4/02/2013

Cat Winters' Top Ten Historical Eras + Giveaway!



Today as part of Into the Archives April I'm welcoming debut author Cat Winters who is here to discuss ten historical eras she would love to write in!


TOP TEN HISTORICAL ERAS 

by Cat Winters 


Here are the top ten historical time periods I would love to write about. In fact, I’m currently working on a new novel set during one of the following eras 

1. The Middle Ages: I’ve been enamored with fairytales since I was a child, which is probably why I’m drawn to this age of dark forests and superstitions, struggling peasants and lofty kingdoms.  

2The Renaissance: Studying Shakespeare in high school made me fall in love with this moment in time. How can you not adore an era in which art, music, philosophy, literature, and science flourished? I suppose the sanitary issues, diseases, and invading armies ruined things a bit, but those difficulties only add to the drama for historical novelists.    

3The Age of Mozart: The powdered white wigs, the ornate music halls, the rich eighteenth-century symphonies—I’ve loved them all ever since I saw the Mozart movie Amadeus when I was eleven (yes, some kids thought I was a little odd for being an eleven-year-old Amadeus fan, but I truly was one). There’s so much passion and intrigue and wit in this time of Dangerous Liaisons 


4The American Revolutionary WarRevolutionary novels typically mean the French Revolution. I don’t think we’ve heard enough about the struggle between the Patriots and the Loyalist in the early days of America. Historical records have revealed numerous untold stories about women’s involvement in that conflict, and I can envision myself focusing on a female spy during the period. 

5The Turn of the Twentieth Century: In the late-1800s, the prim Victorian era was coming to a close and a modern new century brimming with technology was dawning. I love novels that capture this time period’s spirit of change, such as Jacqueline Kelly’s The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. 


6. WWIThis is my In the Shadow of Blackbirds time period. I focused on the grimmest moment of the era: October 1918, when the deadly Spanish influenza pandemic was terrorizing a world already enduring a brutal war. I’ve spent so much time researching this moment in time that I can feasibly imagine revisiting it again for another story. 

7. The 1920s: Flappers, silent films, speakeasies, and jazz! The roaring twenties have been portrayed in fiction from the age of F. Scott Fitzgerald up to Libba Bray’s modern bestseller, The Diviners. I’d love to tackle this beguiling time period, but I’d probably go with a slightly different angle than what’s normally found in 1920s-set literature. 


8. The Great DepressionTo Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorite novels, so the 1930s must go onto this list, even though the decade was filled with hardships and pain. After reading Harper Lee’s classic novel and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, I don’t know if I would dare mess with the canon of Great Depression fiction, but it would be an interesting challenge.  

9. WWIIAs proven by the recent success of Marcus Zusak’s The Book ThiefRuta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Gray, and Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity, a wealth of untapped stories still exists for this impossible-to-forget war. 


10. The 1960sBetween the Mad Men-style glamour of the decade’s early years, the racial tensions, the Vietnam War, the shift in women’s rights, and the musical revolution, the 1960s are a boiling pot of fascinating story ideas.  

I can’t yet reveal which of these historical time periods is the setting for my work-in-progress, but definitely expect some of these eras to show up in my future writings. 

What are your favorite time periods? 

Bio 
Cat Winters was born and raised in Southern California, near Disneyland, which may explain her love of haunted mansions, bygone eras, and fantasylands. She received degrees in drama and English from the University of California, Irvine, and formerly worked in publishing. 


Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds—a YA ghost tale set during the World War I era—is available April 2, 2013, from Amulet Books/ABRAMS. She currently lives outside of Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at http://www.catwinters.com or http://www.blackbirdsnovel.com 


Cat has very kindly offered to give away a signed copy of In the Shadow of Blackbirds to one lucky US/Can follower! 


Some Rules (aka the not so fun but important part):
~ This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only.
~ No P.O. boxes.
~ Must be 13 or older to enter.
~ Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email. The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email, otherwise they forfeit their prize and I will choose another winner, who must abide by the same rules.
~ Neither Cat nor I are not responsible for lost or damaged packages.
No cheating! In this case, I have the right to disqualify entries as I see fit.
~ By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to these rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

27 comments:

  1. I really loved seeing the varying opinions on the different time periods...I am a lover of the Renaissance myself (LOVE SHAKESPEARE) so I really never thought about any others!

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    1. Cat listed some that I hadn't really thought about before, so I loved seeing her list as well!

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  2. Some of my favourite time periods are here as well! (Personal favourites: Turn of the 20th century and the 1920s) Congratulations, Happy Book Birthday and I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

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    1. I agree with you, those are some of my favourite periods as well, along with WWII. I hope you pick up In the Shadow of Blackbirds soon; it was amazing! :)

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  3. Thanks so much for the comments, and thanks for hosting me, Jessica! I'm thrilled to be here as your guest!

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    1. Thank you, Cat! I'm so glad you were willing to share and I can't wait for more news on your next project :)

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  4. Great post! I love historical books because it feels nostalgic even though I've never lived in the period. :) In the Shadow sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it.

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    1. I definitely agree with you there; it's a kind of strange nostalgia for times you wish you could have seen in person. Though maybe not for long, in the case of Cat's novel! I do hope you enjoy it :)

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  5. I just wonder besides it being the time of knights and castles, what exactly attracts the author to the middle ages. I find them to be harsh and unromantic. Everything is dirty and clothing is ugly. I prefer more Tudor England. Gowns were beautiful. It was still dirty, but nearly as bad as the middle ages. The castles were more lavishly decorated. There were still knights and swords and castles, but they had a bit of refinement to them.

    mestith at gmail dot com

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    1. I think that the lack of glamour and the harsh realities of the time can actually be part of the appeal to the middle ages, although I do agree that Tudor England seems to have been much more beautiful. I personally like reading about both, so I won't discriminate :)

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  6. I enjoyed reading this piece by the author.
    Thank you for the giveaway as well! :)

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    1. I enjoyed her piece as well! I'm excited to see when her next novel is set.

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    1. I definitely have to agree with you there. Those were times absolutely bursting with culture :)

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  8. Oh, gosh, she chose almost all of my favorites. I agree with every single one on Ms. Winter's list. I would also throw in Elizabethan England, because that is my ALL TIME, though I guess it's a subcategory of the Renaissance, revolutionary France, revolutionary Russia (another subcategory of WW1), Ancient Rome, the early Colonial American days... I guess I'll just stop now, before I list every era in every country. LOVE this post.

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    1. YES. Yes yes yes. Excellent additions. I agree with a lot of these for my top choices. I really think we need more of all of these in YA, especially if it'll help prove that historical fiction is not dead!

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  9. I also love The Renaissance myself and I say, this list is da bomb! The Age of Mozart? Heck yes!

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  10. I agree about the the turn of the Twentieth Century. On the verge of coming into the modern era, imagine how fascinating it must have been! I'm a fan of the Regency period (partly because I looove looking at the dandies. LOL). I study the Middle Ages (mostly 14th century England and warfare), but I won't read medieval fiction because I always I want to fact check books.

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    1. There is so much about the turn of the century I would have loved to experience first hand because I think you're right, it would have been fascinating! I study history as well, but unless there are glaring or persistent errors I try to ignore them and just enjoy the story. Not always easy, though!

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  11. Honestly I've always been interested in the time period from WW1 to after WW2. I don't know why but that time period has always got me excited! So I was very excited to see her list! I'll make sure to try and check these out sometime! Thanks so much :D

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    1. I too absolutely love that period. There was so much going on in the world and I think it translates into novels very well. I hope you do try some of these out! :)

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  12. I absolutely adore period books! Great post!

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    1. I'm glad! I personally find they make up many of my favourites :)

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  13. Ugh, I LOVE historical fiction, so any of these time periods would do it for me. I was going to say I love the 20s the most, but I also like the 30s, and the 40s, and the renaissance, and... you get where I'm going with this. Whatever is offered up, I'll read. I'm so stoked.

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    1. You are a woman after my own heart! I completely get what you're saying and am totally on the same page. I love it :)

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I'd love to hear what you think!