Monday, July 13, 2009

I've Decided - It's Historical

Despite the warnings of my fellow bloggers, Kimber An and Katie, I am writing a novel that fits into the classification of "historical." It's my time travel fantasy, but I've decided that it fits into the genre of "historical" more than anything else. It's about as much fantasy as Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is. No one considers Outlander a fantasy, although it has fantasy elements to allow for the time travel. My novel is much the same. Therefore, when I shop it, my top choice agents will represent both fantasy and historical.

I even have settled on a historical-novel-sounding title: East of Yesterday. That's definitely not a fantasy title.

Since it's a time travel novel, I'm not limited to one particular era. Here are the eras I'm writing about so far:
  • Colonial St. Augustine, during which time it was under British rule,
  • The last Spanish occupation of St. Augustine,
  • St. Augustine during the Civil War, during which time it was occupied by Union soldiers,
  • St. Augustine during the and after the 1914 fire,
  • St. Augustine during the 1964 Civil Rights demonstrations,
These eras are visited by Henry, a Colonial-era farmer, as he travels "north" in time. Ashley and Mike take a road trip south in time, starting in Columbia, SC and ending in St. Augustine, all of which I've already written about in the posts below. They meet in the 1920s--except they've met before. It has been so much fun to write.

So my novel covers almost 250 years. Since the South was segregated during the 20s, I'm also writing about that. Right now, Ashley is interviewing a young black woman who was fired from her last housekeeper position after being falsely accused of stealing a ring.

Since the novel is recent history, I'm wondering if I should avoid any historical names. The Flagler family was very prominent in St. Augustine during this timeframe. Do I mention them by name, or do I invent a different family? They won't have a big role in the novel, but they had such a huge impact on development in St. Augustine (and much of the East Coast of Florida) that it would almost be remiss to omit them.


Ok, I wrote all of the above last week, and then forgot to post it. I was in the middle of dealing with all these questions when Katie's feedback for Forging a Legend arrived in the mail. I just wanted to send a public thank you her way for her wonderful feedback. She discovered a VERY LARGE inconsistency resulting from a deleted scene that I probably would have missed despite a rereading because I'm just too close to the novel, and I've read it too many times. So now I'm sitting here trying to decide whether I put the scene back in, or rip some more scenes out, with possible more repercussions down the line.

Writing -- it's a wonderful, crazy life!


  1. Write what you enjoy. If you try to write what you think agents are looking for it drains the fun and creativity out writing. What's the point!
    I think the new novel sounds fun.
    These deleted scene - what did it previouisly do for the story. Why did you take it out to begin with?

  2. It was the scene where Rendell gets in trouble with the gambling family in Conarzon. I took it out because I had received agent feedback that the story stalled in Conarzon. That was the only scene that seemed expendable to me, when you take in the entire context of the trilogy.

    Trouble is, I didn't take out any of the aftermath when they go back to Ulrith.

    I'll probably put a shorter version back in. It will be too hard to delete all those other scenes without further repercussions. And I think the other scenes are strong and necessary for the almost mother/son relationship development between Rendell and Abriel. He may not seem too important now, but I have plans for him in book 2.

  3. I'm glad I was able to help! So...when are you going to be finished with this East of Yesterday? Great title, by the way. But it sounds so awesome that I want to read it RIGHT NOW. Have fun with that historical research! :)

    I'm going to have to get around to reading Diana Gabaldon. I've had four different people recommend her to me. What's the name of the first Outlander book?

  4. Her first book is actually called Outlander. I loved the first, but have not had time to read the others (there are a lot) because of Fantasy Debut reading obligations.

    And thank you! I'm loving writing it!


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