After the Trojan War- Hock Tjoa

One of the things I love best about interviewing other Historical Fiction authors, is that you learn what stories obsess them, and how they view these stories through whatever personal experiences they have. Case in point, if I told you there was an Asian-American author whose previous book was a translation of  Chinese romances, would […]

Elgin Literary Festival January 29-30

I am thrilled to be part of two panel discussions and a book signing at the Elgin Literary Festival January 29-30 in Elgin, IL. I’ll be part of a panel on “How your real job influences your writing” as well as one on various methods of publishing.  I’ll also be talking about how working with […]

From the Silly Dreams Come True Department- Writer’s Digest

Like many fledgling writers, I have spent a lot of years reading Writers Digest. From the early 80s til last month, I would read the articles and think, “Man, you must really know what you’re doing to get an article published. Wish I could.” Know what? It happened. November 23rd’s Online Edition, Brian Klems’ column […]

The Count of the Sahara Gets Honorable Mention, 2015 Great Midwest Book Festival

What a nice surprise. The Count of the Sahara has been awarded Honorable Mention as “General fiction book of the year” at the 2015 Great Midwest Book Festival. Below is the book’s place on their Table of Honor Page. It’s so gratifying that the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, if a bit mixed. If you’ve enjoyed the […]

Janet Squires and the Old West (Arizona Edition)

One of the most mythologized/lied about/ accurately reported periods in history is the opening of the American West. So much that’s true is fascinating and so much of what is “known” is uhhhhhhh utter nonsense. That said, it’s ripe for good historical fiction. That’s where Janet Squires comes in. She began her career writing short stories and […]

Smart Answer to a Silly Question: Chris Northern and “Why Rome?”

In a moment of snark in a previous post, I posed the question, “Why does it seem like every other historical fiction novel is set in ancient Rome?” (By the way, Rome is the new Middle Ages if the list of new books is any indication.) This is not terribly new in traditional “histfic”, but […]

Deborah Lincoln- Family Roots in Old Missouri

I’m always fascinated by (and somewhat jealous of) people who can draw upon their family histories as the jumping-off place for historical fiction. That’s because I know embarrassingly little about my own roots. I mean, I had ancestors, I just don’t know anything beyond the fact I must have had great grandparents. Deborah Lincoln, on the other […]

Jacqueline Beard and a Suffragette Murder Mystery

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that our great grandmothers had to fight for the right to vote, and that meant fight. Those Suffragettes were some bad-ass women, and God bless’em for it. British author Jacqueline Beard has written a novel that captures the tension of that time, and combines it with a murder mystery to paint […]

Short Story: On the Rail

Every year, the Naperville Writers Group publishes an anthology of members’ works called “Rivulets.” This story will be in the 2015 version, “Rivulets 27,” due out October 3. You can join us for the launch party. Click here for details. It began as a writing exercise: Could I capture everything that goes through someone’s mind during […]