Tag Archives: historical fiction

Author Interview – Phyllis H Moore


Author-Interview-Button

Phyllis Moore

Please welcome Phyllis – as you can see she is a prolific author!

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me. It’s all I really want to do. Once I sit down and start, I don’t want to stop. It’s what I think about when I’m doing other things. Characters talk to me while I’m moving the clothes from the washer to the dryer or unloading the dishwasher.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

My characters drive me. Once I have their name down on paper, these people and animals lead the way. Sometimes they do things I didn’t anticipate, and they are always right.

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I briefly considered a pseudonym, but decided against it. My thoughts were, I wanted readers to know me personally and I didn’t think that would be possible if I didn’t use my name.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have virtual writer friends and a few mentors. Social media groups are the place I get the most assistance. I have found other writers to be a generous lot, willing to share their failures and expertise.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Currently I have a series of books that could stand alone, but they are based on the same coming of age of the main character, Sabine. The four book series follows her from age four, living in severe neglect with her mentally ill, alcoholic mother, to the age of sixteen. These were the first books I wrote. I only intended to write about Sabine as a child, but I couldn’t stop. I have five other stand alone novels, a pair of middle grade books, an anthology of short stories (a little spooky), and a non-fiction book on retirement. I have learned I am a story teller first and my stories are not always related, so I have no desire for my books to be tied to each other.

Sabine

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

First, I would say editing is the best money spent and second is the money I’ve spent on BookBub promotional deals. I say this because the BookBub deals have garnered reviews.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

My paternal grandparents used to tell me stories and read to me. I remember picturing images from their words. I could literally see the fairies and beasts in their stories. I think that was my earliest experience, the knowledge I could see what they spoke.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I like historical fiction, and I think my favorite was Cleopatra, by Stacy Shiff. I could visualize the palaces, her clothing, the ships, everything described. It takes me back to the time and place.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

A dog would be my spirit animal. All of my characters have pets. Many of them communicate with their pets. I think we all do that to a certain extent, but my very first character, Sabine, was psychic. Her dog, Auggie, was her only confidant. When Sabine missed human cues, Auggie could help her. For me, that was a metaphor of what we take for granted with animals every day.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

One book unfinished. I have a rough draft and a few rereads. I hope to get it to the editor in February to publish in late spring. I have a cover and the title is Birdie & Jude.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

Success for me would be people reading my books and enjoying the story. I hope readers can take away something they can apply to their own lives. I love it when readers say they feel like they know my characters or can identify with a place. When I hear that I know I did a good job.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Characters inspire my stories, so I get to know them first. If they take me to a time I’m not familiar with, I do some research on what appliances, vehicles, clothing, etc. were common. Often, the book is set in a time I’m familiar with. My novel, And the Day Came, was set in the 1930’s, so I read about the history of some of the families in the story. It is historical fiction based on the childhood of my mother-in-law. There were other books written about the family, so I took some time to read those. That was the most time consuming research I’ve done.

And the Day Came

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

I write most of the day and sometimes late into the night. I would say I write about 6 to 8 hours/day. Sometimes my time is blurred between writing and promotion. I spend a lot of time on the computer doing blogs, newsletters, submitting short stories, etc.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

Selecting names is a challenge. I have to admit I gravitate toward short names, so I don’t have to type so many letters when I’m writing the story. One of my editors criticized a name choice once, but I refused to change it. The young girl’s name was Beatrice. She was a minor character. I live in south Texas. Growing up, I had many Latina friends. Some of my best friends were Veronica, Beatrice, Norma Linda, Mary Helen, etc. The book, The Bright Shawl, begins in San Antonio and ends in Galveston. It would have been perfectly normal for a female to be names Beatrice. However, if she had been the main character, I might have given her the nickname, Bea. I like Pinterest and pin many inspirations there for my books. I have a board for every book. If I’m looking for a name, I do a search on Pinterest. There are wonderful categories, Bohemian, Hollywood, Biblical, etc. Pinterest is a great source for names for humans and animals. I used Pinterest to name the horses in Secrets of Dunn House.

The Bright Shawl

Secrets of Dunn House

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

I had to think about this one. I think transition scenes where there is not much emotion or description. It’s hard to come up with a new way to describe the mundane. I don’t do romance, so that would probably be hard for me to write.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

My experience, my age, and my characters dictate my genre. I wrote first and then decided on the genre. I lean toward southern gothic, but the more I write, the more I think my books are generally Women’s Fiction. I’m aware I’m not the traditionally branded author where all of my books are linked by an atmosphere, font, cover, etc. They reflect me and the issues that concern me at the time. As I learn more, I try to do a better job of branding those things and one of these days I may have a more professional look. I have done some do-overs to tie things together. It does look better on the shelf. I’m a work in progress.

  1. How long have you been writing?

I have been writing all my life, but not stories or books. I didn’t start trying to market what I wrote until about six years ago.

  1. What inspires you? 

I like to people watch and I always find things to apply to my characters. This past August, we had a hurricane in Texas, Harvey. Some of the situations I watched on television and read about in the newspaper inspired the story in Birdie & Jude. I started thinking about people who get stranded due to unpredictable circumstances and meet other people they become attached to. It’s not a literal story, but a “what if” that I think about in those types of situations. I have been through a few hurricanes, so the details were easy for me to get in touch with. It’s interesting when I look back at other stories to see how much weather inspires me. My short story, Audrey and the Summer of Storms was inspired by spending summers in the Texas panhandle with my grandparents. They had to deal with tornadoes. There was a summer when I returned from several trips to the storm shelter in Quanah to my home near Corpus Christi to face Hurricane Carla. I can find inspiration in most anything. Houses, food, fabrics, animals, travel, illness. It’s never ending.

Audrey

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

I’m lucky because I’m old enough to be retired. Because I’m old, I have many life experiences to draw on and lots of time to think about them. My normal routine is to write most of the day after I’ve finished my few chores. During holidays, I get a little resentful that there are other demands on my time. Writing is my priority and I’m lucky to be able to do it most of the time.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

My current project is Birdie & Jude. As I said it was inspired by Hurricane Harvey, but it’s also about the relationship that grows between two women from very different backgrounds. They connect because of their differences, but also because they have the same insecurities and desires. One rejects her family and social status, while the other longs for family and a stable home and friends. One is elderly and healthy as a horse and the other is young a medically fragile. However, as in real life, there is a spirit that unites them and it’s not what they might guess.

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

I would like to begin writing something to release around the holidays, 2018. I love a good holiday story. Opal’s Story, my best-selling novel. Culminates in a Thanksgiving celebration. Josephine’s Journals takes place during preparations for a holiday open house. I like to decorate using the accoutrements in my imagination. They are free, after all, and I can rummage around in someone else’s attic and polish the silver without getting my hands dirty. I can also order someone else to do it if I’m that character. I can be sweet, or a real “you know what”. It’s the most fun, like playing house and mud pies.

Opal's Story

Josephine

  1. Share a link to your author website. http://www.phyllishmoore.com

https://www.Amazon.com/author/phyllishmoore

Phyllis H. Moore wants to live life experiences more than once: doing it, writing about it and reading about it. She’s had two careers and two retirements. Both careers gave her inspiration for her novels: The Sabine Trilogy, Sabine, Josephine’s Journals and Secrets of Dunn House, Opal’s Story, Tangled, a Southern Gothic Yarn, and The Bright Shawl, Colors of Tender Whispers, and an anthology of spooky short stories inspired by real places and events, The Bridge on Jackson Road. She has authored one nonfiction book, Retirement, Now What? Phyllis has been published by Caffeinated Press in the anthology, Brewed Awakenings 2, Fifteen Tales to Jolt Your Mind Awake. She blogs on her web site http://www.phyllishmoore.com. Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook.

Billy's StoryTangledJackson Roadretirement

Heartbeat 1heartbeat 2

Phyllis is a retired social worker and former owner/operator of a small bed and breakfast. She’s lived in the rural areas and cities of south Texas. She currently lives on Galveston Island with her husband, Richard.

Genres of Literature – Historical Fiction


Historical

Historical Fiction are novels with an historical setting in which fictional characters and events take place. Although some narratives do center around real historical figures this might be why definitions vary. The Historical Novel Society defines the genre as works written at least fifty years after the events described, while critic Sarah Johnson has defined the genre as being set before the middle of the last century (20th century). Her definition is based on the author having written from research rather than personal experience. Another view by Lynda Adamson states that some people read novels written in the past i.e. Jane Austen as if they were historical novels.

What is your definition of an historical novel?

No matter which definition you agree with, historical fiction is a literary fiction where the plot takes place in a setting in the past. These major historic events mostly take an ‘off stage’ part, while the characters inhabit the world in which they take place. Used as an umbrella term it can also be applied to works in other narrative formats, such as performing or visual arts like theater, cinema, television, opera and in more recent times video games and graphic novels.

The essential part of an historical novel is that it pays attention to the manners and social conditions that the era depicted ensuring the readers can understand why the characters respond in the manner they within their environments. Unfortunately, not all novels are accurate in their details and this causes tension about the historical authenticity  between readers and critics and even scholars.

Sub-genres 

Some sub-genres insert speculative or ahistorical elements into a novel such as alternative history of historical fantasy.

Other sub-genres include:

Documentary fiction

These novels incorporate not only historical characters and events but reports of everyday events found in 20th century newspapers.

Fictional biographies

A fictional biography of a historical figure.

Historical mysteries

Also known as historical whodunits, this sub-genre’s plot involves solving a mystery or crime with a setting in the distant past.

Historical romance and family sagas

Novels with a background detail set in a particular period, but that does not play a key role in the narrative. They can also contain more modern-day sensibilities, and more conventional characters in the novels would point out the heroine’s eccentricities, such as wanting to marry for love – not a true reflection of how the society worked at that time in most cases.

Alternative history and historical fantasy

Where the established history is changed with dramatic results or modern day characters return to the past and change it. And also narratives are loosely based on historical events but fantasy elements are added including sorcery and supernatural creatures.

Children’s historical fiction

This has become a prominent sub-genre resulting in narratives exploring other time periods via time travel or time portals transporting modern day characters. It allows children to learn and understand about different eras.

My medieval fantasy novella, The Rython Kingdom has elements of history through its characters but it is not historically correct in regards to the monarchy at that time.

Have you written historical fiction?

Was it strictly historically accurate or was it in one of the sub-genres?

 

 

 

 

Welcome Courtney M Wendleton…


Courtney

What inspired you to write your first book? I wasn’t in a good place with my stepmom at the time and I sat down and just started writing a story where the stepmom and dad split up and the daughter has to take care of everything while the dad is off to work. Somewhere it changed into this tomboy finds love book.

How did you come up with the title? Football was such a “big theme” of the book, that it only seemed fitting for it to be part of the title. So I sat down with the family and actually watched football, then the title just came to me- “Touchdown Interruption.” The name just fits perfectly as the characters’ lives are interrupted by different things.

Touchdown

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)? “Touchdown Interruption” is my first book. I also have two out in a series called “Innocence” and “Revealed” that are published. So currently 3 completed but many still in different draft stages.

InnocenceRevealed

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? In my Legend series there seems to be a message of never really being able to know someone. The main character finds her world turned upside down when she leaves home for the first time and learns she has been lied to for years by her own parents.

How much of the book is realistic? “Touchdown Interruption” is very realistic, in a lot of what happens in it can happen in real life. The Legend series…not so much, but that is because it involves Vampires, Banshees and other mythical creatures.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? So far none of the books I have published are based on my reality in anyway. That being said I have a friend who passed away about two years ago and I am wanting to make a story with her as the main character.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? No I don’t think I would change anything in “Revealed.” I’m sure if I were to go back and read through it, I would find something but at the moment there is nothing I would change.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the book and don’t forget to write a review! Lol. I really appreciate the readers and hope they enjoyed what I write because I want my stories to be shared and to bring some joy to their lives.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? There is a part in “Revealed” where Olivia (Main character’s best friend and Morrigan) rips out a boy’s soul. I just think that would be so cool to see as she puts her hand through a guy’s chest and pulls out a filmy silver Spector and is able to put it back.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write? I don’t really have a favorite. I try to through different themes/genres into one book so hopefully there is a little bit of everything for everyone.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? I never say never. In fact I have a couple of books in the works that involve very taboo subjects that people only whisper about behind closed doors.

What book are you reading now? I am currently reading “Roots” by Alex Haley. It has been on my To Read list for years and I have finally decided to get working on that list.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? R.K. Ryals author of “The Story of Awkward.” Joelle Charbonneau she wrote “The Testing” series. Aileen Erin who wrote the “Alpha Girl” series. There are many more but those are in the top 5

Do you see writing as a career? I know a lot of people view it as a hobby, and I can understand that, but I do view it as a career. A career should be something that you are passionate about, driven to do and at the end of the day makes you want to wake up and do it all over again. That is my career ideal. To me that is a writer.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years I hope to see at least one book on a best seller’s list somewhere. I don’t need a big publishing deal or anything, I just want validation that my books are being read by people who are enjoying them.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Research, and fighting writer’s block. I am researching WWII for a historical fiction and finding exactly what I am wanting drives me insane because I keep finding other articles that drives me off on tangents. Then with writer’s block, I’ll have all these different scenes I want to write, but can’t figure out how to tie them together so they flow well.

Have you ever hated something you wrote? One of the projects I’m “working” on. The working title is “Forbidden Fruit” and is one of those taboo subjects I mentioned earlier. I hate it because it hits close to home, but at the same time love it for that reason. I am also afraid of what could happen when it comes together.

What book do you wish you had written? So many come to mind! I would have to say “It” by Stephen King. So wonderful, so scary, so perfect!

What is your best marketing tip? I don’t have one. I use social media religiously and I’m still not sure if it is working or I am just a bad writer. lol

What genre is your next project? What is it about? My next project is a Historical Fiction, unless I finish the third installment in the Legend series first. Then it will be Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy. “The Price of War” is about Ilse Von Adler is just a regular teenager from Potsdam, Germany. Her mother and father have one goal for her and that is to find and marry a respectable German man so she can fulfill her duty to Germany. Wanting to please her parents, she goes in search of the type of men every girl wants…a handsome soldier. She meets her prince charming at a party, but doesn’t see him again and is forced to be courted by her mother’s choice, Geoge Lehrer. A primary school teacher with bad habits. During their courtship she realizes how repugnant he truly is and turns him into the Gestapo, where she meets Heinrich Herrmann, her soldier from the party, again. When Heinrich kills Geoge in front of her for his crimes, she decides something must be done. Not for Geoge, but for those Heinrich and others kill for no reason. With her motto, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,” she begins to fight back in the only way she knows how. The book follows her through her adventures of striking up a courtship while living through World War II, and hiding precious secrets from everyone to save lives. Will she survive the war or pay the ultimate price? Find out in December of 2015!

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

My Blog: https://charliesangel0069.wordpress.com/

Books: http://www.amazon.com/Courtney-Wendleton/e/B00KYMLGKC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CneyWndlton

Bio: My name is Courtney M. Wendleton; I am 25 years old and live in Ocean View, Hawaii. I was born and raised in the northwest corner of Missouri. I love to read, write and play video games. With my small obsession to write, I have an even bigger obsession with names. I can sit for hours coming up with names for my characters and not know it. I also love to travel and have lived in four different states, including Alaska.

Living in Alaska was a whole new experience, I almost died due to health problems that had risen during my time there. Since then I have moved back to Missouri and lastly Hawaii, where I am content to stay for a while.

Interview with Elaine Spencer…


Please welcome Elaine Spencer – Elaine Spenceran author of historical fiction.

1. What do you enjoy most about writing?
As a writer of fiction, I enjoy escaping to a make believe world where I am in control.  I also like that I’m constantly learning in a way that I enjoy.
2. What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I started getting into writing as a form of self-expression and healing when I was in high school.  It began as journaling then, as I learned more about myself and the world, ideas just started to grow.

3. Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

It has changed from writing for myself to writing for others in a more technical form to writing historical fiction for pleasure, which is what I enjoy most.

4. What genre are you currently reading?

Historical fiction and biographies.

5. Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Although most of my reading these days is for research, I love reading just for pleasure.  There’s nothing like going on a mini vacation from daily life by getting lost in a good story.

6. Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

I have a wonderful list of family and friends who support and encourage but my husband and sister are definitely at the top.
7. Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

There is a lot of myself in the character of Charlotte Logan (Charlie) but one of my favorite characters is Percival Meade because he starts out snooty, annoying and with many flaws but turns out to be likeable and a little more humble while staying true to who he is.

 8. Where is your favorite writing space?

I have a home office with everything I need including a writing desk and comfortable reading corner.

desk

9. Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?
I create a basic outline where I decide on the setting, plot, main characters and so forth.  Once the writing process actually begins, changes develop, new characters step in and the story unfolds.

10. What inspires your ideas/stories?
Inspiration is all around but we have to go looking for it.  Books, music, news, observing people, traveling, nature, personal experiences and good old imagination are some of the places where I find inspiration.

11. Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I joined a local group but found that with an outside job, research, and writing, I couldn’t commit to a scheduled time so found an online source that suits my needs and allows more flexibility to share and critique with other writers, access workshops and participate in forums.
12. If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
There are so many writers to learn from and even more I’ve never read but I love the way authors like John Steinbeck have mastered their use of description, dialogue, and creating believable characters.
13. Do you have a book(s) published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
Freedom Reins is a historical fiction available through a variety of sources including Amazon, friesenpress.com, and itunes.

Freedom Reins

14. Where can readers find you and your blog?

My website is http://www.e-spencer.com
15. Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?
I’m currently researching and have begun some writing for another historical fiction.

Thank you Elaine for the insight into your writing journey.