Award-winning authors P.A. De Voe and Ed Protzel will share their perspectives on how to bring history to life through fiction at a St. Louis Writers Guild workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, May 5, at The Lodge Des Peres, 1050 Des Peres Rd, St. Louis, MO 63131. Free for Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.
“In the battle between accuracy and creativity in your novel, it’s important to discern what historical elements are important to your writing and how to find them in the rich treasure troves available to us,” De Voe said.
She will focus on how to research information concerning:
1) What you may choose to write about: Large sweeping movements or the intimacy of daily life. Real historical figures or the almost invisible common folks.
2) Where you can find reliable and useable information to create unique characters, settings, and plots.
For Protzel, the basic principles that make your historical novel compelling are the same ones that give emotional dynamism and believability to any other work of fiction.
“Researching a historical novel can seem daunting, but when you apply the special needs of this genre directly to good writing practices, your task becomes much simpler, quicker, and more effective,” he said. “Making your story the meal, and using your research for spice, will produce fiction worth consuming.”
P.A. De Voe is an anthropologist and Asian specialist who writes historical mysteries and crime stories immersed in the life and times of Ancient China. She’s published short stories, From Judge Lu’s Ming Dynasty Case Files, in anthologies and online. Warned, second in her Chinese YA Mei-hua Trilogy (Hidden, Warned, and Trapped) received a 2016 Silver Falchion award in the Best International category. Trapped was a 2017 Agatha and Silver Falchion finalist. Her most recent novel Deadly Relations, A Ming Dynasty Mystery, came out in 2018. For more information and a free short story go to padevoe.com.
Ed Protzel has completed five original screenplays for feature film. His published novels include his Civil War-era DarkHorse Trilogy—The Lies That Bind, Honor Among Outcasts, and soon, Something in Madness. His futuristic mystery/thriller, The Antiquities Dealer, will be released later this year. Protzel lives in University City and has a master’s in English literature/creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at www.stlwritersguild.org.