A call for ideas

Dear friends and followers of A Writer of Fiction – after ten years of blogging about historical fiction, I’m searching for ideas on where to take the exploration next. This is a call for help.

Just to refresh your minds, we’ve looked at:

  • reader attitudes and preferences through 5 different surveys
  • interviews with well-known historical fiction authors seeking their advice and input
  • interviews with bloggers and readers
  • successful historical fiction – as in the ingredients of successful historical fiction
  • the seven elements of historical fiction – specifically character, dialogue, setting, plot, conflict, world building, and theme
  • writing craft – occasional posts since there are so many other wonderful blogs on the topic
  • research tips and techniques
  • writing about war
  • author entrepreneur

Through guest posts, many other authors have added their ideas to enrich this exploration.

I’m proposing a Zoom discussion to brainstorm a list of topics for the next twelve to eighteen months. Please let me know, either in the comments or via email [mktod at bell dot net] if you would be interested in participating. Many thanks!


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a dual timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s other novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

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Meet M.K.Tod

Meet M.K.Tod

The historical fiction author behind A Writer of History...

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16 Responses

  1. I do enjoy this blog and hope you receive many worthy ideas. In my research and writing, I have depended on two items not mentioned above:

    1. Genealogy – My books are set during the American Revolution and all of the characters were real people, many with families. The genealogy positively provides facts and context, but when no genealogy could be found, it was just as valuable by giving me “blank slate” characters who could fill story-telling needs.

    2. Geographic information systems (GIS): Full disclosure, this is my day job – I’ve been creating and improving the technology for most of my career. I found using GIS allowed me to create a spatio-temporal context with high logical integrity. I’ve created GIS databases of colonial America, battlefields (Breed’s Hill and Saratoga), and recreations of towns and cities (Boston, MA, and Wilton, NH). I created these using primary source manuscript maps dating before 1784. Many scholarly historians have begun using GIS for this purpose and I think makes perfect sense, especially when reconciling accounts of the same events by people with different vantages and perspectives.

    When characters that feel legitimate are set in proper geographic context, much of what makes writing enjoyable for me is facilitated, or at least not impeded.

    1. Hi Charles – many thanks for those suggestions. You might not believe it, but I used to know about GIS in a former life 🙂 By the way, if you are interested in doing a guest post on either topic you’ve mentioned, I would be delighted to have such an article and I’m sure others would be interested. All best.

  2. i am on overwhelm so do not feel I have time to be a part of another zoom meeting, but wonder if articles about developing one’s platform would be of interest. It is where I am stymied. As an older person, all the computer stuff is scary. I just want to write, but know I need to get my book out there more than simply on Amazon. There is already a lot on this topic, but it still seems too much for me. Where do I begin? Perhaps there are others who feel this way.
    I appreciate your asking for suggestions. I think I found your blog through WFWA (the historical writers’ group). Cheryl Potts

    1. Hi Cheryl – my apologies for the slow response. I understand the notion of being ‘on overwhelm’ and hope that you soon emerge into a more manageable zone. As for developing an author platform, one blog you might want to check out is Jane Friedman’s blog. She often deals with the business side of being an author and has some great courses on author marketing. Best wishes,

  3. I would be interested in participating, depending on date and time. I write historical novels. My first six were set in ancient Alaska, the best known MOTHER EARTH FATHER SKY brought out in the US by Doubleday. MY current due for publication in Februrary 2022 is THE MIDWIFE’S TOUCH, due out from Open Road Integrated Media in a hybrid contract with Shanty Cove Books.

    1. Hi Sue – I’m sorry to be slow in responding. Many thanks for your willingness. I will be connecting soon with suggestions for timing of a Zoom call.

    1. Wonderful! Many thanks, Angie, I’ll be in touch. Love the fact that you’re from Germany!

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