Monday, July 11, 2011

The Mystery of History with Guest Blogger: Anne Whitfield

Meet historical fiction author Anne Whitfield today at the Book Boost!

Here's what she had to say...

It's been previously discussed on one of my groups about the market of historical fiction and what's the next hot thing.

For the 14 years I've been writing I've heard that the market for historical fiction is either dead or in a slump so many times it's become a chant, or perhaps a wail, like that of a Banshee.

Seriously, historical fiction will always be around. It may not be the "in thing" sometimes, but it's always there, ready to comfort like a favorite pillow, always loyal like an old dog.

Historical fiction readers are a tough band of faithful followers, ready to seize the next release and hold it tight to their chest in welcome. We've taken the knocks when reading historical fiction wasn't cool. We've ridden the slumps when some publishers thought, in their wisdom, that we suddenly wanted all historical novels to be riddled with lust-driven virgins possessing names from the 60s & 70s like Kylie or Sharon and who sleep with men on first acquaintance before returning to their father, who happens to be a peer of the realm, while also being a pirate or a spy, or worse, an illegitimate son of royalty.

None of this should distract from the obvious. Well written historical novels of any era, and any genre, have entertained us for centuries and will continue to entertain us for more centuries because of one thing. Humans are curious.

We didn't live in those times and we want to get as close as we can to what it was like for our ancestors - reading historical novels will allow us that insight, will take us on a journey and, once bitten by the historical fiction bug, you'll never be free of the fever. The only cure is to read as much historical fiction you can in your life time.

So when you hear the market for historical fiction is dead or in a slump just laugh and buy a Historical Fiction book. I do.

A Note from the Book Boost: I'm a huge fan of historical fiction. As a reader, there's almost nothing I'd rather get lost between the pages with. As an author, I've written one historical novella and it was tough. I've been struggling to write a full length historical for some time. Let's put it this way--I truly admire those who can do it consistently and do it well. Hat off to you, milady. Thanks for joining us today, Anne. Please tell us more about your book.


Leeds. 1870. Lonely and brokenhearted, Grace Woodruff fights for her sisters’ rights to happiness while sacrificing any chance for her own.

The eldest of seven daughters, Grace is the core of strength around which the unhappy members of the Woodruff family revolve. As her disenchanted mother withdraws to her rooms, Grace must act as a buffer between her violent, ambitious father and the sisters who depend upon her. Rejected by her first love and facing a spinster’s future, she struggles to hold the broken family together through her father’s infidelity, one sister’s alcoholism, and another’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy by an unsuitable match.

Caring for an illegitimate half-brother affords Grace an escape, though short-lived. Forced home by illness and burdened with dwindling finances, Grace faces fresh anguish –and murder– when her first love returns to wreck havoc in her life. All is not lost, however. In the midst of tragedy, the fires of her heart are rekindled by another. Will the possibility of true love lead Grace to relinquish her responsibilities in the house of women and embrace her own right to happiness?


Grace blinked to clear her frozen mind as her mother and Verity climbed the staircase. If Verity was here then was William here too? Movement at the door caused Grace to close her eyes. She couldn’t bring herself to open them and see the one man she’d longed for since she was sixteen.

‘Miss Woodruff?’ Doyle inquired at her shoulder.

Startled, she spun to face him, but she was blind to him, blind to everything but the sensation of having William here. Crazily, she wondered if she would swoon like a maiden aunt.

Doyle’s hand reached out, but he quickly tucked it behind his back. ‘What is it, Miss Woodruff?’
Grace swallowed, feeling the fine hairs on her arms and nape prickle. He is here.

‘Good evening, Grace.’

At the sound of William’s deep velvety voice, her heart stopped beating, only to start again at a rapid pace. Her stomach clenched and her legs felt unable to support her anymore. Slowly, she swivelled to gaze into William’s blue-green eyes and knew she was lost again. William smiled his captivating smile. He had aged, no, matured since their last meeting. He looked leaner, but broader in the shoulders. There was an aura about him, something that females of any age wanted. He made all other men around him seem insignificant. A magnetism, a mystical air surrounded him, catching Grace in its clutches once more.

Want More Anne?

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Deb Hockenberry said...

Great blog! I just love historical fiction. Since I haven't found much of it lately, I thought it had all but disappeared. I'm so glad that it hasn't. I'll remember to pick one of your books up, Anne!

AnneMarie Brear said...

Thanks so much Deb!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Historical fiction will never grow old (That's almost an oxymoron).
I keep thinking vampires and werewolves might need a rest but historicals--never.
What a beautiful picture of you.
I wish you all the best, Anne.

AnneMarie Brear said...

Hi Sarah.
I agree, it will never grow old! LOL
Thank you for your comments.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Anne,
Great blog. As a writer and reader of historical fiction I agree with every word you wrote. Long live historical fiction is what I say.
Best wishes