Article published on April 21, 2017.
If you search this website with Legend Press you will find remarkably consistent scores from our reviewers for their titles. So we thought we’d invite them to tell us more about themselves and their forthcoming titles.
In 2017, leading UK independent book publisher Legend Press are introducing historical fiction to their award-winning publishing list. Here 3 of their new historical authors discuss what the genre means to them.
‘Fiction and history have always been my two passions. As a teenager, if I wasn’t reading a novel, then I was reading a history book. It was perhaps natural, then, that when I came to write a novel it would be set in the past. Historical fiction is quite a ‘baggy’ term that covers a wide range of different styles. I’ve never been a particular fan of ‘hard core’ historical fiction, but do love the writing of people like Helen Dunmore who often mine the past for a setting. Her novel The Siege is a beautiful, harsh novel about Leningrad in the Second World War while her first novel explored the life of D.H Lawrence. There is no attempt in her novels to show off her historical knowledge, but you feel confident in her hands, delving into past lives. Sebastian Faulks does a similar thing. I loved his novel Human Traces which deals with psychiatry in the early twentieth century.’
Stephan Collishaw is the author of The Song of the Stork (1st March 2017, 9781785079191 pbk Legend Press)
‘For me, books are transportation. I want to be taken away when I read, swept off to another world. Any wonderful book can do this, but with historical fiction, it’s an especially engaging trip. Great historical fiction takes me to a place and time I could never go, inside the life of someone I could never be or even meet. The best historical novels build a world around you so plausible you feel like you’re there. You see it, feel it, smell and taste it. Those are the books I love to read, and the books I try to write. Because who doesn’t love to get carried away?’
Greer Macallister is the author of The Magician’s Lie (3rd April 2017, 9781787199965 hbk Legend Press)
‘I enjoy historical fiction that offers new perspectives on past periods and situations. I especially like historical fiction, such as neo-Victorian novels or works set in periods of war, that also respond to contemporary issues. Historical fiction, although set in the past, can explore themes that are currently relevant, such as feminism, post-colonialism, sexuality etc. Although, of course, there are varying degrees of accuracy in historical fiction, a ‘re-imagination’ of a period or situation might actually hold more accuracy than that which has been portrayed in the past. Historical fiction can give voice to characters who were marginalised in their own time or have not been well represented in the fiction of the time, such as women, the working-class, Asians etc.’
M.J. Tjia is the author of She be Damned (1st August 2017, 9781785079313 pbk Legend Press)