1) I love history. I mean, a passionate life-long love. Learning about history has been my favorite free time activity since I was a little kid. These are notes from when I was 10:
2) I love strong females, and action/adventure stories. Everything from Meg Murray (in the BOOK!), to Mary Lennox, to Jane Eyre, to Bones’ Temperance Brennan, to Princess Leia.
3) I have a passion for connecting dots in history. Studying overlapping timelines and cultures is revelatory to me. In school I studied Egyptians, then Greeks, then Romans. I had no concept that they interacted with each other or that one rose while another fell. Or that they traveled. So seeing which things were happening at the same time, or which things may have had cause/effect relationships changed my view of the human experience. In this context, the what-ifs can blossom and spread underground roots.
4) The time and place that my characters live, 1st century Britain, is both known and unknown. I can dive into the history, but also indulge in speculation.
5) Exploration of the human experience is what makes fiction compelling. I read or write a character in a setting that is unfamiliar, sit with her wounds and loves, and then ask, what do I know now about God? This process teaches me about trust and mercy and God’s transcendence in parts of my brain I don’t access any other way.
Are you a lover of historical fiction?