Friday, 1 July 2011

We're here!

by Mary Hoffman



Welcome to the brand new History Girls blog! There are 28 of us who plan to put up a new personal post every day, leaving a few spaces at the end of the month for reviews, interviews, guest blogs and competitions to win books by our members.

You can see who we all are by clicking the About Us header above and take a look at our most recent historical fiction - and us - in the slide-shows on the right. Some of us write entirely for Young Adults or younger readers; some for adults and some do both. Some write an interesting sub-genre of fantasy history and you'll be hearing more about that.

There's safety in numbers and we aren't the only writers contributing to joint blogs. There are Crime Central  and Girls Heart Books - both spin-offs from the Awfully Big Blog Adventure (ABBA), started by Anne Cassidy, and many others. It's a wonderful way to celebrate writing within a specific genre and to share information and ideas with each other and with readers.

You have some real treats coming up this month from posts about flying in the theatre to horses in history and lots about objects or places or people that have inspired whole books by our contributors.

There was a time when historical fiction was enormously popular and fashionable, in the days of Anya Seton, Mary Renault and Georgette Heyer, and then it became an absolute no-no with most publishers. But in the year that Hilary Mantel won the Booker prize with the wonderful Wolf Hall, the majority of the books on the shortlist were about periods well before the present day.

When does historical fiction begin? World War Two? 35 years ago? A generation in the past? These have all been offered as definitions. I know I found 1980 harder to write about than 1208, because there are people alive who remember it and can write in to correct you if you've made an error about, say, what month a particular book was published in that year.

And then there is Anthony Beevor who possibly thinks we shouldn't be doing it at all. We'll return to these ideas many times in the months to come, I suspect. Meanwhile, enjoy the blog.

We've had a lot of support and help setting up the blog so thanks to Damian Harvey, Elen Caldecott, Romy Berlin, Anne Rooney and all our wonderful contributors.

And don't forget to Follow us here and on Twitter (@history_girls) and on Facebook (The History Girls). And do please comment; we want to know what you are interested in reading about and what you think of our blog.

18 comments:

Theresa Breslin said...

A glorious first of July - a launch date to go down in History! Well done Mary and Michelle! Theresa

Stroppy Author said...

Hooray! Welcome, History Girls! Can't wait to read all your wise and amusing words on writing historical fiction. Have some virtual prosecco and relax after all that work

Penny Dolan said...

Happy First of July everyone, and congratulations to Mary & Michelle. A Historic Day, no doubt!

Katherine Langrish said...

I am delighted to be a History Girl in such illustrious company, and very excited to see what will happen on this blog!

JO said...

Brilliant - will follow your every word . . .

michelle lovric said...

Happy History Girls Day to us all!

And thank you to Mary Hoffman for the inspiration and the application to make this happen.

And very nearly Happy Birthday to Mary's wonderful DAVID, the History Girls' firstborn, I believe.

Carola Huttmann said...

An exciting new 'adventure' on the web. I look forward to following your posts and tweets.
A big thank you and best wishes to all who are making this happen :)

Teresa Flavin said...

I'm delighted to be one of the History Girls! Many thanks to Mary Hoffman and everyone who helped set this blog up. It looks fantastic!

adele said...

Echoing everything said by everyone else: Welcome to all the History Girls...happy to be of your number! Will read all posts with great interest. Off to tweet about this site to my followers!

Book Maven said...

Thanks all! And David shares a birthday on Monday with History Girl Nicky Browne's Wolf Blood. They can be Blood Brothers or Were-statues or something!

Book Maven said...

Floor to Ceiling Books: http://floor-to-ceiling-books.blogspot.com has put our entire Press Release and list of specialisms on their blog!

Sue Purkiss said...

Hurrah! And thanks to Mary, Michelle, Kath and everyone else.Looking forward to lots of interesting reading.

Catherine Johnson said...

Hurrah again, big thanks to Mary and Michelle and looking forward to loads of delicious reads, xc

adele said...

And big congrats to Theresa Breslin who has won the Carnegie Shadowing this year. Hurray! What an auspicious start to our affairs!

Linda Strachan said...

Well done, History Girls. Happy beginnings! Congrats to Theresa, and to Mary and her new book baby - David!

Nicola Morgan said...

Looking good, girls! Congrats to all who've worked so hard and of course big congrats to Theresa! Now, off to write my blog post...

Book Maven said...

I just heard about Theresa - well done! I often think the shadowers get it right when the Judges don't. Not saying that to detract from Patrick's win but to imply their verdict is well worth paying attention to.

Anonymous said...

Emma Darwin here - sorry, Blogger's having a hissy fit and won't let my comment as myself. But I'm so looking forward to being part of this! And many thanks and congrats to everyone who's worked to get it looking so gorgeous.