Embracing the Historical

While hopefully continuing my new Leilani Santiago mystery series set in Kaua’i, I want to concurrently work on historical mystery standalones. Why historical fiction? Well, I have a passion for it and have worked on several history nonfiction books. And I’m getting older–which is not a liability and maybe even beneficial when writing historicals. I just completed reading two historicals set in a world that I know very well. One was a biography and another a novel. Both were very well researched, but the scholarship sucked the life of the narrative. It seemed to defeat the purpose of writing about the subject matter in the first place. It made me think of what I could contribute to the subgenre. I’m not the type of writer who can provide lavish description of physical objects and places, one of the characteristics of historicals. But I can get into people’s heads. I can write about emotions. So I’m going to lean on my strengths. And with a mystery, my protagonist will have agency not hampered by history. I’m not sure if I can pull it off. I’ve failed before. But the fact that I’m excited to try is a good sign.

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