One of the really satisfying things related to what I do, writing historically based fiction, is getting to share some of the things I learn or just stumble upon, with others. Researching history isn’t a chore for me … I love it. I had a chance to pass along some of those bits of knowledge to a group of history teachers at an “in service day” that was sponsored by the Charlotte County Library. Thank you library administrators Tracy Herman and Chris Grabowsky for setting up this event.
For the past several years, I’ve been working on a four book historical novel series that tells Florida’s tale as it journeys into the 20th century. It will be titled, “Clayton’s Chronicles,” and will begin at the battle of King’s Mountain in South Carolina (a surprising, but appropriate place to begin a Florida story) and end in the 1950s when modern Florida started to evolve.
This museum and library process provides me with tractor trailer loads of information that screams for exposure. Plenty of this research fits into my novels … the truth is, there is way too much to include, novels the length of War and Peace are too difficult to sell to publishers. (Not necessarily readers) Many of these stories beg to be told. What I’ve done is to gather these interest grabbers into time period packages and present them at historical societies, libraries, civic clubs, book clubs, community centers, and schools. And, of course, at book stores.
Providing little historical tidbits that folks aren’t familiar with pleases these audiences! Facts like the story of how Florida’s Civil War debt was paid off and what a fishing trip had to do with it, intrigues people. Who invented the concept of air conditioning and why … the fact that the entrance to one of today’s most prestigious and “swanky” beach communities was once a squalid cattle port … the most important single vehicle used in the amphibious landings in the Pacific in WWII was originally designed as a rescue device … and one of the critical reasons Edison picked the place he decided to winter in Florida had to do with what he could grow there … all those facts and many, many more like them, fascinate folks.
The conversations with my audiences are great vehicles to learn what potential readers prefer and, maybe more important, what they don’t like! It’s interesting to form bonds with these folks and to observe how much sincere interest they have in what I’m doing.
Sharing is a wonderful thing … try it some time … I believe you’ll like it.
Note: DL Havlin is available to speak to your organization or business. Check his website (link on this blog) for the subjects, reviews and seminars available.
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