What do you like about Historical Fiction?

Ronald E. Yates is an author of award-winning historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy.

Historical fiction is one of the most popular forms of fiction being written today–along with young adult, zombies, romance novels, and sci-fi.

I am interested in learning why people like historical fiction books. I have a few theories, but I would like to know what others think.

I enjoyed writing the Finding Billy Battles trilogy that begins in the Old West of Kansas, moves to the colonial Far East in the late 19th Century, and then to early 20th Century Mexico during its revolution and finally, back to the United States.

As a reader (or writer) what is it that draws you to this kind of fiction?

I take pleasure in doing the research necessary to create an accurate portrayal of the people, places, and events of other eras, such as the 19th Century. I especially like “slowing” down the pace of life.

What I find appealing about the past is that people were not overwhelmed and seduced by the high-tech gadgets and social media that dominate our waking moments today—smart phones, I-pads, texting, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

BSM (Before Social Media) you had time to THINK rather than merely react. The art of conversation was alive and well—not the 140-character verbal blitzes or the shorthand texts that pass for it today.

When I worked as a foreign correspondent, I can recall telling my office (via telex) when I was covering Vietnam, Cambodia, El Salvador, etc. in the 70s & 80s that I would be out of touch for several days. Then I would go to some remote area and spend time talking with people, analyzing what I was hearing, and what I was seeing. Then I would return to write a story that wasn’t filled with “instant wisdom” as we so often see today from uninformed reporters who “parachute”