Repeating History: Why Writing About the Past Matters

Cold

natalia-y-504860-unsplash Photo by Natalia Y on Unsplash

Historical fiction writers are in a deep funk. Sales are down in this great genre and most agents aren’t even looking to take on hist-fic novelists unless they’re somehow the type who can can get their stories folded into other genres like thriller or fantasy.

The success of novels steeped in history – ones like Outlander – are apparently not having the rub-off effect historical fiction authors have hoped for either. You’d think they would – readers and TV audiences alike have demonstrated that they’re just mad about Scottish guys of yore; ones in skirts with terrible hygiene and hard luck stories to boot. Why not medieval monks, Spanish conquistadors, American frontiersmen or Victorian era adventurers?

And you can’t blame the lull in historical fiction on readers and watchers who might be turned off by complex narratives that require (God forbid) a little work…

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