What is Historical Fiction? — Teresa Lilly
Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Teresa Lilly as she explains what historical fiction is — and isn’t.
The question is, what is historical fiction? Now most would answer, a story set in a previous time, however, I want to focus on the word fiction.
Fiction means: literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.
So, with that being said, I believe that not only can the story be fictional, but the history can also be a bit fictional. That’s not to say, if I write about life on the prairie, I should have them cooking on an electric stove in the 1800s. But, the setting of the story can be fictional.
I find it’s easier to write that type of historical fiction, rather than try to pull all the true events of history that happen in a town into my short novella stories. However, I do research the area I set my story in, and the year and I will often pull in several facts about that time.
The facts about train stations is one of those areas I like to fictionalize. If I make up a town, I make up a train station stopping in that town. Please forgive me if I don’t look up old maps of old transcontinental charts. I’ve sold hundreds of books with these fictional train stations in them, and so far, not one reader has complained that the setting wasn’t real.
In my novella, Love Found in the Snow, my character steps off a train, misses getting back on and has to walk through a snow storm for miles and miles. Sorry, that train and track probably do not exist in the real world, but I believe the reader can imagine the event.
So, do your research, but remember that not all historical fiction has to be dripping with true facts, events, and places. I find that sometimes those things only clog up the story.
Teresa Ives Lilly lives in San Antonio, Texas and writes Christian Romance Novellas like Love Found in the Snow: When Shera Logan stepped off the train to stretch her legs, she never expected to twist her ankle and be abandoned at a coal stop, sixty miles from the next town. After walking for hours, she realizes that she can go no further, so she lays down in the snow, makes a snow angel and her most special prayer asking God to either send someone to help her or to take her home.
Mathew Tucker, intent on returning to his ranch after a visit to town, never expected to find a woman collapsed in the snow almost frozen to death.
Will Shera’s prayers be answered by this cowboy who tries to save her or will she become a real angel….
See Teresa’s other books at Teresa Ives Lilly