Why I write historicals
an answer by Juliet Waldron
I always attempt to recreate these past lives as they actually might have been because IMO writing the past has peculiar burdens. Do you, as a reader, want to understand, to feel, to taste and smell—to experience--how it was? Do you want—as genuine as words can make it—Time Travel? Are you willing to enter another place, another mindset, one which is sometimes exciting and colorful, but just as often might be alien, uncomfortable and disturbing—or aren’t you?
In closing, I’ll quote a fragment of Cecelia Holland’s brief, brilliant speech to writers at the 2011’s Historical Novel Convention in San Diego:
“I want to talk about our vocation. Because it is a vocation, we don’t do this for riches and fame; we do this because we love the past. We know the past is important. History for us is a way of knowing, of making sense of the world…”
After reading this—for me, a healing laying on of hands by a great talent—I think I’ll be able to continue my own humble process, telling stories and learning history—always hoping to reanimate those lost, priceless, fragments of our shared human past.