Mary Tod, Beatriz Williams, and yours truly presented on the topic of historical fiction without the famous at the Historical Novel Society conference in Denver last month, and Mary has made portions of our presentation available on her blog! In case you missed it, or if you attended and would like to have a copy of your own, here is my portion of the presentation on reader appreciation and historical contribution!
(Re)creating the Past: Historical Fiction
Without the Famous
Why do we love to read about nonfamous people in historical settings?
Market data shows that many readers love to read about the nonfamous people who experienced history firsthand. In my analysis on Goodreads of historical fiction slated for publication in 2015 from mid-sized to large traditional publishers, only 33-percent featured famous protagonists, leaving 67-percent in the nonfamous category. The list of novels compiled by the Historical Novel Society for 2015 puts that figure a little higher: at 75-percent.
Stories of nonfamous characters taking place without the backdrop of a big historical event comprise the majority of these novels, while fictional characters in the middle of big events come in second.
So with all of the titles coming out about queens and duchesses and society gals, what makes historical fiction about nonfamous people just as—if not more—popular?
Keep reading on Mary's blog >>>
Historical Fiction Without the Famous Part I
Historical Fiction Without the Famous Part II
If you'd like to receive copies of Mary's historical fiction survey results and our list of favorite nonfamous historical fiction, send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org