The first panel I attended at World Fantasy Convention 2013 was “Writing Historical Fantasy” at 3pm on Thursday.
Panellists were: Aidan Harte, Helen Marshall, Sophia McDougall, Tim Powers, Mark Charan Newton & Kari Sperring.
Tim Powers said “I think my books are irrelevant.” Which is why I’ve now decided I’m going to buy one. He also added to a conversation about themes by saying that he’s indifferent to themes, and that’s something I resonate with.
Aidan Harte’s written a series set in Italy, which means I have a vague idea of the history since I’ve played Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood & Revelations games.
It’s important to get a view of a certain time period from – as close to that time as possible, 50 years later, 50 years ago, and now. That way you have a good, varied picture of how it may actually have been. Consistencies are probably fairly close to accurate, unless you know the sources cite each other.
The only major middle age invention is the wheelbarrow. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s a hell of a concept either way.
Considering that was my first experience of a panel, I have to say I was a little disappointed. I didn’t really feel that the take panellists took applied to me and my writing, and thus I didn’t write many notes, and I didn’t engage as much as I’d have liked to.
Following this, I went to a reading by Garth Nix, which was a definite fan-girl moment because not only did I get to hear him read from Clariel – set in the same kingdom as the books that got me into fantasy as a child, but I got a photograph, autograph and bell (Kibeth). The day ended with my coffee and chat with Tor UK publishing.