Writing from Historical Events
In one way, writing historical fiction is easy: Find an interesting event and write a story about that event (or inspired by it).
I’m not talking about the “big” events, like the Civil War. I’m talking about a specific event, like the northernmost battle of that war, St. Alban’s Raid. A group of confederates stole into Vermont from Canada, claimed the town of St. Alban’s for the Confederacy, robbed a bank—and were run out of town, right back to Canada. My current work-in-progress is about a copycat bank robbery in the fictional town of
So far all the historical books save one I've sold were inspired by actual events or people. I have yet to sell a story where I think of a story then look for a place and time to match it.
A Dr.-Quinn type story of an Eastern girl who goes to medical school (
An asthmatic stage coach owner and a reclusive ranch owner (
preacher who falls in love with the daughter of the prostitute he’s trying to run out of town (
A story inspired by the worst blizzard in
A story inspired by
nary War: Prodigal Patriot. (
A story inspired by the town history of
The same event—the infamous Year of No Summer that struck the Northeast in 1816, when snow fell at least once every month during the year—has inspired three different stories for me. In addition to Beacon of Love (Barbour, 2009—repackaged this summer in
My search for story “sparks” is usually intentional. I usually have a geographical region in mind, as well as a general time period. I look at state time lines, town histories, and other websites until I find a fact that makes me say “aha!” Sometimes I can claim serendipity. A visit to the
Book giveaway: Please leave a comment any time between now and the end of June to win a copy of Prodigal Patriot. Also check out my blog for additional opportunities to win one of my books and titles from other amazing authors!
Prodigal Patriot may be purchased online at Barbourbooks.com and amazon.com.
My website: http://darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com
Sally Reid’s family decides on a dangerous course when the Tories of Maple Notch,
When Josiah Tuttle discovers their secret and offers to help, Sally doesn’t know if she can trust him. After all, Josiah’s father is one of the Tories who forced her family into hiding.
The Tuttles have already lost one son to the hated Patriot cause. How can Josiah both honor his grieving father and protect the woman he loves? When called upon to take a stand, which side will he choose? How can Sally and Josiah battle through the barriers separating them to love and forgiveness?