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.
2. The 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.
3. The 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.
4. The American Revolutionary War: Revolutionary 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.
5. The 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. WWI: This 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 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 Depression: To 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. WWII: As proven by the recent success of Marcus The Book Thief, Between Shades of Gray, and Elizabeth Code Name Verity, a wealth of untapped stories still exists for this impossible-to-forget war.
10. The 1960s: Between 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?
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.