Janet Croon
Janet Croon asked Chris Bohjalian:

Hi Chris, When writing historical fiction, what kind of balance do you use between fact and fiction? I found a wonderful story and am filling in the blanks between what is known and what is speculated, but don't want my work to turn into a "history book" -- which is a challenge for me, as I am a history teacher!

Chris Bohjalian Hi, Augusta,

It's true: It is possible to turn a novel into a history book. It happens to me when I become so obsessed by my research that I want to share EVERYTHING.

But the reality is that a lot of the research should be to help you understand the context of your characters' lives. It is important for authenticity, but it need never be shared with the reader. It's background you need as the novelist, but may not be helpful when it comes to creating a page-turning novel.

So, I would focus on your characters and your story -- and then make sure your novel is historically accurate.

Good luck!

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