One Book At A Time is happy to have Genevieve Graham here today! I asked her why she liked writing Historical Fiction and this is how she replied ....
I was NOT a good history student. I took history in high school because I had to, and I slept through most of those classes. What could be so fascinating about stuff that happened hundreds of years ago? What difference did that make to me?
After I had our daughters, I was constantly on the go and had no time to read. It wasn’t until our oldest was eight or so that my mother handed me a book which neither of us knew was going to change my life. And no, it wasn’t self-help or anything like that. It was Gabaldon’s “Outlander”.
I had never experienced anything like that: words that reached out of the page and grabbed me, taking me on journeys I never could have dreamed. I wept, I laughed, I stared openmouthed in amazement, and it certainly didn’t hurt our sex life. I ripped through every one of her books in the series … then read ‘em again. And again. I read them four times each, then listened to the unabridged audio after that - three times. I read everything I could find that looked to be along those same lines after that, including Sara Donati’s “Wilderness” series, books by Penelope Williamson, Jennifer Roberson … and then I decided to write my own. I’d never done it before, but I never planned on anyone but me ever seeing it. Where to start … Scotland? Why not? Diana sure made it appealing. The Highlands: a wilderness bursting with adventures untold. Plus, my ancestry is Scottish, so what could be more perfect for my foray into writing?
I think what I love most about writing Historical Fiction is that it tells stories which supposedly happened years ago, right? Well, no one alive today lived back then (unless you’re into reincarnation, and I’m not even going to go there). So theoretically, no one can tell me that the historical stories I’m writing did NOT actually happen.
When I write, I feel an urging, a sense of direction, almost “voices” in my head (and no, I don’t THINK I’m crazy …). The story almost writes itself. Which makes me wonder ... Could I be telling a story that already happened? Could these people have once lived? Because I have no idea where the ideas come from. It’s as if they come to me from somewhere else. From someTIME else, maybe?
The thing about historical fiction is: you can’t tell me it didn’t happen. And I love imagining that the adventures my characters share with me were real, and I’m right in the middle of them. That’s the point of all fiction, right? To make the reader part of a story that might have happened. But with historical fiction, the stories take me back to a time I would never otherwise see with my own eyes. A rugged, romantic, other-worldly kind of place.
Yes, some history is dull. Some history teachers can be pedantic (remember Ferris Bueller’s teacher? LOL) But I’ll never get tired of history again. Now I can’t get enough. And it’s an honour to be able to share it with all of you!
Why do you like Historical Fiction?
Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing the oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta, she met her future husband in a chairlift lineup and subsequently moved to Calgary to be with him. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia with their two beautiful daughters. Writing became an essential part of Genevieve’s life a few years ago, when she began to write her debut novel, Under the Same Sky. The companion novel, Sound of the Heart, will be in stores May 1, 2012.