How to write historical fiction

Today’s guest post comes from the talented Amanda Hodgkinson, whose second historical novel comes out in February 2014. Amanda offers her insights into the art of writing historical fiction.

Historical fiction is not just about the past. It’s about us and who we are today as much as it is about who we were before. While historical accuracy is important (a novel set in the eighteenth century is unlikely to have somebody whip an iphone out of their pocket for example), for me what’s more important are the characters and the story they tell. Above all, a novel should entertain and enthrall. It should capture our imaginations and also allow us to reflect on our own lives.

Choose your era

My novel, 22 Britannia Road is set just after the Second World War, when the diaspora of displaced persons across Europe was in full flow. Silvana and Janusz Nowak are a young Polish couple. Newly married with a baby son called Aurek, they are separated in 1939 when Janusz joins up as a soldier. They will not see each other again for six long years. Continue reading