Once Upon a Time It Was Now

Once Upon a Time It Was Now

by James Alexander Thom


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While a historian stands firmly planted in the present and looks back into the past, a historical novelist has a more immediate task: to set readers in the midst of bygone events and lead them forward, allowing them to live and feel the wonderment, fear, hope, triumph, and pain as if they were there.

Learning historical stories is easy, creating stories based in history is not.

In Once Upon a Time It Was Now, best-selling author James Alexander Thom (Follow the River, From Sea to Shining Sea, Sign-Talker) gives you the tools you need to research and create stories born from the past that will move and inspire modern readers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681570518
Publisher: Blue River Press
Publication date: 05/01/2017
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

James Alexander Thom is an Indiana-born Marine veteran, and was a newspaperman, magazine freelance writer, and Indiana University Journalism School lecturer before he became a full-time historical novelist, known for his thorough research in archives and in the field. His American frontier and Indian war novels have won national awards and sold more than two million copies. Two were made into television films, by Hallmark and Ted Turner. Thom's family history drew him to the Civil War era. His namesake was killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg, and his great grandfather survived the deathly Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp. Several years as Ohio River historical lecturer for the Delta Queen line provided technical knowledge and riverboat lore for this book. The author is also an artist and sculptor. James and his wife Dark Rain live in a 170-year-old log house near Bloomington, Indiana.

Table of Contents

Preface: Once Upon a Time It Was Now 1

Chapter 1 In the River of Time 3

Chapter 2 History: A Distillation of Rumor 11

Chapter 3 A Catalytic Remark 21

Chapter 4 Modifying the Truth 34

Chapter 5 Searching and Researching 53

Chapter 6 Old Stuff in a New Package: History in the Computer Age 81

Chapter 7 Genealogy Is Like the Potato 93

Chapter 8 Taming Your Research Data 118

Chapter 9 It Was a Dark and Srormy Night 136

Chapter 10 Ain't Like It Used to Was 150

Chapter 11 Songs, Smells, and Sensations 167

Chapter 12 Catching the Historians 181

Chapter 13 Hon; Much Credibility? 195

Chapter 14 What's Then Got to Do With Now? 208

Chapter 15 How Not to Write Historical Fiction 216

Chapter 16 Around the Fire 231

Index 244

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