WHY DO I WRITE CREATIVE NONFICTION?
How many of us have struggled during our childhood through the date-pocketed course of history, uninterested, disenchanted, and just waiting only for the end of the cobwebbed test of time. We find, in our later years in life, that history is actually the most fascinating and stimulating of all areas of knowledge. The number must be countless.
Why this unfortunate paradox? Did history change? No, what changed is the presentation and the emphasis. In my case, the creative nonfiction genre is something that adds the sense of feel and touch to the history.
When sitting down in class or in a library somewhere, however important the dates, places or the names of people may be to an expert understanding of history, they are not history, but merely the checkpoints and framework of history. This is comparable to an outline that an author might use to prepare for a new novel he or she might be writing.
Why do I write creative historical nonfiction? John Wilkes Booth, Mary Elizabeth Surratt, The Runaway Scrape, In the Eye of the Storm, Faith – Seventy Times Seven and others. History is people – real people, with blood and bones, loves and hates, weaknesses, strengths, and passions. History is joys and sorrows, successes and failures, heartbreaks and the warmest of ecstasies. History is the tension and the pressure of opposing forces, both in and out of balance. History is power, the exercise of power, and, yes, the vacuum of power, too.
This interpretation of history in such human terms has created an entirely new genre, creative nonfiction. Great opportunities and needs for those skilled, sensitive, and tireless investigative writers whose training and expertise of adding emotion to the past inclines an expansion to history, a sought-out venture by literary writers much like myself.
My first five books have been primarily genealogy books. To do research into characters’ lives, I needed to step back and put myself in their shoes. Although my text in earlier written history books is accurate, they lack any sense of feeling and emotion. As I mentioned earlier, they are only checkpoints or, in other words, a framework of history.
My creative nonfiction novels are factually accurate and written with attention to literary style. My extensive research led me into animated descriptions at my desk and emotional outpours to arrive at the truth through shaping the information, molding the narrative so that it reads like fiction.