We have a treat today on Writers Chat! Our guest is New York Times bestselling author Liz Tolsma, who talks about writing and researching historical romance.

Historical Fiction: The dilemma of what is true and what is fiction.

Writer’s Chat Blab with Liz Tolsma, Johnnie Alexander , and Jean Wise.

Liz Tolsma’s Journey

  • Historical fiction inspired her in the 5th grade
  • Decided to follow her passion, but it wasn’t easy
  • Getting published did not happen overnight
  • The Lord perfected the timing in her writing
  • Inspired by true events in her family’s military history

What are you allowed to write about a real person without misinterpreting their past?

    • Be true to their character
    • Be careful not to defame them
    • Research their past
    • Find a primary source such as a diary
    • Interview people who knew them

Where do you find firsthand accounts?

    • Google is a great source, but always verify your research
    • Never rely on Wiki, although it can lead you to a good source
    • Librarians serve as a great resource
    • Use your own family history as a story idea
    • Collect photos for your character ideas

Use Pinterest to inspire locations in your book. Check out Liz’s Pinterest page here

Final Thoughts

  • When characters surprise you or the story leads you in a different direction, you can experience the true joy of writing
  • Reach other through your writing and tailor your message to different audiences
  • True stories can inspire your writing
  • You are meeting the people right now that could inspire a best selling novel

Contact Liz on Facebook and Twitter and visit her website here

Share your Thoughts


Written by Bethany

November 18, 2015

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