Fiona McIntosh is one of Australia’s prolific and favourite storytellers, selling worldwide in a variety of languages and across several genres. More recently, it’s been her historical romantic adventures which have captured the imagination of the general fiction audience.
Her most recent novel, The Perfumer’s Secret, is among eight major titles nominated for the 2016 Best General Fiction category in the Australian Book Industry Awards.
Fiona is married with twins. She lives in South Australia but roams the world to research her stories. Her new release for November 2016 is set in England’s York post WWI and is called The Chocolate Tin. Her novel for 2017 is set in colonial India of the 1930s.
In between writing blockbusters, Fiona hosts a series of masterclasses that are highly regarded by the industry as some of the best available anywhere and many of her students are now happily embedded with major publishers. Her How to Write Your Blockbuster has garnered genuine praise and is now selling in the US.
I first met Fiona at The Batesman Bay Writers’ Festival in June 2014. I spent every chance I got picking her brain and so when it came to choosing an author to segment this blog, Fiona was my natural first choice. Here she is with her 3 Tips on writing good commercial historical fiction.
Fiona’s 3 Tips on Writing Historical Fiction.1. Research, research, research and part of that research should be feet on the ground of the locations in your story. Google is NOT enough!2. You should anticipate spending most of your writing efforts in recreating the world of your era. This doesn’t happen simply because you can craft a ripping story. This happens because you commit to educating yourself about your timeline, political landscape and the social norms of the day.3. Understand the mindset of your characters in the right timeframe. Your characters shouldn’t display contemporary views. They can be ‘modern thinking’ but only for their time.