Weekend Wonderings

Yesterday, my family friend Sarah (

) and I went to the North Carolina Renaissance Faire.  Sarah was the prettiest peasant anyone has ever seen.  I was dressed as a fairy.  I had a crown, and there was some debate as to whether I was a princess or a queen.  I’d always rather be queen, but I didn’t argue when anyone called me a princess.  My picture was taken a couple of times.  My favorite part of the day, aside from Sir John Wenchworthy, Earl of Hangover and purveyor of Princessories (aka The Hot Pirate Guy, aka half of The Hot Pirate Couple) singing every time I walked past his booth (and I did walk past his booth many times), was all the small children pointing at me and whispering to their parents in awe “It’s a fairy!”  At one point a little girl asked me if I had any fairy stones.  I told her no; later I heard her ask her dad if she could approach another fairy and ask her for fairy stones.  Her dad told her no, and I got the sense that she was frustrated with the lack of fairy stones and her dad was tired of his daughter harassing poor unsuspecting fairies.  I knew they sold such stones at Princessories, 10 for a dollar, so I went back there and bought some.  I then returned to the stage where the little fairy was watching a show, tapped her on the shoulder, and gave her a fairy stone.  Her dad thanked me, but I think I sensed a note of “Great, now she will expect every fairy to give her a stone” in his thanks.  The third highlight of the day was talking to Animal X of Dreamweaver Productions.  Her work influenced my costume so heavily that I was mistaken for an employee.  She’s auditioned for Project Runway, so keep an eye out for her.

Being in the midst of all this 16th century fun, and having recently read The Royal Diaries: Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor, I found this week’s question:

What is the recipe for good historical fiction?

There are a lot of demands on historical fiction.  It’s got to be true to its period, while still telling an interesting story.  That is, I imagine, a difficult balance for an author.  How can an author achieve that balance successfully?  Who are some authors that have done so?  Is one period more suited to historical fiction than others?  Leave your answer in the comments here or post it at your own blog.  If you post it at your own blog, be sure to leave a link here!

Last Week’s Question
What does it mean to have a “thorough knowledge of children’s literature”?

Thanks to all who answered!  You can read the answers at the original post, Tea Cozy, and Bri Meets Books.  Thanks also to all who linked the question from your own blogs.

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  1. Good historical fiction is accurate. Like you said, it should be true to its time period – IF that is its goal, if it is out-and-out historical fiction, as opposed to something with an element of fantasy or satire which stretches the truth or changes elements on purpose.


    The Eyre Affair etc by Jasper Fforde, set in the 80s, I consider to be fun, funny, and fantasy, not historical fiction.

    Libba Bray’s trilogy is, IMHO, historical fiction MIXED with fantasy – I think she gets the Victorian time period right, and infuses it with magic and supernatural abilities, all the more reasons why I LOVE IT.

    Flat-out historical fiction would be novels like Hattie Big Sky. Have you read it yet? Oh, SO good.

    I often explain the difference between historical fiction and classics that were written during/close to the time period in which they are set that now APPEAR to be historical fiction to people.

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