Suzanne Woods Fisher is a contributing editor for Christian Parenting Today magazine. Her work has appeared in Today’s Christian Woman, Worldwide Challenge, ParentLife, Marriage Partnership, among others. She’s also contributed to five non-fiction books, including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort.
Suzanne’s debut novel, Copper Star, hit a bestseller list within a few weeks of release. It is a World War II love story based on true events. Louisa, a young Resistance Worker is smuggled out of
Married with four children, Suzanne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and tries to write as much as she can, in between caring for my dad with Alzheimer’s, who lives directly across the street (!) and a steady stream of puppies that she raises for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Check out Suzanne’s blog!
Why do you write about historical fiction?
Writing historical fiction is like putting together a fascinating puzzle to fit true events into a storyline. I work hard at representing history in an accurate way—I want readers to enjoy a good story but to finish my book confident in what they’ve learned.
What are some of the challenges of writing historical fiction?
Being true to the timeframe of the story—even though we know how things turned out (such as how World War II ended), the people at that time didn’t know. Seems simple, but it’s easy it is to trip over that rule.
Also, it’s challenging but important to properly represent life at that time. It takes a lot of effort to try and know that time period well enough to use the correct vernacular, correct products, etc. For example, Cheerios cereal had first been called Cheerioats.
Nowadays, think of how words morph and slip into our speech: “Just google him” or “someone just got Pluto-ed.” Those words identify 2007.
How do you decide what true events or real people to include in historical fiction?
I try to write about interesting people who have been overlooked.
For example: Louise Tracy, wife of Spencer Tracy. In 1942, Louise Tracy started a foundation (The John Tracy Clinic) to teach oral communication (lip reading and speaking) to pre-school age children. She and Spencer had a deaf son, John. Louise ignored the conventional wisdom of the day (sending John to an institution to learn sign language) and had remarkable success teaching him to communicate. There’s a deaf child in my novel Copper Star. I contacted the JTC while writing Copper Star and was able to write it into the storyline, with their blessing. Louise Tracy was a remarkable woman. Way ahead of her times! I loved being able to bring attention to such a woman through this novel.
Thanks for visiting my blog, Suzanne! And keep us posted on the movie!