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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic, and romance. All of my heroes have long hair, and my heroines are strong-willed. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing, or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.
 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Out of touch with modern times

A question I often ask myself is why do I prefer to write historical novels over contemporary ones? Most of the popular books are contemporary so I could probably make more money writing in modern settings. It also seems like it would be easier to write a story in a contemporary setting rather than having to research a historical time period. For most writers that’s probably true, but for me with the weird brain it seems more natural for me to write historical novels.
I can relate to certain time periods—from ancient to about the ninth century. I have a special fascination for Dark Age Scotland and Britain. I think it’s because that was a mysterious time in history. Most people think ‘Dark Age’ means that everything turned into chaos and that people were complete savages. Well, some of that may be true, but the true reason the term ‘Dark Age’ is used is because it was a time when nothing was put in writing or at least no written texts have been found during that time period.

Historians and scholars can speculate what happened and piece together some of the information through archaeology, but the truth is we don’t know what happened. That is a great opportunity for a writer to use his/her imagination.

For me it’s easier to research an earlier time period than it is to try and write a novel set in modern times with all the changing technology. All the technology confuses me for some reason. I can’t relate to texting all the time. I have the cheapest, text unfriendly cell phone and rarely send a text. In a romance novel the hero and heroine need to connect. To me that means that they need to actually talk to each other and spend time together. Modern technology pulls people apart, at least in my mind. What better way to connect to a lover than to sit by a fire and gaze into each other’s eyes?
I’ve come to the conclusion that my body is here in the modern world, but my brain is stuck back in time.

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
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