Thursday, March 27, 2014

History Corner / Guest Post- Why Write Historical Fiction? by David Marlett

Welcome to our stop on the Fortunate Son tour today!

fortunate son tour banner

We reviewed the book last month, and today I have a great Guest Post for you!

What is it about the historical research combined with fiction that excites you?

Historical fiction creates a unique opportunity to take the reader back to a distinct time and envelope them in the characters and environment with a 'you are there' feel.  The 'colors' available to the historical fiction author with which to 'paint' the story are far more diverse and nuanced than those afforded even the best non-fiction historical writer.  For historical fiction I am permitted to imagine and create elements that have slipped the bindings of recordation.  And with the power of research, and the ease at which such research can now be conducted, the repertoire of both accurate artifacts and imagined details expands exponentially.  I like that freedom, the possibilities that spring up once I am licensed to fill in gaps, condense years, combine lesser characters, and such.

I also like historical fiction for its inherent power to engage readers like a current day story cannot.  The interpretive meaning of a displayed painting is usually most evident when the viewer assumes a perspective gained from several steps back from the canvas.  A similar perspective is gained by exploring events not immediate to the time period of the reader.  By examining major trials that happened at least 100 years ago, the story's relevance and impact can be more crisply drawn without the interpretive fog that settles over a keen relationship with a current or recent-past topic.  I find that gives me more leeway to make key points, to perhaps influence the reader's persuasions and biases.  It liberates me as a storyteller, while constraining me to a set parcel of facts.

And finally, historical fiction is exceptionally enjoyable to me... the writing, the research...all of it.  I have a number of current fiction works within me, but for now I will press on, inventing and perfecting this new genre: historical trial novels.

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour and to read a book excerpt!

About the Author:

David Marlett is an author, attorney, artist, and historian who grew up in a storytelling Texas family. He attended Texas Tech University where he earned multiple degrees in finance, economics and accounting. Subsequently, he earned his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law.  He is currently a PhD student focusing on New Media Story Design at The University of Texas (Dallas), where he is also a Research Fellow in the school of Arts & Technology.

He is a serial entrepreneur focused primarily on the arts. (He once owned eight bookstores across the United States.) David currently speaks and lectures at conferences and universities on transmedia, storytelling, entrepreneurship in the arts, and crowdfunding. He has been a featured contributor to MovieMaker magazine, Digital Book World, and many other publications. 

He has developed and sold a number of film scripts and has directed/ acted in many regional theatrical performances. David is also a photo artist whose work has appeared in several galleries across the United States, and can be also seen at He lives outside Dallas, Texas, and has four children. Check out his website for more.

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