Monday, July 12, 2010

Guest Post - A.S. Laing

Today I'm fortunate enough to have the fabulous A.S. Laing stop by my blog for a guest post! 

She is the author of Don't Know Where, Don't Know When which I very recently had the opportunity to devour and enjoy. I tell you what, this was the most fun I've ever had while learning something. Annette's way of writing is completely fantastic!

However I'm posting a review tomorrow, so let's get down to her fabulous guest post shall we?

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Let me get one thing straight:

I hate the word “educational”. Hate it.

It conjures up visions of flash cards, study guides, and worksheets wielded by the sort of “education professionals” who don’t read books for pleasure or, indeed, imagine any pleasure in intellectual pursuits.

So I didn’t set out to write The Snipesville Chronicles in order to teach my readers facts. Instead, I let my love affair with British and American history flow onto the page, aired my obsessions with World War II and the Victorian Age, and explained through fiction my absolute fascination with the extent to which people do (and don’t) change over time.

Readers, including my host Jessica, are kind enough to tell me how much you learn from my books. But what I love even more is that you enjoy the books, and that they make you think. I deliberately plant so many open-ended questions in my work: How could spoiled, selfish and lost Hannah, a child of the millennium, come to love stern and deeply moral Mrs. Devenish, her mother-figure in 1940? How does Brandon, finding himself one of the few black people in England when he time-travels to 1915, handle living and working with a white Scottish dentist with a dementedly racist wife? How does poor, naïve Alex manage his conscience when he dwells in relative luxury in 1851, thanks to the labor of enslaved people?

These are just some of the questions I hope will touch readers’ minds.

This is not the history you learned from those awful textbooks in high school or college. Rather, I’m translating into fiction the sort of history I have adored all my life, the social and cultural history that led me to try to understand how people think and act, and how that changes over place and time.

I also hope that I will touch your soul, that I will make you laugh, and make you cry, because history, and especially historical fiction, should never, never be boring.

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Thank you so much Annette for stopping by my blog!

She certainly makes some extremely valid points doesn't she? As I said, review goes up tomorrow and I hope you'll stop by and take a look!


British-born Annette Laing is a former history professor, and author of The Snipesville Chronicles:

Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When (Book 1, 2007)

A Different Day, A Different Destiny (Book 2, 2010)


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