you might be an historical fiction author if…

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

The other day, I was writing a scene for my new historical romance series. My fingers flew across the keyboard as I ventured back to the  1860s…

Glancing from side to side looking for a place to hide, she willed her feet to move. Would this be how it would all end for her – a moment’s decision sealing her destiny?…

Of all the genres I enjoy writing, historical romance is my favorite. However, there are some days when it’s clear to me that I’ve spent a bit too much time in the days before modern technology.

If you write historical fiction, you know exactly what I mean. So, just for fun, I’ve listed six surefire ways to know that you’re a writer of historical fiction…

1. You’re getting ready for a family outing and you ask your husband to please hitch up the wagon instead of start the car.

2. Speaking of husbands, although your husband’s name is Lon, you find yourself calling him Zach, Jonah, or Nate because you’ve spent so much time with your male protagonists…

Zach Sawyer in "McKenzie," Book #1 in my Montana Skies Series

3. You say “I reckon” far too often.

4. Your kids are beginning to call you “Ma.” 

5. You reach for a bonnet instead of a baseball cap to cover a bad hair day.

6. Your family doesn’t let you visit museums anymore because they know that when you visit, you become so engrossed in the historical photos that you never want to leave. They clearly don’t understand that gazing for a mere few hours at antiques and old photographs gives you 10-years-worth of inspiration!

You are grounded until further notice from museums...

So there you have it…six surefire ways to know  you might be an historical fiction author. Now back to the 1860s I go!

31 thoughts on “you might be an historical fiction author if…

  1. Penny – I really enjoyed this blog! We writers do get carried away. I wanted to have the answering maching say, “I’m sorry, we are not here right now, we are visiting Fahdamin-Ra”, (the world I made up for my book series.) My family had a fit about the message so I did not do it, but now that I have my own cell phone, guess what the message is?

    • That is SO hilarious, Cheryl! I think I might have to do that…I can see it now (and I can see it not going over well with my family either, lol)…Hi you’ve reached the Zellers. We can’t come to the phone right now since we’re stuck in the 1800s. 🙂

  2. I got a good chuckle. I’m not a historical author, but I can sure see how you could fall into these words and actions. Great post!

  3. Fun read, Penny. The last one really applies to me. Every time we go anywhere with historical stuff connected to it, I get lost and my family groans. I spent almost an hour in a general store circa 1855 that is still being used as a general store in a small town. The great-grandson of the original owner was there and told me all about it. Such fun to see real live places and stand in places where people stood in those days.

    • That’s hilarious, Martha! I would have loved to stay there too…I love old places like that because they are so rich in history. BTW, I sure enjoy your posts on the ACFW loops.

      • Thanks, Penny. On a side note. I went up to Jefferson, Texas, a very historic town in East Texas, with my sister and cousins. There were nine of us and we had a great time. My sister reminded the others, “Martha has her cell phone, if she gets lost in the 19th century stories around here, she can come back to the 21st one and find us.”

  4. You also know you’ve been spending too much time writing historicals when…

    You step outside for a breath of fresh air after a long writing session and you are genuinely shocked by the sound of modern automobile traffic that assaults your ears. (it was freaky!)

    • LOL! So true, Brenda. The other day, the guy who was re-shingling our house rang the doorbell and I jumped about a half mile in the air because I was immersed in a day and time when there were no doorbells, lol!

  5. I can especially relate to #6. Our family went to the Old Town log cabins in Cody Wyoming. I was explaining to my grand kids how different utensils were used when two other ladies stopped to listen. They thought I was the tour guide.

  6. It’s not limited to historical fiction writers, Penny. I write contemporary, but whenever I see an old house, or an item in a museum (especially personal items) I stop and zone in on what their life was life. Who owned this? What story is behind it? I have a gazillion questions I want answers for. I think it’s the storyteller in us. The hubs rolls his eyes and finds a place to sit down. 😉

  7. Pingback: And the winners are… « Penny Zeller ~ A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, & Author

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