Friday, June 7, 2013

The Appeal of Historical Fiction

Why Historical Fiction? Why medieval Scotland? What draws you to this time period?

Countless people have asked me those questions.  I can’t answer that in one or two simple sentences. I simply cannot pinpoint to one thing, one person, one ideal, or one place. Why? Why am I drawn to this time period? It is more than just hunky heroes in kilts. It is also more than just castles, arisaids, kilts, daggers, horses and broadswords.  It is all those things and more. 

When I conjure up images of this magnificent land and the medieval time where my stories take place, those images warm me from toe to head. My heart and mind take me to a time and place where men were men and women were women and each were strong, honorable, and proud. They fought alongside one another for independence from tyranny, for the right to choose their own destinies; they fought for the inalienable right to be free.

Those are the kind of heroes I create. Good, honorable, a bit stubborn, sexy, strong, vulnerable, and imperfect.  Who among us wouldn’t want a man like that? One who would fight to his own death in order to protect his family, his freedom, and his honor? Perfectly imperfect, honorable, sexy men. And the Scottish brogue, leather trews, tunics and swords don’t hurt either!

My heroines are lovely women, who, if they were real, we would want to have as a friend. Strong yet vulnerable women, who, like us, are trying to get through each day. Kick butt women who overcome challenges and obstacles and trials with dignity and grace.

And it all takes place in medieval Scotland with rich, beautiful landscapes, mountains, valleys and lochs, and history filled with fierce, sexy men!

I’ve also been asked what inspires me, where do I get my ideas? My answer? Divine intervention. The good lord blessed me with a creative mind and spirit.  Honestly, I’ve been writing and creating for so long that now, it just seems natural. I don’t question it, instead I’m thankful for it.   

My ideas usually come out of nowhere and are akin to being hit in the head with a bat! Take my current story for instance. I was tending to my morning ablutions when WHAM! It was like an explosion. Four little words, words with significance, that I actually yelled “NO!!!!”

That little sentence shocked me, caught me so off guard that I nearly fell off the potty! (You try explaining to the EMT’s how you twisted your ankle while sitting on the porcelain throne! Can you imagine the looks on their faces when I start talking about voices in my head?)

The words? Angus hangs at dawn. For those of you who might not have read my first three novels, Angus is the chief of the Clan MacDougall. He’s loved and admired, an honorable, funny man. I kept asking myself why? Why hang Angus, of all people???

Suffice it to say, it snowballed into a novella that I will be releasing in July or August. I have to. If I don’t, the voices would never forgive me! ;o)

Some say my writing is an obsession. I prefer to think of it as a passion. I write because I love it and I have to. If I didn’t purge these voices in my head through writing, I think my head would explode. 

Suzan Tisdale


  1. We appreciate the voices in your head because they make you write such amazing books. I just love them and I can't wait for your next book. I love this time period, the highlanders and their strong women.

  2. Thanks Monica! Thank you so much. ;o) The voices in my head are like friends...and sometimes it is a little sad when the book is done. I think that is one more reason I like to do series: the old friends stay around much longer!



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