Today we have a guest post from author Bob O'Connor on the subject of writing historical fiction. Bob's book The Return of Catesby is currently on tour with Walker Author Tours. I loved the book (click here if you missed my review) and hope you will, too.
I was particularly intrigued by the way that a self-educated man like Catesby became a teacher at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, VA. Bob kindly shared his insights into what he feels were important aspects of that accomplishment.
You’ll find his thoughts informative. Enjoy, and pick up your copy of the book at http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-8206-1.
"The challenges of a teacher at Storer College were many. In a class with a wide age range of students, a teacher like Catesby had to teach the ABCs, simple math, and other academic subjects to students who had never been to school. On top of that, he had to impart his wisdom, encouragement, and values upon a group who had been told their whole lives that they couldn't do this or that because they were colored.
My job as a historical fiction writer is to report on Catesby's efforts and show that they have made a difference in the lives of his students. I had to weave in the school's policies, the teacher's lessons, the opposition from the community and the introduction of speakers, who each had a special significant message to impart.
The story unfolds in such a way as for the reader to feel like they are sitting in Catesby's classes, listening to the lessons, and getting the feel of how that experience might have played out."