Wednesday, February 21, 2007


A couple of the writers on blogspot (Gabriele and Scott) have participated in this new meme for historical fiction writers. So I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and put in my two-bits-worth. Anybody else up to the challenge?

The questions are related to what historical fiction reading you do and how much, etc.

Straight Historical, Historical Mystery, Hist. Fantasy, Hist. Romance or Time Travel?
I love Straight Historicals and in particular those written about the ancient times.
Historical Figures as Main Characters or Purely fictional characters?
Either, though as I'm writing about Alexander the Great's world myself I do prefer those written about real historical figures.
Historical settings as main setting?
Same as above. And I like visiting those settings as well, if possible.
Hardback, Trade Paperback, or Mass Mkt. Paperback
Hardbacks are nice but bulky to carry around and as I usually do most of my reading while traveling on buses I prefer paperbacks.
Phillipa Gregory or Margaret George?
Margaret George has written sound outstanding books. I admire her dense research details.
Amazon or Brick and Mortar
Neither. I use local bookstores (mainly Chapters)
Bernard Cornwell or Sharon Penman?
I've not read either of these authors.
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
We don't have those stores here.
What is the first historical novel you read?
I couldn't possibly remember exactly, but I always enjoyed Dickens, and books like Ivanhoe. I started writing historical fiction when I was twelve years old.
Alphabetize by author?Title? or Random?
At the moment my book shelves are arranged more or less by subject and/or country or genre.
Keep, Throw away or sell?
I rarely throw books away and never sell them. Books are treasures to be kept.
Jean Lardy or Norah Lofts?
I have no idea who these authors are.
Read with dust jacket or remove it?
Usually with as they are part of the book. (like clothing!)
Stop reading when I'm tired or chapter breaks?
Usually chapter breaks. But as most of my 'pleasure' reading is done on buses, it depends on when I have to get off. I don't generally like stopping mid-chapter.
"It was a dark and stormynight" or "Once upon a time"
"Dark and stormy" appeals to my sense of drama and possibly tragedy. (I seem to have a thing for writing tragedy and love the Greek dramas and Shakespeare.)
Buy or borrow.
Either, though I usually buy special books for my collection.
Buying Choice, Book Reviews, Recommendations or Browsing?
I love browsing book stores and reading cover notes and first pages. But I will occasionally check out books recommended in book reviews or by friends.
Dorothy Dunnett or Anya Seton
Tidy Ending or Cliffhanger?
Generally I like an ending where there is a good resolution (be it happy or tragic). But once in awhile it's fun to go with the cliffhanger. Gives you something to think about a long time after that last page.
Sticking Close to known Historical fact or Using historical fiction as wallpaper?
As I'm pretty meticulous with my research and like to get things as near to the 'truth' as possible, I prefer using historical fact. However I have one w.i.p. which is purely my own imagination set in Celtic Britain, 4th century BC. and in Greece during Alexander's time. It sort of combines both.
Morning reading, afternoon reading or night time reading?
Depends when I'm taking the bus or when I have a break. I never read in bed.
Series or Stand alone.
Stand alone
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
I don't know if anyone would have read Ariadne's Brother by Jack Dempsey because although he is an American writer, this book was published in Greece. It's an amazing book and should have been circulated here in North America as well. See if you can find it on Amazon as it is really worth reading! (Because I was so impressed with this book, when I finally got a computer and tracked Jack down and we became email correspondents and he was very helpful and encouraging to me regarding my current w.i.p. Shadow of the Lion.


Sam said...

Ariadne's Brother? Sounds interesting! I shall have to look it up!
Fun Meme! (I saw Gabriele's too - over at The Lost Fort.)

Adrian Swift said...

Interesting posting! I have a lot of respect for authors of historical fiction. I love history but usually read about it as "non-fiction".

You've inspired me to take the plunge and seek out some more historical fiction to read!

I have heard of Ariadne's Brother, though I'm not sure from where. Some review, which I recall was positive. So, at least some Americans know of it!

Wynn Bexton said...

Jack's book is written in a unique style, very poetic. It's certainly worth a read. It's about the Cretans and the fall of Knossos. I feel badly that I didn't write a review for him a long time ago when he suggested it. He had a lot of problems with American publishers who didn't like the matriarchal slant he gives the story (or something like that). He also writes a lot of stuff about the First Nations people of America. He has a website that is quite interesting and he probably has reviews of Ariadne's Brother on it. Jack (John) Dempsey. Google him.