Category: Writing Historical Fiction

Chigger, a novel by Raymond Bial

Interview with Raymond Bial, Author of Chigger

Chigger is a sweet, poignant novel novel set in a quiet little town in southern Indiana. It’s the late 1950s, and the other kids in the fifth-grade at Rutherford B. Hayes Grade School don’t know what to make of the scrappy newcomer. Dirt poor, always hungry, the girl also has “quite a mouth on her,” and so annoys several of the boys that she quickly acquires the nickname of Chigger. These buggy backyard pests, chiggers, cause a lot of itching and scratching, and the new girl does gets under the skin of these boys. [Click on cover image above to read the full interview …]

Jingo Fever, by Stephanie Lowden

Bullying Immigrant Families in America – A Sad Heritage

As the author of a middle-grade novel about anti-immigrant sentiment in World War I, I know that the current prejudice against immigrants and immigrant-American families is not new. In Jingo Fever, my main character, young Adelle Klein, is bullied because she’s German-American. She lives in Wisconsin, a heavily German-American state in 1918. But World War I was raging in Europe, and a rampant patriotism was surging on the homefront. It was a difficult time to be of German origin, even if you were also an American. Jingo Fever deals with the issue of “Fear of the Other” during a time of war. [Click on book cover above to read the full post …]

Sweet Home Alaska cover art by Erika Steiskal

Interview with Carole Estby Dagg, Author of Sweet Home Alaska

Carole Estby Dagg’s website tag is “Writing About History as Ordinary People Lived It.” After reading her middle-grade historical novel Sweet Home Alaska, I had many questions about how this fascinating subject and these characters came into her writing life. Here, Carole discusses her approach to writing this entertaining book about a little-known episode in Alaskan history.

Bjorn's Gift, cover

Interview with Sandy Brehl, Author of Bjorn’s Gift

I recently interviewed Sandy Brehl, author of Bjorn’s Gift, a sequel to Odin’s Promise, winner of the 2014 Midwest Book Award for Children’s Fiction. Both books are set in Ytre Arna, Norway, during the German occupation of World War II. Sandy tells of her writing journey and how she became interested in telling the stories of wartime Norway through these middle-grade novels. [Click on book cover above to read the full interview …]

Cold War on Maplewood Street, by Gayle Rosengren

Interview with Gayle Rosengren – Author of Cold War on Maplewood Street

Middle-grade author Gayle Rosengren discusses the concept for her recent novel, Cold War on Maplewood Street, and why she wrote this story for young readers, set in the early 1960s during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that explores the effects of fear and the overriding value of communication. [Click on cover image above to read the full interview …]

Syttende Mai in Norway

Syttende Mai & Three Books about Norwegian Resistance in World War II

More than thirty years ago I didn’t know much about May 17. Norway’s annual holiday (Syttende Mai in Norwegian) is similar to our American Fourth of July. Then I got a chance to travel to Norway, where I heard delightful family stories, and fell in love with that country and the warm-hearted people I met. Of the many stories I heard, the ones about life during the Second World War were among the most memorable. [Click on image above to read the full article …]