Why Historical Mysteries?  

Posted by Tony Hays

When I was a little boy, I read constantly. I remember my father getting mad when my brother and I would read at the dinner table. But that didn't stop us. And almost at the same, I became enamored of history. I read the Iliad and the Odyssey before I was ten. I read about Stonewall Jackson's Valley campaign. And I would use gravel as soldiers and reenact the siege of Troy and Jackson's tactical genius. Between our house and the one next door, a raised lump of ground marked the property boundary. Using a section of it, I created castles and forts and caves. I created little worlds that only I could see and only I could understand. I somehow finagled a subscription to the new Liberty Magazine, a remake of an old Depression-era publication that reprinted original articles. I also fell in love with Punch, the British satire magazine about the same time.

The leap from that to writing stories took place when I was eight. I do not know what, specifically, sparked the writing bug. In the back of my mind, perhaps I believed that I could do as well. Or, more likely, the magic of putting words together in ways that birthed worlds of my own creation was too much of a lure to resist. And so I wrote. I still have those stories, mostly spy and international conspiracy tomes. I even dreamed of selling a collection of them door to door. I've always been big on dreams.

But mysteries? I grew up in an age of controversy and tragedy. I was six when JFK was assassinated, eleven when RFK and Martin Luther King Jr. were killed. From those days until now, we have lived in an age of conspiracy. And as my writing grew better, the story ideas that came to me were mysteries. And when the novel bug bit, it seemed that only mysteries with an historical bent captured my imagination. I wish I could explain why, but I can't. No great event drove me in this direction. It just seemed as natural as breathing.

What I hope to do with this blog is to talk about historical fiction, particularly historical mysteries. And not just fiction, but occasionally about real historical mysteries as well. I hope to bring guest blogs and interviews from a variety of authors and experts. And, perhaps, in some way, contribute to the global discussion of historical fiction and historical truth.

For more information about my own work, check out my website at www.tonyhays.com. And please, please feel free to email me with suggestions or ideas.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 at 7:59 AM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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