September 13, 2008

Details Do Matter

I'm really happy to be one of the regular bloggers on Bustles & Spurs. I write both historical and contemporary, but I have a great love for historical fiction. One of the things that really bothers me is when the author doesn’t do enough research and has glaring errors in their books.

Details do matter. Maybe not to every reader, but to many of them, and as an author, you don’t want to disappoint a whole section of readers. You want to write compelling stories with setting, weather, clothing, and other details correct. Actually, many people learn about history by reading novels. So we want to be sure the details are correct. The story can be all totally made up, but the details need to be true.

I will be teaching a workshop at the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference a week from today in Minneapolis. My topic: Painting Historicals With Authenticity.

I will share with you one of my favorite places to find historical information. Dover Publications - http://store.doverpublications.com/ - publishes reprints of many books from the 1800s. You’ll find reproductions of Sears, Montgomery Wards, and other companies’ catalogues. They’re so valuable.

I also own a book published by Dover about underwear through the ages. Very enlightening.

As we go along with this blog, I’ll be sharing other information about where to find correct historical information.

Also, if you're not familiar with American Christian Fiction Writers, check out this site: www.acfw.com

5 comments:

Terry Burns said...

Great resource, Lena, I see a couple in there I don't have that might be quite useful. See you in Minneapolis.

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Hi Lena,
You are a treasure of information. Thanks for taking the time to help others.

Janice Olson said...

Lena, great piece of information and so true about checking your facts. See you at conference friend. Janice

brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

Thanks for the website,Lena. It will be very helpful to me.I recently ordered Everyday Life in the 1800's and I'm looking forward to receiving it. BTW-Lovely picture of you!

Vickie McDonough said...

You're so right, Lena. I once read a book set around 1870 where the hero was carving a toy truck for a boy. Talk about being yanked out of the story.

Dover has some wonderful resource books. Thanks for sharing that link.