United States History and Tragedy

For the book that I’m polishing, about to submit, my family history and a national historic tragedy intersected and shaped the novel with a huge plot and amazing, hardy people–those folks pictured in a post below.

And now, as I’m polishing my query and fine-tuning the text itself, I’m thinking of my next book.

Writing historical/literary fiction is the perfect fit for me because I love history, have a background in research and have written other novels that had strong characters, but not a big enough plot.

So, I’m definately keeping on this historical fiction road for now. I’m scouring the internet for interesting tragedies and ordinary people who did extraordinary things (either inside a disaster or not) in a time long forgotten or an era that has become cliche.

I’m leaning toward two subjects/eras right now, but I’m not married to any idea at this point…

How about you? Any interesting historical people or events in your back yard, family tree or town square?

11 thoughts on “United States History and Tragedy

  1. Kathie, I’m so excited the book proposal is almost ready to go! You have gotten so much done! Yippee!!

    Regarding your post, are you interested at all in modern-day historical fiction, if you will? I think the Katrina disaster is ripe for some Southern story tellin’. You’d do a great job, I’m sure!



  2. Thanks Susan and Judy! Judy, I can only imagine that Katrina is well-done and widely so by this time. I think I have to go backwards at least for a bit…unless something was to grab me in the present. I cut out a newspaper article about a 90 year old couple who’d voted in every election since the depression or something. They’re both super politically active even in the riper ages and I just thought, now there’s a story–the old part anyway. One story I’m considering involves a woman from the 1880’s who was quite remarkable in lots of ways, except that admist her being the first woman lawyer in South Dakota (or I forget where right now) and women’s rights advocate, she apparently wrote an entire book on why whites are superior to blacks. This woman is so fascinating in so many ways, but how the hell do I get around that? It’s not like she just misspoke at the ladies auxillary tea or something…still I can’t quit thinking about her.

  3. Hey Mary it worked!!!! I’m glad I’m not your only wordpress friend–that you went through all this trouble for more than one person. Thanks, I’m glad they’ve cleared you. I bet you feel very important now, don’t you?

  4. Hi Kathie,

    Good luck with the subs. I got your email and of course I have time to help.

    I keep saying that one of these days I’m going to write a book about the town my maternal grandmother is from.

  5. Thanks Jaye…I’m sure the seed of that idea will bloom into action one of these days. My best ideas seem to sit for awhile before I actually get around to them.

  6. Congrats on the new site and best of luck with the new book.

    I love history. The research sort of propels my writing. And the more I dig, the more I’m amazed. Plus I have all kinds of strange family with historical roots. My great-grandfather was a mining pioneer in Nevada, my grandmother was one of the first women to own land in Nevada. My great uncle was sold (they called it adoption) and ended up going back to China where he became a colonel in the Red Army–that kind of thing.

    Makes family reunions interesting…

  7. Wow, Jamie, that’s some serious writing material. I too am inspired by the reasearch part of historical writing. It’s amazing to think how much there is to choose from–in your family alone!!! Family reunions must be mighty interesting for you all.

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