In the exploration of the ‘what’ and ‘why’ behind historical fiction, and especially young adult (YA) historical novels, here’s a first thought to consider:
“Historical fiction can be used to designate all realistic stories that are set in the past.” (Charlotte Huck’s Children’s Literature, 2007)
Source: Oklahoma State University Library: Historical Fiction for Young People: Home
A. The Last Skywatchers was written to entertain readers who enjoy character-driven historical fiction. Plenty of fiction has been written about native peoples of the Midwest, the Great Plains and the Southwest, but very little appears to have been written about the native peoples of California immediately prior to and during the years after arrival of expeditions from Spain.
These people had a rich cosmology that is reflected in the carved petroglyphs and painted pictographs they created. They were patient visual astronomers who used sky knowledge to make the most of seasonal food resources. They had a complex and far reaching trade network. They had established family systems. And their response to historic figures and cataclysmic events was simply a story that needed to be told.
A. Way deep. Research for The Last Skywatchers, a novel of Early California, took me on a quest that included courses in archaeoastronomy through UCLA Extension, plus a number of domestic field trips and overseas adventures to hard-to-reach rock art sites for pre-dawn solstice and equinox light-and-shadow events.