White Heart, Lakota Spirit was a delightful break from my normal contemporary reading. While at times I felt the story was a little slow on the plot it picked itself up fairly quickly.
So...what classifies a fictional book as historical? Facts pertinent and true to the period that are included in the story to help the reader visualize and move into scenes that are not modern day, and to do it with ease. Transitions shouldn't be obvious or draw the reader out of the story. It's not an easy chore, but the secret is peppering enough of these tidbits into the story to make the novel interesting and real without overloading the reader with a history lesson.
Do these added facts slow the pace? Sometimes. Readers who enjoy contemporary novels may consider the the facts unnecessary, but in order to meet genre requirements, period information is essential to the story. I imagine a story based on the old west would be pretty boring without a little knowledge of the history of that era. I'm going to pick some tidbits from my latest release, White Heart, Lakota Spirit, and demonstrate.
Of course, Grace could just ask the question, but I want the reader to picture the women in the middle of the prairie, traveling in a wagon.
This was probably the truest example of adding historical facts that honestly don't propel the story, yet gives the reader an idea of the Lakota Traditions governing death of a tribal member. Does it slow the pace a bit. Sure it does, but without these facts, the story would be just another romance novel set in the old west.
Green eyes understood the custom of cutting one's hair or sacrificing adornment as an expression of grief, but not body mutilation. To show her own sorrow, she had chosen only to cut the fringe from her dress. She hoped her shorn doeskin showed respect enough for the dead.
Okay, I think you get the picture of why these facts make a historical story an historical novel.
White Heart, Lakota Spirit is available at Moongypsy Press. It's soon to be at Amazon, but last check, it isn't appearing yet. Here's the video: