was widened to any English-language novel.

A high-profile literary award in British culture, the Booker Prize is greeted with great anticipation and fanfare. It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be selected for inclusion in the shortlist or even to be nominated for the “longlist”. Ref: Wikipedia

Historical novels won the Booker Prize in: 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Unknown-1Winner 2009.

I write time slip novels that incorporate historical fiction and the modern day.

People who lived in the past are the same as people today in their hopes and dreams. It is also necessary to understand that they were, in many ways different, depending on the culture and centuries they lived in. But, the dead are real, and in my novels they have power over the living.

In The Voyage of Saint Brendan, an eighth-century Latin account,(‘faction’) about Brendan of Clonfert, there are elements of historical fiction. The genre has been around for a long time.

Historical fiction has an enduring popularity.

One of my favourite historical books is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind a wonderful evocation of history written by someone who sat on the knees of old Civil War soldiers and listened to their stories.

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I enjoy the research I need to undertake when I write about the past. I create a lost world. It takes me months longer to write the historical part of a novel because of the time I take to research (research is a long piece of string). I enjoy discovering about the postal service, the lighting and heating of rooms and the many small details that make up everyday life in the past. I thread the historical narrative through the story. When seen through the eyes of my historical characters what is strange and unusual to me is not noticed by my characters except for a specific reason.

I enjoyed researching my novel Castle of Dreams set during the Pacific War in a castle in far north Queensland. And, I made friends along the way.  Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm published Castle of Dreams in translation in April, 2017.

The lovely image below was taken by Elise Cathrin. 

https://elisecathrin.com/2017/05/31/slottet-i-regnskogen-av-elise-mccune/

slottet-i-regnskogen

‘Historical’ means I write as truthfully and accurately as I can about the past and ‘fiction’ means I can make up my story, dream about the past and inhabit the lives of the people I’ve created. When I’ve finished my story I wait hopefully for my characters to knock on my front door.  I would know them well.

Then after a few weeks I purchase a lovely notebook and start scribbling notes for my next novel. My erstwhile characters are, by now, floating away. I bid them goodbye and wish them well on their journey.

Have a good week, reading, writing and dreaming,

Elise

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