- Syd Young
Syd Young, Co-Host #HFChitChat
Hello everyone! I'm one of your Co-Hosts for #HFChitChat.
I'm a practicing lawyer and have been a professional writer all of my career, and turned to novel writing several years ago. A few manuscripts later (with more on the way), I have an agent/high hopes of publication of my adventurous historical fiction (about a young Texas hero and the removal of his forgotten adopted tribe, the Cherokee of the West, titled "I Am Houston.")
Enough about that. I'm here to answer why #historicalfiction needs a chat of its own and how I came to co-host this chat.
I've been a reading advocate all my adult life. I write a review column, once a month. (People actually read it!) I am a blogger with Lone Star Book Bloggers, sharing info and reviews on mostly Texas books, authors and publishers (see #LSBBT, also many reviews under my old blog, www.sydsavvy.com). Also, some years ago, I was on a coalition board that brought a wonderful program to the area "Reading to the Future," where adults read to all 2nd grade classes, once a week, throughout the school year. That program is still going and is one I highly recommend to your community.
So, I'm always thinking, how do we tell more people about the adventures of reading?
Historical Fiction / Friends / Pitch Wars
What's my favorite genre? History in all of its glory. (Picture is of my first love historical novel/series).
I'm an avid fan of reading and writing historical fiction (regardless of whether it is called by that genre name). As a member of the Historical Novel Society, I've attended two of their great conferences in North America. Below is a picture of my #Pitchwars friends and me attending the "Dual Timeline" seminar in June of 2019.
While we finally met each other in person at the conference, it's because of Pitch Wars that I ever met Janna Noelle (@jgnoelle, sitting next to me, there in the middle). In the build up to the pitch event last summer, we noticed that we both wrote historical fiction, so we critiqued each other's first few pages, cheered each other on, and a friendship formed. Also pictured is Finola Austin (white blouse), aka The Secret Victorianist (@SVictorianist), who also pitched historical fiction in Pitch Wars. What's interesting is that none of us were chosen as mentees, but we are all forging ahead in our writing journeys. Janna is seriously revising her manuscript, I have an agent for the manuscript I pitched, and Finola's pitched manuscript is agented and being published by Atria in 2020 ("Bronte's Mistress," which I'm very excited about).
Pitch Wars taught me so much. I learned how to talk about my journey as a writer. I learned how to have fun conversations on Houston in short sound bites and with fun graphics and gifs. And it made me wonder why historical fiction writers aren't on Twitter having these big group conversations, like other genres are.
I know part of it is that most historical novelists avoid Twitter with all of their being. Instagram is a safe place for them to post pictures of their books and other books they are reading, as well as historical whatnots and flowers (yes, we are pretty trope 😂). But by not interacting on Twitter, we are leaving out some great thinkers, possibly generations of people, and we are leaving a false impression about the genre.
The Truth About Historical Fiction (regardless of its label)
Historical fiction actually has many bestsellers, frequently dominating the lists. Check out these lists and see how many bestselling historical books dominate them:
Penguin Random House Historical Fiction list
Amazon Charts Historical Fiction Bestsellers
Publisher's Weekly Best Sellers
Plus, it's just fun, and it's authors are fun people. Just look at all these authors rocking their fun costumes at the Costume Contest at #HNS2019
About Co-Hosting the Chat / Teaming up with Janna
We are all busy people, I'm no different. I began dreaming about a chat for my favorite genre, but I dream about many things. Also, as a creative person, a thespian (see pictures on the home page), I am used to collaborating. I've seen amazing things happen when a couple of people put their heads together.
It was at the Historical Novel Society Conference that I knew we had to get this chat going. I also knew I couldn't do it alone. Once I met Janna in person, and saw how detail oriented she is, I really knew she'd be a great fit, if she ever came to be passionate about it. (She tells a great story about that, read it here.).
We make a great team, complimentary, diverse, talented in different ways. For example, Janna tells me about TweetDeck, I tell her about scheduling Tweets. (I will confess, I think she knows way more about stuff than I do, thank heavens.) That means #HFChitChat will be even more enjoyable for even more people. I can also see some take over hosting going on, so that we can spread the message and fun.
In the end. . .
I'm really excited about the conversation we will soon be having. I love meeting you all and seeing what you are writing and reading, and I love history. It's going to be a match made in heaven.
Related: Historical Fiction Writers and the case for Twitter
Sort of Related: Me and Hubby about to take a spin on the Giant Ferris Wheel at #HNS2019 in Maryland