TITLE: The Nuts and Bolts of Historical Fiction
SPEAKER: David L. Robbins
EVENT DATE: 10/24/2007
RUNNING TIME: 66 minutes
The construction of historical fiction requires the attributes of good story telling plus some important additional components. Novelist David L. Robbins -- whose most recent political thriller, "The Assassins Gallery," imagines the assassination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt -- discussed the building blocks of historical novels in a lecture sponsored by the Center for the Book.
Robbins discussed the importance of research, the role of time and place, narrative pacing and character development. According to Robbins, the novel's backdrop, which needs to be built as clearly and accurately as possible, plays a far more important role in historical fiction than in regular novels.
Speaker Biography: A graduate of the College of William and Mary with a bachelor's degree in theater and speech, David L. Robbins obtained a law degree from William and Mary in 1980. He practiced environmental law in Columbia, S.C., for one year before turning his energy into a career as a freelance writer in 1981. He began writing fiction in 1990 and subsequently has published seven novels, several of them with World War II settings. The audio version of his book "The War of the Rats" (Bantam, 1999), set during the battle of Stalingrad, was nominated for an Audie as one of the top three recorded unabridged novels of 2000. Robbins, who frequently travels to Europe to research his novels, is a founder and board member of the James River Writers, a nonprofit group in his hometown of Richmond that helps aspiring writers and students work and learn together as a writing community.
SERIES: Books & Beyond