Wednesday, June 5, 2013

HNS Conference Preview: Frederick Ramsay

We are just a couple of weeks away from the Historical Novel Society Conference, which will be taking place in St. Petersburg, Florida this year. I am very excited to be attending! This will be my first time. In celebration of the conference, I am very excited to welcome historical fiction writer, Frederick Ramsay, here to A Bookish Affair.

What got you first interested in historical fiction?
I have always enjoyed Historical fiction. When I was anticipating a college major I very nearly opted for history. Indeed, I once thought that if I ever had to teach a class in history, I would do so using fiction rather than traditional texts. As it happened I did not major in history and therefore, who knows how many scores of students were spared my experiment in novelty teaching. My interest in writing HS stems in large part from a two and a half week course entitled “The Palestine of Jesus” offered in Israel by St. Georges College. It was an eye opener and one that instilled a love for the Holy Land that endures to this day. I learned how to strip away the years and see the countryside and the city as it must have been two thousand years ago. Fascinating.
How do you find the people and topics of your books?
Generally, the people find me. Since my era is rather narrow, there are some very obvious personalities from which to choose
Do you follow a specific writing and/or research process?
Not really. I am a “top down” researcher, rather than “bottom up.” That is to say, I research what I need to know to carry the story and that’s pretty much all. Having said that, I refer you to the first answer (the course at St. George’s) which provided a solid background to begin with.
For you, what is the line between fiction and fact?
 Very thin. If nothing else, the operative word should be; is it plausible?
Is there an era/area that is your favorite to write about? How about to read?
 I will read any era but I write exclusively in the first century Jerusalem and the extensions from it the characters take.
Is there a writer, living or deceased, you would like to meet?
Two: Mark Twain and Earnest Hemingway
What book was the most fun for you to write?
Not so much fun as educative. I learned the craft while writing (and rewriting) Judas, The Gospel of Betrayal
Thank you for stopping by, Frederick!

1 comment:

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